Punjab and Israel today agreed to explore technology transfer in the areas of water conservation and security, besides deciding to cooperate in the fields of agriculture and social development.
These, and some other key issues of mutual interest, were discussed between Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Israeli Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon over a breakfast meeting here, an official spokesman said.
The Israeli envoy was paying a courtesy call on the chief minister, who is scheduled to visit the West Asian country at the end of the month.
The spokesman said Singh expects some memoranda of understanding to be signed ahead of his visit, when the five-member cabinet sub-committee on ground water conservation travels to Israel.
The chief minister told the envoy that the cabinet sub-committee had been formed to study Israeli methods on agricultural diversification to minimise water consumption and the use of waste water.
The two sides also discussed on issues relating to security, including training of police personnel, the spokesman said.
Set up in 2011, the special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team, a counter terrorism unit of the Punjab Police, has been trained by Israel. During the 2015 Gurdaspur terror attack, SWAT commandos handled the operation at Dina Nagar police station.
Citing the grim ground water situation in Punjab, Singh suggested that pilot projects should be undertaken with private Israeli companies, equipped with the latest technologies, to tackle the problem.
These projects should come under the umbrella of the Israeli government, he said.
The suggestion came in response to the ambassador’s statement that Israeli government agency Newtech could coordinate projects between the state government and the private companies in his country.
He said three Israeli companies were working on drip irrigation projects in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The Punjab government could identify the companies they were interested in working with, Carmon said.
The envoy promised to examine the proposals in detail to facilitate signing of the necessary agreements between the two governments.
He told the chief minister that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi twice in the past one year, had promised to share technology on desalination and treatment of waste water.
After horticulture and agriculture, water was the next area in which Israel was working with India in a major way, Carmon added.
Israel had cooperated with India in the drinking water conservation campaign, the ambassador said, adding that experts from his county would be coming soon to sign MoUs with the Uttar Pradesh government.
Israel was ready to do the same with Punjab, he added.
The chief minister suggested that there could be cooperation between agriculture universities in Punjab and Israel.
Carmon also proposed the two sides could work together on the social development front for which his country has prepared a concept paper.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)