A recent report published by the British Council has identified several ways in which UK-India relations could improve. The report suggests that it is vitally important that the UK acts on the many opportunities that a strong relationship with India presents. The key to the future? Young people.
“The UK enjoys advantages from its traditional links with India. However, India’s economic success and rapid development means that the country now enjoys a much greater choice of foreign partners, as can be seen in the area of education and skills where Germany, the US, and Australia are very present,” says the concluding sections of the British Council’s report.
In order to fully realize the potentials of a successful relationship with India, the report recommends that the UK establishes and commits to a 2050 UK-India vision.
“A UK–India Young Leaders/Next Generation Forum should be launched for young people between the ages of 15 and 35, who will be leaders in the two respective countries in 2050. These leaders should be identified, trained and mentored, and brought together in forums to exchange knowledge and ideas and build new relationships,” the report proposes.
That young people in the UK lack knowledge as well as understanding of India could prove a hindrance to deeper ties between the two countries. In order to prevent this, the UK should move to “[e]nsure a greater focus on Indian culture, history and society in school curricula[…]”
Acknowledging the tendency among young Indians to see the UK as an increasingly distant ally, the report also advises that the UK should make it as easy as possible for Indians to engage with the UK, be it professionally or in education. Educational institutions must be accessible to young Indians, and Indians must be aware of the many strengths of British education, as well as of the opportunities that education in the UK presents.
To read the full report, please click here.