AS Kiran Kumar, the former chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation, was conferred France’s highest civilian award – Chevalier of Order of the Legion of Honour – for his contribution to India-France space cooperation on Thursday.

Alexandre Ziegler, the ambassador of France to India, conferred Kumar with the Legion of Honour. “Delighted to bestow Legion of Honour on Dr Kiran Kumar, ex- chairman ISRO who expanded India’s cooperation with France,” Ziegler said on Twitter. “Under his leadership, our 2 countries joined hands for launch vehicle technologies, Earth observation, communication and navigation satellites.”

Jean-Yves Le Gall, chairperson of French space agency National Centre for Space Studies, was present at the special investiture ceremony held at the Residence of France in Delhi, an official statement said.

“France’s ghest civilian honour comes in recognition of AS Kiran Kumar’s invaluable contribution to the development of India-France space cooperation,” the statement said.

Kumar fostered “historic and ambitious space cooperation between India and France” throughout his career, according to the statement. He served as the ISRO chief from 2015 to 2018 and was awarded the Padma Shri in 2014.

The National Order of the Legion of Honour was set up in 1802, and is the highest civilian award given by the French government for outstanding service to the country, regardless of the nationality of the recipient.

 

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