Focus on IT-BT will remain, but will reach to rest of Karnataka
Fifteen years after it opened a small trade office in what was then India's nascent silicon city, Britain has 'upgraded' its presence in Bangalore to full consular presence: On Thursday, Karnataka state governor, H.R. Bharadwaj formally inaugurated the UK's fourth deputy high commission in India -- after the three metros, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
Reminding the audience of his last role as Union Law Minister, Mr Bharadwaj, said Britain and India were united by strong bonds -- like their common legal system which he called "Britain's gift to India".
The Head of the UK Trade Office in Bangalore, Richard Hyde who took over as Deputy High Commissioner, a few weeks ago ( a case of donning an additional hat, rather than switching from an old one) said the Bangalore presence would continue its reach-out to the technology and education sectors -- but now it extended beyond the state capital, to all of Karnataka. For starters, his office was scheduled to organise a British event in Mangalore next month.
Bangalore has always been the base for a strong science and technology team of UK Trade and Investment and for some years now, the largest groups to participate at the annual Bangalore Bio and Bangalore IT.biz shows, have been from Britain.
UK Visas for Karnataka applicants will continue to be issued from Chennai -- but as Mr Hyde pointed out Britain had learnt a lesson or two from India's outsourcing success and it no longer mattered where the visa issuing office was situated.... Karnataka-based applicants needed to interact only with the Bangalore office of VFS which handled all visa customers from the state.( www.vfs-uk-in.com )
/ Sep 3 2009