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Prez Macron sells Rafale, PM Modi buys China antidote;
Prez Macron sells Rafale, PM Modi buys China antidote;
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Prez Macron sells Rafale, PM Modi buys China antidote;
top 10 developments
Business Standard
2018-03-11 14:59:00
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Prez Macron sells Rafale, PM Modi buys China antidote; top 10 developments

Emmanuel Macron and Narendra Modi. Photo: Twitter
French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first International Solar Alliance Summit. Delivering the inaugural address, President Macron said that both PM Modi and he were committed to the well being of the planet and would take concrete steps to fight climate change. PM Modi said that studying ancient India can provide answers to how climate change can be fought.
President Macron arrived in India on Friday. Since then, he has inked deals worth $16 trillion dollars with India, advised Indian students and taken their questions on myriad topics, and most importantly, created an outline for India-France strategic partnership with PM Modi.
The highlight of the visit for as yet has been the purchase of 36 Rafale jets over and above the planned 36, that President Macron called the ''heart of India-France strategic partnership''. The government has been hush-hush over the Rafale deal and has kept mum on the doubling of the initial order.
However, President Macron's visit hasn't only cost India foreign reserves. The Indian prime minister and the French president, in a joint statement on Saturday, talked about increasing the two countries' maritime engagement. This assumes significance in the context of China's growing might and strategic posturing in the Indian ocean region.
France has two islands in the Indian Ocean Region, on which India might want to develop a strategic presence, according to a report in Livemint.
Top 10 developments surrounding the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to India:
1. Trillion-dollar International Solar Alliance:
French president Emmanuel Macron delivered the inaugural address at the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on Sunday morning.
"Veda's consider the sun as the soul of the world, it has been considered as a life nurturer. Today, for combating climate change, we need to look at this ancient idea to find a way," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said speaking at the foundation day ceremony.
Macron, delivering the inaugural address, said that PM Modi and he are obsessed with concrete results and are committed towards the planet's cause.
What is International Solar Alliance:

The alliance is holding it foundation day celebrations at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Its mandate is to promote solar energy. India will provide a funding of $27 million to the ISA. Around $1 trillion of capital for solar power projects is expected to be mobilised with this partnership.
India's Vikram Solar has signed a collaboration agreement with French Alternatie Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for enhanced research and development in high-efficiency crystalline silicon cells, modules, systems and a host of high-efficiency generation and storage technologies for French and Indian markets.
2. A visit worth 16 billion dollars

The French president Emmanuel Macron, in a joint statement with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stressed upon deepening the trade alliance between France and India as the two countries inked 14 pacts worth $16 billion in key areas of defence, security and nuclear energy.
The deals include a contract for France's Safran to supply SpiceJet with engines, water system modernisation by Suez in the southern city of Davangere, and a contract between industrial gas company Air Liquide and Sterlite.
Macron's office did not provide a breakdown of the value or details of the business contracts. It said that some 200 million euros of investments would be made in India.
Both the countries encouraged small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-cap companies to play a growing role in the economic and commercial exchanges.
3. Indian Ocean Region

The two leaders have decided upon deepening maritime ties, so as to counter the increasing might of China in the Indian Ocean region. France has two islands in the Indian Ocean Region, on which India might want to develop a strategic presence, according to reports in the media.
4. Strategic alliance

The leaders welcomed the signing of the "Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of France regarding the Exchange and Reciprocal Protection of Classified or Protected Information” between India and France, reflecting the high level of strategic trust between the two countries. Both sides also agreed to create an annual defence dialogue at the ministerial level.
5. Macron invites Indian students to France
"I want to double the number of Indian students coming to France. If you choose France you gain access to francophonie, you gain access to Europe," French President Emmanuel Macron told Indian students at an event.
We took a series of steps in the last few months order to improve equality and fight violence against women. These problems arise from the arrogance of males.
Macron tweeted: "My advice when facing difficulties: accept to go to sleep with doubts but always refuse to wake up with them."
My message to #IndianYouth :
 1. Have the best possible education. The less educated you are, the fewer opportunities you’ll get.
 2. Think long-term. Always think about preserving the balance between your country and the global environment.
 Watch live : https://t.co/SjNjNqmg3Dpic.twitter.com/OXuJI7Z2Ki
 — Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 10, 2018
6. 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.
7. Turban issue:
  Harsimrat Kaur Badal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up with the French President the issue of Sikh community members in France being asked to remove their turbans for all official identification.
8. Rafale jets
  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 than the contract signed by the Modi government.
9. Modi, Macron to visit Varanasi
  Emmanuel Macron and PM Narendra Modi will visit Varanasi on Monday to inaugurate a solar plant at Mirzapur. They will also visit Assi Ghat, take a boat ride and have lunch on the banks of the holy Ganga.
10. Kovind on low bilateral trade
 The bilateral trade between India and France worth $11 billion was far below potential, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said, adding that the trade basket between the two countries could be diversified and new avenues explored.
  Welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron, Kovind said India's strategic ties with France had been expanding not just in traditional sectors of defence, space and civil nuclear energy, but also in the emerging areas of counter-terrorism and maritime and cybersecurity.

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