Bilateral relations Current Affairs
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Israel which is the first by an Indian prime minister to Israel resulted in the signing of seven agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture. The other prominent takeaways of the visit are the following:
Prime Minister Modi has assured faster facilitation of OCI cards for Jewish Citizens of Indian origin in Israel. He also assured that the OCI card will be given even to those people of Indian origin who had served in the Israeli government’s compulsory army service.
The launch of a new Air India flight connecting India and Israel was announced, the flight is expected to connect Delhi/Mumbai with Tel Aviv.
Israeli flower named after PM Modi
As a special gesture, a new fast growing Israeli Crysanthumun flower was named “MODI” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during the Indian Premier’s visit to the Danziger flower farm, which is one of the leading floriculture companies of Israel having founded in 1953.
India and Israel have announced that they have elevated their ties to a strategic partnership as India has identified Israel as a major development and technological partner. Both countries have also agreed to combat growing radicalization and terrorism and expand co-operation in cyber security.
Indian Cultural Centre
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the establishment of an Indian Cultural Centre in Israel to enhance people-to-people contacts between the two countries. Israel’s has also voiced its strong support to promote the practice of yoga by designating June 21 as International Yoga Day.
Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund (I4F)
The $40 million Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund has been launched as a five-year technology fund with an aim at growing the business relationship between both the countries. The similar type of fund had boosted Israel’s ties with that of the US in the past 40 years.
India and Israel have signed 7 agreements on areas including space, tech and agriculture during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Israel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel. Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit marks the 25 years of establishment of diplomatic relationship between India and Israel.
In the joint statement released after talks between India and Israel, both the countries have called for taking strong measures against terror organisations and also against those who encouraged, supported and financed terrorism.
- MoU for setting up of India-Israel Industrial R&D & Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)
- MoU for conservation of water in India
- MoU on State Water Utility Reform in India
- India-Israel Development Cooperation- 3-year work program in Agriculture (2018-2020)
- Plan of cooperation regarding cooperation in atomic clocks
- MoU regarding cooperation in GEO-LEO optical link.
- MoU regarding cooperation in electric propulsion for small satellites.
The diplomatic relationship between India and Israel was established in 1992. India is Israel’s topmost destination for arms export. India is already buying an average of $1 billion per year in military equipment. For India, Israel is the third largest source of arms after the US and Russia with a share of 7.2% between 2012 and 2016.
The earliest India-Israel defence collaboration took place during the 1962 Sino-Indian war when Israel provided military aid to India. Israel also helped India during its two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971. India reciprocated by helping Israel during the six-day war in 1967 by supplying spare parts for French-made Mystere and Ouragan aircraft as well as AX-13 tanks.
In April 2017, India and Israel had signed a $2 billion deal for an advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile system which will be helpful for the Indian army to shoot down aircraft, missiles and drones etc.
Israel is India’s 38th-largest trading partner with the trade balance standing in India’s favour in 2016-17.