(JNS.org) India and Israel announced a new $5 million joint research program to further strengthen education-sector collaboration between the two countries.
The deal was signed by India’s new Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani and Israeli Ambassador to India Alon Ushpiz.
According to the Indian financial daily, Business Standard, 66 research proposals have already been received and will be evaluated by experts on both sides.
Annual bilateral trade between India and Israel reaches about $5 billion. The countries are also working on inking a Free Trade Agreement.
The announcement comes just days after Narendra Modi was sworn in as India’s new prime minister. Modi, who forged close ties with Israeli businesses as chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, has indicated he will pursue closer ties with Israel as India’s leader.
“We are very confident he will give the proper attention to the relations with Israel because he understands the strategic bond,” Anat Bernstein-Reich, president of the Israel-India Friendship Association and vice president of the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce, told JNS.org.