Indian High Commissioner Mr Y. K. Sinha addressed a distinguished gathering of members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords at a reception hosted by Mr. Virendra Sharma, Chair of the Indo-British All- Party Parliamentary Group at St. James’s Court, London on 21st March 2018. About 45 Members of Parliament were present on the occasion including Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Dame Rosie Winterton; Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dr Thérèse Coffey; Chair of the 1922 Backbench Committee, Sir Graham Brady; and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve.
High Commissioner expressed satisfaction that the two countries enjoyed strong and vibrant relations, encompassing high level political exchanges, trade and investment, defence and security cooperation as also in the fields of innovation, science & technology and culture. He referred to the recently concluded India-UK Year of Culture which was launched last year with a spectacular reception at the Buckingham Palace hosted by HM The Queen. He emphasized the importance of the role of the 1.5 million strong and vibrant Indian diaspora in the UK- the ‘living bridge’, that imparts a strong underpinning to our strategic partnership.
High Commissioner noted the need for greater engagement between India and the UK beyond government-to-government interactions. He referred to the programme of familiarization visits to India being organized for groups of British MPs by the High Commission of India and the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi. Such visits enable parliamentarians to gain a first-hand experience of India through direct interaction with government Ministers, Indian MPs, and apex chambers of commerce and academia. An invitation was extended to MPs for the next visit being planned later this year.
High Commissioner also spoke of the need to utilise the opportunity provided by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London next month to rejuvenate the Commonwealth and to make the most of the ‘Commonwealth Advantage’ in promoting both intra-Commonwealth and bilateral ties.