Recently the United Kingdom has appointed Indian-origin Claire Coutinho as the 'Energy Security and Net Zero' secretary in its government.
Indian-origin Claire Coutinho, a close aide of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has been appointed Energy and Net Zero Minister in a cabinet reshuffle.
- Ms Coutinho, 38, is the second Goan-origin minister in India's Sunak cabinet after Home Minister Suella Braverman.
- Claire Coutinho holds a Master's degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.
- Claire Coutinho was elected MP for East Surrey in South-East England in the year 2019.
India-United Kingdom (UK) relations:
- Trade is of great importance to strengthen the relations between the two countries. But even after a lot of efforts, the bilateral trade has not been able to achieve the same pace as the big economies of India and the United Kingdom.
- To move forward on this diplomatically important issue, both the countries are engaged in efforts to finalize the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
- Twelve rounds of talks have been completed between the two countries for the proposed free trade agreement. The 12th round of FTA talks took place in Delhi from 7th August. Whereas the 11th round of talks was held in London in July.
- The two countries hope to reach agreement on a free trade agreement and investment treaty by the end of 2023. Both the countries want the talks on FTA to be completed soon.
India-UK Defense Relations:
- Defense relations between the two countries are growing rapidly as both countries conduct military exercises at three levels from time to time. The latest example of this was the annual bilateral maritime exercise 'Konkan' between the Indian Navy and the UK's Royal Navy conducted off the Konkan coast in the Arabian Sea from March 20-22.
- Similarly, Exercise 'Indradhanush' as an air force exercise between India and Britain and Exercise 'Ajeya Warrior' as a joint military exercise are organized from time to time.