Univ of Strathclyde business school (SBS), one of the leading business schools in the world has an Indian collaborator in Noida
The Scottish Union is set to record its historic referendum on Thursday. The Asian Immigrant population of Scotland mainly Indians make up a sizeable population in the PIO category. Together with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis the Asian population makes up 3% of the population. Now this 3% could swing the fate of the country.
A referendum in what could be called the largest electorate in Scottish history, over 4.2 million people are set to cast their votes either by post or by the ballot. The referendum question, is “Should Scotland be an independent country?” – voters can answer only Yes or No. To pass the independence proposal requires a simple majority. With some exceptions, all residents in Scotland aged 16 or over can vote.
Scotland joined the British Union 300 years ago, to become rich in India!
What would seem an insignificant piece of news, but history has its own way of rearing its head especially during moments of reckoning. Scotland reeling from the tax burden that the British had imposed on malt, the basic ingredient in beer and whisky in 1725, rose in revolt. This led the British to appease the Scots by granting them jobs in the East India Company (EIC) and allowing them to become merchants dealing with both Westerners and Indians, with huge tax cuts. Much of EIC’s ill-gotten wealth too was transferred to the Scottish House of Agencies. Many of them now famous as Andrew Yule, Forbes Forbes & Campbell, Balmer Lawrie etc. But the Scots in India were discriminated and disillusioned and many supported the Indian nationalistic fervor and played a pivotal role in getting India independent. Who can forget A.O.Hume who helped start the Indian National Congress or men like David Hume and Adam Smith who advocated and campaigned for an independent India from London and Oxford.
History Comes a Full Circle
There are many generations of Indian immigrants in Scotland preferring to identify as Scots than as NRI’s. Though there is a divide right in the middle on a consensus whether to be a Yes or a No, analysts in India feel that India stands to gain if Scotland breaks away. The trade and cultural ties with Scotland are likely to be strengthened further, when India and Scotland get into negotiations and trade agreements as two independent nations. With a change in UK Immigration policies, the number of Indian students enrolling in Scottish Universities has gone down. With many promises, mutually beneficial immigration policies, robust student funding on scholarships for Indian students studying overseas, India and Scotland stand to gain a lot without any political and economic intervention.
The benefits that Indian students stand to gain are:
- Scotland will allow Indian students to work for two or more years after they finish their degree
- If Scotland becomes independent in all likelihood there will be an increase in student enrollment given UK’s changed immigration policy of ending post-study work route for international students
- Education will play a key role in independent Scotland and Indian relationship
- Scotland promises to have a sensible immigration policy that is different from that of UK.
- Since a major chunk of revenue in Scotland comes from student fees that international students contribute to the universities, Scotland places great values on its ties with India.
- A research conducted by Strathclyde University estimated that while EU students are entitled to free tution, non-EU students typically pay fees ranging between £10, 000 to £30,000 a year depending on their course.
- International students contribute a whopping £188 million to Scottish Universities directly.
Scotland’s minister for external affairs and international development Mr. Humza Yousaf in an exclusive interview with a leading newspaper asserted that, “India’s relationship with Scotland goes back to 1870s and it’s a friendship we greatly value. Education will be the key area of India and an independent Scotland’s relationship. Scotland has seen a massive fall in Indian students coming here to study just because of the new UK regulations. What is the point of attracting the best and brightest students to Scotland to study and not reap its benefits by asking them to leave immediately? We will allow Indian students to stay and work after getting their degree”.
Source: Times of India, The Wall Street Journal , The Economic Times and Wikipedia
Image Source : Strathclyde University, Flickr.com, cityam.com, jantoo.com, The Times
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