Jerusalem, Nov 10 (PTI) Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), a leading academic institution in the field of desert agriculture and water-related research, is to help establish an agricultural research institute in Tamil Nadu.
The research institute will be established in association with Chennai headquartered ABAN group.
A virtual signing ceremony to launch the initiative was held on Monday in the presence of Prof Daniel Chamovitz, BGU President; Reji Abraham, Managing Director ABAN Group; Anitha Nandhini, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Israel and Jonathan Zadka, Israel's Consul General in Bengaluru.
Saleindra Bhaskar, President, ABAN informatics Pvt. Ltd; Prof Noam Weisbrod, Director of Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) at BGU and other senior executives from both sides also participated in the virtual ceremony.
BGU is among the world leaders in the field of desert agriculture and water-related research and will be consulting regarding the establishment, development, launch and operation of the joint Academic Research Institute, a press release said.
Interested students who have finished their undergraduate studies in an academic institution in India and meet academic and administrative requirements of BGU can apply to study towards a certificate course, postgraduate Diploma, or master’s degree at BGU.
The research component of the degree will be carried out at the ABAN-BGU Academic Research Institute under the guidance of the faculty of the university and / or staff trained by BGU, in one of the following fields - dryland agriculture and biotechnology, hydrology and water quality desert studies, ecology, and conservation.
ABAN and BGU both believe that food security is the key to the future and therefore the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research (BIDR) at BGU is the perfect academic partner for this initiative, the press statement said.
“As part of the international research community, it is our obligation to share our scientific knowledge for the benefit of all the world’s citizens. We are proud to be leading global research in these fields and therefore it is natural for the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to direct the academic establishment of an agriculture institute in India,' Chamovitz was quoted as saying.
'The institute will assist in developing appropriate solutions to the agriculture of India. In addition, the students will benefit from studies at BGU at our Sde Boker Campus, and then carry out relevant research in the new Institute under the mentorship of BGU scientists,” he added.
The BGU President also highlighted that his university has been 'researching myriad aspects' of desert agriculture up close for more than 50 years.
Weisbrod, who visited India earlier this year to evaluate the site in Tamil Nadu for the new institute, said that this partnership with ABAN could help share the vast knowledge and experience gained at BIDR with students in India in general and Tamil Nadu in particular.
'This new generation of local scholars will receive the tools to tackle some of the most pressing concerns of the modern world: the need for an efficient and modern agriculture to optimize and improve food production, and the methods and technologies to increase and improve water availability and quality, all while keeping in mind the environmental concerns,” he stressed. PTI HM NSA