Inauguration of the Alliance française de Lucknow
The French Embassy in India is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new branch of the world-wide network of Alliances françaises in the city of Lucknow, in the State of Uttar Pradesh.
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, 9 October 2016
The event took place in the presence of H.E. Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, Mr Jérôme Clément, Chairman, Alliance française Foundation, and Ms Zohra Chatterji, President, Alliance française de Lucknow, on Sunday, 9th October 2016 at the Alliance française de Lucknow.
This inauguration follows the constitution of the Alliance française de Lucknow on 20th August 2016 by a Committee of 20 eminent personalities from the city of Lucknow interested in promoting the French language and cultural exchanges between France and India.
Following the inauguration ceremony, Ambassador Ziegler conferred the French Government distinction “Medal of honour for distinguished services” (Médaille d’Honneur du Travail) on Mr Ansar-ud-din, a talented master craftsman who, through his exceptional expertise, has contributed to restoring French heritage in India, notably the Constantia Palace in Lucknow, which houses La Martinière College.
The new Alliance française opens its gates in the capital of the State of Uttar Pradesh, a city of culture where Frenchman Claude Martin left a visible footprint in the 18th century. The imposing Constantia Palace, which houses La Martinière College, is a symbol of that period. Claude Martin influence has since spread over 160 years thanks to the educational work accomplished by the two establishments, one for boys and another for girls, who carry his name and follow his directions. The Alliance Française of Lucknow will be situated in the immediate proximity of the Constantia palace, in a building provided by La Martinière College.
The development of the French courses within the most important educational institutions of the city reinforces the demand for the study of French as a Foreign Language and information for pursuing studies in France and in Francophone Quebec. The principals of these establishments are amongst the founding members of the Alliance Française of Lucknow.
The Alliance Française of Lucknow is directed by a council of Administration of 11 people presided by Ms Zohra Chatterji, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), who occupied till 2014 important positions within several ministries of the Indian government. She is currently the head of the Institute of Design, an organization recently created by the government of Uttar Pradesh.
The Alliance Française network is present in 137 countries with 800 local associations offering French language courses to over 500,000 students and promoting exchanges. With the newly created branch in Lucknow, there are now 14 Alliances Françaises across India.
Founded in 1883 by a small group of prominent individuals who decided to keep France well known and increase its influence by promoting the French language, Alliance Française is now a cultural network on a global scale and a teaching facility without equal. The 1,100 branches are meeting places for people who love France, want to know it better and learn its language.
In India, like everywhere in the world, the Alliances Françaises are associations governed by local laws. An elected Executive Committee of eminent Indians administers the affairs of the Alliance Française. This Committee has as its President, an Indian, elected by the members of the Executive Committee. A Director and sometimes other French co-ordinators are designated and remunerated by the French Government.
As non-profit associations and independent branches, they provide meeting places for Indian and French Artists who discover their mutual links and share their experiences. The Alliances bring to the Indian public French cultural events selected to fulfil local expectations. They team up with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and other major cultural and educational bodies for organising artistic tours.
The local branches play an important part in the lives of their cities and in the varied fields of theatre, plastic arts and music. They organise symposiums and festivals of international relevance. They have become computerised Information Centres on Contemporary France (civilisation, economy, politics, science and technology).
They conduct the examinations of Alliance Française de Paris, of the Ministry of National Education (DELF and DALF) and of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Paris (CCIP), whose diplomas are considered worldwide as passports for the future. Alliance Française classes are oriented to all those who want to communicate not only with France but also with Europe and French-speaking countries. The increasing number of students reflects the high success of the intensive courses and the methods adapted to today’s demands in the teaching of languages.