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14 May 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC


Topic: GS2 – International Relations

GS3 – Internal Security

●  The 7th edition of the India-France Joint Military Exercise SHAKTI commenced in Umroi, Meghalaya, emphasising joint military capability enhancement.

●  Attended by high-ranking officials from both nations, the exercise aims to improve interoperability and share best practices in tactics and procedures.

● It underscores the robust defence cooperation and bilateral relations between India and France.

Analysis of the news:

  • The 7th edition of India-France Joint Military Exercise SHAKTI commenced in Umroi, Meghalaya, from May 13th to 26th, 2024.
  • The Indian contingent of 90 personnel includes the RAJPUT Regiment and representatives from the Navy and Air Force.
  • The French contingent of 90 personnel primarily comprises members from the 13th Foreign Legion Half-Brigade (13th DBLE).
  • Focus areas include operations in semi-urban and mountainous terrain, with objectives centred on physical fitness, tactical drills, and sharing best practices.
  • Tactical drills encompass response to terrorist actions, establishment of command posts, intelligence centres, securing helipads, small team operations, and utilisation of drones and counter-drone systems.
  • The exercise aims to enhance interoperability, camaraderie, and defence cooperation between the armed forces of both countries, fostering bilateral relations.
 India – France Relations
Historical Context: Longstanding diplomatic ties dating back to 1674, with France endorsing India’s nuclear capabilities post-Pokhran tests in 1998 and signing the first civil nuclear deal in 2008.

Strategic Autonomy and Mutual Respect: Partnership built on principles of strategic autonomy, non-interference, and non-alignment, focusing on shared democratic values and rule of law.

●  Bilateral Ties and Symbolic Gestures: Indo-French relations deepening, marked by frequent high-level meetings and symbolic gestures like Macron’s participation as chief guest at Republic Day celebrations.

●  Defence Industrial Roadmap: Announced for cooperation in defence production, emphasising co-design and co-development of military hardware, mirroring India’s collaboration with the U.S.

Space Cooperation: New agreement for defence-space partnership focusing on space situational awareness and coordinating satellite launches.

Government-to-Government Deals: Progress awaited on major deals for fighter jets, engines, and submarines; however, joint venture agreed for local manufacture of civilian helicopters between Airbus and TATA.

Ongoing Defence Deals: Negotiations ongoing for procurement of 26 Rafale-M fighter jets and three additional Scorpene-class submarines, with conclusion expected by year-end.

Focus of Defence Industrial Roadmap: Emphasis on co-design, co-development, and co-production across various domains including aircraft, land, maritime warfare, space, robotics, cyber defence, and artificial intelligence.

Strategic Partnership: France’s willingness to transfer jet engine technology reflects the depth of strategic partnership, strengthened by high-level engagements and mutual acceptance of invitations for key events.

Challenges and Concerns: Challenges include press visa restrictions and delay in civil nuclear cooperation agreement, with technical and financing aspects being deliberated.

Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of the India-France Joint Military Exercise SHAKTI in enhancing bilateral defence cooperation and its implications for regional security dynamics. How does such joint training contribute to fostering interoperability and camaraderie between the armed forces of both nations? (250 Words /15 marks)

14 May 2024 : PIB Summary for UPSC Copy

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