India-France Current Affairs - 2020

First 12,000 HP Electric Loco operationalized by Indian Railways

On May 19, 2020, the Indian Railways operationalized the first 12,000 HP electric locomotive. The locomotive was built by the French Alstom Company under the Make in India initiative.


The locomotive was manufactured at the Madhepura Electric Locomotive in Bihar. It is capable of hauling 6000 tonnes at a top speed of 120 km/hr.

The locomotive was manufactured as a joint venture between the Indian and French share holding of 74% and 26%.

With this, India has become the sixth country in the world to produce high horse power locomotive.

About the Project

Under the Indo-French project, around 4 locomotives were to be delivered in 2018, 35 in 2019-20, 60 in 2020-21 and 100 every year till the end of 11-year long delivery. The project is considered as the largest FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the railways sector.

It is to be noted that Indian Railways also signed an agreement with the American Conglomerate General Electric to supply 1000 diesel locomotive for a period of 11 years.

ISRO preparing 500 low cost satellite launch vehicles in 5 years

The Indian Space Research Organization is preparing itself to launch vehicles of cost Rs 30-35 crores. These vehicles are capable of carrying satellites weighing 500 kg


According to ISRO, it has equipped itself to manufacture these satellite vehicles in around three weeks. ISRO has allocated 1,600 million USD to manufacture these satellite vehicles. Of this allocated amount, 870 million USD is to be used to produce PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle). The remaining is to be used for Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle.

The plan of ISRO is to launch around 500 PSLVs in next five years.

The GOCO (Government Owned Contractor Operated) model has been performing well since its launch in both defence and space sectors. The model will help in achieving the target of ISRO.

Current Scenario

India is looking for opportunities to collaborate with UK and France Space agencies. The UK Space Trade Mission visited India in the mid of January 2020 to explore areas of cooperation.

India is also looking for opportunities to join hands with France to set up a model for the Moon Programme that is currently under operation in India.