Modi, Macron inaugurate UP's largest solar power plant: Top 10 developments

Emmanuel Macron and Narendra Modi. Photo: Twitter
French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the first International Solar Alliance (ISA). As part of this, the leaders reached Varanasi and inaugurated the largest solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh in Mirzapur district's Chhanvey block.

Back in Varanasi, Modi and Macron will visit the Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul and will interact with artisans and view a live demonstration of their crafts.

Furthermore, both will then arrive at the famous Assi Ghat in Varanasi, where they will board a boat for a ride along the Ghats of the Ganga,culminating at the historic Dashashwamedh Ghat. 

The Prime Minister is also set to host the lunch honour of the French President following which Modi will flag off a train between Maduadih Railway Station in Varanasi, and Patna. He will launch various development projects and address a public meeting at the DLW Grounds in Varanasi.

President Macron arrived in India on Friday. Since then, he has inked deals worth $16 billion dollars with India, signed a 10-point action plan, advised Indian students and taken their questions on myriad topics, and most importantly, created an outline for India-France strategic partnership with PM Modi. 

The highlight of the visit for as yet has been the purchase of 36 Rafale jets over and above the planned 36, that President Macron called the ''heart of India-France strategic partnership''. The government has been hush-hush over the Rafale deal and has kept mum on the doubling of the initial order.

Top 10 developments surrounding the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to India:

1. PM Modi receives Macron in Varanasi, inaugurate the largest solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh: Prime Minister Narendra Modi received French President Macron in Varanasi earlier today. Modi received the French President at the Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi..

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and state governor Ram Naik were present at the airport.

2. Leaders inaugurate the largest solar power plant in Uttar Pradesh: After Macron reached Varanasi, both the leaders headed to Mirzapur to inaugurate Uttar Pradesh's largest solar power plant. Modi and Macron inaugurated the largest solar power plant in Uttar pradesh in Mirzapur district's Chhanvey block.

3. Modi, Macron signs 10-point action plan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with French President Emmanuel Macron sign 10-point action plan to promote the use of solar energy.

Speaking at the plenary session of the conference, Modi said there should be a full ecosystem for availability and development of technology, economic resources, development of storage technology, mass manufacturing and innovation.

"We all have to think about the road ahead and I have a 10-point action plan that I would like to share with you.

4. Varanasi decked-up to welcome leaders: Ahead of global leaders, Macron and Modi visiting Varanasi, the city seems to be beautifully decked-up to welcome them later during the day. The two leaders will first leave for Mirzapur, where they will inaugurate a solar power plant, before returning to Varanasi, official sources said here. They will also visit Assi Ghat, take a boat ride and have lunch on the banks of the holy Ganga.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive in Varanasi.

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 12, 2018

5. Trillion-dollar International Solar Alliance: French president Emmanuel Macron delivered the inaugural address at the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi on Sunday morning. 

"Veda's consider the sun as the soul of the world, it has been considered as a life nurturer. Today, for combating climate change, we need to look at this ancient idea to find a way," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said speaking at the foundation day ceremony.

Macron, delivering the inaugural address, said that PM Modi and he are obsessed with concrete results and are committed towards the planet's cause.   

What is International Solar Alliance:

The alliance is holding it foundation day celebrations at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Its mandate is to promote solar energy. India will provide a funding of $27 million to the ISA. Around $1 trillion of capital for solar power projects is expected to be mobilised with this partnership. 

India's Vikram Solar has signed a collaboration agreement with French Alternatie Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for enhanced research and development in high-efficiency crystalline silicon cells, modules, systems and a host of high-efficiency generation and storage technologies for French and Indian markets.

6. A visit worth 16 billion dollars: The French president Emmanuel Macron, in a joint statement with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stressed upon deepening the trade alliance between France and India as the two countries inked 14 pacts worth $16 billion in key areas of defence, security and nuclear energy.

The deals include a contract for France's Safran to supply SpiceJet with engines, water system modernisation by Suez in the southern city of Davangere, and a contract between industrial gas company Air Liquide and Sterlite.

Macron's office did not provide a breakdown of the value or details of the business contracts. It said that some 200 million euros of investments would be made in India.

Both the countries encouraged small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-cap companies to play a growing role in the economic and commercial exchanges.

7. Indian Ocean Region: The two leaders have decided upon deepening maritime ties, so as to counter the increasing might of China in the Indian Ocean region. France has two islands in the Indian Ocean Region, on which India might want to develop a strategic presence, according to reports in the media.  

8. Strategic alliance: The leaders welcomed the signing of the "Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of France regarding the Exchange and Reciprocal Protection of Classified or Protected Information” between India and France, reflecting the high level of strategic trust between the two countries. Both sides also agreed to create an annual defence dialogue at the ministerial level.

9. Macron invites Indian students to France: "I want to double the number of Indian students coming to France. If you choose France you gain access to francophonie, you gain access to Europe," French President Emmanuel Macron told Indian students at an event.

We took a series of steps in the last few months order to improve equality and fight violence against women. These problems arise from the arrogance of males.

Macron tweeted: "My advice when facing difficulties: accept to go to sleep with doubts but always refuse to wake up with them."

My message to #IndianYouth :
1. Have the best possible education. The less educated you are, the fewer opportunities you’ll get.
2. Think long-term. Always think about preserving the balance between your country and the global environment.

Watch live :

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 10, 2018

10. India, France agree to step up space tech co-operation: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Central National D'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) inked an agreement for an end-to-end solution for detection, identification and monitoring of vessels in the regions of interest.

India and France share a robust relationship in the area of space which is five-decades-old.

In the field of atomic energy, the two countries signed an agreement to expedite the work on Jaitapur nuclear power plant.
The "Industrial Way Forward Agreement" was signed between EDF, France, and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL). The EDF will be constructing six atomic reactors in Jaitapur with a capacity of 1,650 MW each. The plant which will come up in coastal Maharashtra will be the largest nuclear park in the country.

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