Student flows and scientific cooperation between India and France – A panel discussion

Event Date & Time

May 5, 2019 – 6:00 PM


Sylvain Franger & R. Suryanarayanan

Event Details

Student flows and scientific cooperation between India and France

: Issues and Prospects, Strategic Implications for India's Development and Influence

Speakers' Profile

Sylvain Franger

Professor, Department of Chemistry, Université Paris-Sud 11 (Orsay)

Working in the field of energy storage (batteries, microbatteries, solid-state batteries)
Since 2015: Vice-President of the Université Paris Sud, in charge of the Human Resources and Social Policy
62 publications, 6 patents, H-factor = 24, 19 invited and plenary lectures at international conferences, 9 PhDs supervised
7 Indian students have been welcomed in our lab: 2 from IIT/Kanpur, 1 from IISc/Bengaluru, 1 from TERI/ University of Delhi, 3 from CECRI/Karaikudi


Professor of Physics (Retired), Paris-Sud 11, Orsay

Born in Perambur, near Chennai in 1939, R.Suryanarayanan completed his MSc in Physics from Madras Christian College in 1960. He worked for 5 Years at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Colaba. He then joined Laboratoire de Magnétisme et de Physique des Solides, Bellevue, Paris and was awarded D.Sc degree by the University of Paris. Following this, he won the IBM world Trade Fellowship that allowed him to pursue his research at IBM R & D, New York. He then spent three years (1977-1980) as the Head, Materials Research Laboratory, Bharat Heavy Electricals, R and D, Secunderabad.

He returned to France and was Physics Professor till his retirement in 2004, at the University of Paris (Orsay), working particularly on High Critical Temperature Superconductors. After retirement, he was a summer visiting research scholar at Wayne State University, Detroit for seven years.

R.Suryanarayanan collaborated extensively with scientists from the UK, Spain, Germany, USA, India and Japan through different projects supported by French Defense, NATO, Indo French Research centre and European Commission. He has trained a dozen students and several post-docs who are well placed in the USA and in India and has over 300 publications to his credit.

Since 2009, Sury has decided to test his strength as a writer of fiction. With a passion for science, religion and ancient Indian history, he builds on intercultural links and circulation of knowledge between the East and the West. His first book Dreams and Realities takes the reader from 300 BC to modern science spanning India, Europe and USA. His other books of fiction are Murder in Venice, Narasimha the Lion Man and The Malgova Tree.

These books can be ordered from Amazon. All profits accrued from sales are donated to Sankaranethralaya, Chennai.

Event Description

Many members of IPA have arrived as students in France, a process starting as far as back as the forties and fifties, and have contributed in their careers to Indo-French business and scientific exchanges. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the arrival of Indian students and post-doctoral scholars in France for advanced studies in STEM fields, ranging from top institutions to lesser-known ones. There is a smaller but increasing number in social sciences, humanities and arts. A good number of these students and scholars stay on in France or Europe, and some move to North America. Many others who go back to India work in French business organisations or scientific posts, contributing to Indo-French exchanges.

French policy towards encouraging this flow of students and scholars including the active role played by Campus France in various urban centres in India in marketing French higher education must be viewed within a larger strategic perspective.

In the other direction, there is also a flow of students from French to Indian institutions and organisations, whether for a semester’s study or internships. Further, the interesting development of French Grandes Ecoles opening branches in India (such as Mahindra Ecole Centrale in Hyderabad) opens up the question of adaptation of French higher education to Indian requirements and conditions, as well as the ‘multipolarity’ it represents, as an alternative to the traditional “Anglo-Saxon” focus.

This event is a first step in discussing the many interesting juxtapositions and issues arising in the ‘internationalization’ of higher education and their implications for mutual cooperation, and on a larger plane, towards building a multipolar world.

Professors Franger and Suryanarayanan will share with us their role in fostering scientific cooperation between France and India, from their complementary perspectives from the French and Indian side.

We also hope to have the participation of Mr. Arulanandan, First Secretary for Research, Education and Community affairs, Indian Embassy, to explore the larger strategic implications of these exchanges.

In addition, recent members of IPA who have been students in France will add their personal perspectives to the discussion.

-> 6 :00 – 7 :30 pm : The Panel discussion. Cocktails will be served.
-> 7 :30 – 8 :00 pm : Social time
-> 8 :00 - 9 :30 pm : Dinner

Participation Fee

30 € for Dinner. IPA members can use coupons if applicable.

Mode of Payment:

By cheque in the name of the restaurant or credit card


Jodhpur Palace, 42 Allée Vivaldi, 75012 Paris, Tel: 01 43 40 72 46

Tenue de Ville

Timely arrival requested to facilitate better interactions with members, guests and new members.

RSVP closed as this is a past event.