Boris Johnson in India

London Mayor Boris Johnson is on a six-day trip to India to promote business links with London

Live updates

India admits concerns over London 2012

India's most senior Olympic official has told Boris Johnson he was worried about London's ability to stage the Games. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, acting president of the Indian Olympic Association, said there was apprehension amongst the Indians that London's transport system could prove chaotic.

But Mr Malhotra managed to avoid a minor diplomatic incident as he then praised the way London handled the Games as a "great success". His comments came as Mr Johnson shared a stage at the British High Commission, where he presented two petals from the Olympic cauldron.

"We had some sort of apprehension that there would be some chaotic experience there as far as transport is concerned but it was very, very smooth. It was a flawless performance. The village there as well as all the stadiums, and the hospitality, was superb."

– Vijay Kumar Malhotra, acting president of Indian Olympic Association

Mr Malhotra is not the first foreign dignitary to admit his initial concern at London's ability to stage the Games. United States presidential candidate Mitt Romney made a gaffe when he said he was worried that the logistics of staging the Olympics would prove too much for the capital.

Advertisement

Boris calls for Indian visa change

Students at Queen Mary University, which has more than 300 Indian students on campus Credit: ITV London

London mayor BorisJohnson has attacked government rules on visas for overseas students. The mayor claims universities in London are losing out to rival colleges in America, Australia and Canada. Mr Johnson - who's on a week-long visit to India - said visa rules were sending out the wrong message.

New regulations require students to leave the UK after their degree Credit: ITV London

New regulations require students to leave the UK after their degree unless they secure a job with a set level of salary. London universities have reported a drop in applications from Indian students.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May today, Mr Johnson said he wanted student visa statistics to be removed from the overall net migration target of less than 100,000.

The Migration Advisory Committee must also look at the economic impact of the Government's policy on student visas, he said.

Mr Johnson wrote: "To mitigate future reputational risks, safeguards need to be in place to protect the investment international students make when choosing London and the UK as their destination.

"I would ask that you introduce new measures in the student visa system to protect genuine students from circumstances when a sponsor loses its licence. These measures should include as a minimum permission to complete studies or the academic year, whichever is soonest."

Boris unveils petal from London 2012 Olympic cauldron

London mayor Boris Johnson unveils a petal from the London 2012 Olympic cauldron at a handover ceremony in Delhi. Credit: ITN/Simon Harris
London mayor Boris Johnson unveils a petal from the London 2012 Olympic cauldron at a handover ceremony in Delhi. Credit: ITN/Simon Harris
The Indian Olympic Association was presented with two petals. - one from the Olympic cauldron and one from the Paralympics. Credit: ITN/Simon Harris

Advertisement

Mayor continues tour of India

Boris Johnson at India Gate, 25 November 2012 Credit: ITN

London Mayor Boris Johnson is continuing to tour India today to promote business ties with the fast-growing nation.

MrJohnson will also try to encourage more Indian students to go to university in London.

He's scheduled to visit Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai over the next five days.

Boris Johnson in India

Boris Johnson is in India this week to promote business links with London. But while there's been widespread publicity in the local media about his visit, not everyone in the country was sure who he was.

One thought he was Wimbledon legend Boris Becker. While an American tourist referred to him as "that guy on the zip wire". Our Political Correspondent Simon Harris has been following him on the tour.

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports