The Enduring Partnership between India and France

The Enduring Partnership between India and France
Posted on 15-07-2023

The Enduring Partnership between India and France

The longstanding partnership between India and France continues to strengthen as the two nations celebrate 25 years of their strategic alliance. This special relationship, marked by mutual trust and reliability, has weathered critical moments and exemplifies a shared quest for strategic autonomy. With a focus on defense cooperation, climate change, space exploration, civil nuclear energy, and scientific research, India and France are poised to deepen their collaboration in various fields. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends France's Bastille Day parade as the Guest of Honour, the visit holds significant importance in further cementing the bond between the two nations.


Historical Background:

India and France established their strategic partnership in 1998, becoming India's first such alliance when many Western capitals had turned away due to India's nuclear tests. France was the first country to recognize India's strategic importance during that time. Over the past 25 years, four French Presidents and three Indian Prime Ministers have nurtured this relationship, making it the most important strategic partnership for India in Europe.


Defending Strategic Autonomy:

Both India and France share a common quest for strategic autonomy amid shifting global power dynamics. Despite their geographical separation, the two nations exhibit a remarkable resonance in their strategic outlook. France has consistently stood by India, recognizing its need to maintain autonomy and avoid being cornered by global powers. This understanding has fostered a defense relationship built on trust and reliability, distinguishing it from other partnerships India holds.

Present-Day Cooperation:

  1. Defense Cooperation: The procurement of 36 Rafale jets and the construction of six Scorpene submarines under technology transfer demonstrate the depth of defense collaboration. France's commitment to 100% technology transfer sets it apart from other partners. The strategic partnership allows India to diversify its defense sources while strengthening its defense capabilities.

  2. Climate Change Collaboration: The signing of a roadmap for Green Hydrogen and Blue Economy in recent years showcases joint efforts to combat climate change. By combining French and Indian expertise, the aim is to establish sustainable solutions for global decarbonized hydrogen and responsible ocean governance.

  3. Space Cooperation: With a history of collaboration spanning five decades, India and France have jointly conducted research programs and launched satellites. The release of a commemorative stamp during PM Modi's visit in 2015 symbolized the enduring space cooperation between the two countries.

  4. Civil Nuclear Energy: A landmark agreement on civil nuclear cooperation was signed in 2008, with subsequent agreements signed for the implementation of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant. This cooperation in the nuclear field underscores the trust and commitment between the two nations.

  5. S&T and Education: The Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) plays a vital role in funding joint research proposals and awarding scholarships to scholars from both countries. This collaboration strengthens scientific and technological ties and promotes academic exchange.


India, France, and the Global Stage:

India and France share a commitment to strategic autonomy, independent foreign policies, and a multipolar world. France's nuanced perspective on global issues, such as the conflict in Ukraine, aligns closely with India's position. France's support is also crucial for consensus outcomes at global forums like the G20 summit. Furthermore, France's unique position in the Indo-Pacific region makes it an important partner for India in building maritime domain awareness and monitoring China's presence.



The partnership between India and France is a testament to enduring friendship and cooperation. With a strong defense relationship, collaborative efforts in addressing climate change, advancements in space exploration, civil nuclear energy, and scientific research, both nations continue to deepen their ties. As Prime Minister Modi's visit to France coincides with the Bastille Day parade and the 25-year milestone, it underscores the significance of the relationship and sets the stage for further advancements in various areas of cooperation.

Thank You