INDO-FRENCH DEFENSE CO-OPERATION
The first is an agreement between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB)
a 15-day ‘Shakti-2011 war games at ChaUbatia, which were undertaken by armies of both countries for the first time.
Indian, French Armies conclude war games at Chaubatia :
In an unprecedented operation, highly-trained Indian and French troops undertook a daring search-and-destroy mission in the hills of Ranikhet in Uttarakhand to neutralise terrorists hiding in the dense Pilkholi forests. The mission was part of the consolidation exercise that marked the culmination of a 15-day ‘Shakti-2011 war games at ChaUbatia, which were undertaken by armies of both countries for the first time. The terrestrial war games add to the regularly held joint naval exercises under the ‘Varunal and ‘Garuda’ series by the two air forces. As part of the mission, the troops reached the area after a gruelling march through night and carried out a precise, well coordinated and executed operation. The mission included clearing and destroying a terrorist hideout, employment of the Quick Reaction Teams to neutralise escaping terrorists and carrying out a thorough search of the dense forest. The highlight of the event was a surgical raid by helicopter-borne commandoes of both the armies on a simulated target. The French Army commandos also employed three paragliding commandos during the raid. France was represented by four officers and 50 troops of the 13 Mountain Infantry Battalion, while an equal number of officers and troops participated from the Second Battalion of the Bihar Regiment, under the aegis of the 99 Mountain Brigade representing India. Besides providing a platform for both armies to train in counter-terrorist operations in mountainous terrain, the exercise aims to enhance bilateral defence cooperation and military relations between the two nations.
Military Deal :
India and France discussed military contracts and civil nuclear safety during an interaction between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his visiting counterpart, Alain Juppe. France, which has been awarded a multi-billion contract for setting up nuclear power plants in western India, agreed to step up cooperation between the civil nuclear regulator/ boards of the two countries. Nuclear safety has been high on the Indian agenda after the Fukushima radiation leak and a fire in a French nuclear waste dump. Doubts were also expressed about the reliability of the patented technology France intends to use in setting up the plants. On the defence side, the two sides discussed the joint development of a short-range missile that wit be deployed as a last resort for defending vital installations from air attacks. They also touched on the induction of French technology for the Kaveri engine, which was being indigenously developed but facing several hurdles. India and France also welcomed the move to modernise the lAF Mirage 2000 aircraft. The Rs.11,000-crore deal to upgrade was signed recently with Dassault Aviation and Thales. The IAF has 51 Mirage 2000s in its inventory, procured in the 1980s, and upgrade plans include a multimode doppler radar, me..,dern glass cockpit, fully integrated electronic warfare suite and beyond visual range capabilities. In addition, the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) is negotiating with French engine manufacturer Snecma to co-develop high-end technology for the Kabini, which forms the core part of Kaveri engine, being developed for the Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’. The negotiation is at an advanced stage and the DRDO hopes to work with the French so that the engine provides required thrust without affecting the size and weight. Both Ministers noted the ongoing efforts to finalise joint defence research and development both for Kaveri and Short-Range Surface-to-Air Missile (SR-SAM). The DRDO is seeking to co-develop technology in order to cater to the requirement of the armed forces and bui!d upon the experience gained from the Trishul missile developed earlier.
ginal communities to preserve their traditional knowledge, make a living, and protect the environment.Based at the Institute for Environmental Planning of Leibniz University in Hannover, it is led by Martina Pachnanabhan, a German agricultural sociologist. The team is one of 12 junior research groups funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. It seeks to develop instruments for the sustainable and gender-equitable use of agro biodiversity.
The Bio DIVA project aims to generate knowledge and instruments for a progressive approach in agriculture that strengthens the position of women. The findings will be compiled into an agro biodiversity handbook that will serve as a tool kit for experts elsewhere in the world.
The main partner in Wayanad district is the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) based in Chennai.
The MSSRF has been leading efforts to acquire the ‘Geographical Indication’ label for a scented landrace variety from the Malabar region, named Gandhakasala, that is still valued for its fine taste and is often specifically grown to be served on occasions such as marriage receptions. To make cultivation of rice landraces financially attractive, Bio DIVA is exploring options to market Gandhkasala in Germany. It is also looking to develop a local market, stressing on ecological and social benefits.
By promoting rice cultivation, the project attempts to protect the ecosystem, including water availability, and of locally important bio7resources such as wild edibles and medicinal plants which tribal communities depend on. This project is unique, as it uses modern research and analysis tools to empower communities and women on the margins of society to regain self-sustenance and a better way of life.
Indo-Finland Bilateral Social Security Agreement :
India and the Republic of Finland signed an agreement on social security. This agreement will enhance cooperation on social security between the two countries. The Agreement with Republic of Finland will provide for the following benefits to Indian nationals working in Finland:
- For short term contract up to 5 years, no social security contribution would need to be paid under
the Finnish law by the detached workers provided they continue to make social security payment in India.
m The above benefits shall be available even when the Indian company sends its employees to Republic of Finland from a third country.
- Indian workers shall be entitled to the export of the social security benefit if they relocate to India after the completion of their service in Republic of Finland.
- The self-employed Indians in Republic of Finland would also be entitled to export of social security benefit on their relocation to India. The period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility of social security benefits.
There are about 5,000 Indians in the Republic of Finland most of whom are working as professionals and self-employed. However, there is a huge potential for Indian workers to take employment in the Republic of Finland owing to the huge labour supply gap in the market.
INDO-FRENCH COOPERATION ON NUCLEARY SAFETY
Besides the five agreements in the nuclear field that were announced on December 6, 2010 by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) during the visit of the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, two agreements between India and France were signed in the area of nuclear safety. For some reason, these were not included in MEA’s announcement.
The first is an agreement between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). This is for exchange of technical information and cooperation in regulation of nuclear safety and radiation protection. It was signed by AERB Chairman S. S. Bajaj, and ASN Chairman Andre Claude Lacoste.
The accord provides for exchange of information in the development of nuclear plant safety review process. It also provides for exchange of experts and technical and regulatory information relating to radiation protection and safety of nuclear facilities. This agreement renews and updates the existing arrangement, which is in force since 1999 and subsequently renewed in 2005.
The second agreement is on technical cooperation between the AERB and the French Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN). Called the AERBIRSN Framework Agreement for general cooperation in nuclear safety, it was signed by Mr. Bajaj and Jacqus Repussard, Director General of IRSN.
The agreement covers areas such as exchange or secondment of staff, exchange of materials or software, joint studies and joint projects in the area of nuclear safety. By signing this agreement, both organisations are illustrating their resolve to enhance cooperation in this massively important field, particularly within the context of the forthcoming construction of two EPR nuclear reactors at the Jaitapur site IRSN is the technical support organisation for the ASN just as the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) is for the AERB. This agreement basically extends to the AERB the earlier scientific and technical cooperation that was in existence for over 10 .years between the IRSN and the BARC.
The bilateral Social Security Agreement with Republic of Finland is a significant requirement from the futuristic point of view to take advantage of the emerging employment opportunities and to strengthen the trade and investment between the two countries. This bilateral Social Security Agreement will enhance trade and investment between the two countries.
So far India has signed twelve Social Security Agreements with Belgium, Germany (Social Insurance), Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hungary, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Norway and Germany (Comprehensive SSA).
We have also analysed (though it would have been apt for over next issue dealing with “economic interaction of India with the world”) the relevanace of EU and Eurozone ‘standing’ in the context of India in our next issue.
After this discussion, the other nation’s relational dynamics becomes mere academic to us. It could have any concurrent contextual meaning though from examination point of view it becomes important that we know everything that even tangentially concerns India’s FP. Except for some nations like Japan, South relation with India.
Here also we have kept the descending order of that nation’s importance vis-a-vis India in the strategic and geopolitical domain.