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UK lifts temporary ban on varsity visas

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 13, 2010
First Published: 18:33 IST(13/2/2010) | Last Updated: 01:12 IST(14/2/2010)

Britain’s temporary ban on visas for students from north India, Nepal and Bangladesh will be lifted on March 1 for those going to university, the UK minister for business, skills and innovation said on Saturday.


Pat McFadden said the “pause” on visas would remain for students going for “lower level, sub-university” studies. This would be lifted once the UK sets up a system of “highly-trusted sponsors” for sub-university academic institutions.  “Institutions will have to register with the UK Border Agency and other bodies,” he said, “and satisfy the government their principal motive is education and not providing work.”

McFadden also signed an India-UK nuclear memorandum of understanding. He said Britain had world-class engineering firms that made reactor components, including Rolls-Royce, Circle and Sheffield Forge Masters. The agreement would open the door for “substantive discussions” with these firms on how they can provide for India’s nuclear “supply chain needs”.

A British nuclear business delegation will be visiting from March 1 to March 3 and will be followed by a nuclear research team. A UK trade and investment delegation will visit later in the year.

Britain, McFadden said, was also expanding its nuclear power capacity and planning a number of new reactors. He said the UK had no qualms about nuclear cooperation with India. “Trust is very important in nuclear affairs and we have a high degree of trust when it comes to India,” he said.

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