Below is the text of Mr Major’s statement on his visit to the British Council in Calcutta on 9th January 1997.
I am delighted to have this opportunity to see something of the work of the British Council in Calcutta.
The British Council is the United Kingdom's international network for education, culture and development services in India. The Council’s operation in India is its largest anywhere in the world. It has four main offices and libraries: in Calcutta, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai; and libraries run in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in eight other major cities.
The Council is responsible for the management of aid projects, particularly in the education, health and science and technology sectors, with a total value of £125 million. The library network has 110,000 members and offers highly professional services in education counselling for students who want to study in Britain. The Council also manages a British examinations service and promotes the British publishing industry.
The Council actively supports the teaching of English world-
In all its activities the British Council works with Indian partners and increasingly collaborates with private sector organisations such as the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Chambers of Commerce and major Indian and British companies.
I am delighted to have the opportunity today to inaugurate the Indo-
We shall also be launching a number of other education and cultural initiatives, as part of Britain's contribution to the celebration of India's 50th anniversary of independence: