NEW DELHI: Collaboration among Oxford University, AstraZeneca and Pune-based Serum Institute of India for a COVID-19 vaccine (Covishield) is a ‘great model’ of ‘research in the UK’ and potentially ‘manufacture in India’, says Ruchi Ghanashyam, who was India’s High Commissioner to the UK till April 2020. Speaking to Amitabh P. Revi, Associate Editor, StratNews Global, she said: “It is a very good opening for India and puts together the strengths of both countries”. She cited examples of TVS Motor buying Britain’s Norton Motorcycles in a £16 million deal and the acquisition of Jaguar by Tata Motors.
In a wide-ranging chat, the former Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs also talked about UK’s course correction on China’s aggression with a Huawei ban, suspension of the extradition treaty and granting British National Overseas status for Hong Kong, though she was hesitant to say the “UK is leading Europe” in the pushback or that there is a “concerted, coordinated global response forming.” The former diplomat addressed the issues of India-UK defence ties, naval exercises and reports of the UK wanting to station its aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth off Goa. Plans have been reported of HMS QE possibly being based in the Pacific Far East after her maiden voyage next year.
She also spoke about the pro-Pakistan and pro-Khalistani lobby, whether the Labour Party under Keir Starmer has actually abandoned its doctrinal Kashmir opposition, the Pakistani government hand, a UK parliamentary panel and Debbie Abrahams who was denied entry into India, the panel being paid over Rs 30 lakh by the Pakistani government as well as violent protests that targeted India’s mission in London. On terrorism, Pakistan links, ISIS/Daesh and sub-continent-origin people joining such groups, Ambassador Ghanashyam said: “India periodically brings our concerns to the attention of the UK Government. There is a greater appreciation and understanding of India’s position.” She also gave an inside background of Vijay Mallya’s extradition case, saying, “It’s being examined very, very thoroughly before the UK Home Secretary signs it”. #COVID19 #vaccine #OxfordUniversity #IndiaUKTies #IndiaUKTrade #ISIS #Daesh #Khalistan