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India-France Bilateral Relations

27th January, 2024 International Relations

India-France Bilateral Relations

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  • French President Emmanuel Macron was Republic Day chief guest.


  • India and France made significant decisions during French President Emmanuel Macron's two-day state visit to India.
  • The primary focus was on enhancing collaboration in the defence sector.

Key Points from India-France Briefing:

Defence Collaboration:

  • Focus on high-tech fields like robotics, AI, and cyber defence.
  • Robust defence-industrial roadmap signifies shared commitment.

Industrial Partnership:

  • Tata and Airbus Helicopters partner for H125 helicopter production.
  • Strengthening collaboration in the defence sector.

Maritime Cooperation:

  • PM Modi and President Macron discuss maritime developments.
  • Special focus on disruptions and developments in the Red Sea.

Space Exploration:

  • MoU between New Space India Ltd and Arianespace for satellite launches.
  • Advancing cooperation in space exploration.

Comprehensive Roadmap:

  • Extends to science, technology, healthcare, education, and sustainable agriculture.
  • Emphasis on broadening collaboration across multiple sectors.

India France Year of Innovation (2026):

  • Joint celebration to foster innovation and technological advancements.

Youth Exchange and Visa Extension:

  • Introduction of the Young Professional Scheme for individuals aged 18-35.
  • Visa validity extended to five years for Indian students pursuing master's degrees in France.

India-France Bilateral Relations:

Historical Context and Strategic Partnership:

  • India and France established a Strategic Partnership on 26 January 1998.
  • The partnership aims at enhancing strategic independence through robust bilateral cooperation.

Defense and Security Cooperation:

  • The defense partnership includes the Annual Defence Dialogue and the High Committee on Defence Cooperation.
  • The purchase of Rafale aircraft and ongoing P-75 Scorpene Project are significant defense collaborations.
  • India and France conducted bilateral Exercise VARUNA 2023, Joint Military Exercise FRINJEX-23, and participated in multilateral Exercise La Perouse in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • India's Defense Space Agency opened an office in the Embassy in 2023 to strengthen technology cooperation.

Space Cooperation:

  • Over fifty years of cooperation between ISRO and Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES).
  • The India-France Strategic Space Dialogue identifies areas for civil and defense space collaboration.
  • ISRO and CNES concluded agreements on launch vehicle technologies, joint Earth Observation mission TRISHNA, and Space Situational Awareness.
  • Arianespace and NSIL signed a Letter of Intent for collaboration in commercial launch services.

Cyber Cooperation:

  • Regular Cyber Dialogues address cyber cooperation and security matters.
  • Recent dialogue in Paris focused on cybersecurity issues.
  • 4th Cyber Dialogue led by MEA and MoFA in 2021. A dialogue on cybersecurity was held in Paris in 2024.
  • The continuous dialogue underscores the joint commitment to addressing evolving cyber threats.


  • Robust cooperation in countering terrorism, reflected in Joint Working Group meetings.
  • The 15th Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism was held in Paris in 2021.
  • The 16th Joint Working Group meeting took place in January 2024 in New Delhi.
  • Regular meetings demonstrate a shared commitment to combatting terrorism under UN forums.

Civil Nuclear Cooperation:

  • Progress on Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project and exploration of Small Modular Reactors.
  • Emphasis on sustainable and efficient nuclear energy solutions.
  • During PM’s visit to Paris in July 2023, leaders welcomed progress related to the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project.
  • Cooperation in nuclear energy signifies a shared vision for sustainable solutions.

Economic Cooperation:

  • France is among the largest investors in India, with substantial FDI inflow.
  • Bilateral Joint Working Groups exist in various fields to enhance economic collaboration.
  • FDI inflow from France for FY 2022-23 was $659.77 million, with a cumulative stock of $10.76 billion.
  • Over 70 Indian companies employ over 8,000 employees in France, while over 750 French companies employ over 450,000 people in India.

Digital Cooperation:

  • Workshops and events showcase India's achievements in digital infrastructure.
  • Unified Payments Interface (UPI) launched from Eiffel Tower for secure transactions.
  • 'INFRAStructures' workshop organized in Paris in May 2023 showcased India's digital achievements.
  • UPI launch from Eiffel Tower demonstrates joint efforts in digital innovation.

Culture and Tourism Cooperation:

  • 'Namaste France 2023' showcased Indian culture, drawing over 20,000 visitors.
  • Agreements on Broadcasting and Museuology signed during PM’s July 2023 visit.
  • Festival comprised 18 concerts, 16 workshops, and a craft bazaar, reaching around 20,000 attendees.
  • Cultural events contribute to enhancing mutual understanding and people-to-people ties.

Maritime Cooperation:

  • India-France Maritime Cooperation Dialogue and naval exercises strengthen maritime ties.
  • Inaugural India-EU joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Guinea.
  • 6th Meeting of India-France Maritime Cooperation Dialogue held in October 2023 in Paris.
  • The cooperation extends to joint naval exercises and regional maritime security efforts.

Blue Economy and Clean Energy:

  • Dialogue on Blue Economy explores collaboration in sustainable development.
  • IEA Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit focuses on responsible supply for the global clean energy transition.
  • First dialogue on Blue Economy held in Paris in October 2023.
  • Focus on clean energy and responsible mineral supply aligns with global sustainability goals.

Science & Technology:

  • Delegations discuss cooperation in health, medicine, and ocean technology.
  • Agreements on health and ocean technology signed during PM’s July 2023 visit.
  • 36th Governor Body Meeting of Indo-French Center for Promotion of Advanced Research held in May 2023.
  • Collaborations in science and technology contribute to innovation and research.

Education Cooperation:

  • Agreement on mutual recognition of degrees facilitates higher education exchange.
  • Plans to increase Indian students in France to 30,000 by 2030.
  • Scheme for Young Professionals in the age group 18 to 35 years launched in September 2022.
  • Commitment to increasing the number of Indian students in France underscores educational collaboration.

Community in France:

  • Over 1,19,000 Indian community members in mainland France, mainly from French colonies and Indian states.
  • Diplomatic engagements to strengthen linkages, including visits to French overseas territories.
  • Over 50 Indian community organizations active in France.
  • OCI card facility announced for people of Indian origin in Guadeloupe and Martinique during PM’s public address.

Consular Dialogue:

  • Regular Consular Dialogues enhance the movement of people between the two countries.
  • India-France Consular Dialogue held in July 2020, with plans for continued cooperation.
  • Strengthening consular dialogue ensures effective consular support for the community.


Q. Examine the multifaceted dimensions of the India-France Strategic Partnership, highlighting key areas of collaboration and recent developments.