French Minister of Foreign Affairs on visit to India
Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development is currently in Bangalore on a four-day official visit to India. He began his visit on Sunday, with a meeting with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi with the aim to strengthen bilateral ties between India and France. They discussed various issues concerning the two countries including defence and international terrorism.
The French Minister had a busy Sunday, as he also launched the India Chapter of France Alumni at the Alliance Française de Bangalore. France Alumni is an online platform that facilitates networking between former students and their universities as well as giving access to internship and job opportunities in France. As a former student of a French university myself, I believe this will be a great way to interact with many other former students and share our past and present experiences with each other. It was also very heartening to hear that France is really keen on welcoming more Indian students to study in their universities. Ayrault said that they aim to have an annual intake of 10,000 Indian students by 2020.
Later in the evening, Mr Ayrault also met the French community of Bangalore. He warmly greeted those who had attended the event. The large French community of about 1000, includes members from various sectors like defence, transportation, technology etc. To emphasize the desire of the two countries to continue to work together in several domains, Jean-Marc Ayrault cited a few examples of technological partnerships between India and France: the historic one between Dassault and the Indian Army back in 1953 as well as an upcoming collaboration on Lunokhod-1, an Indian lunar robot whose lenses will be equipped with high-end French technology.
The Minister’s Indian visit will continue in Gujarat where he will lead a delegation of French companies at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.
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