The Bold Voice of J&K

Rafale deal

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The Indo-French ties seems to have moved one step further by inking of an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) on the sale of 36 French fighter jets, Rafale, but were unable to sign the final deal due to some “financial” aspects, which are expected to be sorted out in “couple of days”. The signing of the deal comes as a relief for economic crisis facing European nation. The Rafale jets deal can help revive the economy along with bankrupt company Dassault Aviation to some extent. Its unemployment rate is getting worse by the day and the growth is hitting the bottom. Five days before he left for India, Hollande was forced to declare economic emergency in the country. It clearly shows that France is not in a position to help Indian economy in a big way. India and France may well have found their next big common meeting ground in ‘Surya Namaskar’. No, we are not talking of yoga but the path-breaking international solar alliance of over 120 countries that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched along with French President Francois Hollande at the Paris COP21 climate summit. The India-coming of President Hollande as the Republic Day Chief Guest could take it further. Most French investors have R and D centres in India, which not only work for the Indian market but also the global one. The French have made ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan’ a priority in the bilateral engagement. More recently, the terror attacks in France have united both people as never before. India’s efforts to create Smart Cities too would get a boost. Economically, India may not benefit much from Hollande’s visit. It seems French need the Indians more. The stage is set for a paradigm change in the structure and content of the strategic cooperation in areas like defence.

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