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'India, UK should cooperate to face new-age challenges'

October 15, 2005 22:00 IST

Opening new vistas in Indo-British friendship, a parliamentary delegation from the United Kingdom led by non-resident Indian industrialist Lord Swraj Paul on Saturday visited the remote hamlet of Dadri in Punjab and stressed on the need for further cooperation between the two countries to face new-age challenges.

The ten-member delegation, comprising parliamentarians from both Labour and Conservative parties, visited schools and colleges and in nearby Charkhi, around 100 kms from Delhi and interacted with students and teachers.

Lord Paul, who led the delegation to his ancestral village and also to educational institutions set up by Apeejay Foundation founded by his elder brother Satya Paul, said Indo-British ties are now the strongest as ever.

"This visit was to raise the profile of Indo-British friendship. The ties between the two countries are now the strongest ever.

"India and Britain have a lot to gain from each other by combining together their efforts in all the fields, whether it is education or culture."

Referring to the effects of globalisation, he said India and Britain are already fighting against agricultural subsidies at the WTO level.

The parliamentarians echoed the sentiments expressed by Lord Paul saying ties between the two countries needs to be strengthened.

Paul also inaugurated an open air stadium built by Ambika Foundation, set up by him to perpetuate the memory of his late daughter, at the Government Girls' Higher Secondary School at Chakhri.

"India and Britain should co-operate in the field of education and share knowledge with an eye on the future. We can also co-operate on issues like climatic change and how to tap more energy," parliamentarian Roberta Blackman-Woods told students of the Apeejay Saraswati PG College.

Paul said India needs to concentrate on education, health and eradicating poverty to take its place in the developed world.

Asked why he brought the delegation here, the chairman of 1.3 billion dollar Caparo Group said 'the members wanted to have a first hand feel of rural India. The country's strength lies in rural India'.

"India's main issue is education. We must educate all our children and money should be pumped into this sector. India must have its rightful place in the developed world," Paul said.

Helen John, a member of the delegation, said she was impressed by the school and the students. She said education was a key to everything that can transform the lives of people and countries.

Lynn John, another member of the delegation said girls should have equal opportunities in education and asserted that India has the capability to compete with the best in the world.

She said we should strive hard to attain the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations to eliminate poverty in developing countries, especially India, as it is important for their future.
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