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2026 will be India-France year of Innovation: Indian Foreign Secretary

Highlighting that the salience of the India-France partnership has grown in this complex geopolitical environment, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra informed about the multiple documents agreed upon by the two countries in the fields of defence, Indo-Pacific security and green energy.

He announced that the year 2026 will be celebrated as the 'India-France year of Innovation'.

French President Emmanuel Macron is on a visit to India and was also the Chief Guest in the Republic Day Parade.

Addressing a press conference on President Macron's visit, Kwatra said, "The salience of India-France partnership has only grown in this complex geopolitical environment and in pursuit of our national interest and priorities".

"In July last year, the two sides had adopted 'Horizon 2047' roadmap and Indo Pacific roadmap, thus laying out clear long term vision in bilateral space and shared partnership The partnership over the years has shown all round progress, across all the domain, including defence, nuclear energy, security, space increasing green areas such as clean energy, commerce," he added.

Speaking on the key outcomes and general announcements during Macron's visit, the Foreign Secretary highlighted that industrial partnership between Tata and Airbus helicopters and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between New Space India Limited (NSIL) and Arianespace with regard to satellite launches have been agreed upon.

"First is the roadmap on the India-France defence industrial roadmap. Agreement on Defence Space partnership, MoU between New Space India Limited (NSIL) and Arianespace with regard to satellite launches. An industrial partnership between Tata and Airbus helicopters for the production of H125 helicopters with a significant indigenous and localization component," Kwatra said.

He added, "Agreement between Department of Science and Technology and French counterpart institutions. Joint research in clean energy, decarbonised hydrogen, applied mathematics, digital technology and precision agriculture".

The Foreign Secretary further said that an agreement has been signed between two ministries of health on healthcare cooperation, education, training and research. This would include the space of digital health and use of artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector.

He also informed about cooperation in the field of public administration and reforms.

"It's been agreed that the year 2026 will be celebrated as India-France year of innovation," he added.

Kwatra also said that the Indian consulate in Marseille French bureau in Hyderabad are now fully ready to be operational.

He said that both countries will open a solar academy in Senegal under the Star-C programme International Solar Alliance, launched by India and France in 2015.

Earlier in the day, a 95-member marching contingent and a 33-member band contingent from France participated in the 75th Republic Day Parade in New Delhi today.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday expressed his thanks for the "great honour for France" as his country's trrops and aircrafts to be invited to march in the 75th Republic Parade of India.

"A great honor for France. Thank you, India," posted Marcron on X as Kartavya Path witnessed a march past by a combined band and marching contingent of the French Armed Forces.

The marching members were drawn from the French Foreign Legion, a well-known and unigue corps of about 10,000 men from around the world, including India, who marched on the Kartavya Path.

This came a few months after Indian troops and aircraft paraded in Paris for the 2023 Bastille Day, a 95-member marching contingent and a 33-member band contingent from France participated in the 75th Republic Day Parade in New Delhi today.

Macron, who arrived in India on Thursday in Jaipur held a bilateral discussion with Prime Minister Modi.

PM Modi said that it is a matter of great pride that the French President was participating in the 75th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

(ANI)

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