Friday, October 11, 2013

Israel to impart post-graduate agriculture training to Indians

Israel, a pioneer in the farm sector, is in active consultation with the Indian government to impart post-graduate training to Indian students in agriculture with special focus on enhanced productivity and research. As part of the initiative, students would visit Israel to do their internship during the duration of the programme to gain exposure to the advancements made there. The students would then return to India to complete their degree programme, Israel's ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz told PTI here, adding, talks are on with the Gujarat government for the programme. "This is something which we have never done before. It a very sophisticated venture and it is coming up in Gujarat," he said, adding, "The idea is to create a programme in which students will Study agriculture with practical orientation focused on R&D and then come to Israel and acquire some kind of Israeli experience before going back". The programme is aimed at imparting students with the requisite knowledge of producing agriculture technology and developing them indigenously here, the top Israeli envoy said. However, he did not elaborate further about the proposed programme nor disclose the quantum of investment they are planning. The development assumes significance as Israel government is already sponsoring 66 post-doctoral scholars from India to pursue research at top universities under a three-year scholarship programme. Under the framework of this scholarship programme, fellows from leading Indian institutes will conduct research in a wide range of fields, including immunology, genetics, neurobiology, bio-informatics, computer sciences, law and economics. Ushpiz, who is in favour of more such initiatives, said there is a possibility of increasing the number of students under the scholarship programme. Israel is a pioneer in the farm sector. He, however, said it is important for Indian students to be aware about such opportunities in Israeli universities. At the personal level, Ushpiz said he will be more than happy to see Israeli universities setting campuses in India pending the passage of the Foreign Education Providers Bill even though there is a great chunk of work to be covered. Israel universities, for their part, are also very "enthusiastic" about getting students from India, he said. Boosting academic ties, Israel Science Foundation has already entered into an understanding with UGC in August last year to initiate a India-Israel joint research programme.

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