French President Francois Hollande was on 3 days visit to India. He was chief guest of the Republic Day parade. This is President Hollande’s 2nd State Visit to India and the 5th time (earlier 1976, 1980, 1998 and 2008) that a French Head of State has been invited as the Chief Guest on India’s Republic Day celebrations.
Visit commenced from “City Beautiful” – Chandigarh (designed by French architect Le Corbusier)
NaMo and Hollande visited Government Museum and Art Gallery, Rock garden and addressed CEOs of French and Indian companies at a business summit in Chandigarh. Here is brief description:
Rock Garden – Modi met Hollande at the Rock Garden and the two leaders took a tour of the famous landmark created by Nek Chand using industrial and home waste and thrown-away items.
Government Museum and Art Gallery – The dignitaries shown the fossil discovered from the Shivalik Hills jointly by Society for Archaeological & Anthropological Research, India and French National Museum of Natural History.
- It suggests human activity possibly dating back to 2.6 million years ago, making them among the oldest known remnants of human existence.
Capitol Complex – The most spectacular work of French architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris aka Le Corbusier, the Capitol Complex comprises the Legislative Assembly, Punjab and Haryana High Court and Secretariat. Here both leaders addressed the Business summit. There were 16 agreements signed during summit:
|Development of Smart cities|
|Smart city in Nagpur||b/w AFD (French Development Agency) and Maharashtra|
|Smart city in Chandigarh||b/w AFD and Chandigarh|
|Smart city in Puducherry||b/w AFD and Puducherry|
|MoUs for Urban Sector Development|
|EPI Ltd-Dassault Systems, EPI-Egis, EPI-Schneider Electric, EPI-Schneider Electric, EPI-Thales, EPI-EDF, EPI-Alstom, EPI-SA CAN, EPI-Lumiplan ITS India Pvt Ltd and EPI-POMA. (EPI – Engineering Projects India Limited)|
|Solar Photovoltaic Projects||b/w CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) and Green Ventures in the rural areas of Varanasi & Uttar Pradesh.|
|Solar Photovoltaic Projects||b/w CEA and Crompton Greaves to explore opportunities with storage function for Indian airports.|
|Strategic partnership for helicopters||Mahindra-Airbus cooperation to create the new private strategic partner for helicopters within the Make in India initiative.|
- Apart from above, both leaders also announced to work together on fighting terror and enhancing their strategic partnership.
India, France sign Rafale fighter plane accord
India and France inked an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) on the sale of 36 French fighter jets but financial details of the deal were yet to be worked out. The deal was estimated of $9 billion worth.
India, France ink pacts for cooperation in space technology
India and France signed 2 pacts to strengthening their cooperation in the field of space technology that will enable them in monitoring environment, weather and water resources.
- Pact was signed b/w to cooperate in a future joint Thermal Infrared Earth Observation mission and hosting of the French instrument for data collection on India’s Oceasnsat-3 satellite.
- They also announcement of collaboration of Centre National d’études spatiales (CNES) in future space and planetary exploration missions of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
International Solar Alliance – India’s first international &inter-governmental organization headquartered in India
NaMo and Hollande jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon.
- GOI has dedicated 5 acre land in NISE campus for the ISA Headquarters and also has contributed Rs 175 crore for ISA corpus fund.
- Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) announced contribution of US $ 1 million each to the ISA corpus fund.
- French Development Agency will allocate €300 million to develop solar energy over the next 5 years.
India-France joint statement
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hollande expressed their commitment towards Strategic Partnership Security, Defence, Nuclear energy, Climate Change Renewable Energies and energy efficiency, Sustainable Development, Transport, Economic Co-operation, Heritage, Culture and Sports.
- Modi and Hollande expressed their commitment to carry forward the dialogue on the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA).
- They pledged to explore new avenues for cooperation to strengthen exchange of information to prevent off-shore tax evasion.
Mr. Hollande Bollywood Meet – Actors Aishwarya Rai & Shahrukh Khan, Designer Ritu Beri & filmmaker Aditya Chopra
Aishwarya Rai, Shahrukh Khan, Ritu Beri & Aditya Chopra was invited by French President Francois Hollande at a special luncheon hosted by French Ambassador Francois Richier in New Delhi.
- Aishwarya Rai is the only Indian recipient of the prestigious “Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters”, a civilian award by the French government.
- Ritu Beri is the recipient of Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres award, one of the highest civilian awards by the French government.
- In 2007, Shah Rukh khan was conferred with Ordre des Arts et des Lettres award by the French government and in 2014, he was bestowed with the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian award.
Capital – Paris
Currencies – Euro, CFP franc
PM – Manuel Valls