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Macron and Modi join hands to build world’s largest power plant in Jaitapur

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Asia Maqsood |

French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India on March 9, 2018, has brought an unprecedented achievement for the latter. Macron and Modi announced to start work by the end of 2018 on the world’s largest nuclear power plant at the site in Jaitapur in India.

They issued a joint statement, “Once installed, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a total capacity of 9.6 Gigawatts”, on Saturday. “From the ground to the sky, there is no subject that India and France are not working together,” stated Modi.

The leaders of France and India reiterated their intention to start work by the end of this year on what could become the world’s largest nuclear power plant, advancing talks that have continued for nearly a decade. An initial agreement was signed between India’s Nuclear Power Corp and Areva which is a French multinational group specializing in nuclear power and renewable energy headquartered in Paris La Défense to work for civil nuclear cooperation on Jaitapur project in 2009.

Pakistan must strengthen and enhance its maritime governance, strategies in order to contain Indo-US maritime activities. China-Pakistan should enhance their strategic partnership on maritime in order to firm its navy. India’s enhanced military power could have certain strategic implications for the region.

Later on, French utility EDF have signed a preliminary agreement with Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL) to build six nuclear reactors at Jaitapur, in the western coast of India in 2016 in order to secure certification for the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) reactor in India.

“Once installed, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a total capacity of 9.6 gigawatts,” according to a joint statement issued Saturday by the governments during Macron’s visit to India. Both countries have also secured commercial contracts worth €13 billion during the visit.

When Macron was elected in May 2017, Modi visited France, the new era of Indo-French cooperation started. They have discussed many areas of cooperation including defense, maritime, space, security, and energy, terrorism, climate change, sustainable growth and development, infrastructure, urbanization, and science and technology.

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These exchanges of visits are strengthening their bilateral relations. During this visit Modi said, “Defense ties with India had reached a new high after the two nations signed a key security accord for the Indian Ocean to counter China’s growing influence in the region”.

India’s global aspirations to develop blue-water navy capabilities are promising its strategic partnership with other world powers including the US. All these developments were started with the Indo-US nuclear deal in July 18, 2005.

The defence agreement between France and India during this Macron’s visit, India would be allowed to access to French military bases in the Indian Ocean enhancing their maritime cooperation.

 The US has played a greater role in bringing India in nuclear mainstreaming through this civil nuclear cooperation. Subsequently, India has signed civil nuclear deals with several countries such as Australia, Japan and France as well. As India is playing an active role in Indo-Pacific region, India is seeking/taking major powers’ cooperation in the Indian Ocean. It claims that it is countering China’s regional ambitions in Indian Ocean.

The latest development is that India is showing its enthusiasm in the “quad” of the US, Japan, Australia in order to contain China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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Simultaneously, India-France collaboration in western part of Indian Ocean is enhancing. India has strong strategic cooperation with the US in the Indian Ocean with the signing of Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in 2016 which is aimed to  facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the US and Indian militaries on the Indian Ocean and provides a framework to govern them. Eventually, India and the US became logistical allies.

Likewise, India’s membership in the MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) in the last year has reaffirmed the US support for India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). As the membership in the NSG is based on consensus, all group states must agree to grant its membership to India, otherwise it is quite impossible.

India’s global aspirations to develop blue-water navy capabilities are promising its strategic partnership with other world powers including the US. All these developments were started with the Indo-US nuclear deal in July 18, 2005.

There is dire need of a criteria based approach to give its membership to non-NPT states. If India (non-NPT state) gets this member ships it would be great blow to the non-proliferation regimes. Simultaneously, it will be enhancing India’s nuclear stockpile which will create strategic instability in South Asia. Moreover, if India would be member of NSG, it will hamper Pakistan’s membership in this group in coming years. It reflects that India is expandingg its global influence.

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It seems that India’s intentions for building naval facilities in different island countries such as Seychelles, Mauritius, and Oman will be supported by the French military bases in Djibouti, Abu Dhabi, and Reunion Island. The defence agreement between France and India during this Macron’s visit, India would be allowed to access to French military bases in the Indian Ocean enhancing their maritime cooperation.

So, Pakistan must strengthen and enhance its maritime governance, strategies in order to contain Indo-US maritime activities. China-Pakistan should enhance their strategic partnership on maritime in order to firm its navy. India’s enhanced military power could have certain strategic implications for the region.

Asia Maqsood has done M. Phil in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaidi-Azam University Islamabad. She frequently writes on China Pakistan Economic Corridor and South Asia’s Regional issues. The views expressed in this article are authors own and do not necessirly reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space. 


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