Chief Minister of Maharashtra, India Visits TAU
In a milestone for strengthening ties between Tel Aviv University and India, the Chief Minister of Maharashta, Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis, visited TAU. Maharashtra is a state in Western India, whose capital is Mumbai, the most populous city in India. Fadnavis was accompanied by a delegation from the Maharashtra State Government including Mr. Pravlin Pardeshi, Principal Dec. CM Office; Mr. Bushan Gagrani, CEO, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation; and Mr. D.K. Singh, Secretary for Information Technology.
During the visit a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for academic and research collaboration was signed between TAU and NMIMS - Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai. Founded in 1981, NMIMS is one of the top ten business schools in India and has recently expanded to include programs in engineering, technology, pharmacology, architecture and education. The MOU builds on the TAU Faculty of Management’s existing ties with NMIMS, which include visits by TAU MBA students there as part of their study program and a recent visit by TAU President Joseph Klafter and Vice President Raanan Rein while in India. The MOU was signed between Vice President Raanan Rein and Dr. Sharad Y. Mhaiskar, Dean MPSTME, NMIMS.
TAU President Joseph Klafter gave an overview of TAU’s research activities, noting that the fields of cancer and Alzheimer’s drug development, super-wheat, cyber security, high-capacity batteries and water reclaiming technologies, among others, held “tremendous opportunity for cooperation with Indian companies, especially in Maharashtra.”
TAU Shifts Eastward
Prof. Klafter noted that as a matter of policy, TAU had “shifted eastward,” seeing India’s emergence as a global powerhouse as a source of important partnership in many fields. “Tel Aviv University is eager to share its knowledge and expertise and we see this agreement as a knowledge bridge that connects between our two countries and brings mutual benefits to both our peoples.”
Prof. Klafter enumerated the many areas of cooperation between Tel Aviv University and India, including the India-Israel Forum organized by TAU – a highly successful partnering of officials entrepreneurs, businesspeople and academics from both countries which takes place in India and Israel. He acknowledged the Indian conglomerate Tata Industries’ leading investment in the $23.5 million Momentum Fund at Ramot, TAU’s technology transfer company, noting that the fund is helping to feed innovation and collaboration.
Prof. Klafter added that TAU hoped to attract more Indian students to its world-class study and research programs, noting that currently half the students in the University’s English-language Electrical Engineering program are Indian.
TAU Vice President Raanan Rein signs Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Sharad Y. Mhaiskar, Dean MPSTME, NMIMS
Maharashtra as a global financial center
In his address, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Gangadharrao Fadnavis noted that Mumbai is a global investment and financial center. “It is important to attract Israeli investments to our state. Israel has technology, Israel has brains, Israel has innovation and India has the urge to collaborate,” he said. He noted that there was huge scope for collaboration between Maharashtra and Israel in the fields of agriculture, information and communications technology, and defense manufacturing.
Acknowledging the important role played by universities in Israel in boosting the local economy, Mr. Fadnavis announced that he was offering to set up an Indo-Israel Industrial Park in Maharashtra, saying the collaboration will help take bilateral ties between India and Israel to “the next level, beside creating a wonderful ecosystem for the community at large.”
During the event a panel was held on manufacturing in Maharashtra with talks by Mr. Dilip Sanghvi, CEO of Sun Pharma; Prakash Chhabria, Chairman, Finolex Group; and Israel Makov, Chairman of Sun Pharma, who chaired the proceedings and is a veteran of the India-Israel Forum. TAU researchers Prof. Hadas Saaroni of the Porter School of Environmental Studies and Prof. Yaniv Assaf of the Sagol School of Neuroscience gave presentations. Experts in cyber security spoke, including Dr. Erez Shmueli of TAU’s Fleischman Faculty of Engineering, Brigadier General (Ret.), Rami Ben-Efraim, Head of Government and the Defense Sectors, Checkpoint Software Technologies Ltd.; Ariel Cohen, VP Sales Cyber Security, Verint, and Eli Levi, Senior VP and Managing Director of Verint APAC CIS.
Also participating were Vice President for Research and Development Yoav Henis and Vice President for Resource Development Amos Elad; a delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII); a delegation from the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture; Indian Ambassador to Israel Jaideep Sarkar and Israel Consul-General to Mumbai David Akov.