According to a report in the Telegraph, about a year ago, the Indian government said they wished to "voluntarily" give up aid from the UK, worth approximately £280 million a year.
The aid in question is from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the total amount of money in this case is nearly 6 times that given by the second-largest bilateral donor to India - the U.S.
Nevertheless, it seems that certain quarters of the Indian government and society have raised concerns over the global image that receiving the aid projects. They point to the fact that the Indian economy has consistently grown by around 10 percent every year in the recent past. A report by the country's leading business paper, The Economic Times, indicated that despite financial woes the Indian economy will still grow by approximately 6-7 percent in 2012.
In contrast, the UK economy, according to a report by the BBC, shrank by 0.2 percent over the last three months of 2011. The report also adds that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut the country's forecasted rate of growth for 2012 from 1.6 percent to 0.6 percent.
It is therefore easy to see where this controversy is coming from.
It must have been with these facts in mind that India's Foreign Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, asked to cancel the loan arrangement with the DFID. Indeed, a report in The Mirror quotes unnamed Indian ministers as saying the aid was "peanuts".
Mukherjee, who spoke to UK government officials in July, 2011, emphasised India's desire to give up the loan. He was, however, told, in what can only be described as a shocking move, by DFID officials that cancelling the aid programme would result in "grave political embarrassment" for them.
Indeed, the Mirror quotes the DFID as saying their Indian programmes "focused on the three poorest states - save at least 17,000 lives a year and have lifted 2.3 million people out of poverty since 2005." Additionally, the Junior Development Minister, Alan Duncan, said last week that cutting off aid to India might lead to millions of people dying.
To counter that sentiment, the Telegraph report points to the fact that the city of Bhopal (in Madhya Pradesh) was given £118,000 to fit GPS and satellite tracking systems on public buses and dustcarts; the result - those buses received that technology before those in the UK.
Furthermore, any notion that India might actually need the largesse the UK are heaping on them, seems undone by the fact that the government has recently awarded French company Dassault Aviation with a multi-billion pound contract for fighter aircraft.
The statistics indicating poverty rates, unemployment and general economic woes in the UK are common enough knowledge for even the most casual observer. Add to that the concerns over the Eurozone's stability and the state of the U.S. economy... allied with the other fact that the Asian economy is doing relatively far better than any other in the world... and one is forced to wonder if the UK government is still living in a largely colonial-era... where the might of the British empire and economy dwarfed all others.