France will also help in development of Smart Cities in India to be identified by the host government. These were among the outcomes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talks with French President Francois Hollande here on Friday.

The two sides signed a Railway protocol which seeks to establish cooperation between Indian and French Railways for semi-high speed rail and station renovation.

Under the protocol, Indian Railways and French National Railways (SNCF) will co-finance an execution study by SNCF for a semi-high speed project on upgradation of the Delhi-Chandigarh line to 200 kms per hour and re-development of Ambala and Ludhiana railway stations in Punjab.

The Shatabdi Express between Chandigarh and New Delhi is the fastest train on the route and currently runs at an average speed of 79.80 kmph.

"The Leaders look forward to cooperating in areas such as modernization of the Railways and in high speed and semi-high speed rail projects, in urban transportation and in roads..," said a Joint Statement issued after the talks.

France also expressed interest in collaborating with India for development of Smart Cities from among the list of cities to be identified by the Government of India, the Statement said.

Accordingly, it was agreed to include Smart City cooperation as an area of technical cooperation under the October 2012 MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Sustainable Urban Development between the two countries.

An MOU signed between School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and National Architecture Institute in Paris, envisages cooperation to undertake joint planning and geographical studies in India and France and training of local counterparts in modern urban and regional research as well as in techniques of scientific methods in urban and regional planning, geography, environment, building engineering and management.
    
A 'Programme' between ISRO and French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) was also signed. It proposes cooperation in the areas of Satellite Remote sensing, satellite communications and satellite meteorology; space sciences and planetary exploration; data collection and location; operations of satellite ground stations and spacecraft mission management; space research and applications.

It covers the potential cooperation activities such as joint earth observation mission, hosted payload opportunities and Mars exploration.

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