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Updated January 27th, 2024 at 07:55 IST

India-France Lay Out Plan to Firm Up Defence Roadmap Post Modi-Macron Talks. KEY Agreements Inked

Key agreements include Defence Space Partnership and MoA signed for Tata to start manufacturing Airbus’ H125 helicopter assembly.

Digital Desk
PM Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron
PM Modi with French President Emmanuel Macron | Image:X @EmmanuelMacron
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New Delhi: Prime Minister Modi and French President Macron have solidified the defence industrial partnership roadmap, paving the way for collaborative development and production of crucial military hardware and platforms, as per the Foreign Ministry's statement. This initiative aims to facilitate technological collaboration in diverse domains such as space, land warfare, cyberspace, and artificial intelligence. The recent diplomatic meeting, held after the meeting between PM Modi and the French President in Jaipur and post-Republic Day celebrations, saw the announcement of several key agreements, all with the purpose of enhancing the strategic partnership between India and France.

Defence Roadmap to Augment Indo-French Partnership

The biggest highlight from the talks was the roadmap for the India-France Defence Industrial Partnership that was laid out. The meeting witnessed the signing of the Letter of Intent on Defence Space Partnership and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) and Arianespace S.A.S, focusing on defence space capabilities.

Additionally, a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed between TATA Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) and Airbus to establish an assembly line for H125 helicopters in India, contributing to the enhancement of civil aviation capabilities.

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Indo-French Ties Extend Beyond Earth’s Bound

The Indo-French ties extend beyond Earth’s atmosphere; the Republic Day Joint Statement extends to the space and science domains with the Framework Cooperation Arrangement between the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and Institut national de recherche pour L’Agriculture, L’Alimentation Et L’Environnement (INRAE), French Republic. Another agreement signed on Thursday involved the funding of research projects, reinforcing ties in science and technology.

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Declaration of Intent inked for Collab in Health 

Acknowledging the importance of global health, a Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in the Field of Health and Medicine was established between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and the Ministry of Labour, Health, and Solidarity of the French Republic.

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Furthermore, the meeting also saw another Letter of Intent on Public Administration and Administrative Reforms between the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, Government of India, and the Ministry of Public Sector Transformation and the Civil Service, French Republic being signed.

Other Urban Development and Sustainable Initiatives

Another focus during the meeting was also given to sustainable urban development, with the renewal of the agreement between the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India, and the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion of the French Republic.

Key Announcements Highlighted in the Joint Statement

  • In addition to these agreements, several key announcements were made during the meeting, including the declaration of 2026 as the India-France Year of Innovation.
  • The operationalization of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) at the Eiffel Tower marked a symbolic step towards strengthening economic ties.
  • The establishment of India’s Consulate in Marseille and the French Bureau de France in Hyderabad aims to facilitate smoother diplomatic relations.
  • Operationalisation of the Young Professional Scheme and the 5-year validity Schengen Visa for Indian Masters alumni of French institutions were also notable announcements.
  • Additionally, India pledged its support to France for the United Nations Ocean Conference scheduled to be organised in Nice in 2025. This move, as implied by the statement, aims to illustrate a commitment to global cooperation on environmental issues.
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Published January 27th, 2024 at 07:30 IST

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