High Commissioner Navtej Singh Sarna gave his first formal address to the residents of the UK at Portcullis House. The event was organised by Conservative Friends of India (CFI) ….reports Kanwal Toor
The venue was buzzing with energy, as the very charismatic High Commissioner Navtej Singh Sarna gave a formal speech representing India in the UK. As usual, Mr Sarna was articulate and answered questions cogently yet, diplomatically.
Mr Sarna started his address by saying, he had often travelled to other countries as a diplomat, but in the UK the wave was different. He mentioned that he enjoyed riding the wave. The HC reiterated how well the Modi visit went, and the impact of the visit will be long standing and indeed fruitful. Mr Sarna mentioned that the visit was being followed up and that India UK relation had become stronger than ever before.
Just like millions of other Indians, he was excited about the impending royal visit to India. William and Kate are due to visit parts of India in April. And said this was yet another sign of an ever growing bilateral relation between India and UK.
He touched upon how the education system played an important part in building the relation. He also gave examples of ways both governments were looking to enhance student engagement. TCS (Tata Consultancy services) would potentially be taking 1000 students from UK on internships.
HC Spoke briefly on defense, and how India’s relationship with the UK parliament had grown from strength to strength in the last few years.
The Indian Budget released yesterday was well balanced and very promising he concluded. Mr Sarna’s speech was followed by Q&A’s from the audience. Where one of the gentlemen showed concern over his NRI status, saying the word NRI stood for Non Required Indian. To which Mr Sarna passionately replied, that the gentleman was indeed wrong in thinking so and that Indians living outside the country were always welcome and very important back home.
The event had a good turnout. Other high profile attended included – Bob Blackman MP, Alok Sharma MP, Dominic Grieve MP (Beaconsfield), Amandeep Bhogal – London assembly candidate, Ranjit Baxi – Co Chairman CFI, Rishi Sunak MP, Dr Virander Paul – Deputy High Commissioner amongst others.