India and France agree on a defense roadmap. Paris raises question about French journalist facing expulsion

New Delhi: India and France have agreed on a comprehensive defense industrial roadmap and space and mobility cooperation that will enable five-year Schengen visa validity for Indian students with a master's degree from a French institution.

This came after French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held bilateral talks during his state visit to India, where the French leader was also the chief guest at the Indian Republic's holiday parade on Friday.

The two leaders discussed cooperation in the areas of defense, security, nuclear energy, space, clean energy, biodiversity, science and technology, digital and economics.

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Although the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) did not confirm whether the issue of a French journalist facing expulsion was discussed between the two leaders, it said the matter was raised by the French side and concerned “compliance with rules and regulations.” . .

At a press conference on Friday, Foreign Minister Vinay Kwatra announced a number of outcomes of bilateral negotiations in the areas of defence, space, health, clean energy and mobility.

These include a defense industrial roadmap aimed at joint military production, design and development as well as a defense space partnership. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed between New Space India Ltd and Alliance Space for satellite launch.

Private companies Tata and Airbus have also joined forces to produce helicopters in India, H125 helicopters with “a significant localization and localization component,” Kwatra said.

Two agreements have been signed between the Ministry of Science and Technology and French institutions for joint research in the areas of clean energy, carbon-free hydrogen, applied mathematics and precision agriculture.

Indian Ambassador to France Jawed Ashraf, who was also present at the meeting, said French multinational Safran was ready to share its technology for developing fighter jet engines in India.

“We are not only looking for a transfer of manufacturing technologies that essentially allows you to continue the same difficult steps that you have gone through for the last six decades, but also to work on the actual design phase, the metallurgical aspects, etc.” Saffron is totally there. I am ready to do this with 100 percent technology transfer… discussions will continue,” the ambassador told reporters.

The two countries are also planning to set up a solar academy in Senegal as part of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).


Also read: India and France explore partnership for upcoming “ambitious” submarine projects


“The French side raises the question of the journalist at risk of expulsion”

During the press conference, the foreign minister said the French side raised the issue of French journalist Vanessa Dougnac, who is facing deportation from India after receiving a notice from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) about the revocation of his OCI card due to “malicious intent”. Reports”. ThePrint was the first to report it.

However, the Foreign Minister indicated that this was about compliance with rules and regulations in India.

“We are aware of the matter and it is being dealt with by the relevant department of the Government of India. The frame of reference to be taken into account is compliance with the rules and regulations of the country. I don't think it has anything to do with aspects of journalism. People are free to do what they are accredited to do,” he said.

This came hours after foreign correspondents in India wrote an open letter saying they were “struggling with increasing visa restrictions” and that journalists with OCI status faced “particular difficulties”.

(Edited by Tikli Basu)


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