With the Israeli government opening its doors to attract Asian talent for its research institutes, an Indian university has opened a centre here to facilitate cooperation in wide ranging areas for sustained exchange of expertise.
The UGC-recognised institution has signed MoUs with the Ben-Gurion University (BGU), Technion of Haifa and Institute of Archaeology of Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prof. Yoram Oren of the Zuckerberg Institute of Water Research of BGU is already a 'Visiting Faculty' at Karunya University and has established a laboratory to study electrochemical methods for water treatment.
Last year, Israel announced over 100 post-doctoral fellowships for Indian and Chinese scholars, to attract Asian talent to Israeli research institutions. Indian researchers managed to avail around two-thirds of them, with most of them securing positions at Israel's world renowned institutions like Weizmann Institute and Technion.
Karunya University's officiating Vice Chancellor and Director of Water Institute Dr. E J James said his university "will attempt to implement some of the successful lessons learnt from the Israeli experiment". "We are very excited about the agreements reached with leading Israeli research institutions and we will diligently work towards benefiting from this association. We will also actively pursue exchange of faculty and students to strengthen these ties", James said.
Karunya University is also in the process of formulating joint projects with Technion on food processing and aerospace engineering. Besides joint scientific projects, the Coimbatore-based University is also mulling the establishment of a 'Centre of Excellence in History and Archaeology of the Land of Bible' with the support of Institute of Archaeology of Hebrew University.
Karunya University has also established a Museum in its Outreach Office in Jerusalem depicting 'Jewish Heritage in India', which has a photo gallery and several models and also the replica of the Copper Plate Charter given to the Jewish leader in 1000 AD by the king of Kerala. The models on display include that of the Pardesi Synagogue of Mattanchery of Jews of Cochin in Kerala.