- The first meeting of the Indo-French Forum was held in Paris on July 2 and 3,1998.
- The Forum Co-Chaired by Mr. Jean-Francois Pencet and Dr. Karan Singh was inaugurated by President Jacques Chirac on Thursday, July 2 at 1130 hours. Welcoming the establishment of the Indo-French Forum President Chirac said that it was his expectation that the Forum would result in a re-invigoration of relations between India and France.
- The members of the Forum also called on the French Foreign Minister, Mr. Hubert Vedrine on Friday, July 3 at 1200 hours and on the French Minister for Education, Research and Technology, Mr. Claude Allegre on the same day at 1450 hours. A banquet was hosted for members of the Forum at the Senate on July 2,1998.
- During this first meeting, the Forum established its working procedures. It also identified the following twelve areas for follow-up action:
- The promotion of comprehensive and wide-ranging cooperation in the water sector. It was decided that a symposium on "Water Management" would be held in Mumbai In 1999. The possibility of Regional French Water Authorities offering their technology to the Indian states in this sector would be explored.
- To undertake meaningful cooperation at various; levels, including by twinning of Indian and French Metropolitan cities and Indian states and French provinces;.
- To promote French Investments in India and Indian investments in France using the network of the CNPF (French Employers' Confederation) and the principal French Chambers of Commerce and Industry on the French side and CII (Confederation of Indian Industry and the Indian Chambers of Commerce on the Indian side. To launch an information campaign targetting business and industry, especially in France (for example, by circulating CII documents and a series of questionnaire).
- Development of links between French and Indian Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMES) and Small and Medium scale Industries (SMIs). Organization of a seminar with a view to sensitizing the French Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMES) and Small and Medium scale Industries (SMls) on funding mechanisms available in France and Europe. This would help in identifying the sectors that could be considered for cooperative ventures.
- The creation of an intemet website for the Indo-French Forum. The responsibility of managing the website would be with the ClI on the Indian side and the Ministry of foreign Affairs on the French side.
- Increasing the exchange of students and researchers. With a view to achieving this, the following five measures were identified:
- development of an effective system of communication between university and scientific networks of the two countries;
- identification of French and Indian Institutions most likely to be involved in such exchanges (for instance, institutions of Finance, Management, Engineering, Tourism etc.). Emphasis to be laid on scientific research through which sustainable partnerships, combining scientific and industrial
- Projects, could be established. The areas to be considered would include water technology, biotechnology and micro-infomatics etc.;
- to support the plans of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National education, Research and Technology, the organization of a series of seminars-cum-exhibitions later this year. These would familiarize student in India with the French system of higher education (in New Delhi from November 29-30, '98; in Bangalore from December 2-3 '98 and in Mumbai from December 5-6 '98);
- to increase the number of scholarships financed by private means and the number of internships in companies (at least three for every company represented on the Forum);
- to promote the exchange of researchers, laying emphasis, in particular, on "Post-Doctoral' researchers.
- To further promote cultural exchange and cooperation in music, art (including design, handicrafts etc.) and cinema.
- To hold a seminar on "India and France in a Multi-polar World" in Paris in September, 1999. (The French Institute of International Relations on the French side and the India International Centre on the Indian side would be requested to undertake this project).
- To hold a seminar on philosophy (evolution of consciousness, based on the writings of the philosopher Sri Aurobindo) in Pondicherry in February, 1999. The Indian Co-Chairman, Dr. Karan Singh would make the necessary soundings in this regard.
- To hold a Franco-Indian exhibition in Delhi on the continuity of civilisation from Mediterranean Europe to Bengal which coud be entitled ">From the shore of the Mediterranean to the shores of the Bay of Bengal", under the aegis of the Musee Guimet.
- To encourage cooperation between television station of France and India and the production of programmes featuring Indian and French personalities. Ms. Anne Sinclair and Ms. Mallika Sarabhai have been requested to explore the possibilities in this area.
- To organise a grand. event for celebrating the year 2000.
- It was decided that the next meeting of the Indo-French Forum would he held in New Delhi on February 16 and 17,1999.
(Jean Francois Poncet) (Karan Singh)
SECOND MEETING OF INDO-FRENCH FORUM/
FEBRUARY 16-17, 1999, NEW DELHI
- The Indo-French Forum is a high level non-governmental group of eminent businessmen, scientists, academics, cultural personalities. It is co-chaired by Mr.. Jean-Francois Poncet (Former Foreign Minister and present Chairman of the French Senate Committee of Foreign Affairs) and Dr. Karan Singh (former Tourism Minister and current MP). The Forum's mandate is to advise the two governments on ways of increasing and diversifying the exchanges between the two countries. It was set up following the visit of President Chirac of France to India in January, 1998. The inaugural session was held in Paris on July 2-3, 1998.
- The just concluded meeting of the Forum has built upon the decisions and directions of the first meeting. Significant progress has been made during this session and decisions have been taken to:
- Disseminate information about India amongst the business community in France.
- Organise a meeting of Indian and French legal experts and lawyers so that information about the Indian legal system, especially Indian company law, is readily available in France.
- Increase access of Indian scientists to sophisticated European laboratory facilities, and create a joint laboratory facility with Indian and French funding. Increase the number of free and structured scholarships available to Indian students.
- Focus on joint AIDS research.
- Coordinate the French Water Technology Show which is planned in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore between 7-11 October, 1999. It was suggested that areas such as water treatment and sewage projects, recycling of waste water and stand alone BOT projects should be the focus of the show.
- Encourage French companies to capitalise on the opportunities opening tip in the transportation sector.
- Focus on cooperation in areas such as cattle genetic improvement, food and vegetable processing, floriculture and milk processing.
In the field of culture, the following decisions were taken by the Forum
- Contacts between French and Indian institutes of art and fashion, management, journalism and media should be fostered.
- The Joint Committee on Culture, Science & Technology should be revived.
- The IFF could assist in the implementation of the Cultural Exchange Programme once it is signed and also explore possibilities for cooperation in fields which are outside its purview.
- Links between non-academic institutions should be established. Directors of French institutes/Grandes Ecoles could be invited to visit India and establish links with similar institutions in India.
- Metropolitan linkages between the French cities of Toulouse, Lyon, Nice, Le Havre, Boulogne, and corresponding Indian cities are to be explored through various means.
- Given that the tourism sector in France is wholly privatised, links should be established between key private operators of the two countries so that India is projected as a major tourist destination.
- The members of the Forum were received by EAM, Prime Minister and the President of India. They were also able to meet the Minister for Human Resources Development, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
2nd meeting of the Indo-French Initiative Forum
(New Delhi, Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th February 1999)
Mr. Jean FRANCOIS-PONCET, Co-Chairman of the Indo-French Initiative Forum
Mr. Pierre FAUCHON, Member of Parliament, Chairman of the France-India Friendship Group of the Senate
Mr. Frangois PERIGOT, Chairman, MEDEF-Intemational (on Tuesday 16th February only)
Mr. Claude COHEN-TANNOUDJI, Scientist, Nobel Laureate of Physics (on Tuesday 16th February only)
Mr. Andre ROSS, former Ambassador of France in India, fomier Foreign Secretary, Adviser to Banque Indosuez
Mrs. Franqoise BARRE-SINOUSSI, Pasteur Institute
Mrs. Francine HENRICH, former Ambassador, former Head of the delegation of the European Commission in India
Mr. Jacques FRIEDMANN, Chairman, AXA-UAP
Mr. Bernard de COMBRET, Chairman, Elf-Antar
Mr. Jean-Luc LAURENT, Secretary Management and Development, Ministry of Town and Country Planning and Environment
Mr. Alain FABRY, Director International Affairs, Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux Group (representative of Mr.Jerome MONOD, Chairman, Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux Group)
Mr. Christian AUBIN, Adviser to the CEO of Banque Nationale de Paris (representative of Mr. Michel PEBEREAU, CEO, Banque Nationale de Paris)
Mr. Christian DIJPAVILLON, Architect, General Inspector of Cultural Affairs
Mr. Gilles MAQUET, Corporate Vice-President, Aeroospatiale
Secretariat: Mrs. Martine DORANCE, Joint Secretary South Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Philippe ROUX-COMOLI, Officer on Special Duty-to Mr. Jean FRANCOIS-PONCET
Co-Chairman: Dr. Karan Singh,
Chairman, IIC-Asia Project, India International Centre,
Max Mueller Marg, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi-110003.
Tel: 4619431/368 (Res 6115291, 6111744)
Fax : 4627751 (Res 6873171)
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Members from the Indian side:
Ms. Aster Patel,
Auroville, Tamil Nadu,
Fax - (0413) 622299
Tel - 622194/336413
Shri K.R.N. Menon,
Chairman & Managing Director,
Arjay Management Pvt. Ltd.
Arjay Apex Centre, 3 d Floor,
24, College Road,
Fax - 044-8278262
Shri Hari Shankar Singhania, President,
J.K. Organisation, Nehru House,
4, Bahadur Shali Zafar Marg,
Fax - 3326825, 3712680
Tell - 3311112, 3310422
Shri Dhruv Sawhney,
Chairman & Managing Director,
Triveni Engineering & Industries Ltd. "kailash",
26, Kasturba Gandhi Marg,
Fax - 3310117
Tel - 3316488,3310021
Shri Anand Mahindra,
Mahindra & Mahindra,
Fax - 022-2029780, 2025485
Tel - 2021713, 202103
Ms. Mallika Sarabliai,
Darpana Academy of Performing Art,
Fax - 079-7550955
Tel - 7551389/7550566
Shri Girish Kamad,
697, Fifteenth Cross Road,
J.P. Nagar, Phase-11,
Bangalore - 560078
Fax - 080-6656319, 6633706
Tel - 6630463
Dr. P.K. lyengar,
33, Saras Baug, Deonar,
Mumbai - 400088.
Tel/Fax - 022-5563959.
Shri Krishen Khanna,
A 1/5 1, Panchsheel Enclave,
New Delhi -110017
Prof G.P. Talwar,
'International Centre for
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology,
P.O. Box - 10505,
Aruna Asaf Ali Marg,
New Delhi - 110067.
Fax - 6162316
Tel - 6195007,6177357,6189358
Shri Dilip Padgaonkar,
Director (Corporate Affairs),
Times of India
2, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg,
Fax - 3323346
Tel - 3312277 (off), 4635272 (Res)
Shri Ranjit Sethi,
B-337, New Friends Colony, New Delhi
Shri Suresh C. Kumar,
Kalamakari Designs Ltd.
D-1/2, Okhala Industrial Area Phase-11,
New Delhi - 110020.
Fax - 6849069
Tel - 6821567, 6821573, 6821579, 6821741
Res - F-14/15, Pushpanjali Fanns,
Bijwasan, New Delhi-I 10032.
(Tel - 556457,5564701)
Mrs. Laila Tyabji,
45-B, Shahpur Jat,
New Delhi - 110049.
Fax - 6495920
Tel - 6495971, 6491549
Res - 1/23, Shanti Niketan,
New Delhi- 110002.
(Tel - 4670391)
Shri K. Sibal,
Ambassador of India, Paris.
Shri P.P. Shukla,
Joint Secretary (PMO),
Fax - 3794443
Tel - 3016308
Ms. Bhaswati Mukherjee,
Joint Secretary (EW & AD),
Ministry of External Affairs
Fax - 3014743
Tel - 3014114