India : India and France have been partners in progress in the field of space technology for several decades. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the French National Space Agency CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales) have been pursuing co-operative programmes successfully since 1993, under which joint satellite missions like Megha-Tropiques and SARAL have been taken up to study the atmosphere and the oceans.
In addition, many commercial and collaborative activities, specifically in the launch services area, space applications and academics are being pursued with France.
During the visit of Honorable Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, to France in September 2008, India has signed the following three agreements with France in the field of space addressing Government level, academic and industry-level cooperation.
- A Framework Agreement on cooperation between the two governments in the field of exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes such as joint research and development activities, instrumentation for satellites, development of small satellites, study of weather and climate change using earth observation satellites and the development of ground infrastructure for satellite programmes.
- A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Indian Institute of Space science and Technology (IIST) of ISRO and Ecole Polytechnique (EP) at Paris towards furthering collaboration in academics and research activities involving students and professionals.
- An Agreement signed by Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Chairman, ISRO/Antrix and Secretary Department of Space and Mr. Francois Auque, C.E.O. of Astrium, that enables Astrium of offer attractive solutions in the international markets for in-orbit delivery of its earth observation satellites using the PSLV launch services from Antrix/ISRO. During the past 5 years, both companies have been successfully cooperating in the field of space activities, as evidenced by the award of two telecommunication satellite contracts, W2M for Eutelsat and HYLAS for Avanti Systems.
These agreements are expected to boost the relationship between the two countries in the area of space and encourage further cooperation.