2030 Roadmap for India-UK future relations – Health and technology innovation

By Meghna Misra-Elder

I am very optimistic about the UK-India Roadmap 2030 for a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between our two nations. Some big numbers in terms of boosting jobs, investment and exports were shared creating huge opportunities for both countries to bring together their strengths towards creating a mutually beneficial partnership.

In the joint statement issued by the two PMs, both leaders emphasised the importance of having robust healthcare systems, reforming and strengthening the global health security architecture to strengthen pandemic resilience, and agreed to expand and enhance the existing UK-India vaccines partnership. They highlighted the successful collaboration between Oxford University, Astra Zeneca and the Serum Institute of India on an effective Covid19 vaccine that is ‘developed in UK’, ‘Made in India’ and ‘distributed globally’. Serum Institute has already announced investing GBP 240 million to expand its vaccine business in the UK. This will take the partnership to the next level addition to the existing investment from Indian companies in the UK creating jobs and other opportunities.

Technology and innovation are going to play a key role in delivering healthcare in the future. Technological innovation is improving healthcare in many remarkable ways, including better rate of medical discoveries and the quality of doctor-patient relationships with solutions like telehealth and telemedicine. The Roadmap cited Tech Summits to bring together tech innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to work together on challenges including the governance of future tech under the cross-cutting theme of ‘data’. Data will be crucial towards developing and delivering some of these solutions making it imperative to get the regulation around access and sharing of data absolutely correct. This partnership could be a great platform for deeper engagement supporting India to develop data regulation balancing privacy and innovation and, paving the way for a UK-India Data Adequacy Agreement.

To further harness the benefits of technology there is urgent requirement for robust digital infrastructure and we think that the MoU on Telecommunications and ICT agreed between the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department of Telecoms in India and the Joint Declaration of Intent on Digitalisation between DCMS and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), will further strengthen the dialogue between the two countries on the regulatory framework helping create a stronger digital economy supported by strong digital and telecoms infrastructure. The Roadmap also touches on the two countries working together to share knowledge and expertise regarding artificial intelligence, scientific support to policies and regulatory aspects including ethics, and promote a dialogue in research and innovation, an area of huge potential for both nations.

Both leaders reiterated their full support to a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace and agreed to strengthen cooperation through an enhanced UK-India cyber security partnership to tackle growing cyber threats and enhance capacity building on strengthening the security and resilience of critical information infrastructure. Having the appropriate cyber-security policies and regulatory framework will be essential towards the use of data and technology in creating and protecting digital and physical infrastructure.

This partnership could also mean more engagement on aligning standards, across sectors, and working together developing standards that are internationally accepted making businesses more competitive globally.

The UKIBC has been proactively advocating for more engagement on all the above areas and we are very happy to see these being included as a part of the Roadmap. We look forward to working with both Governments in implementing these plans.


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