India’s diplomatic relations with Israel may be relatively new—embassies on either side were established only in 1992, but when we look at the history of Jewish emigration to this country, relations are indeed quite historical. Some believe that the first few Jews came to India nearly 3,000 years ago and may have been members from the Ten Lost Tribes. The bulk of Jews arrived between 250 to 900 years ago and settled in different parts of India. Historically, Jews have lived in this country without any instances of anti-semitism, something that cannot be said for many other parts of the world. On the back of the historical relations, and the more recent diplomatic ones, India and Israel are taking their bilateral engagements to a new high. While cooperation in defence, security, counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing has been an ongoing process, now there is heightened cooperation in water management, agriculture, IT and education. Large Indian companies have started investing in Israel, described by Ambassador Daniel Carmon as a Start-Up Nation.
Israeli scientists and technologists famously catch the Mediterranean clouds passing over their nation very early, and turn them into rain, literally, using chemicals. They use large reservoirs to store water. That is why they have transformed what was an arid nation into a forested one. Besides, they are able to turn saline sea water into drinking water, a technology that has helped them tide over their water crisis to a very large extent. The concept of “more crop per drop” through precise, regulated drip irrigation is also something Israel can take credit for introducing to the world. Little wonder that Israel was the Country Partner at the India Water Week in April. We caught up with Ambassador Carmon, and have put his perspectives on Indo-Israel cooperation and relationships on our cover.
We have an interview with Tan Sri Datuk Dr Mohan Swami, the Chancellor of the Swami Rama Himalayan University in Dehradun. Established under the guidance of Swami Rama, a great sage and a true renunciate, the University celebrated its first convocation in April. President Pranab Mukherjee as chief guest conferred medals and gave a speech. Tan Sri’s interview challenges us to think how modern day scientific education must be tempered with ancient wisdom and spirituality that flows from the hearts of our Himalayan sages.
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