New Delhi. 28 June 2022: France and India are teaming up to create an Indo-French Campus for Healthcare in the Indo-Pacific. This initiative, proposed by France, was officially announced by the French and Indian Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Paris in February 2022. It aims to implement several priorities of France’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific: increasing people-to-people ties, furthering academic exchanges, and supporting the resilience of healthcare systems in the region.
The Campus will be a joint venture between the two nations to promote excellence in education and research through teaching, training and research programmes undertaken jointly by leading French and Indian higher education and research institutions. The fields of teaching and research will span pure and applied sciences, social and human sciences, life sciences and technology, applied to One Health. The Campus will help address the challenges that have emerged in the Covid-19 crisis and make the region better equipped to face future pandemics.
A Call to Gather Leading French and Indian Higher Education and Research Institutions
France has allocated 7.4 crore rupees (€ 900,000) to implement this initiative. The funding is provided by the French ministries for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE), and Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI). A first call for projects for the selection of partners amongst French higher education and research institutions was held in April-May and the most promising proposals were shortlisted.
A Workshop to bring partners together:
The Embassy of France in India/French Institute in India organised a Higher Education and Research Workshop on 27th - 28th June 2022 at The Claridges hotel in New Delhi. This event provided a first in-person opportunity for French and Indian stakeholders to meet and identify the partnerships to be developed under the framework of the Indo-French Campus for Healthcare. The event was attended by 22 French and 41 Indian higher education and research institutions, French and Indian research agencies, and industry and government bodies concerned with this initiative.
In his opening speech, the Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, said: “The pandemic has exposed healthcare vulnerabilities in the Indo-Pacific region. Being a resident power of the Indo-Pacific, it is only natural for France to be committed to strengthening our collective resilience and join hands with India, our foremost strategic partner in Asia. I look forward to this Campus providing exciting new academic opportunities for students and researchers, adopting the ’One Health’ approach”.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) of India was represented at the workshop by its Joint Secretary, Dr. Manju Singh. She pointed out that the UGC’s new regulations for Academic Collaboration between Indian and Foreign Higher Educational Institutions to offer Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes resonate with this initiative in both spirit and in their call for action.
By 30th September 2022, the final project proposals will be submitted for a rigorous selection process by a panel of experts, at the end of which, in October, three projects will be awarded funding. The implementation of the selected projects must begin by the 31st of December.
At this initial stage, the Campus is proposed as a coalition of Indo-French academic partners in which each pair of institutions/consortia agrees on a syllabus for a programme awarding a dual degree (1 Indian degree + 1 French degree).. The long-term aim of the campus is to confer degrees at the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral levels and facilitate high-end research and innovation projects. Ultimately, this joint undertaking would strengthen the academic and scientific cooperation between India and France by leveraging the respective strengths of the two nations in higher education and research for the strategic sector of health.
About the French Institute in India
The French Institute in India (Institut Français en Inde) is the educational, scientific and cultural service of the Embassy of France in India. It facilitates academic and scientific exchange between higher institutions of learning and research, enables student mobility, and promotes the French language as well as artistic and cultural dialogue. Cooperation between India and France takes place through several sectors: Arts & Culture, Books & Ideas, French Language & Education, Study in France programme, Academic Partnerships, Science & Technology, as well as Innovation and Multimedia. www.ifindia.in