India-UK trade talks on track: Commerce ministry official

Both sides sign agreements in the education and nursing fields that will boost short-term mobility and create employment opportunities

July 22, 2022 06:16 am | Updated 11:54 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Commerce Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam. File.

Commerce Secretary B.V.R Subrahmanyam. File. | Photo Credit: Kamal Narang

Political uncertainties in the United Kingdom have not impacted the ongoing talks regarding the Free Trade Agreement that is expected to be signed by Diwali this year. Commerce Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam expressed confidence about the tempo of the trade talks after officials of both sides signed agreements in education and nursing fields that will help short-term mobility and create employment opportunities.

"Irrespective of party in power in UK, the logic of FTA with India is irreversible," said Mr. Subrahmanyam, assuring the trade talks are currently on and the negotiations would be concluded by August 31. The comment came in the backdrop of the 5th round of negotiations, which is currently underway in Delhi.

The MoU on education signed on Thursday will enhance "short-term bilateral mobility", said an official announcement. "This MoU provides for mutual recognition of educational qualifications and duration of study undertaken by students within duly approved and recognised higher education institutions in the two countries. On a reciprocal basis, Indian Senior Secondary School/Pre-University Certificates will be considered suitable for entry into UK higher education institutions," stated the official announcement.

Both sides signed an MoU on maritime education that will help the two governments to mutually recognise the certificates of "maritime education and training, competency and endorsements of seafarers issued by each side". India is one of the largest seafarer supplying nation and the agreement is expected to increase employment opportunities for Indian seafarers in the British shipping sector.

The Framework Agreement on Healthcare Workforce is aimed at streamlining recruitment of Indian Nursing and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) for the British healthcare sector.

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