India and Israel have always shared a cordial relationship. Russia is the largest weapons supplier to India and Israel is the second-largest. The two countries also share intelligence information on terrorist activities and also carry out joint military training. A military business worth $9 billion was carried out between the two countries in the period 1999 to 2009. Also, Israel’s third largest Asian trade partner is India. Needless to say, both countries share a warm relationship; and now, this relationship is being extended to the field of education.
What and How
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin arrived in Mumbai today for his weeklong visit in the country. One of the significant plans of his visit is to discuss the various educational ties between Israel and India. In order to promote the field of research and faculty exchange between the two countries, 15 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) will be signed between the two countries. This will ensure that the process of faculty exchange gets easier.
Indian students who want to pursue their higher studies in the field of science are opting to travel to Israel. Israel is emerging as the top destination for Indian students interested in science and research. Under the joint research program, from 2014, close to 400 Indian students have been awarded the post-doctorate fellowship as per the Israel Council for Higher Education records.
Ditza Froim, Minister Counsellor, Head of Public Diplomacy, Embassy of Israel said that the main focus of the fifteen MoUs will be faculty exchange. She also said that top Indian universities such as Delhi University, Mumbai University, O P Jindal University, and Jawaharlal Nehru University were part of the MoUs.
She added that these MoUs were unique because they were also focused on joint research programs between the two countries. A joint research program began between Israel and India back in 2013 wherein they worked together in fields such as Chemistry and Life Sciences. The MoUs will enable both countries to expand this research to more fields such as agriculture, entrepreneurship, and food security. There is a possibility of more grants being given to students.
Yoav Taubman, Senior Coordinator from Committee for Higher Education, Israel said that the quality of research facilities and infrastructure capabilities in the field of Life Sciences and Chemistry is what attracts Indian students to Israel to pursue their research projects. He also added that the Israeli government is working with the University Grants Commission to provide grants to students to pursue their research projects in Israel. This is a step towards promoting Israeli research facilities. Israel also provides attractive summer programs that are available in 17 subjects. Indian students visit Israel to participate in the summer programs as well. There are scholarships also available for these summer programs.
Bar-Ilan University has a program – conflict resolution program. The program is fully funded and is the most popular programs among Indian students.