It’s an honour to speak to the CVE community today, and so soon after Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK in April. Going by yesterday’s introductory sessions I’m sure we have a fascinating series of panels to look forward to.


I’d first like to start by reflecting on the strength and importance of the partnership between our two countries. We are bound together by personal, professional, cultural and institutional ties.


We have a shared interest in each other’s prosperity, generating jobs, developing skills, and enhancing the competitiveness of the UK’s and India’s economies.


And our business links are strengthened by the people-to-people links between our countries – what we now describe as a ‘Living Bridge’.


We both have a history of democracy, with India being the largest democracy in the world. We recognise that diversity and cohesion creates safer and prosperous societies.


These longstanding historical ties are of course also the foundation on which we cooperate on counter-terrorism and extremism issues.


And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.


As the UK Government’s Minister for Countering Extremism, I want to take this opportunity to look beyond counter-terrorism and instead focus on our approach to identifying and countering extremism in the UK.


I’ll focus on three main areas:


What we mean by ‘extremism’ in the UK;


The progress we’ve made towards tackling extremism since we published our Counter-Extremism Strategy in 2015; and


Finally, I want to talk about the importance of our shared work to counter-terrorism – the most harmful of all forms of extremism.




British Minister for Countering Extremism, Baroness Williams, has held bilateral talks with Indian government ministers and will use a speech in New Delhi to outline how closer cooperation with trusted allies is the best way to undermine extremist ideologies across the globe.


Baroness Williams’ visit builds on the closer cooperation on counter-terrorism and counter-extremism which Prime Minister Theresa May agreed with Prime Minister Modi during the Indian leader’s visit to the United Kingdom in April.


Addressing the Observer Research Foundation conference, Baroness Williams will say:


“It is no secret that there are those in nations across the world, who do not share our values of democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance of individuals of different faiths and beliefs.


“The threat we face from extremists is unprecedented. The internet is enabling them to spread their ideologies at a pace and scale never before seen. Defeating extremism in all its forms is not something any government can, or should, do alone.


“Only through close cooperation with trusted allies and partners can we undermine the extremists who wish to do us all harm.”


The Minister is set to outline the UK government’s strategic approach to countering extremism, which vigorously opposes extremist ideologies in all their forms, whether violent or non-violent, Islamist or far and extreme right wing.


She will also discuss key successes in the UK’s approach including establishing the independent Commission for Countering Extremism and creating a network of over 160 civil society groups who challenge extremism in their local areas.


Baroness Williams has also held meetings with Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar, and Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, focused on what more can be done to tackle the threat of extremism in both countries.


The visit follows Prime Minister Modi’s successful visit to the United Kingdom in April this year, where he and Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to work in partnership to take decisive and concerted actions against globally-proscribed terrorist organisations. As part of this renewed cooperation, the UK and India will work together to tackle the threat of online radicalisation and violent extremism.

Seminar organized by UAE Embassy and Zayed International Foundation (UAE) in New Delhi on the occasion of 100th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of UAE

On the occasion of 100th anniversary of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of UAE, a seminar was organized on May 2, 2018 in the capital of India, New Delhi, where speakers appreciated the efforts of Sheikh Zayed in the field of environmental protection. The Seminar was jointly organized by the United Arab Emirates Embassy in New Delhi and Zayed International Foundation, UAE.


Dr. Mohamed bin Fahad, Chairman of Zayed International Foundation for the Environment, opened an exhibition of photographs on the life of Sheikh Zayed in the presence of an invited gathering of Indian environmentalists and some Arab diplomats. The rare photographs show the UAE’s Founding Father nurturing his nascent federation in its early years with special focus on protecting the environment.


Later Dr.  Mohamed bin Fahad, delivered the opening address of the seminar with the theme of ‘Zayed Green Challenge.’  Dr. Fahad, who is also the Deputy Commander in Chief of the Dubai Police, spoke of efforts by Dubai Police to promote sustainability in the roles of senior officials at Dubai Police.


While speaking on the occasion, India’s prominent environmentalist and Founder of the Development Alternatives group Dr. Ashok Khosla, said that  Sheikh Zayed was one of the “greatest heroes” of the 20th century because of his vision and his generosity in promoting causes for humanity.


Dr. Khosla was a recipient of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in the second category in 2014. The mission of the Development Alternatives, which he founded, is to help make national development strategies in India more environmentally and socially sustainable.


While addressing the gathering, Dr. Meshgan Mohamed Al Awar, Secretary-General of the Zayed International Prize for the Environment, gave a detailed presentation on the prestigious prize, its inception and its global motivation.


She familiarised Indians about the Foundation and explained that it was founded in 1999 by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE  and Ruler of Dubai, to recognise and encourage environmental achievements, promote the implementation of Agenda 21, Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation for Sustainable Development, Outcomes of Rio+20 and Sustainable Development Goals, in line with the vision and philosophy of Sheikh Zayed.


Dr. Al Awar also quoted from tributes paid to Sheikh Zayed by world leaders when they were in office – such as former United Nations Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, ex-French President Jacques Chirac, former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and Britain’s reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II.


Indian attendees took much interest in an App for Android and iPhones which will give them access to the Zayed Green Challenge, whose significance as a green education platform was explained to the audience at the event.

British High Commission and MARG partnered to celebrate the recent Delhi Pride march, by of LGBT

The British High Commission and Multiple Action Research Group (MARG) have partnered to celebrate the recent Delhi Pride march, by co-hosting an event recognising MARG’s work, and that of LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) activists around the world.

“Breaking Stereotypes” brought together people from all walks of life, a diverse group of men, women and transgender persons from different professional, educational and cultural backgrounds. The event highlighted the experiences and talents of the LGBTQIA people to a wider audience, raising awareness of the issues faced by the community.

With the support of the British High Commission, MARG supports LGBTQIA people in India to achieve full enjoyment of their human rights.

Addressing the audience Ms Hannah Cockburn, First Secretary, Bilateral Affairs, British High Commission said:

‘I have been inspired by the people I have met today and feel proud that we are collaborating and engaging with them on such an important area. The British government is committed to building an inclusive society for everyone – no matter their gender or sexuality – and to engaging on the interests of the LGBTQIA community globally. I am really pleased that we have been able to do that today with a creative, exciting and vibrant event that bought together people from across the LGBTQIA community. ‘

Latvia Ambassador Aivars Groza welcomes the presentation of the film “Graduation Year”

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“The Year of Release” film by Latvian director Andrē Gaujs, bringing together a lot of cinema-fancier and gaining wide public response. The film was featured at the Indian Habitat Center in New Delhi within the framework of the Baltic and Nordic Youth Film Festival, which takes place from November 13 to November 18.

Before the film, speaking to the public, the Latvian Ambassador to India Aivars Groza expressed his pleasure in the opportunity to introduce the Indian audience to the film, which has been widely shown both in Latvia and abroad, and has made significant progress in international film festivals. The ambassador also expressed appreciation for the fact that the screening of the film took place a few days before the 99th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Latvia, as well as the celebration of the centennial celebration of Latvia in India.

The Ambassador handed the organizers and spectators of the festival greetings from the film director Andra Gauja. The director was pleased to remember the film’s post-processing in Mumbai, which took place at the highest level, and excellent collaboration with experienced Indian experts, both by making film color corrections and sound mixing in Mumbai’s studios.


The UK-India Strategic Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research held their second meeting in New Delhi today to discuss mutual research priorities to tackle AMR, an increasingly serious global threat.  They also assessed progress made by the UK-India partnership in AMR, since its launch last November by the UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson and Indian Minister for Science & Technology, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Minister of Earth Sciences, Dr Harsh Vardhan.


The UK-India AMR collaboration is led by the UK Research Councils and India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT). Both RCUK and DBT are nodal agencies coordinating this initiative with other research funding partners in India like the Department of Science and Technology, Indian Council of Social Science Research, Indian Council of Medical Research, Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

The strategic group commended the progress, which has since its first meeting in November 2016, successfully commissioned a mapping report on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research in India, which was released by the UK Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation Jo Johnson and Indian Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Y S Chowdary at an event in New Delhi last week. Also present at this event were Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel laureate and President of the Royal Society, Professor K VijayRaghavan, Secretary DBT and Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, British High Commissioner to India.


The report is available on the RCUK India website.


Both Ministers welcomed the joint report and the RCUK – DBT partnership addressing AMR. The report identifies gaps in our understanding, especially in countries with high disease burdens, and highlights that we can use multi-disciplinary research to fill key areas of potential action including the environment, industrial waste, farming practise, and how people use and understand valuable antibiotic drugs.


The strategic group also welcomed AMR research experts from the UK and India who will be participating in a UK-India sandpit-style workshop this week to develop outline proposals for AMR research. This workshop is organised by RCUK and DBT from 7th – 10th November in Delhi NCR, and will serve as a platform to build interdisciplinary research teams and joint outline proposals for research into various aspects of AMR.


Up to £13 million joint funding, under the Newton Bhabha Fund, will be utilised on projects funded as a result of this workshop.


Professor K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT said: “The challenge AMR poses is enormous from India’s perspective because it revolves not only around the use of antibiotics, but also around enforcement, industrial waste and use of antibiotics in the livestock industry, all of which, in turn, affects the food chain and public water supply, thereby causing major health risks. Our research efforts are addressing the detection, diagnosis and prevalence of AMR. Our international partnerships are crucial to help scale up these efforts.”

Professor Stuart Taberner, Director of International and Interdisciplinary Research, RCUK, said: “Global challenges such as AMR can be addressed by strong, collaborative research partnerships, such as the one the UK-India are demonstrating through various initiatives in AMR. While the joint mapping report identifies gaps in our understanding, I am hopeful that some of proposals that will be developed at the interactive workshop will help address these gaps.”


A new Visa Application Centre (VAC) has been opened in India’s IT capital, Bangalore, by Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis today (Tuesday 7 November), making it easier for experienced and skilled Indian workers in this global industry to come to the UK.


The VAC, which is in the middle of Bangalore’s business district, will mean that talented Indian workers applying for a UK visas will no longer have to travel across the city to collect their visa. This is the 18th VAC in India with other centres already existing in key locations such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.


India is the fourth largest investor in the UK, and last year UK businesses benefited from almost 60,000 work visas granted to Indian nationals, nearly two-thirds of all UK work visas issued globally. It is anticipated that the opening of the new VAC will serve to benefit some of the biggest IT firms in India, including Infosys and Tata Corporate Services by ensuring their best talent has easy access to the UK.


Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said:


“The opening of this visa application centre is yet another example of how the Government is making it easier for businesses across the world to work with the UK. India has always been an important partner for us and we are committed to building on this relationship and positioning ourselves as a truly global Britain.


“The UK is open for business and this centre will make it easier than ever before for the brightest and best Indian workers in the important IT industry to come to the UK. We want to ensure that both countries are benefitting from the sharing of ideas, expertise and technology.”


The opening of the centre comes after a series of reforms to make it quicker for Indian applicants to apply for their visas. The Government has recently expanded the criteria for the same day, 3-5 day Priority Visa and Super-Priority services, which was previously only open to visitors. Now first time visitors, students and those applying for most work visas can use these services, further strengthening relationships between the two countries.