Category Archives: News

UK’s Top Development Official Visits Pakistan

The permanent secretary of the UK’s Department for International Development, Matthew Rycroft, has visited Pakistan to see first-hand how DFID programmes are changing lives

Matthew Rycroft

Matthew Rycroft

During his visit to DFID’s largest overseas programme, Mr Rycroft met with Miftah Ismail the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr Aisha Ghouls Pasha and the Finance Minister for the Government of Punjab, as well as other senior provincial ministers. ‎ He visited Lahore where he went to a government girls’ school and met teachers and students. He visited an Aawaz Agaahi Centre (AAC) where he met beneficiaries from minority groups. He was pleased to hear from women, religious minorities, members of the transgender community and people with a disability at the centre.

He visited the Business Incubation Centre at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), where he spoke to women entrepreneurs on starting a business in Pakistan. Speaking at the event, he said:

The UK and Pakistan have been long-standing partners for 70 years. We are committed to eradicating poverty and achieving prosperity for the country and its people. I’m pleased to be here to see how UK aid is working and the real-life impact of our programmes.

We will continue to build stability in Pakistan by investing in start-ups to promote the culture of entrepreneurship in this country. Pakistan is on the path to development and I’m confident that it will reach its true potential in the coming years.

Pakistan is among the UK’s top development priorities and DFID is working in Pakistan towards the goal of reducing poverty and accelerating economic growth.

Launch Of Certification To Improve Standards Of Journalism In Pakistan

Twenty-nine candidates sat for the first round of testing on the ‘Basics of Editing’



A qualification aimed at improving the standards of journalism in Pakistan has been launched by the British High Commission and Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) at the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi. IBA CEJ will display the list of successful candidates on their website on March 8th.

The British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said:

I am delighted that have we have launched this certification which we hope will create a baseline qualification for journalists in Pakistan and help build further their capacity.

The UK is a strong supporter of journalism in Pakistan. Last year we trained over 80 journalists on media ethics and security. This is in addition to the seven Pakistani journalists we send to London every year through our Chevening South Asia Journalism Programme Fellowship (SAJP).

A healthy media sector is one of the pillars of a successful society. High professional standards of journalism will make an important contribution to Pakistan’s development as it strives to fulfil its true and considerable potential.

The Director of CEJ IBA Kamal Haq Siddiqi said:

The profession of journalism is unique all over the world. Neither is a journalism degree required to practice the profession nor is there a system of licensing in place that can establish that standards are being maintained.

As a result, it is difficult also to quantify professional achievements. In such a profession, the idea of introducing certification has been widely welcomed as it gives professional recognition to the hundreds of journalists working in the field or on the editing desks.

We are hopeful that such an initiative will not only set standards but also raise professional conduct in the profession in the years to come.

More Information

The certification developed by the British High Commission and the CEJ incorporates a holistic approach to media. The courses for the certification are ‘Basics of Editing’ and ‘Basics of Reporting’ and have been developed in consultation with senior Pakistani journalists.

The testing for the ‘Basics of Reporting’ course will take place on March 6th 2018. CEJ aims to conduct the courses quarterly and train other media schools and organisations to deliver the CEJ accreditation as well.

Interested candidates can find out more information and how to apply here.

UK-India Cooperation Energised At ELECRAMA 2018

The UK is the Indian electrical industry’s international partner for the flagship ELECRAMA 2018 at the World Utility Summit



A delegation of 15 leading British power and energy companies visited India for ELECRAMA 2018, which was held from 10 to 14 March. The delegation was led by Dr Howard Porter, CEO of BEAMA (British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association), with the support of the UK’s Department of International Trade (DIT).

The delegation highlighted how the UK has used technology to reduce its carbon emissions and promote digital energy systems.

In his speech to the World Utility Summit, Dr Porter highlighted the importance of effective regulatory frameworks for utilities to ensure transparent, high-quality and cost-effective services for consumers, and to deliver cleaner growth.

Excited about the bright future of UK-India partnership, Dr Porter said:

The BEAMA delegation is delighted to bring innovative British companies to India. We have shared UK learning, gained a better understand of the Indian power industry and created links that we will build into the future.

The UK delegation also convened a special roundtable on opportunities and strategies for renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart grid deployment, areas that feature in the UK’s programme of cooperation with India.

Engaging electricity distribution companies from a range of India’s states, the event enabled participants to share lessons on building a cleaner, smarter and more efficient power sector.

Sandy Sheard, Energy Counsellor at the British High Commission said:

India and the UK are natural partners with shared interests in secure and sustainable energy. This visit builds on the commitment made by our 2 prime ministers to build an enhanced ‘Energy for Growth’ partnership. The future of energy is smart and low carbon, but through visits like this and events like ELECRAMA 2018 we are working together to make it a reality today.

Global Youth Forum Organises The Commonwealth Big Lunch In Delhi

Members of the Commonwealth Youth Quorum gathered for the Big Lunch celebrating the spirit that links people from across the 53 countries of the Commonwealth

Commonwealth Big Lunch in Delhi

Commonwealth Big Lunch in Delhi

The gathering in New Delhi was the first of several Big Lunches taking place across the 53 Commonwealth nations from 12 March – Commonwealth Day – until Sunday 22 April.

Launched by the Eden Project in partnership with the UK government, thousands of people from across the Commonwealth will come together to celebrate, discover and share their Commonwealth links, stories and experiences with one another over a shared meal.

Lunches are being held ahead of and during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018. Unfolding over five days, leaders and foreign ministers from up to 53 countries and over 2,000 delegates will gather in London and Windsor, UK from 16 to 20 April to discuss and agree how to work together to address shared global challenges.

The British High Commissioner to India, Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG said:

We are delighted to hold our own Commonwealth Big Lunch. By stopping to share food and conversation, people in the Global Youth – Commonwealth Youth Forum have had the chance to celebrate and bring our community closer together.

It’s been a great opportunity to appreciate and strengthen the connections we have to each other and to the wider community across the Commonwealth.

Peter Stewart MVO, Executive Director of the Eden Project said:

From Commonwealth Day onwards, we’ve been encouraging people to come together to share friendship, food and fun with people where they live. The celebration in New Delhi is one of many taking place across 6 continents which is just phenomenal!

Commonwealth Big Lunches bring people together, show the diversity we all have and importantly celebrate the commonality we all share which showcases the true spirit of the Commonwealth.

Pranati Haldia, Chairperson, Commonwealth Youth Quorum, Global Youth, said:

We are proud to be associated with the British High Commission to mark the Commonwealth Big Lunch in New Delhi on the occasion of the Commonwealth Day (12 March). Big Lunch has given us an opportunity to spread the Commonwealth message of youth working together to achieve tangible results in the society and to talk about issues pertinent in the Commonwealth.

Commonwealth Big Lunches will be held across India between now and the Commonwealth Summit, including in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Bhubaneswar.

Commonwealth Big Lunches were inspired by and build on the Eden Project’s annual Big Lunch, which launched in 2009 as a way to connect people with their communities over a shared meal. The Big Lunch has since seen millions of people get together, including for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The Big Lunch will take place later this year on Sunday 3 June.

Commonwealth Day Message Of HM The Queen: Towards A Common Future

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, attended The Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on 12 March

Commonwealth Day

Commonwealth Day

In her Commonwealth Day Message 2018, The Queen wrote:

We all have reason to give thanks for the numerous ways in which our lives are enriched when we learn from others. Through exchanging ideas, and seeing life from other perspectives, we grow in understanding and work more collaboratively towards a common future. There is a very special value in the insights we gain through the Commonwealth connection; shared inheritances help us overcome difference so that diversity is a cause for celebration rather than division.

We shall see this in action at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which takes place in the United Kingdom next month, bringing together young people, business and civil society from across the Commonwealth.

These gatherings are themselves fine examples of how consensus and commitment can help to create a future that is fairer, more secure, more prosperous and sustainable. Having enjoyed the warm hospitality of so many Commonwealth countries over the years, I look forward to the pleasure of welcoming the leaders of our family of 53 nations to my homes in London and Windsor.

Sport also contributes to building peace and development. The excitement and positive potential of friendly rivalry will be on display next month as we enjoy the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia. Contributing to the success of the Games, alongside athletes and officials, will be thousands of volunteers.

Voluntary effort, by people working as individuals, in groups or through larger associations, is so often what shapes the Commonwealth and all our communities. By pledging to serve the common good in new ways, we can ensure that the Commonwealth continues to grow in scope and stature, to have an even greater impact on people’s lives, today, and for future generations.

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