Revision Schedule for Prelims 2017

Less than 2 months are left for Prelims 2017. Click here for a Revision Schedule for the next 5 weeks.

[op-ed snap] Till the next port of call

What is mission Jeanne d’Arc?

  1. Mission Jeanne d’Arc is made up of the amphibious assault ship/landing platform dock (LPD), Mistral, and the frigate, Courbet
  2. It called at the Mumbai port between March 29 and April 3, having set sail from the French military base in Djibouti before heading for Vietnam
  3. It is for the third consecutive year that France has deployed this important mission in the Indian Ocean, the China Seas and the Pacific region

Since three years:

  1. On each occasion, France has chosen to call at an Indian port: Visakhapatnam in 2015 and Kochi in 2016
  2. At the time, it had just carried out an evacuation operation in Yemen in coordination with the Indian Navy, as part of providing Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)
  3. For HADR, our LPDs are among the best in the world, given their cargo capacities and deployment capabilities
  4. These port calls always give rise to enriching interactions between navies
  5. The 2017 edition was no exception, with numerous reciprocal visits and exercises carried out with officer cadets
  6. Over the past two years, these calls have acquired a special dimension; they reflect and support the swift development of cooperation between the two countries

Growing cooperation:

  1. Along with combating terrorism, maritime security has become a priority of our defence and security cooperation
  2. It greatly contributes to this cooperation given the threat of maritime terrorism
  3. France has not forgotten the numerous victims the 2008 Mumbai attacks claimed, two of whom were French nationals


  1. In 2015, the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) with the aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, at its core, docked at Goa as part of our bilateral exercise, “Varuna”
  2. On that occasion, the Indian Navy — one of the few to also possess an aircraft carrier — could train on the naval version of the Rafale, which the CSG forces are equipped with
  3. At the end of this month, the next edition of the “Varuna” exercise will be held, this time off the French coast
  4. Once again, significant assets will be mobilized

Indo-France maritime dialogues:

  1. In the meantime, India and France have held two high-level bilateral dialogues on maritime security in the Indian Ocean
  2. They have signed their first White Shipping Agreement on January 18, 2017
  3. Its operationalisation will be a significant step towards more ambitious exchanges and complex cooperation

France’s interest in Indian Ocean:

  1. France has significant interests in the Indian Ocean due to its overseas territory, Reunion Island, which is home to over a million French citizens
  2. It has 2.8 million square kilometres of exclusive economic zone (i.e. more than 10% of the Indian Ocean’s surface), and the volume of sea traffic in this zone
  3. Due to this, France has significant means in the Indian Ocean, whether deployed permanently or depending on requirement

Interest in India:

  1. India is France’s top strategic partner in Asia and its intention is to work towards making this relation fructify further alongside other partners in the region such as Australia, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam
  2. We share, in particular, the same values of preserving the freedom of navigation and respecting the international law of the sea
  3. Therefore, it is both natural and necessary that France and India do more together in the Indian Ocean to serve the shared interests of security
  4. This cooperation will become one of the pillars of the strategic partnership between the two countries


Remember the terms like Mission Jeanne d’Arc, Varuna, Reunion Island, etc. for Prelims. This op-ed should be read for Mains, UPSC may put up question on Indo-France bilateral relationship.

Indo-French Joint Committee on Science & Technology Cooperation

  1. News: India and France have signed the arrangement for establishment of apex level Joint Committee in New Delhi
  2. Context: Joint Committee would identify, synergise and define priorities for Indo-French cooperation in science, technology and innovation
  3. Aim: To achieve economic and social development through research, development and innovation
  4. Co-chaired by: Minister of S&T of India and for French side by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
  5. Why? Enhanced scientific and technological cooperation between the 2 countries, and the role played by multiple national S&T agencies of both countries in promoting partnership

Indo-French: Can they clear the test of Trade?

Strategic partnership has gone from strength to strength. Now, it’s time to clear test of bilateral trade as well.

  1. Strategic ties have been given further boost by the agreement on intelligence-sharing and cooperation on investigations and judicial processes.
  2. India-France trade hovers around $8 billion, which amounts to half of India’s trade with the U.K. or Germany.
  3. A big reason for is the impasse in India’s economic relations with the European Union.
  4. Modi’s expected visit to Brussels for the EU summit in the next few weeks could clear the path here.
  5. Joint ventures and partnerships on infrastructure such as railways, smart cities and renewable energy projects were announced during the visit.
  6. But much more needs to come from Indian businesses engaging with France.

Indo-French Ties: Soaring New Heights

Partnership has now been comprehensively extended to counter-terrorism and a separate joint statement was issued on it.

  1. For decades, France has been India’s most consistent backer and partner .
  2. It supported  India’s nuclear programme, helped mitigate the effects of post-Pokhran 2 sanctions as well as negotiated the civil nuclear deal with the US.
  3. The focus of Hollande’s visit was on strategic partnership, defence and counter terrorism.
  4. They renewed bilateral Agreement on Defence Cooperation for another 10 years and France commited to help India’s accession to multilateral export control regimes.
  5. For the first time, the two countries named Pakistan-based India-specific terror groups.
  6. Inaugurated  International Solar Alliance’s headquarters in Gurgaon.
  7. It is also hoped that the implementation of the Jaitapur nuclear power project will begin in 2017.
  8. Laid emphasis on people-to-people contacts, with France granting an extended stay of two years to Indian students at the masters level and above.

France commits €300 million for solar energy

  1. French President Francois Hollande committed €300 million over the next 5 years for the global development of solar energy.
  2. He said that the real challenge was to attract investments worth a trillion dollars to promote the renewable source.
  3. Mr. Hollande said that the Alliance would focus on three broad areas.
    • Pooling together the requests of countries with a huge potential in order to reduce their cost of capital.
    • Opening the markets in order to reduce the cost of investment.
    • Transferring the necessary technology and know-how from developed to developing countries.

India, France set to expand space partnership

  1. At least three of the 14 agreements signed by India and France were on expanding space collaboration.
  2. The ISRO and its French counterpart CNES (National Centre for Space Studies) agreed to work together in the next Mars mission, as well as a satellite launch and a thermal infrared observation mission.
  3. Both sides also signed an agreement on upgrading the Delhi-Chandigarh line to 200 kmph.
  4. The other agreements on nuclear issue, counterterror, defence show a positive continuum of the past work.
  5. France also committed itself to supporting India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UNSC and accession to the multilateral (nuclear) export control regimes.

‘French cos may invest $10 bn in India over next 5 years’

France taking active part to boost Make in India and Skill India initiatives.

  1. French companies are likely to invest almost $10 billion in India in the next 5 years and a major portion of this will be in the industrial sector making.
  2. French firms had invested more than one billion dollars annually in the last 5 years.
  3. The country’s companies account for 10 per cent of solar capacity installed in India and they could increase their capacities by 2020-22.
  4. There were over 400 French firms in India with a consolidated turnover of about $20 billion and France was the third largest foreign investor in India.

French President to be Chief Guest at R-Day parade

  1. As India celebrates its 67th Republic Day, tight security and vigil is being maintained across the country as a precaution.
  2. French President Francois Hollande will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade.
  3. Representatives of the Indian States will take part in the parade to showcase the strengths of the state.
  4. The visit of Mr. Hollande to New Delhi for the mega pageant.
  5. He is expected to send a message of a worldwide solidarity among the democratic countries against terrorism of the IS which staged the November 13 attacks in Paris.

Raja-Mandala: France, A most exceptional friend

France has emerged, steadily since the 1990s, as India’s most trusted international partner.

  1. The participation of French troops in the Republic Day parade is significant as it marks the end of India’s prolonged military isolationism.
  2. Modi recognises the potential of military partnerships in modernising India’s defence-industrial base.
  3. And enhancing India’s strategic weight in the international system.
  4. Resuscitating India’s defence diplomacy and global security engagement has been at the centre of his foreign policy.
  5. Modi sees a special role for Paris in Delhi’s global calculus for three important reasons.
  6. One, France in contrast to US, Britain, Russia has made a clear choice in favour of India over dalliance with pak military.
  7. Two, France can be a privileged partner for India in strengthening peace and security in the maritime domain.
  8. Third, while India’s quest for multi-polarity remains, exchanging American global primacy for Chinese domination makes little sense for Delhi.
  9. As a leading Western power with shared political values, France is a more credible partner for India in constructing a more equitable world order through a new concert of global powers.

Modi, Hollande set the stage for counter-terror cooperation

They resolve to enhance strategic ties between India and France.

  1. Both leaders will hold bilateral talks, during which they are likely to discuss upgrading the “special and strategic partnership” signed in 1998.
  2. Hollande, Modi to take up defence, space and nuclear cooperation.
  3. These include the completion of the agreement for the purchase of Rafale aircraft and nuclear issues over current Jaitapur plant.
  4. Both sides are likely to announce a new phase of space cooperation between the space agencies ISRO and CNES, with a special satellite dedicated to climate change research.

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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