Indian and French defence negotiators are known for hard bargaining. But this time round their haggling seems to have gone a bit too far as it took the shine away from the smart diplomacy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Francois Hollande have initiated to forge an enduring relationship between the two countries. In the absence of the Rafale deal materializing during the French President’s visit, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and its Parisian counterparts stepped in as planned. Thanks to the extra efforts put in by MNRE secretary Upendra Tripathy, the two leaders were able to lay the foundation stone for establishment of the global headquarters of International Solar Alliance at Gurgaon. The Alliance aims to mobilise $1 trillion for investment in solar energy by 2030 in 121 tropical countries and is expected to become a legal entity in the next six months. Hollande committed to provide Euro 300 million for the alliance over the next five years.