India, United Kingdom to cooperate in the governance of the internet, cyber-crime and cyber-security

Indian Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology visited the United Kingdom to discuss potential cooperation between the two sides in the fields of IT and legal affairs. The Ministers signed a MoU to boost bilateral cooperation and provide a framework for promoting greater co-operation between judicial and legal professionals in both countries.

On 11 July, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released a press statement that said the Minister for Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad visited the United Kingdom to discuss potential cooperation between the two sides in the fields of IT and legal affairs with Mr David Gauke, the Secretary of State for Justice, UK.

Over the course of Mr Ravi Prasad’s visit, July 6 to July 10, 2018, he and Mr David Gauke discussed taking the exchange of legal practitioners forward, on the basis of reciprocity in accordance with the legal provisions in their respective countries. 

The press release stated that the two Ministers also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost the bilateral cooperation in legal affairs that provides a framework for promoting greater co-operation between the judicial and legal professionals in both countries through the exchange of expertise and training; and the exchange information regarding current issues of international significance. The MoU also provides for the establishment of a Joint Consultative Committee to facilitate these exchanges.

Mr Ravi Prasad talked about the steps India has taken to ensure that all Indian citizens have access to justice. India has made a lot of progress using technology through initiatives like Tele-Law, e-Court services and the digitisation of the courts in the country. These initiatives digitally provide advice and support in legal matters and procedures.

The two Ministers reiterated their commitment to deepening bilateral cooperation in legal matters, including arbitration, legal training and the exchange of the best practices, taking advantage of the shared common law heritage of the two countries.

According to the press release, Mr Ravi Prasad also met Mr Jeremy Wright, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports and outlined some of the opportunities that have opened up as a result of the rapid growth of the digital profile and digital penetration of India. Mr Ravi Prasad asked the UK Minister to encourage UK tech firms to take advantage of these openings by investing in India.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and its counterpart TechUK jointly organised a Round Table meeting that was chaired by Mr Ravi Prasad and hosted some of the leading Indian and UK IT firms. Representatives from a number of Indian IT companies including Wipro, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) as well as UK companies including WNS, First Source, BBC and NTT attended the event. The Minister appreciated the interest shown by UK companies in India’s digital story and listed out some of the key areas such as skill enhancement, fintech, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and cyber-security as the possible areas of growth. He said that UK IT firms could leverage the growth potential and the size of India’s growing digital economy, that is expected to be US $1 trillion in the next few years, for their own growth.

Mr Ravi Prasad also addressed a gathering of leading Indian and UK professionals at the Asia House and highlighted the digital opportunities that currently exist in India. He also delivered a talk to a gathering of top legal experts and representatives from leading UK Law firms at an event organised by the Law Society of UK and Wales where he spoke about the investment opportunities that had emerged in India in a range of sectors due to the far-reaching and bold reforms undertaken by the present Government.

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