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David Cameron likely to visit India next month

British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to visit India next month during which defence, trade ties and tougher student visa restrictions will top the agenda.



London: British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to visit India next month during which defence, trade ties and tougher student visa restrictions will top the agenda.

Downing Street, which is yet to confirm the dates of the upcoming visit, said: "We cannot give out details of his movements at this stage".

However, a prime ministerial visit was expected in the New Year and latest reports indicate it could be as early as February.

According to the Financial Times, the Prime Minister is expected to reassure Indian students that they are welcome to Britain after recent figures suggested a significant drop in foreign student numbers.

During his India tour in November 2012, London mayor Boris Johnson had revealed a 9 percent fall in the Indian students applying to study in the UK last year. A further drop of 25 percent is the forecast for this year.

The UK`s coalition government has repeatedly stressed that there is no cap on overseas student numbers.

Cameron will also have British defence exports high on his list of priorities after a UK-led consortium had failed to bag a USD 20-billion contract to supply fighter jets last year.

France`s Dassault with Rafale had emerged as the preferred bidder for the 16-aircraft contract, beating the UK-German-Italian-Spanish Eurofighter Typhoon.

The British PM is also expected to focus on broader business ties with India, pushing for sales of other defence and civil equipment and encouraging Indian conglomerates such as the Tata Group to bolster their investments in the UK.

PTI

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