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Visit of Hon’ble Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT to United Kingdom


Subject: Visit of Hon’ble Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT to United Kingdom from 6-10 July, 2018.

Hon’ble Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & IT, visited United Kingdom from 6-10 July, 2018 at the invitation of Mr. David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice, UK. Minister was received by Mr. Gauke where the two Ministers held fruitful bilateral discussions and reviewed the entire gamut of India-UK bilateral cooperation in the Legal sector. The Minister briefed his counterpart about the progress made in India in the field of ensuring access to justice for all, particularly using the power of technology through initiatives like Tele-Law, e-Court services and digitization of Courts in India. The two ministers reiterated their commitment to deepening bilateral cooperation in legal matters, including Arbitration, Legal training and exchange of best practices, taking advantage of the shared common law heritage of the two countries. The two Ministers also discussed taking forward the exchange of legal practitioners on the basis of reciprocity in accordance with the prevailing legal provisions in their respective countries.

2. The two Ministers later signed an MoU for enhancing bilateral cooperation in legal affairs which, inter alia, provides a framework for promoting greater co-operation between the judicial and legal professionals in both countries through exchange of expertise and training; exchange of experiences on the training of the legal professionals; encouraging exchanges and visits for enhancing legal capacities of government functionaries, in particular legal services; exchanging information regarding current issues of international significance; promoting of the principles of Rule of Law and enhancing public confidence in the judicial system. The MoU also provides for establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee to facilitate such exchange.

3. Minister also met Mr. Jermy Wright, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports. The meeting took forward the positive momentum imparted to the bilateral relations following the very successful visit of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to UK for the CHOGM Summit in April, 2018 which had firmly placed technology at the heart of the bilateral cooperation. The Minister briefed his UK counterpart on the transformation taking place in India through the Digital India initiatives under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. Minister pointed out the tremendous opportunities which have opened up due to the rapid growth of the digital profile and digital penetration of India due to the inclusive adaptation of digital technology in India and asked the UK Minister to encourage UK IT firms to take advantage of such openings by investing in India. The two Ministers agreed that exceptional potential existing in areas such as Cyber security, Fintech and emerging technologies such as AI to increase the scale and scope of bilateral cooperation. The two Ministers also agreed that India and UK, given their longstanding ties and commonalities, including shared democratic values, can cooperate on global issues like governance of internet. Cyber-crime and cyber-security.

4. Earlier, Minister chaired a Round Table of leading Indian and UK IT firms jointly organised by NASSCOM with its counterpart TechUK. Representatives from Indian IT companies such as Wipro, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Infosys and HCL as well as UK companies such as WNS, First Source, BBC, NTT, Concentrix, Hexaware, GSA UK, ATOS, ARM, DXC, SAGE, etc. attended the event. The Minister outlined the growth philosophies of inclusion, empowerment and development that drive the Digital India vision. The Minister appreciated the tremendous interest shown by UK companies in India’s digital story and listed out some of the key areas such as skill enhancement, Fintech, emerging technologies such as AI and Cyber Security as the possible areas of growth, where UK IT firms could leverage the growth potential and size of India’s growing digital economy, which is expected to reach the size of trillion $ in the next few years for their own growth.

5. Minister also addressed a gathering of leading Indian and UK professionals at the prestigious Asia House, highlighting the digital opportunities that exist in India. The Minister also delivered a talk to a gathering of top legal experts and representatives from leading UK Law firms at an event organized by the Law Society of UK and Wales where he spoke about the investment opportunities that had emerged in India in a range of sectors due to the far reaching and bold reforms undertaken by the Government including in taxation, legal reforms, approvals and compliance requirements and a corruption free administration. The Minister highlighted the growing ease of doing business in India, which, coupled with a robust macro-economic scenario due to prudent economic policies of the government made India a preferred investment destination in a range of sectors including infrastructure, energy and manufacturing.

11 July 2018