Building an education bridge between India and Israel has been a key outcome of President Pranab Mukherjee’s just concluded visit to Israel. This was reflected in the signing of a slew of education-related agreements between premier institutions and universities of the two countries.
Mr Mukherjee, the first Indian president to visit the Jewish state, was accompanied by a delegation of Vice Chancellors of premiere universities. An MOU between Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev was signed to promote better understanding between the faculty and students of JNU and the faculty and students of BGU. Another agreement of cooperation between Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur was signed. To improve institutional collaboration, an MOU was signed between IIT Kharagpur and BGU to promote interaction and collaboration between faculty, staff and students of the two institutions through visits and exchange programs, carry out joint academic and research programs, joint supervision of doctoral and masters students, on a reciprocal basis.
To promote better understanding between students and faculty of universities an MOU was inked between JNU and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. A framework for academic collaboration was agreed upon between IIT Kharagpur and University of Haifa, Israel.
Similar agreements were signed between Delhi University and BGU and Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Delhi were signed.
Apart from education, MOUs were signed between India and Israel for cultural exchange and an agreement on avoidance of double taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital were signed.
These education and culture-related agreements are set to bolster not only academic linkages, but also expand people-to-people contacts between the two countries. With India looking to upscale strategic and economic ties with Israel, these pacts have laid foundation for diversify the relationship that was seen to be focused primarily on defence and security cooperation.
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