Ambassador Lenain’s maiden official visit to Odisha

Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, was on his maiden official visit to Odisha to boost academic ties and sustainable investments.

Odisha, 4-5 March 2021

H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, paid his first official visit to Odisha on 4th - 5th March 2021. This visit aimed to enhance ties between leading French and Odisha universities, especially in the area of sports, and boost French investments in smart city and renewable energy projects in Odisha.

At Xavier University Bhubaneswar, the Ambassador along with the Hon’ble Minister of State (IC) for Sports and Youth Services of Odisha, Mr Tusharkanti Behera, presided over the official launch of the first Indo-French dual degree in Sports Management between Xavier University and French business school emlyon. The two institutions, which joined forces as the Xavier Emlyon Business School (XEBS), are offering a two-year programme, at the end of which students will obtain an MBA from Xavier University and an MSc from emlyon. The XEBS Ahluwalia Centre of Excellence in Sports Management (CESM) will oversee the dual degree programme, which is supported by the Odisha government and the KS Ahluwalia Group. The Centre is the nodal point for sports management and research work for nine high performance centres in Odisha.

To explore sports cooperation opportunities with France, Ambassador Lenain visited two of these centres: the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre, and the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre. Thereafter, he interacted with hockey players training at Kalinga Stadium.

Ambassador Lenain also visited the campus of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, where he met Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder of KIIT and KISS, and Hon’ble Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha). KIIT, which was declared as an Institution of Eminence, will be instrumental in developing university and research collaboration projects.

On these occasions, Ambassador stressed France’s goal to intensify student and academic mobility with India, which France has strived to maintain despite the pandemic in order to continue welcoming Indian students in the best and safest conditions.

With respect to economic and business ties, the Ambassador held talks with Hon’ble Minister of State (IC) Energy, Industries, and MSMEs, Shri Dibya Shankar Mishra for boosting French investments in Odisha in the areas of inspection and certification, smart cities and renewable energy. They were joined by representatives from French companies that are active in Odisha in these sectors (EDF, Egis, Bureau Veritas, Schneider Electric). France, through the French Development Agency (AFD), is actively supporting the “B-Active” project of Bhubaneshwar’s Smart City programme. Cooperation opportunities in the sustainable fisheries sector will also be explored.

Ambassador also met the Hon’ble Minister of Tourism and Culture, Shri Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, to discuss how to further increase tourism flows between France and Odisha once international travel resumes.

Last modified on 08/03/2021

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