France to work with India on Space programmes: Minister

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Bangalore, Nov 3 (UNI) France was keen to enhance its ties with Indian in space programmes and plans to launch two satellites through ISRO launches to study on climate changes and Oceongraphy, Valerie Pecresse, French Minister of Higher Education and Research informed here today.

Speaking to newspersons after visiting ISRO and IISc campuses during her official visit to India, she said that France had found four areas in which the two countries go forward through co-operation in the areas of studies in Water sciences, bio-sciences, space programmes and civil nuclear co-operation.

She informed that European Union was building space programmes with very much with the same aim as the Indian space programmes, to help to provide better life on the Planet and in the areas of agriculture, preventing natural catastrophe and pollute free world.

Ms Pecresse said that France President Nicolas Sarkozy, during his India visit in January was expected to sign a bilateral agreement for mutual cooperation.

"French and Indian scientists have planned to launch two joint satellites MEGHA-Tropiques to study on climate and SARAL on the movement of Ocean," she said.

The country had set up Franco-Indian Cell on Water at IISc Bangalore. It was also interested in establishing three National Laboratories jointly with India on Neuro sciences at Delhi, Nano Science and Organic Chemistry, both in Bangalore and an agreement was expected to be signed on this regard with French president's visit to next year.

Stating that France wanted more number of student exchanges between Indian and French universities and her country had taken initiatives to liberalise migration laws.

"France has also decided to issue thousands of work permits for IT professionals besides softening laws to enable more students migration" she said.

Due to various reasons, including language barrier, more number of Indian students opted for English-speaking countries and initiatives also taken to popularaise English at centers of higher studies, she said.

"While the inflow of number of Chinese students for higher studies was 17,000, only 1400 Indians came to France. We want to sign an agreement to increase the student flow," she said.

Terming her visit to India as fruitful Ms Pecresse expressed confidence that more agreements would signed during French President's visit.

UNI

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