French envoy Emmanuel Lenain to visit Odisha on March 4-5 to boost ties, sustainable investments

New Delhi: French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain will embark on his maiden official visit to Odisha on March 4 to 5 to enhance ties between leading French and Odisha universities and boost French investments in smart city and renewable energy projects in the state.

According to a statement by the French Embassy in New Delhi, at Xavier University Bhubaneswar, the Ambassador along with Tusharkanti Behera, the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Sports and Youth Services of Odisha, will preside 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. 

To explore sports cooperation opportunities with France, Lenain will visit two centres: the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre, and the Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre. Thereafter, he will interact with hockey players training at Kalinga Stadium, the Embassy further informed.

Lenain will also visit the campus of the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), where he will meet Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder of KIIT and KISS, and a Lok Sabha MP.

On these occasions, the Ambassador will stress 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 will also hold talks with Dibya Shankar Mishra, Minister of State (IC) Energy, Industries, and MSMEs, for boosting French investments in Odisha in the areas of inspection and certification, smart cities and renewable energy. They will be joined by representatives from French companies that are active in Odisha in these sectors, the statement further read.

Lenain will also meet the Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minister of Tourism and Culture, to discuss how to further increase tourism flows between France and Odisha once international travel resumes.

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