India signs headquarters agreement with International Solar Alliance

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New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) India is now home to a new international treaty-based organisation following the signing of the headquarters agreement between the government and the newly-formed International Solar Alliance here on Monday.

The agreement was signed between Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh and ISA Interim Director General Upendra Tripathy.

According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, the new agreement has “provisions covering definition; interpretation and objectives; legal status, capacity and freedom of assembly; headquarters; other premises for temporary use; the ISA Secretariat property, funds and assets; communication facility for the implementation of the ISA Secretariat activity; visas; staff of the ISA Secretariat; privileges and immunities; waiver of privileges and immunities; settlement of disputes; supplemental agreements; general provisions; entry into force; and duration”.

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“Accordingly, the government of India recognises the international legal personality of the ISA.”

“The ISA Secretariat shall enjoy independence and freedom of action in the furtherance of its official functions and shall have the rights to display its logo, flag and other identifiers, on its programmes, premises and vehicles.

“The government of India shall provide support of Rs 125 crore to ISA for creating corpus, building infrastructure and recurring expenditure over five years duration from 2016-17 to 2020-21,” it said.

Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the Paris climate summit in 2015, the ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

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It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Of these, 62 have signed the framework agreement and 32 have also submitted their instruments of ratification.

At the agreement signing ceremony, V.K. Singh said that the dream of solar energy as an important modicum of power source has come about.

He said that this would ensure that the prices of power would now come down and ths would reach the poorer sections of society.

India has 20 GW of installed solar capacity – one of the fastest growing in the world. The country has increased its solar power capacity by about eight times over the past four years.

India’s wind power generation capacity is 32.8 GW. It aims to achieve 175 GW of clean energy by 2022, of which 100 GW will be solar.

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Earlier this month, Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron co-chaired the founding conference of the ISA.

While Modi presented a 10-point action plan to promote the use of solar energy, Macron announced an additional investment of 700 million euros for global solar energy generation by 2022 to reduce the use of fossil fuel and help combat climate change.

The ISA was established on December 6, 2017 following the fulfillment of the conditions laid down in the framework agreement.

–IANS

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