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New Delhi: With 19 countries ratifying its framework agreement, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on Wednesday became the first treaty-based international government organisation to be based in India.

This marks the culmination of India's efforts, which had taken a lead role in setting up the ISA-an alliance of 121 sunshine countries situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. ISA also signals that New Delhi would employ it as a foreign policy tool to cement its leadership among developing countries.

To start with, India has also set aside $2 billion for solar projects in Africa out of the government's $10 billion concessional line of credit for Africa.

Other prominent intergovernmental organisations in the energy sector include



the Vienna-based Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

The idea of a solar alliance of countries that receive sunshine for around 300 days in a year was mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The ISA is an Indian initiative, jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of France on 30th November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21, the UN Climate Conference. It aims at addressing obstacles to deployment at scale of solar energy through better harmonization and aggregation of demand from solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn," the Indian government said in a statement on Tuesday.

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