R-Day: PM Modi to host French President Macron; may discuss modular n-reactors
New Delhi: When French President Emmanuel Macron lands in Jaipur on Thursday, his host Prime Minister Narendra Modi will accompany him on a roadshow in the Rajasthan capital before welcoming him in New Delhi as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Parade on January 26 (Friday).
The grand roadshow in Jaipur is likely to be a sort of shobhayatra, or public procession.
After landing in Jaipur on Thursday afternoon, President Macron will visit the Amber Fort and the Jantar Mantar — both iconic tourist destinations of Rajasthan — before proceeding for the roadshow with PM Modi.
The two leaders will then meet in the evening at Taj Rambagh Palace.
India has selected Jaipur as the first stopover for the French President before he proceeds to New Delhi.
President Macron will be accompanied by a ministerial delegation comprising Stephane Sejourne (Europe and Foreign Affairs), Sebastien Lecornu (Armed Forces), and Rachida Dati (Culture). A major business delegation from France will also accompany him.
During the visit, France and India are likely to discuss an accord on nuclear reactors to limit reliance on coal, the media reported.
India wants to rapidly expand its use of nuclear power over the next decade as it aims to both decarbonize and meet rising energy demands.
With this aim, India is seeking to cooperate with France on the development of small modular nuclear reactors, as part of the government’s plans to expand its options to curb the country’s reliance on coal.
India’s Department of Energy and France’s Electricite de France are likely to complete a preliminary agreement to collaborate on the so-far largely unproven technology, according to the reports.
The French utility’s Chief Executive Officer Luc Remont is part of a delegation traveling with Macron, a French official was quoted as saying in the media reports.
Russia and the US have also offered to jointly develop a small modular reactor with India, and the issue was raised in talks between President Joe Biden and Modi last year.