The Punjab Government, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Tuesday signed four important Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) with Israel to boost cooperation in water conservation and management, as well as agricultural research and education.
The MoUs were signed here in the presence of the Chief Minister on the second day of his Israel visit, which is aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two sides in the key areas of agriculture, water management and homeland security.
The Chief Minister said the MoUs would help Punjab secure the much needed technical expertise and knowhow for strengthening its water management systems and improving its agricultural research and learning.
The MoU on water management was signed between Punjab Water Resources Management and Development Corporation and Israel’s national water company, Mekorot Development and Enterprise Ltd.
The agreement was signed by Arunjit Singh Miglani, chairman of the Corporation, on behalf of the Punjab government, while for Mekorot, its Vice President Moti Shiri inked the MoU.
Under the MoU, Mekorot will formulate a Water Conservation and Management Plan for the State of Punjab, and will recommend use of appropriate technology, detailed project reports etc.
The basic data shall be provided by the Punjab Water Resources Management and Development Corporation, with the two parties to decide on any additional data that might need to be collected, or any studies that might be required to be carried out.
The Plan will be finalized with two months, unless the parties agree to an extension.
It is further provided that a joint working group, comprising an equal number of members from each of the parties, shall be formed within three weeks of this MoU to monitor the process of execution of the Plan, which has been necessitated due to the water crisis faced by Punjab as a result of overexploitation of ground water resources.
The MoU seeks to come out with a comprehensive, viable, cost effective and efficient Water Conservation and Management Plan for the State of Punjab.
The three MoUs relating to agricultural research have been signed by the Punjab Agricultural University with Israel’s ARAVA Institute, Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Galilee International Management Institute.
On behalf of PAU Vice Chancellor, Additional Secretary, Govt of Punjab, Viswajeet Khanna signed the MoUs, with Dr. Shmuel Brenner signing on behalf of the ARAVA Institute for Environmental Studies, Prof. Raanan Rein, Vice President for TAU and Major General Dr. Baruch Levy, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Galilee International Management Institute.
The MoUs on Educational Cooperation are focused on collaboration on cooperative research and holding of joint academic seminars in agricultural sciences, along with faculty and student exchange programmes.
The two sides have also agreed to cooperate in exchange of scholarship plans of mutual interest, under all the three agreements, each of which is valid for five years.