Jul 06, 2017

Innovation, technology can boost India-Israel ties: Modi

BYPankaj Mishra

Stating that innovation and entrepreneurship were being encouraged in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday innovation and technology can boost the relationship between India and Israel.
Addressing a 4,000-strong gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Tel Aviv Convention Centre here, Modi said that Israel has progressed so much because of the country’s penchant for innovation.
He said that India too is a young nation with 65% of its population below the age of 35 which which is why, he said, skill development is being given special emphasis.
“We have created a separate ministry only for skill development,” Modi said.
“Around 600 skill development centres are being set up across the country and an Indian Institute of Skills is being established,” he stated.
While job creators are being given tax relief, he said that innovators and entrepreneurs are being encouraged.
He said that Israel was known for innovation and the country today boasts of 12 Nobel laureates.
Whether it is solar panels or agri-biotechnology, he said Israel has left the rest of the world far behind.
“Israel has progressed so much today because of its penchant for innovation,” Modi said.
“India and Israel can walk together shoulder to shoulder in the field of technology,” he stated.
He said that the around 600 Indian students undergoing higher studies in Israel were like a bridge between the two countries in innovation and technology.
He also spoke about the flagship initiatives of his government, saying that the Make in India campaign has taken everyone by surprise.
“India is today becoming the hub of the digital world,” he said.
“We are making consistent efforts to double farmers’ income by 2022 and policies are being being formulated for this,” he said.
Talking about the reforms undertaken by his government, he said that 100 per cent is now allowed in the construction so that there is housing for all by 2022, the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
In defence sector too, he said that though there were talks of reforms for long, nothing palpable was seen, but his government introduced reforms in the last three years and now 100 percent foreign direct investment is allowed in this sector.
Modi said that bankruptcy and insolvency laws have introduced to give confidence to foreign investors.
Modi, who has become the first ever Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel, lamented the fact that it took 70 years after Israel’s creation for such a visit to take place.
There are around 85,000 Jews of Indian origin in Israel, the majority of them hailing from Maharashtra and known as Bene Israelis.
Modi praised the contribution of Jewish Indians for their role in the development of Israel and also recalled the contributions of Jews in India.
Of around 10,000 Indian nationals in Israel, around 9,000 work as care-givers while the rest are mostly diamond traders, IT professionals and students. The Prime Minister appreciated the work of the caregivers.
Modi also that from now on Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards will now be issued to those Jewish Indians who had undergone compulsory military training in Israel.
He also announced that flight services between New Delhi, Mumbai and Tel Aviv would be launched soon.
Earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greeted the crowd and told Modi: “These are Jews of India. They love India, they love Israel.”

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Pankaj Mishra is a writer of FactorDaily.