French President Francois Hollande arrives in Chandigarh on Sunday afternoon for his three-day visit, during which he will attend India's 67th Republic Day celebrations in Delhi as chief guest.
Before leaving for India, Hollande said the Rs 60,000-crore Rafale jet deal may not be signed during his visit. "Agreeing on the technicalities of this arrangement obviously takes time, but we are on the right track," he told PTI.
Modi had in April last year announced the deal wherein French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation would supply 36 Rafale fighter jets in fly-away condition for the Indian Air Force.
The deal, which was expected to be signed during Hollande's visit, is still under negotiations as both nations have not been able to reach a consensus on the price. A delegation from France is in New Delhi to and both the nations are working on final negotiations.
Hollande lands at the Chandigarh airport at around 1 pm on Sunday, after which he, with Modi, will visit Rock Garden, Capitol Complex, the Government Museum and Art Gallery. He will then attend a CEOs' forum at 4 pm and the India-France Business Summit at around 4:45 pm. He will depart for Delhi at 6:30 pm.
The French president will be accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday. He will later lay a wreath at Mahatma Gandhi's samadhi at Rajghat.
At noon, Hollande and Modi will hold bilateral talks at Hyderabad House, where they will also sign several agreements. They will reportedly discuss issues ranging from counter-terrorism to security, civil nuclear energy and trade.
"I also come to India to strengthen our relationship in several areas: defence, space and civil nuclear energy. As well as education, research, culture. Our cooperation on the fight against climate change and on clean energies has taken on an unprecedented importance," Hollande told PTI.
Hollande will also meet Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the day. He will inaugurate the International Solar Alliance (ISA), an initiative launched by India and France at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November, 2015.
He will lay the foundation stone for the interim secretariat of the ISA at the National Institute of Solar Energy on the Gurgaon-Faridabad Expressway.
The second day of Hollande's visit will end with a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee, who will host a banquet for the French president at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
On 26 January, Hollande will witness the Republic Day parade as the chief guest. After attending an "At Home" reception by Mukherjee at around 3:45 pm, he will leave for France at 5:30 pm.
Security has been beefed up in Chandigarh and the national capital as intelligence agencies have warned of several threats during Hollande's visit to India. The United States' Central Intelligence Agency is also taking stock of the security arrangements in Delhi and surrounding areas, according to PTI.