British PM to visit Infosys, HAL in India’s tech hub

Bangalore, July 26 (IANS) British Prime Minister David Cameron will visit India’s IT bellwether Infosys Technologies Ltd and defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) during his day-long visit to this tech hub Wednesday.

He will call on Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj before visiting Infosys campus in the electronic city, about 30km away.

‘Cameron will be in our campus for about two hours. A presentation will be made to him by our top management on the company’s global software operations. He will also address the media around noon,’ a senior Infosys official told IANS Monday.

Infosys chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy, co-founder and former vice chairman Nandan Nilekani, who currently heads the state-run unique identification (UID) project, and other board members will interact with Cameron and his 90-member delegation, including cabinet ministers.

‘We are honoured to host Cameron as we had a similar privilege to showcase our company to former British premier Tony Blair January 5, 2002 to unveil the eighth partnership summit of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in our campus,’ the official said, but declined to be named.

Cameron will join the illustrious list of several heads of state and government who came calling to the $4.7-billion Infosys campus, where its largest software development centre and corporate office are located.

Before emplaning to New Delhi, Cameron will visit the HAL complex for a firsthand account of its various activities and operations.

‘He is scheduled to visit our complex at our airport after lunch for viewing our various products, including aircraft and helicopters and interacting with the top management,’ HAL chairman Ashok Nayak said.

Cameron’s visit to HAL assumes significance as the British defence group BAE Systems is waiting to bag an order for delivering 57 additional advanced jet trainers (AJTs) Hawk to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Navy.

The IAF has already inducted 39 of the initial order for 66 aircraft in its training aircraft fleet, including 24 in fly-away condition and 15 manufactured by HAL at its Bangalore complex under licence production from BAE.

‘Of the 42 jets to be produced by us, we have so far delivered 15 to the IAF, and remaining will be rolled out as per the schedule,’ Nayak said.

The IAF has located its Hawk fleet at its Bidar base in northern Karnataka, about 750km from here, to train its rookie pilots for flying supersonic fighters such as Sukhois, MiGs, Mirages and Jaguars.

The Indian defence acquisition council approved buying the 57 Hawks August 14, 2008, including 40 for the IAF and 17 in naval variant for the navy.

The value of the first order was about Rs.80 billion ($1.85 billion).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *