The President of the French Republic, Mr Jacques Chirac, has conferred the award of “Officer of the Legion d’honneur”, on Dr K Kasturirangan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The award was presented to Dr Kasturirangan by Mr Bernard de Montferrand, the Ambassador of France, on behalf of the President of France at a function organised by the Embassy of France at New Delhi, today (September 6, 2002). The Legion of Honour, which was instituted by Napoleon in 1802 to honour individuals in all walks of life, is the highest decoration given by the Government of France.

While receiving the award, Dr Kasturirangan mentioned that the space cooperation between India and France was an excellent example of how a developing country and a developed country could work together to serve not only their own mutual interest but also for bringing the benefits of such endeavour for the broader cross section of humankind. He said both countries are working together in areas such as a charter related to disaster management and tele-medicine and that cooperative efforts would broaden and strengthen in the years to come.

The honour conferred on Dr Kasturirangan recognises the important role played by him not only in Indian space achievements in recent years, but also his efforts to promote strong international cooperation, especially between India and France.