Francois Hollande to begin India tour from Chandigarh

REU FRANCE/ (File) French President Francois Hollande | Reuters

French President Francois Hollande, who is the chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year, will come to Delhi via Chandigarh, the city designed by French architect Le Corbusier.

This will be the fifth time that a French leader will be a chief guest at India's Republic Day celebration. This time, in a deviation from the norm, a contingent of the French military too will march down Rajpath.

Hollande, who will touch down at 1 pm on Sunday will take a tour of the capital complex before meeting Prime minister Narendra Modi at the Rock Garden. His evening will be taken up by the CEO forum and the Business Summit and he will leave for Delhi in the night.

After a series of meetings and a joint statement on January 25, Hollande will go to Gurgaon for the foundation stone laying of the International Solar Alliance Secretariat. The alliance is a pet idea of Modi, who had mooted it before the Conference of Parties Summit in Paris last November.

The alliance is the get-together of countries which get plenty of sunshine, to work towards strengthening solar power as an energy source. France was among the leading developed countries to join the alliance, with its role being the facilitator for transfer of technology to tap the sun, store solar power and scale up solar power production.

The Modi-Hollande friendship was crucial to the success of the CoP 21, which Paris hosted.

There is a lot of anticipation on the military deals which are expected to be announced during Hollande's visit.

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