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Ireland shares joy with India as it celebrates its 72nd Republic Day today

DUBLIN: Usually, when one nation celebrates the day its constitution officially came into force, it really doesn’t matter to another country. But in light of years of Irish-Indian relations, Ireland also has much to celebrate in India’s Republic Day celebrations.

As India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day today (Tuesday), the Irish people are delighted to share the moment with the Indians in Ireland. While the Republic Day parades and ceremonies take place on Indian soil, celebrations will also take place in several parts of Ireland, as the nation is filled with migrants from India.

Many may wonder why Indian celebrations, especially the Republic Day celebrations, are important to Ireland. But the reasons for this are many! Those who know the Indian history will probably understand why Ireland matters on the Republic Day of India. This is because certain provisions of the Indian Constitution were inspired from the Irish Constitution.

In addition, Brendan Ward, the Irish Ambassador to India, says that the Directive Principles of State Policy of the Indian Constitution were influenced by the Irish Constitution.

Although this was the beginning of the Indo-Irish relationship, the two sides have maintained relations in several ways since then.

Immigrants from India flocking to Ireland are the main reason why Indian traditions and festivals are now becoming a part of Irish life. For years, people from Kerala and other parts of India have been heading to Ireland for work and study. Ireland has become one of the top five financial centers in Europe, offering many opportunities to Indians. They work mainly in ICT, pharma, finance, healthcare, education and services. With the arrival of such people, the Indian community in Ireland has grown rapidly to about 40,000.  

Ireland has become a major destination not only for job seekers but also for students seeking higher education. Ireland is a great choice for Indian students seeking postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral students in the fields of engineering, technology, medicine and management. Trinity College, Dublin and Thapar University, Punjab, India, have a memorandum of understanding for a joint degree programme in five engineering and science disciplines. New forms of S&T collaboration are emerging between the S&T Department of India and the Science Foundation of Ireland.

Trade and investment in recent times have been an important component of India-Irish relations. The Ambassador Brendan Ward said that the presence of specialists in Enterprise Ireland and IDA at the Irish House in Mumbai is also a significant factor in the growth and development of ties between the two countries. “For Indian companies seeking a presence in the European Union, Ireland is a natural location with a common language and legal system. Irish companies investing in Asia also find these advantages in India. With two-way trade now exceeding €4 billion per annum our countries are serious partners,” Mr. Ward said.

According to the Government of India, the total Indo-Irish bilateral trade in 2019 was €1.2 billion. India’s exports to Ireland are €636 million and Ireland’s exports to India are €480 million.

The main imports from India to Ireland were machinery, mechanical equipment, telecommunication equipment, computer accessories, precision equipment and pharmaceuticals. At the same time, the major commodities exported from India are biochemicals, textiles, textiles, clothing, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, machinery, light engineering materials, plastics and rubber.

The tourism sector is also noteworthy. As Ireland becomes a major destination for visitors from India, India has always been a major attraction for Irish tourists. The number of people coming from India to enjoy Irish activities such as fishing, horse riding, golf, shooting, and hiking and water sports has increased in recent times. Many Indians also visit Irish ancient forts and archeological sites.

Mr. Ward said that the number of such arrivals from Ireland to India and from India to Ireland is increasing every year. It is hoped that in the years to come, the two countries will be able to maintain a warmer and more cordial relationship.

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