Indian students are welcome, Britain says
In the backdrop of declining number of Indian students studying in Britain, the UK on Monday affirmed that there is no cap and they are are more than welcome to pursue education.

UK secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Vince Cable said that Britain receives thousands of Indian students.

"We really now trying to come back ... number of Indian students are actually falling at a time when number of Chinese students are rising rapidly.

"And we know what the reason is ... there was certain perception that the UK was not welcoming. But actually they are welcome and there are no caps on numbers," Cable said here.

He is here for the 9th meeting of India-UK joint economic & trade committee ( JETCO).

The number of students going to Britain to study had swelled to 60,000 in 2009. He said that students can get employment after graduation.

"I hope that message will get out that we are open and welcoming to Indian students," he added.

He also said the UK can help India in providing skills training.

As per estimates India would need a skilled workforce of 500 million people by 2022, with around 12 million people expected to join the workforce every year.

Speaking on the occasion, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said 500 ITIs have already been set up and 1,500 new ITIs and 5,000 skill development centres will be

established in the PPP mode within a year.

India and the UK had established joint working groups in areas like education and skills; advanced manufacturing and engineering and innovation and investment.

There are over 700 Indian companies in the UK. Sharma also said both the sides can increase cooperation in advanced manufacturing space, ranging from aero space, steel industry,

power and electronics.

On the recent WTO meet in Bali, he said that for first time in the history of the multilateral body, a positive outcome has emerged.

"After 19 years, one ministerial meeting has delivered, has been productive and there is a horizontal balance in what we achieved. It is difficult but finally it is a reality. It will accelerate

trade because we have reached on an agreement on trade facilitation.

"There is also an agreement on agriculture on public stock holding for food security," Sharma added.

The bilateral trade between the countries has touched $15 billion.