About 10% of all foreign students in Israel are from India, said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, while indicating a growth in academic cooperation between India and Israel.
President Rivlin is on a state visit to India on the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee. The visit, the first by an Israeli President in nearly 20 years, symbolises the growing partnership between India and Israel.
"In past three years academic cooperation between Israel and India has grown a lot. About 10 per cent of all foreign students in Israel are Indians and 40 joint research projects were supported by the two governments. Most Isarel college and universities teach Indian studies and one can also learn to speak Marathi," Rivlin said while addressing the 'Israel-India Academic Summit' here.
"In a recent speech President Pranab Mukherjee had said in order to be at the top of the world's educational institutions we have to ensure the quality of education and research, improve the facilities and establish collaboration with other schools and universities and all over the world," he added.
Rivlin is accompanied by heads of business and academic delegation including 15 heads of Israeli universities.
The Israeli President also invoked poet Rabindranath Tagore in his address saying, "Tagore described educational institutions as temples of human partnership and understanding. He had a close connection with Professor Albert Einstein. Both patron of academias in India and Israel. There are many letters they sent to each other which are available in archives in Jerusalem".
The academic summit began with signing of several MoUs between heads of various educational institutions from India and Israel in the presence of Rivlin, Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar and University Grants Commission chairman Ved rakash.
"We already had so many MoUs in place with Israel but I wanted to take them to the next level in three years so we benefit from each other. I have been to Israel thrice and I found that their education system was more research oriented.
"The fact about the two countries is that both became independent around the same time but Israel brought lot of talent from all over the world so they have a repository. India also has its intelligentsia base but it had its challenges as well," Javadekar said in his address.
"Britishers had no design to educate every Indian and now that we have a Right to Compulsory Education in place that problem has been addressed but the main thrust is on quality. I don't want the MoUs just to exist for the sake of record so we are reviewing all the existing arrangements to ensure it is a meaningful cooperation," he added.