Newsletter of the Consulate General of France in Bombay "L’Echo de Mumbai"

"L’ECHO DE MUMBAI" - March 2012

Note from the Consul General

Dear compatriots, Dear Indian friends, Dear Francophones,
The March issue cannot come out without making it its central theme : on March 20th, as is the case every year, 56 member countries and 19 observer countries of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) around the world will have a celebration of all those who and all that which connects to French in a common way. This population is estimated worldwide to be more than 220 million people, that puts the “langue de Molière” at 8th position among the most spoken international languages. In the ranking of States’ official languages, French follows English as the official language in 36 states, many of which are represented in India and in our consular constituency of Bombay. There is indeed an important French and Francophone community in Bombay, including our Indian friends, that justifies the existence of the French International School in the great economic and financial capital of the country, which itself, if I may add, is expanding !
French is not only an official language but also the first language of work alongside English in international organizations including the institutions of the European Union that has 27 and soon 28 (+ Croatia) countries, where it is chosen either as the first language or as primary language or in the first cycle.
The usefulness and even the need to learn French is the argument that comes up most often while discussing the motivation behind all those learning our "beautiful language". Thus in the United States, 30% of the translated books and half of the foreign films distributed are in French.
Speaking French is undoubtedly an asset for economic development. The Hi-speed train, the space rocket Ariane, the Rafale combat aircraft, nuclear power plants of the third generation EPRs … these are all advanced technologies which have a French name and which have been created in the Hexagon (which is a reference to the six-sided appearance of France on a map). Learning to speak French is ultimately like having a key that opens the doors of the future.
In our consular constituency of Bombay, which includes five Alliance françaises and as many annexes (out of a total of 16 in India), we can say that French is doing quite well. You can judge this yourself by reading the articles included in this issue on the subject.
And lest we forget, French is also the first foreign language taught in schools in India. In the context of exposure of students to international curricula in secondary and university education in India, our language has had a very positive response and the number of young Indians taking up French now exceeds well over a million.
Here’s wishing you a grand celebration of the Francophonie !

See you soon,

Jean-Raphaël Peytregnet

Consul General of France in Bombay

French Language in the Spotlight

34th International Symposium of The Alliances Françaises and Expolangues Fair 2012

Symposium of Alliances Françaises - JPEG

The 34th International Symposium of the Alliance Française was held in Paris on January 30, 31 and February 1, 2012 and preceded the “Expolangues” fair - A week of reflection and celebration of the French language.
This recurrent event brings together all the heads of the Alliances Françaises from around the world. These interactions allow them to review their language and cultural policies.
Expolangues - JPEG
This week was not only marked by the symposium of the Foundation but also by the Expolangues fair. This fair dedicated to the players in the language market - provider and seeker - receives several thousand visitors at the doorstep of Versailles in Paris. Each year, Expolangues celebrates one language. In 2012 for the official launch of the French Institute, the French language with its message of diversity in the world is showcased.
On this occasion, the Alliance Française de Bombay was invited to present its educational activities as part of the showcase presentation of the French Institute and TV5. David Cordina, Director of Studies of the Alliance française de Bombay, along with Laurence Juin, French teacher from La Rochelle engaged in educational technologies, presented the importance of using social networks (and especially Twitter and dedicated networks) to develop and encourage new forms of pedagogy and secondary materials for the student. The roundtable was entitled "Twitter in French, it chirps". The link for this conference is given below :

Celebration of the Francophonie

From 20th to 27th March 2012

French language in India

- By Dominique FRIN, Co-operation Attaché for promotion of French

French language in India - JPEG

The French language is the first foreign language taught in India. The estimated number of learners is more than a million, representing a growth of more than 30% over two years.

The approach of Indian students is rather pragmatic. While in many Asian countries, the French language is chosen for its classic even stereotypical image of France, the young Indians see it as an international language that can create career opportunities.

The teaching of French in India is made possible through the dynamic network of Alliances Françaises, one of the largest in the world : 16 Alliances and 8 annexes (25,000 students), private secondary schools (550 000 students, 3000 teachers) and colleges, universities and institutes of technology (about 50,000 students and 1,370 teachers in 18 schools).

In terms of educational reform which is crucial for learning foreign languages (introduction of "Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation System" by the Federal Ministry of Education), the actions of the Embassy of France-French Institute for the dissemination of the French language revolve around three main pillars :

Support to the Alliances, the largest network of foreign language centres in India.
The Alliance network in India is the spearhead of linguistic and educational cooperation in the subcontinent. In addition to varied cultural activities, Alliances are responsible for disseminating the French language to the young crowd and receive every year more than 20,000 students of all levels. They remain the only examination centres in India recognized by the French Ministry of Education and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris. They help give our language a modern image, tuned in to new technologies.

A strategy to that promotes affinity for French and mobility of Indian students to France.
The Embassy of France-French Institute constantly works to renovate and adapt the educational material. It publishes textbooks of specialized French adapted to diverse requirements of students, future managers, engineers or designers learning French, thus increasing the mobility towards France as well as economic exchanges. It promotes and implements a distance learning method of French for the Hindi speakers in collaboration with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and strives to mark the French presence in the elite educational institutions through a tutoring program : about 26 French-speaking tutors are placed annually with premier Indian public and private universities. They not only teach the French language, but are also responsible for the promotion of French culture in connection with the Alliances Françaises as well as further studies in France in collaboration with Campus France office.

The Embassy also sends Indian studies assistants to French schools (54 young Indians in 2011) each year, organizes important tours for promoting French studies in France through its Campus France network and supports educational exchanges between elite Indian schools and middle and high schools in France.

French in high school education, a priority for the renewal and development of the pool of future Francophones.
Development of French in secondary education remains a priority of the French language and education policy in India. The pool of future francophones is built at this level of learning. The main thrusts of this policy are teacher training and enhancement of learning by offering formal degrees recognized internationally. A "Bachelor of Education in French," the first official degree for a French teacher recognized by the Indian Ministry of Education is in the offing. A new degree : the DELF Junior was launched in 2011 allowing a large number of young people to obtain an internationally recognized certification in French. Many national and regional - level training programmes for high school French teachers organized in partnership with faculty associations are held several times a year. Scholarships are available to these teachers allowing them to visit France. Finally, educational materials, audio-visual tools are widely distributed in high schools and universities in India.

In 2012, the priorities of the Embassy of France-French Institute are, thus, to continue to modernize the image of the French language, to increase the mobility of young Indians towards France and to meet the urgent need of Indian students to master French and integrate courses in the curricula of engineering, economics-management, business schools, as well as vocational programs.

Alliance Française de Bombay

21st March - Francophonie Day at the Auditorium of the Alliance Française de Bombay

Francofils will be able to participate in various literary and poetic games. We will invite all the classes to come play with us "Dis-moi dix mots qui te racontent." This year, the theme of self-expression is in the spotlight. To reveal a sentiment, to make a confession, to cite an anecdote, to share a dream : the French language is rich in lexical resources to put into words, its uniqueness (and its emotions). Your turn now to grab the ten words to unleash your creativity and come out with several texts…For example, what are the ten words that best describe you ? What are your ten favorite words in French ? The event will, moreover, be broadcast live on social networks : Twitter with the tag "#10mots" and also on “Mumbaikar in French” (

Contest 2012 – Les 10 mots

Open to all, the contest invites each one to create a text on the theme of self-expression from the ten words of 2012 : âme, autrement, caractère, chez, confier, histoire, naturel, penchant, songe, transports.
Rules :
1. Submissions should necessarily include all 10 words.

2. The texts should be the result of individual effort.

3. They must be sent no later than March 14, 2012 at

4. The jury will consist of the director, academic director and a professor of the Alliance Française.

5. The announcement of the competition results and the prize-giving ceremony will be held on March 20, 2012 at the inauguration of the Santa Cruz centre.

6. French courses at the new Santacruz centre of the Alliance Française will be offered.

Opening of a new centre of Alliance Française de Bombay at Santa Cruz

This year we are celebrating Francophone Week and International Francophone day with the inauguration of a new centre for French studies and culture. Already established in Churchgate, Cuffe Parade, Bandra, Sion, Worli, Mulund & Andheri, the Alliance Française de Bombay will now open in Santa Cruz in March.

Five mns. from Santa Cruz station, the centre is situated on the 3rd level of Hi Life which, today, has been transformed into a business an educational hub. This new centre will have 3 classrooms.

The Alliance Française, established in Bombay since 1938, has developed in perfect sync with the expansion and growth of the city. In this belief, we finally left the iconic Dhanraj Mahal centre where whole generations were taught the subtilities of the French language and invested, in 2012, in a property at Santa Cruz which is an area of potential expansion with a high population of students and young people. But bet you that in some years, our mumbaikar students will talk just as affectionately about our Santa Cruz centre !

Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad

Significance of French in Ahmedabad and Baroda (Gujarat) and progression of the activities of the Alliance Française from this perspective

Alliamce Française d'Ahmedabad - JPEG
On the occasion of the celebration of the Francophonie, the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad wants to highlight the main objective of its media centre, which aims to establish itself as a centre of initiative in promoting writing, such, as to raise awareness of different aspects of French and Francophone culture at large, to develop French research on India (and vice versa) and to encourage local literary and intellectual initiatives.

Already through its media centre, hopefully even more in the future, the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad is organizing various events related to books and editorial creativity that have filled up the calendar of the Francophonie. These events also provide an opportunity to highlight the dynamism of the local literary works in the form of discussions, lectures and conferences (in conjunction with our annual project "Franco-Gujarati Literary links"). Implementation of these various events also allow local authors to interact and bring out new ideas.

On a final note, it is essential not to associate the dissemination of art and outlook of our country as well as the Francophone world exclusively to the promotion of the French language. That is why the media centre of our Alliance is committed to build a collection of French literature, philosophy and social sciences translated into English thereby positioning it as a resource centre on French and Francophone culture and outlook for those, and there are potentially many, who see our country as an inspiration but do not speak our language.

Francophone environment in Gujarat

For some years now French companies such as Alstom, Areva, Schneider, Air Liquide and Sodexo have opened offices in the region and we expect, between 2012 and 2014, a major influx of French business and expatriates, like Peugeot, Vinci, Accor and Decathlon. The Alliance has an annex in Baroda, located 2 hours by road, where there is a University of Fine Arts (MS University) and a majority of French companies. Many people from Madagascar and the Reunion, of Indian origin but French speaking, retire here.

Celebration of the Francophonie

- March 13 – 30 - Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad : Various activities at our media centre (games, writing contests, rediscovery of resources available, TV5 activities, 10 words of the Francophonie, etc.).

- March 13 – 18 - Amdavad ni Gufa Gallery : Retrospective of the photographer Dalwadi Parmanand, a disciple of Henri Cartier-Bresson (presentation of 40 years of photography with a focus on Paris in the 70s).

- March 17 - Gujarati Sahitya Parishad auditorium : Nathalie Mentha performance (Francophone Swiss artist from Italy) in collaboration with the Swiss Embassy in India - theatrical solo show based on the singer Edith Piaf.

- March 20 - Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad : Special Francophonie evening with activities conceived and conducted by the students and teachers of the Alliance and our partner schools. March 24 - Gujarati Sahitya Parishad auditorium : Second conference as a part of our annual project "Franco-Gujarati Literary links 2012" by Mr. Bholabhai Patel on "French poem and poetics in Gujarat."

- March 20 – 28 - Gujarati Sahitya Parishad auditorium :
Screening of the documentary film on Toru Datt, the first Indian to have visited and lived in Paris in 1870 and the first Indian writer to have written in French // Film by Dr. Gita Sheth, 15 min
African Film Festival "Lights of Africa"​.

- March 30 - Jai Shankar Sundari Hall : Dance performance of the latest piece conceived by Rukmini Chatterjee, "Questionings", in collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy in India and ICCR.

Alliance Française de Panjim (Goa)

Francophonie month, Alliance Française de Panjim from 1st to 20th march

Goa, by its history, by its special link to Europe, has always had a great affinity for the French language and culture. French was widely acknowledged in intellectual circles. Today it is taught in Goan schools as a second foreign language. The Alliance Française de Panjim therefore seeks to promote the linguistic diversity and culture of Francophonie, by modernizing and diversifying its method.

Celebration of the Francophonie

- Thursday, March 01 : Launch of the contest « Dis-moi dix mots »

- Friday, March 02 at 18:30 : Private viewing of the photo-exhibition “A journey through the paths of Goa” by Naide Plante (till March 17) at the Alliance Française de Panjim

- Wednesday, March 07 at 20:00 : Soirée at the Poisson Rouge (registration required, paid event)

- Saturday, March 10 at 16:00 : Football match, Don Bosco Tuesday, March 13 at 14:00 : screening of the film “La famille Wolberg” at the University of Goa

- Sunday, March 18 at 16:00 : Dance show “Hybride” by Céline Pradeu at the Kala Academy

- Tuesday, March 20 at 18:30  : Soirée celebrating the francophonie. Presentation of “Le français et moi” and giving away of prizes for the « Dis-moi dix mots » contest. Screening of the film « Qui m’aime me suive »

Alliance Française de Bhopal

Significance of French in the work zones of Bhopal and Indore

Alliance Française de Bhopal - JPEG
The vitality of French in the work zones of Bhopal and Indore can be measured by the growing interest in linguistic activities of the Alliance Française of Bhopal and its annex located in Indore. The French courses at the Alliance, growing steadily since past three years, have thus enrolled in 2011 nearly 2000 students, an increase of 93% over 2008. In addition to intramural course, French courses by the teachers of Alliance are offered in institutions of elite higher education (IIM, IIT, MANIT, Institute of Excellence, …) and secondary schools (Columbia Convent, St. Joseph Co-Ed, Holy Cross, …) of Indore as well as Bhopal. The Indore centre is fully participating in this expansion and enjoys a favorable economic growth and academic interest that suggests continuation of this growth momentum.
In addition, varied cultural events are regularly organized by the Alliance and contribute to the keep the Francophonie alive in these two cities, with a spirit of exchange and dialogue between cultures. On March 21, during the week of the Francophonie, the students of the Alliance will participate in the international competition of French language "La Plume d’Or" organized by the association Défense de la langue française.

Alliance Française de Pune

Forthcoming event in Pune : "la Caravane des dix mots"

Caravane des dix mots Pune - JPEG
As part of the Francophonie Week, the Alliance Française of Pune has organized the "Caravane des dix mots" : everyone can participate in this huge contest, especially students and members of the Alliance Française. Just write a text, in verse or prose, using the following ten words : âme, naturel, songe, caractère, penchant, transports, chez, confier, histoire, autrement. Then send it to
Solar Sound System Band - JPEG
The best lyrics will be "slammed" with the artists at the Solar Sound System concert, an eco-artistic project between France and Switzerland, on March 18, at Vivanta by Taj Blue Diamond. This project is organized in partnership with the Consulate General of Switzerland, Swissnex and Vivanta by Taj as part of the Francophonie Week.
To your pens and keyboards !
For more information or


Scientific cooperation between France and India

Indian scientists have a long history of cooperation with France, thanks to the existence of an agency that funds joint research, IFCPAR, established in 1987 and which will celebrate its 25th anniversary March 7, 2012. We are the fifth international partner of India in terms of research. About 500 CNRS researchers travel to India every year. Many Indo-French joint laboratories have been set up, especially with the CNRS. In the Bombay constituency, we have a joint chemical laboratory in partnership with the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, another one of particle physics with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the Large National Heavy Ion Accelerator in Caen, another specialising in malaria with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay and the Pasteur Institute of Lille and finally participation in the ITER project with the Plasma Research Laboratory at Gandhinagar.
IFCPAR building - JPEG
Signing of new agreements of academic cooperation is also on the rise. For example, since 2010 the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay is working with ParisTech, écoles des Mines, Institut Telecom, école centrale of Nantes and the University of Grenoble. In addition, we have a French tutor in this IIT as well as in Gandhinagar who teaches French to nearly a hundred students.
These agreements help to increase student exchanges between our two countries, today nearly 2,000 Indian students go to study in France each year. A majority of them go without knowing the French language as many schools and universities now offer courses in English, especially at Masters level. But in each of these study programmes in English, French courses are offered, allowing Indian students to learn French there. This formula helps to attract more Indian students to our country, while introducing them to the French language.


From 10th January - 15th March 2012

Reminder : Scholarships offered by the Embassy of France for Indian students

The short-term fellowship programme (laboratory training, masters courses) is open from January 10, 2012 until March 15, 2012. This programme under the "Charpak Scholarship of Excellence" allows Indian students either to do an internship in France for a period of three months or to take up a graduate or masters course for a few months. You can find more information here :

In Brief

A delegation representing the newspaper Le Figaro was on a business trip to Bombay from February 2 to 7, 2012 comprising of Mr Mougeotte, Editorial Director of Figaro, and Bertrand Collomb, Honorary Chairman of Lafarge.

It happened in Pune : Hadouk Trio The Alliance Française de Pune hosted the jazz group Trio Hadouk on February 4, for a concert at Shantaram Pond, on the campus of FTII. The musicians gave an excellent performance which delighted the large and enthusiastic audience. The Film & Television Institute of India, Hyatt Regency, Radio One and French Institute were partners of the Alliance for this concert.

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, was in Mumbai on February 12 and 13 in relation to the EU - India Summit, he also visited Goa.

The French film The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius is on the Indian screens since February 24. The film is distributed by Top Entertainment. A true symbol of love for silent movies, The Artist represents a number of films that fires the imagination of moviegoers around the world.

Forthcoming Events

- Panjim (Goa), from March 2 to 17, 2012 Photo - exhibition "A journey through the paths of Goa" by Naide Plante at the Alliance Française de Panjim

- Pune, March 3, 2012 “Le malade imaginaire” play by Molière performed by The Expressions Theatre Group on the campus of the Alliance Française de Pune (KalaChhaya)

- Bombay, from 13 to 16 March 2012 Arties Music Festival organized in partnership with the Alliance Française de Bombay at 19:00 at the NCPA Experimental Theatre The ninth edition of the Arties Festival at NCPA will focus on a few masterpieces of the repertoire of chamber music. Founded in 2008 by cellist Gauthier Herrmann, in partnership with the NCPA, Arties Festival, which takes place every March and November, has become an eagerly awaited event for the music lovers of Bombay.

March 13, musical pieces of Chausson, Debussy, Hahn, Madetoja, Melartin, Schubert, Sibelius, Tosti, and Weber will be played.

March 15, the concert, based on the game of musical chairs, will be exactly the opposite : a chair will be added after each piece … solo, duo, trio, quartet, quintet and sextet ! Bach, Borodin, Dvorak, Mozart, Prokofiev.

March 16, pieces by Bartok, Bloch, and Schubert will be played.

Reservation of seats for the concerts in Bombay possible on NCPA’s site : or on telephone by calling +91 2222824567 or +91 2266223724

- Ahmedabad, from 13 to 18 March 2012 Retrospective of the photographer Dalwadi Parmanand, a disciple of Henri Cartier Bresson organized by the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad at Amdavad ni Gufa Gallery When Henri Cartier Bresson traveled to India, he spent a lot of time in Ahmedabad, specially in the year 1966, during which he photographed the city in a comprehensive manner. That’s how Parmanand Dalwadi ended up assisting Cartier Bresson and later traveled to France in the 70s’ to document the French society of the time with an Indian optic. It was also during this period that P. Dalwadi worked in the darkroom of the Magnum Agency to develop the master prints. These are all stories we invite you to discover at this unique retrospective, which is expected to become a part of the gallery of the Alliance Française Foundation in 2013 in the programme " d’Alliances en résonances".

- Pune, March 18, 2012 Solar Sound System concert organized by the Alliance Française de Pune in partnership with the Consulate General of Switzerland, and Swissnex Vivanta by Taj for the Francophonie Week at Vivanta by Taj Blue Diamond

- Panjim (Goa), March 18, 2012 Dance performance "Hybride" by Celine Pradeu at 18:30 at the Kala Academy

- Mumbai, March 20, 2012 Inauguration of the new premises of the Alliance Française de Bombay at Santacruz

- Mumbai, March 21, 2012 Contest "Les dix mots" on the occasion of the International Francophonie Week, literary competition open to all and prize distribution at 10:00 and 15:00 at the Alliance Française de Bombay The Alliance Française de Bombay has organized a competition for all Francofils. Participants are invited to create a unique text in French, including the 10 words selected for 2012 : âme, autrement, caractère, chez, confier, histoire, naturel, penchant, songe, transports. Texts should be sent to the following address : before March 14. The three top prizes : 3 months of intensive course in French in the Santa Cruz centre.

- Ahmedabad, March 30, 2012 Outstanding performance of the new creation "Questionings" by the Indian dancer Rukmini Chatterjee organized by the Alliance Française d’Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy in India and the ICCR, at Jai Shankar Sundari Hall

Based in Paris since many years ; blend of the Indian dance and classical music, Black Metal music and the New Technologies.

"Indian choreographer and dancer, I have been feeling since past several years the need to create shows that address the different aspects of what we call ’the universal.’ The essence and spirit of my approach draws inspiration from the tradition but the manifestation that I’m looking at is definitely contemporary. A single vermillion thread runs through my creations : the confrontation of the Indian tradition revived with stories of the body, artistic movements and distant mental geographies, the dialogue born out of this "meeting of the Worlds" that opens a space for delicate and complex understanding.

Result of a clear contrast : the Tantrism, a technique of ancient wisdom steeped in an ideal of soothing unity, and Black Metal, "live music" exhilarating the living with an aggressive and brutal explosion.

On the one hand, the resolution of restraint with a mystical inwardness and on the other hand, the discharge of a violent liberating surge of resonance.

I made the choice of contrasting universes - Indian classical dance and Black Metal, precisely to deconstruct this too obvious contrast of style and era, in terms of their respective essence, with energy more universal and thought more fundamental - the energy and the thought being that of the modern man". - Rukmini Chatterjee.

Dernière modification le 29/02/2012

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