France aims at having 20,000 Indian students by 2025

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New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday said that the country has set a target of having 20,000 Indian students in France by 2025.

There were 10,000 Indian students studying in the European nation in 2019, according to officials at the French Embassy.

'We have set a target -- it is to have 20,000 Indian students in France by 2025, and we will make it. We want to bring French and Indian youth even closer,' Minister Le Drian said.

'We will support the students during their stay in France... Living in France is quite something,' he said. The minister was speaking at an event at the French Embassy where he appointed 15 Alumni Ambassadors chosen from the prestigious France Alumni network to boost student mobility between the two countries.

The French minister mentioned that he got late in reaching the embassy for the event as he 'had so many things to discuss' with his counterpart Union minister S Jaishankar.

'We enjoy such a strong relationship that I got late,' he said. These alumni have pursued studies in the fields of science, management, art, culinary and social sciences and have become leaders in their respective fields in India. They signed a charter engaging them in the Alumni Ambassadorship Programme.

The alumni ambassadors shared with the minister their experiences of living in France and ideas to improve student mobility between the two nations.

During his three-day visit to India, from April 13 to 15, the French foreign minister will meet Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The focus will be on strengthening strategic ties between the two countries, boost cooperation in several fields, particularly the Indo-Pacific, and participate in the Raisina Dialogue, according to a statement issued by the French Embassy.

The minister will also preside over initiatives aimed at furthering people-to-people and cultural ties between France and India.

On Wednesday, Minister Le Drian and Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will take part in a panel discussion at the French Embassy on boosting global action against climate change in view of COP26. India and France had launched the Indo-French Year of the Environment in January 2021 to strengthen cooperation on climate issues and ensure coordination ahead of these multilateral events. PTI GVS KJ