The Indian Prime Minister joined French President as the Guest of Honour at the Bastille Day Parade, where an Indian tri-services marching contingent participated. Rafale jets from the Indian Air Force were also part of the flypast.
GS II: International Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- Major Highlights of the Visit
- Other Highlights
- Major Areas of Cooperation between India and France
- The joint statement titled “25th Anniversary of the Strategic Partnership between France and India: towards a Century of Indo-French Relations” outlines the future of bilateral relations until 2047.
- The roadmap is based on three pillars: partnership for security and sovereignty, partnership for the planet, and partnership for the people.
- The partnership aims to strengthen security and sovereignty cooperation between the two nations.
- It also focuses on enhancing collaboration on environmental and climate issues, promoting sustainability and protecting the planet.
- The partnership is committed to improving the lives of people in both countries through various joint initiatives and projects.
Major Highlights of the Visit
Partnership for Security and Sovereignty:
Continuation of Defense Cooperation:
- Further collaboration on fighter jets and submarines, building upon the successful delivery of 36 Rafale jets to the Indian Air Force and the P75 program with six Scorpene submarines.
Space and Satellite Collaboration:
- Strengthening scientific and commercial partnership between France’s CNES and India’s ISRO.
- Joint Earth observation satellite project TRISHNA and maritime surveillance satellites in the Indian Ocean.
- Ensuring the protection of Indo-French satellites in orbit.
Nuclear Power and Energy:
- Progress on the 6-European Pressurized Reactors power plant project in Jaitapur, Maharashtra.
- Launch of a cooperation program on small modular reactors and advanced modular reactors.
- Adoption of a comprehensive roadmap for joint actions in the Indo-Pacific region.
- Covering all aspects of the comprehensive strategy for security and development in the region.
Sustainable Development Financing:
- Discussion on finalizing an Indo-French development fund for third countries in the Indo-Pacific.
- Enabling joint financing of sustainable development projects in the region.
Counterterrorism and Security:
- Strengthening cooperation between France’s GIGN and India’s National Security Guard.
Cutting-Edge Digital Technology:
- Enhancing cooperation on advanced digital technologies, including supercomputing, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.
- Announcement of an agreement between Atos and India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences for the supply of supercomputers.
Civil Aviation Agreements:
- Signing of technical and safety agreements in the field of civil aviation to support the expansion of routes between France and India.
- Promoting the growth of the Indian civil aviation market.
Partnership for the Planet and Global Issues:
Combatting Plastic Pollution:
- Joint commitment by France and India to adopt an international treaty to tackle plastic pollution across the entire life cycle of plastic products.
Health and Medicine Cooperation:
- Signing of a Letter of Intent to strengthen cooperation in hospitals, medical research, digital technology, biotechnology, public health, and combatting micro-bacterial resistance.
Ocean Research and Blue Economy:
- Launch of a partnership between France’s IFREMER and India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) under the Blue Economy and Ocean Governance roadmap.
- Collaboration on ocean research and sustainable use of marine resources.
Sustainable Cities and Finance:
- Financing support from the French Development Agency for India’s sustainable cities program “CITIIS 2.0.”
- Financing from Proparco for the South Asia Growth Fund (SAGF III) to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in the region.
- Agreement to manufacture electrolyzers in India, aligning with the Indo-French roadmap for decarbonized hydrogen.
- Efforts to promote clean and renewable energy technologies for a greener future.
Partnership for People:
Enhancing Educational Exchange:
- Target of welcoming 30,000 Indian students in France by 2030 to promote academic and cultural ties.
- Issuance of 5-year short-stay Schengen visas for Indian students with a Master’s degree from a French university to facilitate travel and academic pursuits.
Strengthening Diplomatic Presence:
- Opening of a Consulate General of India in Marseille, France, and a Bureau de France in Hyderabad, India to bolster bilateral relations and facilitate consular services.
- France selected as India’s partner for establishing a major new National Museum in New Delhi to promote cultural exchange and preserve heritage.
- Agreement between France Médias Monde and Prasar Bharati for the exchange of audio-visual content and co-production of programs to foster media collaboration and promote cultural understanding.
Support for Research and Innovation:
- Increase in funding for the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research to support new projects and enhance scientific cooperation between the two nations.
- France gifted India a framed facsimile of a 1916 photograph depicting a Parisian presenting flowers to a Sikh officer, showcasing historical and cultural ties.
- France also presented a replica of the Charlemagne chessmen and a series of novels by Marcel Proust, promoting cultural exchange and literature appreciation.
Honors and Awards:
- Indian Prime Minister was honored with the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian and military honor, during his visit, recognizing his contributions to bilateral relations.
- The final joint statement did not include any reference to the pact on buying three Scorpene submarines and joint development of a combat aircraft engine, which might indicate the need for further discussion and clarification on these matters.
Major Areas of Cooperation between India and France:
- Strategic Partnership: India and France have a long-standing strategic partnership since 1998, and France was one of the early countries to support India’s decision to test nuclear weapons.
- Defence Cooperation: France has emerged as a significant defence partner for India, becoming the second-largest defence supplier during 2017-2021. Joint military exercises such as Exercise Shakti, Exercise Varuna, and Exercise Garuda are conducted regularly.
- Bilateral Trade: Both countries have seen an increase in bilateral trade, reaching USD 13.4 billion in 2022-23, with India’s exports crossing USD 7 billion. France is the 11th largest foreign investor in India, with substantial investments over the years.
- Support for International Positions: France supports India’s bid for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council and its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group, showcasing mutual backing on global issues.
- Climate Change: Both nations share concerns about climate change and have expressed strong commitments to mitigating its effects. They jointly launched the International Solar Alliance in 2015 to promote renewable energy and sustainability.
-Source: Indian Express