UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 25 April 2022

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What the article is about?

  • Talks about India-Uk relations and recent developments.

Syllabus: GS-II International Relations

India-UK relations:

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in Delhi last week, committing to more cooperation with India on trade, defence, combating climate change and cyber security.
  • Despite the challenge posed by the Ukraine crisis, the India-UK relationship has been on an upward trajectory, exemplified by the conclusion of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2021.
  • The agreement also established a 2030 Roadmap for India-UK relations, which primarily outlines the partnership plans for the bilateral relationship.
  • The UK Foreign Secretary, in her recent visit, emphasised countering Russian aggression and reducing global strategic dependence on the country by underlining the importance of democracies working cohesively to deter aggressors.
  • Additionally, the UK and India have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the maritime domain as the UK will join India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative and become a major partner on maritime security issues in Southeast Asia.
  • In January 2022, India and the UK managed to conclude the first round of talks for an India–UK Free Trade Agreement.


  • For UK: India is a key strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific- market share and defence.
    • Boost to its ‘Global Britain’ ambitions.
    • Achieve good bilateral relations with India.
  • For India: The UK is a regional power in the Indo-Pacific as it possesses naval facilities in Oman, Singapore, Bahrain, Kenya, and British Indian Ocean Territory.
    • UK has also confirmed £70 million of British International Investment funding to support the usage of renewable energy in India.
    • India has sought easy market access for Indian fisheries, pharma, and agricultural products besides duty concession for labour-intensive exports.


  • Colonial Prism: India’s post-colonial engagement with Britain has been riddled with multiple contradictions.
    • The consequences of Partition and the Cold War made it harder for the two countries to construct a sustainable partnership.
  • Pakistan Angle: Pakistan also has been one of the major obstacles in the bilateral relations of India with Britain.
  • Britain’s Domestic Politics: The domestic dynamics of Britain have also tended to sour ties with India.
  • The Labour Party had become rather hostile on India’s internal matters, including on Kashmir.

Way ahead:

  • Both New Delhi and London must ensure more concerted efforts to bring agreements to a finale in the near future, to reach their ambitious goals under “Roadmap 2030” agreed to at the last summit in 2021. 

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