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French President Macron shares 'ambitious' plan to welcome 30,000 Indian students by 2030

PM Modi and Macron discussed bilateral issues after a mega roadshow in Jaipur, where they exchanged perspectives on a wide range of issues. Macron also extended his greetings to Indian citizens on the occasion of Republic Day 2024.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Published on: January 26, 2024 10:06 IST
France, Emmanuel Macron, India visit, PM Modi, Republic Day
Image Source : MEAINDIA/X French President Emmanuel Macron and PM Modi during their bilateral meeting.

Macron's India visit: French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday shared an 'ambitious' plan to welcome 30,000 Indian students to France by 2030, in a major effort to boost academic relations between the two countries, after bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jaipur ahead of the Republic Day celebrations. On the previous day, Macron and PM Modi had exchanged perspectives on a wide range of bilateral and global issues.

Taking to social media platform X, Macron disclosed the "ambitious target" and said he was determined to bring 30,000 Indian students to France by 2030. "India and France have so much to do together, now and in the future. We will achieve this with you, our young people, in exchange and cooperation, in trust, in friendship," he said.

The French President said his government is launching new pathways in order to learn French in public schools with the initiative "French for All, French for a Better Future" in collaboration with Alliance Françaises to develop new centres to learn the French language.

"We are creating international classes which will allow students, who do not necessarily speak French, to join our universities. Last but not least, we will facilitate the visa process for any former Indian students who studied in France. Coming to France means looking for excellence," he added in his statement.

France had already disclosed plans to welcome 30,000 Indian students by 2030, gradually making its way there by inviting 20,000 students by 2025. France is a popular destination for Indian students seeking higher education and the country houses over 60,000 Indian immigrants. International students are required to learn French thoroughly for admission to French institutions.

Macron holds roadshow with PM Modi in Jaipur

The French President arrived on Thursday in Jaipur and was received by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Rajasthan CM Bhajan Lal Sharma. After a tour of Amber Fort, Macron was welcomed by PM Modi and the two leaders held a mega roadshow from Jaipur's Jantar Mantar to Hawa Mahal. 

PM Modi was also seen explaining the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) digital payments system to Macron as the two leaders visited a local shop during their visit to Hawa Mahal earlier Thursday in Jaipur. He then gifted a replica of the Ram Mandir to the French President.

"I am pleased that President Macron will begin his visit to India in Jaipur, Rajasthan, a state rich in culture, heritage and talented people. It is a matter of great pride for us that he will take part in the Republic Day celebrations tomorrow, January 26, in Delhi," PM Modi said on X.

The two leaders discussed bilateral issues after the roadshow, where they exchanged perspectives on a wide range of global and bilateral issues. Macron also extended his greetings to Indian citizens on the occasion of Republic Day 2024. 

This year, India is commemorating its 75th Republic Day, marking the adoption of the constitution on January 26, 1950, and the attainment of sovereignty. A 95-member marching contingent and a 33-member band contingent from France will also take part in the Republic Day parade. 

Notably, this is the sixth time a French leader will be the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations here in the national capital. Before Macron, former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac was the Chief guest on India's Republic Day celebrations in 1976 and 1998, as were former Presidents Valery Giscard d'Estaing, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Francois Hollande in the years 1980, 2008 and 2016, respectively.

ALSO READ | PM Modi, French President Emmanuel Macron extend greetings on India's 75th Republic Day

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