India, France signed a pact to facilitate the use of each other’s military facilities amid China’s expansion in Indo-Pacific region
BS Web Team | New Delhi Last Updated at March 10, 2018 22:03 IST
India, France on maritime security sphere: Emmanuel Macron said space agencies of both countries will have joint monitoring mechanism for developments in the maritime sphere, while navies of the two nations will share intelligence and call their respective military bases for any requirement. He further inclined towards building submarines in India under the Make in India initiative. Separately, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her French counterpart Florence Parly held talks during which detailed discussions on specific projects including on the Scorpene submarine programme for the Indian Navy was discussed. ALSO READ: Modi, Macron ink 14 pacts to boost India-France ties; cos sign $16-bn deals The Indo-French agreement on reciprocal logistics support for armed forces came nearly two years after India signed a similar pact with the US on use of each other’s land, air and naval bases. Officials said the agreement will facilitate the reciprocal provision of logistic support, supplies and services between the armed forces of the two countries during authorised port visits, joint exercises and joint training among others. 7. Modi, Macron on India-EU ties: Modi and Macron also agreed that India and the EU should deepen their cooperation on multilateral and security issues, as well as on economic, trade and climate change issues, according to the joint statement said. ALSO READ: Modi, Macron to deepen India-France ties: Full text of joint statement Launched in June 2007, negotiations for the proposed India-EU BTIA have witnessed many hurdles due to major differences on crucial issues like intellectual property rights and duty cut on automobile and spirit. The pact is aimed at reducing or significantly eliminating tariffs on goods, facilitate trade in services and boost investments between the two sides. 8. France on Rafale fighter jet: Noting that defence cooperation between the two countries now has a “new significance”, Macron said: “India had made a sovereign decision in this respect (Rafale fighter jet) and we are monitoring the progress in the field. We very much want to continue the programme. It is a long-term contract which is mutually beneficial. I personally consider it as the heart of the strategic partnership.” India had signed a government-to-government deal with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of about Rs 580 billion (Rs 58,000 crore). The Congress has been demanding details of the deal, alleging that the deal negotiated under its rule was much cheaper then the contract signed by the Modi government. ALSO READ: Rafale deal win-win but details can’t be revealed, says France’s Macron “The leaders noted ongoing discussions between DRDO and SAFRAN on combat aircraft engine and encouraged necessary measures and forward-looking approaches to facilitate early conclusion,” the joint statement said. 9. India, France agree to step up space tech co-operation: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central National D’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) inked an agreement for an end-to-end solution for detection, identification and monitoring of vessels in the regions of interest. India and France share a robust relationship in the area of space which is five-decades-old. In the field of atomic energy, the two countries signed an agreement to expedite the work on Jaitapur nuclear power plant. The “Industrial Way Forward Agreement” was signed between EDF, France, and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The EDF will be constructing six atomic reactors in Jaitapur with a capacity of 1,650 MW each. The plant which will come up in coastal Maharashtra will be the largest nuclear park in the country. 10. ‘Study in India’ initiative: India and France today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for mutual recognition of educational qualifications. Emmanuel Macron said he wants to double the exchange of students between India and France. While interacting with the students at Delhi’s Bikaner House, the French President said, “I want to double the number of Indian students coming to France and also want to increase the number of French students going to India.” French President Emmanuel Macron interacts with students at Bikaner House in New Delhi on Saturday Frederique Vidal, France’s Minister of Higher Education and Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar signed the MoU at the ‘Knowledge Summit’ held coinciding with the first state visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to India. “It is historic as for the first time; a government-to-government MoU has been signed to mutually recognise academic qualifications. It will help the student community. There used to be only bilateral arrangements between institutions to institutions, Javadekar said. ALSO READ: French president Macron heads to India, seeking to avoid Trudeau errors Pointing out that more than 5,000 Indian students are studying in France and about 1,500 French students in India, the minister said the HRD Ministry would launch a ‘Study in India’ initiative to attract more and more students from other countries to India. President Macron will also visit Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Modi, on March 12. He, along with Modi, will inaugurate a solar plant in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur. On March 11, President Macron will attend the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit, an initiative mooted by France and India. The ISA Summit, expected to be attended by several heads of the states and governments, is likely to focus on concrete projects. On the same day, he will also visit Taj Mahal in Agra. ALSO READ: Jaitapur nuclear-plant: Framework agreement likely during Macron’s visit The ISA is a unique effort that brings the world together to harness solar energy and create a cleaner as well as greener future, he tweeted. The International Solar Conference (ISA), an alliance of more than 121 countries, was initiated by Prime Minister Modi in January 2016. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 22:02 IST