Visit to Chennai, Pondicherry and Karaikal, 6-11 May 2013 [fr]


H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India, was on a visit to Chennai, Pondicherry and Karaikal, where he participated in various events and met high-level dignitaries.

His visit had a strong economic focus. In Chennai, he met the representatives of Renault, a company that has been heavily investing in Tamil Nadu with very successful activities. On the occasion of a previous trip (26 February), H.E. François Richier also visited the production facility set up by Michelin near Chennai, another example of the intense economic presence of France in Tamil Nadu. All the French Consuls General in India were present in Pondicherry with Ambassador Richier to discuss investments made by French companies in India, as well as Indian investments in France, with a view to further emphasizing the considerable level already reached (17 billion USD of French investments throughout India) and further developing the strong economic partnership between India and France.

The other focus of his visit was higher education, as the number of Indian students in France has increased rapidly over the last years (2,600 Indian students in 2012). H.E. François Richier paid a call on the Director of IIT Madras and interacted with the students there (6 May). IIT Madras has developed partnerships with some of the most prestigious French institutes, such as Ecole Polytechnique, HEC business school, Sciences Po Paris and the Ecole Centrale (Nantes). He also visited the University of Pondicherry (10 May), interacted with the students and met Prof. Chandra Krishnamurty, Vice-Chancellor. They oversaw the coming partnership with University Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne for a dual bachelor degree in management.

Ambassador Richier also celebrated the deep historical and cultural links that unite France and Pondicherry. After having met Hon’ble Minister of State Mr. Narayanasamy in Delhi recently, he met His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry and the Honourable Chief Minister on the 8th May.

On the same day, he participated in celebrations marking the end of World War II, which included wreath laying at the War Memorial. A graduation ceremony took place at the Lycée français, followed by the bestowal of the award Officier des palmes académiques upon the Principal, Mr Eric Compan, granted by the President of the French Republic for exemplary service to national education.

H.E. François Richier attended a presentation by the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage (INTACH) on heritage-conservation projects in Pondicherry and cooperation with France (8 May). On the 9th, he visited Karaikal and hosted a reception for the resident French citizens.

During this visit, on behalf of the President of France, he conferred the highest civilian award Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur on Dr Balasubramanian, Director CERTH India hospital at 7p.m at the Hotel Ananda Inn on the 6th of May. On the 10th he conferred Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur on Mme Madeleine de Blic, founder of Volontariat in the office of Volontariat at 6p.m on behalf of the President of France.

He left Pondicherry early Saturday afternoon.


H.E. Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France to India
Official visit to Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (6-11 May 2013)

Detailed Programme
Monday, 6th May
12:00 IIT Madras
04:00 pm Departure for Pondicherry
07:00 pm Decoration Ceremony for Dr Balasubramanian, Director CERTH India hospital, Ananda Inn
Tuesday, 7th May
Meeting of the French Consuls General in India
Wednesday, 8th May
08:00 Wreath laying at War Memorial (Beach Road)
09:30 French Institute
11:15 Foyer du soldat
12:00 Courtesy call on H.E. the Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry
12:45 Courtesy call on the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Pondicherry
03:00 pm INTACH presentation on Heritage conservation in Pondicherry
04:00 pm Lycée Français
06:30 pm Consulate General of France
Thursday, 9th May
09:00 Departure for Karaikal; stop over at Chidambaram
02:30 pm House visit of French nationals in Karaikal
04:00 pm Karaikal school visit
05:30 pm War memorial
06:00 pm Get together at French school
Friday, 10th May
09:00 Departure to Pondicherry
02:30 pm Pondicherry University
05:45 pm Volontariat
Saturday, 11th May
09:00 Auroville visit
01:30 pm Departure

Last modified on 15/05/2013

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