India, France ink 14 pacts for cooperation in various fields

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India and France have singed 14, agreements  covering civil nuclear energy, education, renewable energy, space and Information Technology between the two countries during French President Francois Hollande’s ongoing visit to India.

Signed Agreements are :

Defence :  India and France have signed Inter-Governmental Agreement on purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets. Although two sides have not agreed on the pricing of the planes but it will be be resolved soon.

Space : Implementing arrangements were signed between the space agencies of the two countries for cooperation in a future joint Thermal Infrared Earth Observation mission and hosting of the French instrument for data collection on India's Oceasnsat-3 satellite. Letter of Intent (LoI) on France’s (CNES) participation in India’s (ISRO’s) next Mars Mission.

Railways :

  • Both sides have signed an agreement for the creation of  Joint Venture Shareholding Agreement between Indian Railways and Alstom for the production of 800 electric locomotives in Madhepura plant in Bihar. 
  • Indian Railways and French Railways (SNCF) have signed agreement  for joint feasibility study regarding the  renovation of Ambala (Punjab) and Ludhiana (Punjab) railway stations. 

Civil nuclear energy :  

  • Hollande and Modi have urged their industrial companies to conclude techno-commercial negotiations by the end of 2016 for the construction of six nuclear power reactor units at Jaitapur. 
  • One MoU between EDF and NPCIL was revised for the construction of six units at Jaitapur as Areva, the company with which original contract was signed, is now being taken over by EDF.

Cultural exchange : Declaration of Intent (DoI) for conducting Bonjour India (French festival) in 2017 and Namaste France (Indian festival) in 2016, was signed between the two countries. It wil boost Cultural Exchange Programme between both countries for the period 2016-2018. 

Science & Technology : India and France have signed agreement for the establishment of an Indo- French Ministerial level Joint Committee on Science & Technology. to promote the bilateral Cooperation in Science & Technology.

Education:  

  • IIT Mumbai and Thales Systemes Aeroportes have signed MoU for Industry Sponsored Ph.D (Doctorate) Fellowship.
  • IISER, Pune and ENS de Lyon (France) have signed agreement for promoting joint research, teaching, exchange of personnel etc
  • IIT Mumbai and CNRS, TB, UBO, UBS,ENSTA Bretagne,ENIB (French Universities) have signed MoU for cooperation in the field of Higher Education & Research

Apart from signing these agreements, France has reiterated support for India’s quest for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  

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