10 per cent of foreign students in Israel are Indians

New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin here on Thursday said that 10 per cent of all foreign students and scholars in Israel are Indians.

“In the past few years, academic cooperation between Israel and India has grown a lot. Ten percent of all foreign students and scholars in Israel today are Indians, with 40 joint research projects supported by both the governments,” Rivlin said at the Indo-Israel Academic Summit.

“Most Israeli universities teach Indian studies. The academic cooperation between India and Israel is a top priority for both the nations and people of both the countries.”

Rivlin is in India on a week-long state visit, the first by an Israeli President in nearly 20 years, on the invitation of his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, who visited Israel in October 2015.

Rivlin is accompanied by heads of business and academic delegations including 15 heads of Israeli universities as well as Israeli companies, some of which are already active and successful in India.

As many as 19 Memorandums Of Understanding (MOUs) were signed on Thursday in fields of technology, agriculture and archaeology between Israel and Indian universities in the presence of the Israeli President.

“The agreements mark a new step in the growing partnership between our two countries. They cover all fields of study: technology, agriculture, archaeology, biology and many more,” Rivlin said.

“They include exchanges at all levels: from students to senior faculty members. They show we all share a strong belief: that this relationship is for the good of both sides. That together, we are much stronger, wiser, better.”

He said Rabindranath Tagore had a close connection with Albert Einstein, a patron of academic studies in Israel.

“We have many letters they had sent to each other, in Einstein’s archives at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem,” he said.

He concluded by quoting Tagore: “Education has its only meaning and object in freedom – freedom from ignorance and freedom in our communication with the human world.”