TAU's Joseph Klafter joins Israeli President Rivlin on India visit
Pictured above; Prof. Joseph Klafter (second from left) with Israeli President Rivlin (back row, center) and summit participants
Tel Aviv University President Joseph Klafter accompanied President of Israel Reuven Rivlin on a state visit to India dedicated to furthering bilateral academic ties. Prof. Klafter was selected to speak on behalf of Israeli university heads at the Israel-India Academic Summit held in mid-November in Delhi. Attending the Summit were top Israeli and Indian university leaders who explored opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in water & environment, clean energy, agriculture and food industry, cyber security, among others.
The state visit follows that of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Israel last year and comes in the wake of intensified bilateral relations.
In his address, Prof. Klafter said, “what mainly attracts India and Israel to each other, is, first, a shared reverence for education, and second, a mutual desire for technological prominence.” He noted that according to the World Economic Forum, Israel ranks 8th in the world and India ranks 15th in the availability of scientists and engineers, out of 150 countries.
Prof. Klafter noted that TAU, in particular, has been actively promoting ties between the two countries. The India-Israel Forum sponsored by Tel Aviv University and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has helped expand joint research, student exchange and industry collaboration by bringing hundreds of Indian and Israeli business figures, entrepreneurs, top government officials, academic expert and thought leaders together to explore joint avenues of activity. “We are interested in pursuing joint R&D in the area of cyber, food security, water and IT,” said Prof. Klafter, noting the recent investment of Tata and other industrial giants in a new $20 million Tel Aviv University consortium for promising startups in the Internet of Things field.
Prof. Klafter expressed his hope that India would send more doctoral and post-doctoral students to Israel for advanced research and that more undergraduates would enroll in TAU’s English-language programs such as the BSc in Electrical Engineering.
During his address, Israeli President Rivlin noted that 10% of foreign students in Israel are from India and that 40 joint research projects are supported by both governments. Most Israeli universities teach Indian studies and languages, he said.