The number of Indian students studying in France is steadily increasing and the French government has set a target of having 10,000 of them by 2020, a senior diplomat today said.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the French Embassy in India Claire Thuaudet was speaking at a felicitation function for five engineering students selected under a prestigious scholarship programme.
“The number of Indian students studying in France currently is about 4,600 and it is growing. We have set a target of 10,000 students by 2020. This is also a symbol of our growing bilateral partnership,” she said.
The five engineering students — two each from Bengaluru and Chandigarh and one from Chennai have been selected under ISAE-MBDA Programme of Excellence to follow a two-year Master’s course at the prestigious aerospace university, Institut Sup’erieur de l’Aeronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE), situated in Toulouse in southern France.
MBDA is a defence major based near Paris that is a partner in the fully-sponsored programme that has already selected over 20 Indian students since its inception in 2013.
In December 2013, MBDA had signed a sponsorship agreement with the ISAE-SUPAERO Foundation and ISAE, thereby setting up the annual Indian scholarship programme.
“We began the first scholarship in 2014 and that batch graduated in 2016. Since 2014, 23 students have been selected in three different batches. And, now we have five this year,” MBDA India Head Loic Piedevache told PTI.
“The performance of Indian students has been very good and therefore the programme has been extended to three more years till 2020,” he said.
Ishaan Prakash, 22, pursuing his Bachelors degree in aerosoace from SRM University in Chennai, was on cloud nine during the function held at the French Embassy.
“I took up aerospace inspired by NASA ‘Curiosity’ Rover Mission. And, now I want to dig deeper with probably a PhD after my master’s,” he told PTI.
The other four scholarship winners are Arti Kalra and Rashika Jain from PEC University of Technology in Chandigarh; and Kartik Venkatraman and Sagar Shenoy Manikar from MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology at Bengaluru, all in early 20s.