U.K. VISA CENTRE LIKELY TO BE SETUP IN PUNJAB-BYRNE
CHANDIGARH FEBRUARY 5:
In order to check the growing trend of illegal immigration,
the United Kingdom Minister of State, Home Office Mr. Liam Byrne
today offered to open visa centre in Punjab to facilitate the
Punjabis to immigrate U.K. legally.
Mr. Byrne made this offer here today at Punjab Bhawan during
a meeting at a lunch hosted by the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash
Singh Badal in honour of visiting delegation led by Mr. Byrne.
The visiting U.K. Minister said that his Government would initially
open a visa centre either at Chandigarh or Jalandhar later it
would be converted into a full-fledged Consulate. He also evinced
keen interest to extend cooperation to the Punjab government in
upgrading technical skills and knowledge through Experts' and
Teachers' exchange programmes in the sphere of primary & secondary
education with a special focus on the student exchange programme
to acquaint the students of India and U.K with one another's cultural
and social background.
Appreciating the initiative of Mr. Byrne for opening a visa centre
in Punjab, Mr. Badal said that it would prove to be a milestone
in further improving the bilateral ties between the economies
of U.K. and India besides strengthening the bonding between the
Punjabis here and their brethren settled in U.K. He said that
Punjabis had a strong presence in U.K besides Canada, U.S.A and
Italy and it was satisfying to observe that Punjabis had always
contributed immensely towards the economic prosperity of the land
of their adoption. Mr. Badal also mentioned that Canadian &
Italian governments had already setup a Consulate and a Visa centre
The Chief Minister sought Mr. Byrne's cooperation for improving
the teaching skills of English teachers in the government schools
through imparting special training from the U.K. based teachers.
He pointed out that the state school education department had
already tied up with the British Council to start short term training
courses for our English teachers in vacations. The Chief Minister
solicited Mr. Byrne's cooperation for the skill development programme
in the state besides the absorption of quality manpower from Punjab
in the industry of U.K.
Mr. Byrne assured the Chief Minister that U.K. was looking forward
for collaborating with leading Universities and educational institutions
from Punjab with some of its reputed institutions in U.K. He also
urged Mr. Badal to send a delegation of educational experts and
academicians to explore the ways and means in this regard.
Taking part in the deliberations, Chief Secretary, Punjab Mr.
R.I. Singh asked Mr. Byrne to facilitate the Punjabi youth to
be suitably employed in the ventures of IT, Industry and Agro
processing Units in U.K because Punjabis were gifted with a special
sense of entrepreneurship, drive and adaptability.
Prominent amongst others who accompanied the visiting U.K. Minister
included Mr. Thomas Greig, Private Secretary to Mr. Byrne, Mr.
Glyn Williams, Director U.K Visa, Mrs. Judith MaGreger, Director
Immigration and Ms. Louisa Frost, Border Immigration Agency.