After expressing the desire to strengthen India-Israel relations, the newly elected government of India is now putting its money where its mouth is.

In a meeting between India’s newly sworn in Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani and Israel’s Envoy to India Alon Ushpiz both countries agreed to allocate $5 million annually for joint research programs.

According to India’s leading financial newspaper Business Standard, today a group of experts from Israel and India have started evaluating 66 research proposals. The process is expected to be completed by June 2014.

Talking to Indian media, Ambassador Alon Ushpiz reiterated Israel’s desire to ramp up bilateral cooperation in the field of research and higher education with India.

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Smriti Irani, India’s HRD Minister with Israel’s Envoy Alon Ushpiz

India-Israel cooperation in higher education has come a long way in the recent years. Several Indian universities and educational Institutions (including India’s prestigious IITs) have tied up with Israeli counterparts by sighing cooperation agreements (MoUs).

Indian private sector too is bullish on collaborating with Israeli Universities. Last year India’s multi-national giant Tata Group invested $5 million in Tel Aviv University as part of a research fund to boost innovation.

By taking concrete steps just days after taking office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has shown that it gives utmost priority to India-Israel relations.

(Photo Courtesy Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India)