India France sign MOUs in education, Sarkozy offers to boost ties

EduShine Academic Search
Nicolas Sarkozy

Nicolas Sarkozy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has invited Indian students to study in France and offered to expand ties with Indian universities.

“France wants to host more Indian students. We can educate and train young Indians in cutting-edge research,” Sarkozy said at a function at ISRO in Bangalore while on a four-day official visit to India.

Mentioning that a couple of hundred thousands Indian youth were studying abroad, especially in English-speaking countries, Sarkozy said his government has established a specific system to accommodate foreign students in France.

“I hope that by 2012, we will have tripled the number of Indian students in France, compared with 2007. We are also providing special support to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Jodhpur in Rajasthan,” Sarkozy told the scientists, business executives and students at the function.

The French president referring to the International Mathematics Union Field Medals recently awarded to French scientists for their outstanding discoveries in mathematics said that university reform and the research he had commissioned were bearing fruit and Indian students should also benefit from them.

“At the same time, I would like to see young French people expand their numbers at Indian universities and institutes of higher education. Experiencing India as a young person will be an incomparable asset in understanding today’s world and preparing for a cosmopolitan life,” Sarkozy added.

Later during the President’s visit,¬† India and France signed two MoUs focusing on academic collaboration and research

The French delegation was lead by Valerie Pecresse, Minister for Higher Education and Research and included  a large number of senior academics and scientists including President of UTT University Christian Lerminiaux. The Indian delegation included Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Prof. Devang Khakhar, Director, IIT-Bombay and Prof. Govindan Rangarajan, Head, International Division of IISc, Bangalore.

Under the first MoU, France’s Institute de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, would set up a joint laboratory for water sciences Indo-French Cell for Water Sciences (IFCWS), or Cellule Franco-Indienne de Recherche en Sciences de l’Eau (CEFIRSE) in India. The lab would focus on research, training and foreign collaborations.

The second MOU was signed between ParisTech and seven Indian Institutes of Technology (Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati and Roorkee). Under the agreement IITs and ParisTech will participate jointly various European Commission initiatives and also promote student exchanges, research collaborations and other academic exchange programmes.

The two countries also finalised a draft MoU to be signed between IIT Jodhpur-Rajasthan and France in areas of renewable energy, aerospace and mechanical engineering, among others.