With an aim to enhance academic exchanges between India and France, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed crucial pacts with French President Francois Holland during his visit to France. To increase the number of Indian students studying in France and French students studying in India, both sides have agreed upon a new VIE (Volontariat International en Entreprise) scheme. The aim is to help students gain professional ­experience after completing their courses.
Under this ­arrangement, Indian ­postgraduate students will be granted one extra year of residence in France (i.e a second work permit of 12 months, following the initial 12-month work permit already granted at the end of their studies). Indian students will be able to submit their request to the French authorities for a second work permit after completing their course.
On the other side, 250 French students would be permitted a maximum stay of two years in India (Indian visa for 12 months, renewable once for a further period of 12 months) to join French ­companies operating in India.
In the field of science and technology, an MoU has been signed between the Department of Science and Technology of India and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). It aims to boost cooperation between both countries in areas such as applied mathematics, information and communication technology, water resources and environment, climate and energy through exchange of information and research personnel, realisation of joint projects, establishment of virtual joint laboratories and research centres. PhD students will be able to participate in various international workshops, seminars and have one-to-one interactions with ­specialists in France. Further, the MoU will facilitate student ­mobility and exchange.
A pact was signed between department of biotechnology of India, CNRS and UMPC (Universite Pierre et Marie Curie) on collaboration for establishment of a National Institute of Marine Biology and Biotechnology in India which will address several key issues related to marine biology and biotechnology. Another agreement was signed between School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and Ecole Nationale Superieured’Architecture de Paris la Villlette, France, for student and faculty exchanges as well as training of both departments in urban and regional fields. Another objective is to ­support joint curriculum programmes (with additional co-supervisors).