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India, UK Set To Ink FTA, Enhance Security Apparatus

The outcome of the New Delhi dialogue between Indian PM Narendra Modi and his British counterpart Boris Johnson following the topsy-turvy change in geopolitical scenario is in bilateral and international interest.  As expected, both expressed concern over the hostilities in Ukraine and called for immediate cessation and peaceful settlement. They re-affirmed that ruled based Indo -Pacific region, a vital lifeline to as many as 24 nations including India, must be ensured.  The two nations sharing several commonalities and committed to enhancing mutual trust have agreed to scale up security apparatus and combat more effectively cybercrimes promoted by rival nations as well trans-border crime syndicates. As  the UK PM  has rightly said  his nation’s ‘’partnership with India is a beacon in stormy seas as the world faces growing threats from autocratic states which seek to undermine democracy, choke off fair trade and trample on sovereignty’ .’  Among other issues are they have resolved to work in unison to promote next-generation defence and security collaboration across land, sea, support for Indian-designed and built fighter jets. UK has offered the best of British know-how on building battle-winning aircraft and support India’s requirements for new technology to identify and respond to threats in the Indian Ocean. Confirmation of cooperation in working together to reach the goal post fixed by the UN sponsored green energy mission is laudable. The UK and Indian businesses through Public-Private Participation mode are set to get fillip from software engineering to health, Science and tech collaborations, including a digital health partnership and a joint investment fund for Indian deep-tech and AI start-ups. It is indeed an appreciable augury that the two PMs and their officials who assisted them have discussed the bilateral issues frankly and openly mindedly.  Boris has pledged cooperation to help his country’s ex-colony emerge as Self-reliant India under Modi calling him his ‘’Khaas Dost’’. They are set to ink a Free Trade Agreement by the end of the year indicating the two nations are in a win-win situation amid critics of Boris questioning necessity of bonhomie with the world’s largest democracy and a leading geopolitical power.

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