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French President Emmanuel Macron’s India Visit

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French President Emmanuel Macron was on a four-day official visit to India from 9th to 12th March, 2018.

  • Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India focused on strengthening bilateral ties between India and France in political and economic sphere.
  • In context of this news, it is important to note that bilateral trade between India and France for the period from April 2016 to March 2017 stood at $10.95 billion.
  • Besides, France is the 9th largest foreign investor in India with a cumulative investment of $6.09 billion as on October 2017.

French President Emmanuel Macron's India VisitPM Modi and French President hold delegation-level talks; 14 agreements inked in different areas

On March 10, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron held delegation-level talks in New Delhi. Following is the List of MoUs/Agreements signed between India and France during the visit of President of France to India.

  • Agreement on the Prevention of Illicit Consumption and Reduction of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical Precursors and Related Offences.
  • India-France Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement to facilitate temporary circular migration based on mobility and the encouragement for a return of skills to the home country.
  • Agreement to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between India’s Ministry of Railways and SNCF Motilities, France on technical cooperation in the field of Railways.
  • Letter of Intent for creation of a permanent Indo-French Railways Forum.
  • Agreement regarding the provision of reciprocal logistics support between Armed Forces of India and France.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the field of Environment.
  • Agreement on cooperation in the field of Sustainable Urban Development.
  • Agreement regarding the exchange and reciprocal protection of classified or protected information.
  • Implementing Arrangement between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central National D’EtudesSpatiales (CNES) for pre-formulation studies of a Maritime Awareness Mission. This arrangement will provide end-to-end solution for detection, identification and monitoring of vessels in the regions of interest for France and India.
  • Industrial Way Forward Agreement between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, and EDF, France for the implementation of the Jaitapur nuclear power project.
  • Agreement on cooperation in the matter of Hydrography and Maritime Cartography.
  • Credit Facility Agreement of Euros 100 million for funding of the Smart City Projects.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) under India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy and the National Solar Energy Institute (INES), Francefor working on projects in International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries in the areas of solar energy (solar photovoltaic, storage technologies, etc.) through transfer of technology and collaborative activities.

India, France sign strategic pact on use of each other’s military bases

On March 12, 2018, India and France signed a strategic pact providing for the use of each other’s military facilities including opening naval bases to warships.

  • This agreement facilitates the reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies and services between the armed forces of India and France during authorised port visits, joint exercises and joint training among others.
  • It has been signed to counter China’s military assertiveness in Indo-Pacific region.
  • Two years ago, India signed a similar pact with the US on use of each other’s land, air and naval bases.

Indian, French companies ink pacts worth 13 billion euros

On March 10, 2018, the second day of French President Emmanuel Macron’s India visit, Indian and French companies and government entities signed deals worth 13 billion Euros across areas like aviation, renewable energy and waste management.

  • The biggest one was $12.5-billion deal signed between Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet and French aviation major Safran Group for supply of 155 CFM LEAP-1B engines for SpiceJet’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
  • Another deal was between Airports Authority of India and French engineering company Egis for conducting study of three airports in Lucknow, Pune and Trichy.
  • French cement maker Vicat announced an investment of Rs 1200 crore in Karnataka to double its production capacity and an investment of Rs 510 crore in a cement-grinding unit in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Four French companies — EdF International Networks, Citelum, G2M and Solstyce — signed a joint agreement to work together for developing charging infrastructure in India to support electric mobility.
  • Besides, a general collaboration agreement was signed between the French Commission for Atomic and Alternative Energy (CEA) and Vikram Solar to increase the production capacity of high performance solar cells and modules.

PM Modi, French President Macron inaugurates solar power plant at Mirzapur in UP

On March 12, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated Uttar Pradesh’s biggest solar power plant in Mirzapur district.

  • This 100 MW solar plant has come up at Dadar Kalan village in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The plant has more than 100000 solar panels spread across an area of over 380 acres.
  • It has been built at a cost of around 500 crore by French firm ENGIE.
  • The solar plant will generate about 1.30 crore units of electricity per month.

First ever Indo-French Knowledge Summit held in New Delhi

First ever Indo-French Knowledge Summit was held in New Delhi from 10th to 11th March 2018 and coincided with the state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India.

  • The objective of this Summit was to design a roadmap of Franco-India university, scientific and  technology cooperation for the next five years.
  • The Summit ended with a landmark agreement on mutual recognition of educational qualifications between India and France.
  • Besides, 15 other memorandum of understanding (MoUs) were signed between universities and research institutions of India and France on joint initiatives and partnerships.
  • The summit was organized by the French Embassy in India and was co-hosted by Union Ministry of Human Resource Development.
  • More than 350 people from nearly 80 Indian Institutions and 70 French institutions participated in this Summit.
  • A Franco-Indian Education Trust was also unveiled at the conclusion of the Summit. The trust will offer educational scholarships and merit based financial support to Indian students.

Indo-French centre for engineers inaugurated in Bengaluru

On March 12, 2018, French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Frederique Vidal inaugurated an Indo-French Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

  • The centre has been set up to impart vocational training to engineers in electricity, automation and energy management.
  • It has been set up jointly by the French government, French automation company Schneider Electric and the Bengaluru-based New Horizon College of Engineering.
  • The centre will also run skill development programmes which will prepare students to leverage disruptive technologies to further national growth.

Quick Facts about France:
♦ Capital – Paris
♦ Currency – Euro
♦ Current President – Emmanuel Macron
♦ Important River – Seine