India-France Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) entered into a Tripartite Agreement with French National Railways (SNCF) & AFD, a French development agency in order to support Railway Station Development Program in India.
Under the Tripartite Agreement, AFD will provide in-kind grant financing up to €700,000 to French Railways (SNCF), to provide technical know-how to Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC), which is the station development arm of Indian Railways.
The technical know-how will be provided by French National Railways (SNCF)-Hubs and Connexions as a Technical Partner to IRSDC therefore, this will not impose any financial liability on IRSDC or Indian Railways.
Background: India and France have a strong, prosperous and long-standing partnership in Railway sector. The past association between French National Railways (SNCF) with Indian Railways includes conducting station development of Ludhiana and Ambala Railway stations and undertaking speed upgradation study to enable 200 kmph speed run on 245 km long Delhi-Chandigarh corridor, one of busiest routes in northern India.
Way Forward: The recently signed Tripartite Agreement will go a long way in further strengthening cooperation between India and France, as well as help Indian Railways in positioning its stations in accordance to world class standards.
Tags: Delhi-Chandigarh Corridor • French National Railways • India-France • Indian Railway Station Development Corporation • Indian Railways • Railway Station Development Program • SNCF • SNCF-Hubs and Connexions • Tripartite Agreement with French National Railways
On 2 May 2019 former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman A S Kiran Kumar was awarded France’s highest civilian honour ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur’ (or National Order of the Legion of Honour) by France’s Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler on behalf of French President.
- He was awarded for his invaluable contribution in fostering historic and ambitious space cooperation between India and France.
- Throughout his tenure in ISRO office, he worked towards development of India-France ambitious space cooperation.
- He significantly made direct contribution in making space cooperation a cooperation of the people and also one of cornerstones of Indo-French strategic partnership.
Chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur
- It was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and retained by all later French governments and regimes.
- It is the highest civilian award conferred by France for outstanding service to nation, irrespective of recipient’s nationality.
- The President of the French Republic is Grand Master of the l’Ordre national de la Legion d’Honneur.
- It is also highest French order of merit conferred for military and civil merits. The order is divided into five degrees. The Order in increasing distinction are namely, Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand-Croix (Grand Cross).
AS Kiran Kumar
- He served as 9th Chairman ISRO’s from 2015 to 2018. He was succeeded by incumbent K Sivan (former Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center and Liquid Propulsion centre).
- He has represented ISRO at many international forums namely, World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and Indo-US Joint Working Group on Civil Space Cooperation.
- He currently serves as chairman of ISRO Committee on Earth Observation Satellites.
- He major significant contributions to Indian space programmes, include designing and developing electro-optical image sensors used in India’s first remote sensing satellite, Bhaskara which was launched in 1979, and credited with ocean colour instruments used in weather forecasting, sea zone and landscape mapping and telecommunications.
- He contributed to design and development of imaging instruments for projects like INSAT–3D, Resourcesat, Micro Satellite and Cartosat.
- He is also credited for his contribution in Terrain Mapping Camera and Hyperspectral Imager payloads of Chandrayaan-1 project.
Tags: AS Kiran Kumar • Cartosat • Chandrayaan 1 • Chevalier de l'Ordre national de la Legion d'Honneur • Earth observation Satellites • France • India • India-France • INSAT–3D • ISRO • Napoleon Bonaparte • Resourcesat • Vikram Sarabhai Space Center • WMO • World Meteorological Organisation