Israel announces post-doctoral grants for Indians, Chinese

Acknowledging growing clout of India and China in the fields of engineering and computer science, Israel has announced post-doctoral grants for up to 100 students from the two countries, allocating an annual budget of USD 7.78 million.

Israel's Finance Minister Yuval Steintiz and Education Minister Gideon Saar jointly announced the programme aimed at "strengthening cooperation in education, science and technology with India and China" through grant of post- doctoral scholarships.

Earlier, Steinitz had made an announcement in New Delhi during his December 2010 visit to India about granting post-doctoral fellowships to India scholars.

"To strengthen cooperation with India and China in the fields of education, science and technology ... post-doctoral fellowships based on excellence will be granted by Israeli universities after candidates are interviewed personally in India and China," the announcement said.

"The Government of Israel has allocated an annual budget of NIS 30 million (USD 7.78 million) for these scholarships, which will cover all disciplines and areas of study. Each scholarship will be offered for a period of three years," it said.

The Council for Higher Education in Israel will finance the triennial grants every year for up to 100 exceptional post-doctoral students from India and China.

All the selected fellows will receive an annual grant of NIS 100,000 (nearly USD 25,960), which will include travel and health insurance.

The programme is expected to expand gradually to a total of 300 recipients within three years.

Welcoming the announcement, India's Ambassador to Israel, Navtej Sarna, described it as "an important initiative in the 20th anniversary of India-Israel diplomatic relations".

Pointing out that India had one of the largest number of technically qualified manpower in the world, Sarna added that the scholarships will "strengthen the bilateral academic, scientific and technical cooperation, and also people-to-people linkages between the two countries".

Seven Israeli research universities will be offering these scholarships with each one of them permitted to submit requests for up to 40 candidates.

The post-doctoral fellow is eligible to apply for a second year, subject to submission of a scientific report describing achievements attained during the first year.

Israel's reputed Volcani Institute for Agricultural Research will be extending twenty post-doctoral fellowships.

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