The Duke of York visited India from 24th-28th November, 2014 to attend the Commonwealth Science Conference and to undertake a number of engagements in Bangalore and Delhi.
HRH began his visit on 24th November, 2014 by attending a reception with Happiest Minds. Happiest Minds, launched in 2011, is a next generation IT solutions and Services Company working on enabling organizations to capture the business benefits of disruptive technologies of cloud computing, social media, mobility solutions, business intelligence, analytics and unified communications.
On 25th November, 2014, The Duke visited the newly established UK India Business Council (UKIBC) in Bangalore. UKIBC was founded in 2007 to encourage trade and business relations between the United Kingdom and India. HRH also visited TechHub’s new incubator at the site and met with Entrepreneurs working within TechHub.
The Duke then attended the Official Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Science Conference 2014 at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. HRH was received on arrival by Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society. The opening was also attended by Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India and 300 scientists and 70 PhD students from 30 Commonwealth Countries to celebrate scientific endeavour and provide a platform for knowledge shared across the Commonwealth. This was the first Commonwealth Science Conference for nearly fifty years.
In the evening, The Duke attended a dinner with key speakers at the Commonwealth Science Conference event.
HRH attended the second day of the Commonwealth Science Conference in Bangalore on 26th November. The Duke met with key Commonwealth delegates and scientists including Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys Limited. HRH also met Scientists from across the Commonwealth.
Later, The Duke met with His Excellency The Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala at Raj Bhavan, Bangalore.
On 27th November, HRH travelled to New Dehli and visited the British High Commissioner’s Residence.
The Duke met Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) Founder, Aloka Mitra. The aim of WIF is to empower women who have been victims of abuse by helping them to develop the skills to become economically independent. They rescue, shelter and care for girls and women who, unfortunately, have faced cruelty in their early lives. The women learn screen printing, sewing, and jewellery making, as well as valuable life skills such as cooking and health education.
After HRH travelled to Kolkata in West Bengal in 2012 to represent HM The Queen for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, he committed to helping WIF to find a route to market in the United Kingdom for the products made by their community. This led to the sale of the products to an extended customer group, through Topshop and helps the Ladies who sew and dye the garments to earn a living wage and regain control of their lives. The initiative is supported by The Prince Andrew Charitable Trust.
The Duke attended a lunch given by the British High Commissioner with key thought leaders in India.
HRH later met with GREAT Debates Finalists. The GREAT Debate competition aims to celebrate and encourage debating amongst the student community. It was organised 8 cities across India with each city submitting one team for the grand finale in Delhi. The winners will be offered a one-week sponsored study tour in the United Kingdom.