While the debate over Rishi Sunak's India connect is yet to die down, there's no denying that Indians have been hopeful of the UK's new Prime Minister. Some speculated stronger bilateral trade, others expected easier immigration policies for Indians working in the UK.
In one of his first moves pertaining India, on the side-lines of the G20 summit, Rishi Sunak announced that his country is offering as many as 3000 visas to young Indian professionals. "Today, the UK-India Young Professionals Scheme was confirmed, offering 3,000 places to 18-30-year-old degree-educated Indian nationals to come to the UK to live and work for up to two years," UK PM's office made the announcement via its official Twitter account.
UK-India Young Professionals Scheme is a reciprocal endeavour where India would have to extend the same favour to British nationals. The statement from Sunak's office further said that India is the first visa-national country to benefit from a scheme like this.
The development is in sync with the UK-India Migration and Mobility Partnership schemes which were agreed upon last year. "I am pleased that even more of India's brightest young people will now have the opportunity to experience all that life in the UK has to offer---and vice-versa—making our economies and societies," said the UK PM.
Rishi Sunak and India-UK history
Ever since Sunak took over as the UK's Prime Minister, speculations to memes have taken over the social media in both nations. The fact that Indian and British have a shared 350-year-old history makes the political development all the more relevant.
The latest announcement did not disappoint the Indians who have already been expecting more visas and easier immigration policies in the UK after Sunak's appointment. The statement from the UK PM's office also highlighted the strong ties between the two nations in all of the Indo-Pacific region. "Nearly a quarter of all international students in the UK are from India, and Indian investment into the UK supports 95,000 jobs across the UK."
What else is in store for India?
UK and India are also, reportedly, negotiating a trade deal, the details of which are not fully known yet. The statement added that the trade deal would build on the already strong UK-INDIA trading relationship, said to be worth £24bn.
On the side-lines of the summit, the UK also strongly reiterated its stance on Russia and other issues pertaining geopolitics. Sunak also announced via its official Twitter account that the UK and the US will together address the economic consequences of Putin's brutality.