India-Israel Relations

India-Israel relations refers to the bilateral economic, military and strategic ties between the Republic of India and the State of Israel.

Israel is represented through an embassy in New Delhi, and one consulate each in Mumbai and Bengaluru. India is represented through its embassy in Tel Aviv.

This article will give further details about India-Israel relations for the IAS Exam.

History of the India-Israel Relations

Diplomatic relations between Israel and India were fully established in 1992 despite attaining Independence from the British Empire within a year apart. Cold war politics had a lot to do with the initial frosty relations between India and Israel. India was part of the Non-Aligned movement while keeping a close relation with the Soviet-bloc and by proximity the Arab world., while Israel was an ally of the United States and NATO.

When the Cold War began to thaw in the 1980s, so two did the relations between the two nations beginning with a flurry of bilateral activity

This was demonstrated when Israel provided intelligence during the Kargil conflict in 1999 and provided disaster relief during 2001 Bhuj earthquake

With the establishment of full diplomatic ties, both countries have benefited immensely. India is one of Israels premier trading partners. Trade ad cooperation between the country now center on security-related deals and aid in areas as agriculture and water desalination

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Military Collaborations

Israel has sold radar and surveillance equipment for military application and it also gives counter-insurgency training to India’s anti-terror forces

India-Israel cooperation increased dramatically in 2014 with the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Between Modi’s election in May 2014 and November 2014, Israel exported $662 million worth of Israeli weapons and defence items to India. 

This export number is greater than the total Israeli exports to India during the previous three years combined. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon made the first-ever official visit of an Israeli Defense Minister to India in February 2015. 

On May 10, 2017, three warships from the Indian navy docked in the port of Haifa, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Modi’s scheduled to visit during the Summer. The ships, the INS Mumbai, the INS Trisula, and the INS Aditya, participated in a Naval drill with the Israeli navy when they entered the port. 

In wake of the strained relationship between China, India announced plans in July 2020 to purchase additional weapons from Israel. The defence ministers of both Israel and India have discussed strengthening bilateral ties where there was interest expressed in encouraging greater participation of Israeli defence companies in the Indian defence sector

Collaboration in Agriculture

The two nations in 2008 started an agrcultural fund worth $50 million that focused on dairy, farming technology and micro-irrigation. This constituted the Indo-Israel Agricultural Project. .

 By March 2014, 10 centres of excellence operated throughout India offering free training sessions for farmers on efficient agricultural techniques using Israeli technological expertise. Vertical farming, drip irrigation and soil solarization are some of what is taught at the centres. Farming at these centres focuses on mangoes, tomatoes, pomegranates, and citrus fruits.

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Latest Developments in India-Israel Relations

The Israeli National Emergency Medical Service, MDA-Magen David Adom (Hebrew for Red Star of David) and the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) held a joint training program during July 2017 aimed at improving and upgrading the IRCS first-responder skills.

In 2017, a record 70,000 tourists from India visited Israel. This trend continued into 2018, with 40,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel during just the first six months of the year. Air India began running faster (approximately 7 hours) direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv four times per week in March 2018, so tourism numbers are expected to continue to climb.

The first recipients of grants from the Israel-India Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) were announced in July 2018, including companies working to better the lives of Indians and Israelis through efficient water use, improving communications infrastructure, solar energy use, and life-changing surgeries. The fund aims to help Israeli entrepreneurs enter the Indian market.

Frequently Asked Questions about India-Israel Relations

What is military aspect of the India-Isreal Relations?

India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia. From 1999 to 2009, the military business between the two nations was worth around billion. Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to intelligence sharing on terrorist groups and joint military training.

What is the nature of India-Israel relations?

The two countries have an extensive economic, military, and strategic relationship. Israel is represented through an embassy in New Delhi, and one consulate each in Mumbai and Bengaluru.

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