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The Indo-French scientific cooperation is more than three decades old. The Inter-Governmental Agreement for Cooperation in the field of Science and Technology was concluded on 18th July 1978 in New Delhi. The Indo –French S&T cooperation has a long and rich history wherein strong bonds have been created between Indian and French Scientists.

2. The Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR) or Centre Franco-Indien Pour la Promotion de la Recherche Avancée (CEFIPRA) is a model for bilateral R&D cooperation in advanced areas of science and technology. The Centre was established in 1987. CEFIPRA supports high quality research groups through collaborative research projects in advanced areas of basic and applied science to nurture scientific competency. It also provides linkages between industry and academia of France and India by leveraging the research skills of academia to enhance the competitiveness of the Industrial partner involved. For enabling knowledge-sharing on science and technology in the areas of current relevance, it also organizes seminars/workshops. In 2017, the organization in association with the Embassy conducted 226 scientists exchange programmes from France to Indian and India to France. It also held 9 seminars and published 110 research papers in 2017. The organization also recommended 19 Collaborative Scientific Research Programme and 4 Industry academia Research & Development Programme and 63 Indian research students were trained in France in 2017. As there is a strong desire from both the countries to create an enabling environment which strengthens the Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) of both the countries and ability to translate knowledge towards creating global common goods, the organization has also introduced different innovative programmes through public private partnership mode. In order to help research scholars, CEPIFRA started Raman-Charpak fellowships in 2013 for Indian and French scholars and in 2017, 27 scholars were selected for the Fellowship.

3. Besides under the umbrella of the CEFIPRA, collaboration to develop better water technologies is underway through a variety of joint projects in the form of ‘Indo-French Cell on Water Sciences’ at Bangalore, ‘Indo-French Centre for Ground Water Research’ at Hyderabad and ‘Indo-French Programme for Research on Weather & Climate’ at Goa. Combined research and training of scientists in the fields of biotechnology, bioinformatics, pharmacogenomics and agrarian research (ICAR) is separately undertaken between our Department of Biotechnology and laboratories of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA). During the visit of our Prime Minister in April 2015, an MoU has been signed between Department of Biotechnology, CNRS and Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) regarding setting up of a National Institute of Marine Biology and Biotechnology in Goa with hub and model network of laboratories in marine regions of Andaman and Lakshadweep..

4. There are several Indo French Joint labs operational in India and France. Most of them are virtual labs where the researchers work in their own institutions and exchange their findings and occasionally meet to discuss further. Therefore, these are projects with no physical existence of one roof where researchers work together.

5. An important development in the field of bilateral S&T cooperation has been the signing of an agreement in January 2016 in New Delhi to establish a Joint Indo-French Science and Technology Committee. During Prime Minister’s visit to France in April 2015, both countries had agreed to establish the joint committee to further enhance the existing bilateral cooperation.