New Delhi: Reflecting growing congruence in their bilateral ties, India and France Thursday firmed up a host of agreements to further intensify cooperation in diverse areas including science and technology, education, culture and transport.
The pacts were signed after talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting French President Francois Hollande.
Both the side agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of upgradation of railway stations, high speed corridors and the modernisation of the railway network.
Under the space cooperation programme, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and France's CNES have jointly identified the means to pursue further cooperation including possibilities through missions, payloads and applications, exchange of young scientists and professionals in India and in France and conducting thematic workshops.
Another pact was signed to increase exchanges between the artists, architects, students, teachers, researchers, sportspersons to improve people-to-people contacts in the two countries.
A Letter of Intent on the Intensification of Cooperation in the fields of education, higher education and research was also signed between the two sides. It was signed by Minister for Higher Education of France Genevieve Fioraso and HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju.
Both the sides also finalised cooperation between various Indian and French educational institutions including between Delhi University and Sciences Po, Paris.
The partnership between eight European institutions of higher learning led by Ecole Centrale de Nantes and a consortium of Indian institutions of higher education led by IIT Madras, will allow funding for visit of students and scientists to each other's country for the next three years.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and France's CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
Agreements signed separately during the visit include Credit Facility Agreement (CFA) for the Bangalore Metro Rail Project, Phase-I. It was signed between Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and AFD, the French Development Agency.
An MoU was finalised between the Ministry of Railways and the French National Railways (SNCF) for technical cooperation in the field of railways.