Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi along with the President of France, Mr. Francois Hollande, on January 25, 2016 laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) headquarters in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gwalpahari, Gurgaon. They also inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA at the same place. India dedicated 5 acres of land at NISE to ISA for hosting its Secretariat and also contributed Rs. 175 crore for ISA corpus fund for an initial period of five years. Thereafter, it is expected to generate its own resources and become self-financing. ISA is part of Prime Minister’s vision to bring clean and affordable energy within the reach of all and create a sustainable world. It will be a new beginning for accelerating development and deployment of solar energy for achieving universal energy access and energy security of the present and future generations. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi stated that the ISA would be India’s first international and inter-governmental organisation headquartered in India. ISA will be dedicated to promotion of solar energy for making solar energy a valuable source of affordable and reliable green and clean energy in 121 member countries. He thanked the President of France for his continued help and support in shaping the ISA. Mr. Hollande said that France wanted to build the post-Paris Agreement world with India and ISA paved the way for this. The Alliance has France’s full support. He announced that the French Development Agency would allocate 300 million euros to developing solar energy over the next five years in order to finance the initial projects.
The ISA has been envisioned as a specialised platform and will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilisation and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries. It was jointly launched in Paris by India and France on November 30, 2015 during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21)A
India and Brunei on February 2, 2016 signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the fields of defence, health and youth affairs & sports. These MoUs were signed by representatives of both countries in the presence of the visiting Vice-President Mr. Hamid Ansari at Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan. The key agenda of Vice President’s visit was to decide upon the specifics of defence cooperation, health sector tie-up and establishing a gas-based urea manufacturing unit by India in Brunei. Mr. Ansari also met the Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah.
Vice-President Mr. Hamid Ansari with
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah
Mui^yaddin Waddaulah, Sultan of
Brunei, in Brunei on February 2, 2016.
An MoU in Health Cooperation was signed with an objective to establish cooperation in the field of health between the two countries by means of pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources and pharmaceutical regulatory practices. An MoU on Defence Cooperation has a purpose to enhance and expand the scope of Defence Cooperation between the two countries in various fields. Defence ties between India and Brunei dates back to many decades and already exist in the form of naval ship visits, training of senior military officers in Staff Colleges and exchange of experience. The defence agreement between both countries is being considered as a major diplomatic breakthrough since both sides established formal relations in 1984. Currently, oil-rich Brunei’s defence responsibilities are handled by the United Kingdom. India’s defence cooperation with Brunei plays significant role in the present circumstances as the later has territorial disputes with China on the issue of South China Sea. An MoU on Cooperation in Youth and Sports Affairs seeks to provide a framework for exchanges of sports teams and sportspersons.
During the visit, Vice-Presiden: Mr. Hamid Ansari also talked abou: terrorism, especially how technology ha; been used and importance of sharing information to fight against terrorism the South China Sea dispute and the role of ASEAN to promote regional security.