HC Deb 03 May 1995 vol 259 cc247-8W
26. Mr. Congdon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to improve co-operation between the United Kingdom and India, with particular reference to science and technology. [20445]

Mr. Baldry

Within the context of the highly successful Indo-British partnership initiative, my Department is co-ordinating an initiative designed to further strengthen science and technology co-operation particularly in those areas which have a commercial dimension. These activities will include a science and technology exchange scheme, an industry-funded postgraduate scholarship programme and a technician training exchange. In November my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster plans to visit India accompanied by a delegation to demonstrate British strengths in science, engineering and technology.

30. Ms Gordon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about the abuse of human rights in Madhya Pradesh, India, in relation to the work of wives and children of bonded labourers; and if he will make a statement. [20450]

Mr. Baldry

We have very little information on this subject. The Indian Government's policy is to liberate and rehabilitate all bonded labourers, but progress is slow. We have asked our high commission to try to establish more details and will report further in due course.

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