President’s visit sets the stage for expanding India-Israel S& T partnership

Pranab Jerusaelm

Forging a multi-faceted partnership, pivoted around science, innovation and R&D, is going to define the India-Israel relations in days to come.  Addressing the Indian community in Jerusalem on October 13, India’s President Pranab Mukherjee emphasised on the potential of deepening collaboration between India and Israel in the area of science and technology.

This is the first-ever visit to Israel by an Indian President since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992. “Eminent Vice Chancellors of premier Indian Universities have accompanied me on this visit. Their Universities look forward to close exchanges with their counterpart Israeli Universities. I am confident that our hard working students will do India proud in Israel,” said the president.  

Lauding the Indian community, especially the Indian Jewish community, in Israel, Mr Mukherjee spoke about how the community has made a mark for themselves through their myriad achievements in their adopted homeland. “In Mumbai you have contributed leaders in business, education and the literary field. In Kolkata, the Magen David Synagogue and the Jewish Girl’s School are historic landmarks,” Mr Mukherjee said.

Alluding to India’s burgeoning diplomatic engagements across the world, Mr Mukherjee said: “Our circle of friends has expanded. India’s efforts for inclusive economic growth and social advancement have shown the way to many developing countries.”

Touching upon India’s accomplishments and economic progress made, he focused on the ‘Make in India’ campaign to make India an investment and manufacturing destination. Apart from that the ‘Digital India programme’ to transform India into a digitally empowered society, ‘Smart Cities’, ‘Model Villages’, ‘Clean India’ and the ‘Clean Ganga mission’ are some of the flagship schemes that were elaborated by India’s President.

Israel is  home to 80,000 Jews of Indian-origin and there are about 10,000 Indian citizens in Israel. 

The Middle East is home to 7 million strong Indian diaspora and is critical to India’s growing energy security. India would look to strengthen its cooperation with Israel over the years to come, and Mr Mukherjee’s visit sets the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country which is expected to happen in early 2016.

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