New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved several agreements to boost people-to-people contact between India and France, which are likely to be signed during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron from March 9 to 12.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved signing of four agreements between India and France on migration of people, recognition of academic qualifications, prevention of illicit consumption and traffic in narcotic drugs, and cooperation on environment.
“The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement between India and France,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement.
The agreement is expected to be signed during the forthcoming visit of the French President to India, it added.
“The Agreement represents a major milestone in enhancing people-to-people contacts, fostering mobility of students, academics, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides,” said the Ministry.
The agreement, initially valid for seven years with a provision for automatic renewal, is a testimony to India’s rapidly expanding multi-faceted relationship with France and symbolizes the increasing trust and confidence between the two sides, said the statement.
The Cabinet also approved the signing of a deal between India and France to facilitate Mutual Recognition of Educational Qualifications and periods of study undertaken by students in recognised and accredited educational institutions in the two countries.
“The signing of the agreement will help in deepening the educational ties between India and France and will go a long way in boosting the educational relationship between the two countries,” said an official statement from the Cabinet.
The deal will be instrumental in encouraging mobility of students from both the countries by facilitating possibilities for them to continue their studies in the other country and would also promote excellence in higher education through partnerships and joint research activities.
The Cabinet further approved an agreement between India and France on the Prevention of the Illicit Consumption and Reduction of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical Precursors, and related offences.
This agreement covers exchange of information, expertise and capacity building. Establishment of effective institutional interaction and curbing transnational narcotics trafficking including disruption of terrorist financing structures is also covered in it.
President Macron and Prime Minister Modi are also likely to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation in the field of environment. The Cabinet cleared another agreement that aims to establish and promote closer and long-term cooperation between the countries in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources.
“The Memorandum of Cooperation is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited to bringing about better environment protection, better conservation, better management of climate change and wildlife protection/conservation,” said another official statement.