February 23, 2024

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‘30,000 Indian students in France by 2030’: Republic Day chief guest French President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘ambitious’ plan

French President Emmanuel Macron, who is in India currently as the chief guest of the 75th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, unveiled an “ambitious” plan on Friday for Indian students looking to go to France.

“30,000 Indian students in France in 2030. It’s a very ambitious target, but I am determined to make it happen,” he wrote on X.

Elaborating on how the plan will be chalked out, Macron said that international classes would be set up to allow students who do not speak French to study in universities there. “We are developing the network of Alliances francaises, with new centers to learn French. We are creating international classes which will allow students, who do not necessarily speak French, to join our universities,” Macron wrote.

“Last but not least, we will facilitate the visa process for any former Indian students who studied in France,” he added.

Macron’s visit to India caps a milestone year for India-France ties — the 25th anniversary of their strategic partnership.

The India-France Strategic Partnership, the first that India signed with any western country, has seen considerable progress in bilateral, regional and international contexts. “The partnership draws strength, trust and consistency from a shared sense of strategic autonomy and sovereignty, a quest for a multi-polar world, and a natural affinity for democratic values and rule of law,” a senior official said.

Defence and security, civil nuclear matters, and space constitute principal pillars of this partnership, which now also includes a strong Indo-Pacific component.

The comprehensive Roadmap between India and France, which was adopted last year in July during Prime Minister Narendra Modi ’s visit as Guest of Honour for Bastille Day, was classified under three pillars — Partnership for Security and Sovereignty; Partnership for the Planet; and Partnership for People.