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His Excellency Dr Ron Malka, the Ambassador of Israel, along with Ms Indrani Bagchi, Senior Diplomatic Editor of the Times of India as the moderator.

India and Israel established diplomatic relations in 1992, a change brought about by geopolitical realities of the time. Since then, the two nations have had extensive military and economic relations which have grown significantly. Today, India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second largest defence supplier to India after Russia. In matters of trade, it has grown from $200 million in 1992 to $5.48 billion in 2018.

The Indian-Israeli relationship has now taken on new dimensions and expanded to science and technology, innovation, space, cyber security and agriculture.

To understand the upcoming areas of cooperation between the two, the Ananta Centre organised an interactive session with His Excellency Dr Ron Malka, the Ambassador of Israel, along with Ms Indrani Bagchi, Senior Diplomatic Editor of the Times of India as the moderator.

The ambassador highlighted water and its management as an important area of cooperation. Water stress is emerging all over the world and has the potential to be a strategic risk and cause of insecurity.

Israel has transitioned from a water-deficit state to a water-surplus state, and has pioneered the water desalination technique,asignificant achievement in the era of climate change, rapid loss of fresh water bodies, and rise in seawater levels.

The vision of Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, to make the desert bloom, has been realized with advances in the arenas of rain water harvesting, sea water desalination, brackish water desalination, sewage water recycling. Presently, 90% of water used in Israel is recycled.Innovation, creativity and the right technologywere essential for the country’s progress in the water domain.

Optimizing water usage is another pillar which receives great attention by the government of Israel. There are conscious efforts to teach children about the importance of water and save water campaigns are regularly conducted to promote education regarding this value. To ensure efficiency in water usage in the agriculture sector, research was conducted to measure the amount of water in Israel and ensure that water is not lost through harvesting. Techniques such as drip irrigation, metering, non-revenue water, and precision agriculture were employed with the use of drones and satellites to see the exact amount of water which is necessary for the fields.

Israel has offered to share its successful experiences and technology with India and a strategic partnership in water has been established between the two countries. A number of water managers, from the government of India, have attended conferences in Israel to grasp their knowledge of water technology, techniques and management. Israel, in turn, has seized the opportunity and hosted a conference just for India.

Besides water, the ambassador addressed finance as another important aspect of the bilateral relationship which provides ample space for cooperation. Israel wants to expand business relations with India, especially through joint ventures in production, designing, exporting along with research and development. Israel, which faces shortages in manpower but has made tremendous strides in innovation and technology corresponds well with the Make in India initiative. Combining the engineering strengths of Israeli with the scale of Indian companies can stimulate India’s manufacturing sector, and in turn increase exports. This could be a great support in India’s bid to become a $5 trillion economy by 2022.

In order to support the Make in India initiative, it is important to facilitate the free flow of funds to make Indian an attractive investment option. Apart from integrating the financial market to facilitate free flow of goods, sharing best practices between India and Israel, banking management, and strengthening the banking sectors would also be a positive step in the bilateral relationship. Israel is looking at collaboration between market regulators and allowing Israeli investment in corporate bonds, to take advantage of thefavourable climate in both countries.

With potential in many new areas for collaboration, the future of India and Israel’s friendship is bright. This strategic relationship is an ever-expanding source of mutual benefit and growth.

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“What I want to focus on today is that every one of us here and not only in India but in the world, needs to appreciate the type of crisis that we are in and take credible actions in a way that not just improves their daily life but changes the lives for everyone in the world” – Jamshyd N Godrej, Aug 10 2019.

Most businesses today have a stand that climate change is a crisis for the future. Scientists have said that it is a tipping point in the world which if exceeded by two degrees by the end of this century can cause catastrophic changes. Speaking at the 8th Memorial Lecture organised by Ananta Aspen Centre, Jamshyd N Godrej delivered a discourse on how climate change has become a crisis due to our negligence in approach to address the problem. Whether it is flowing water or groundwater, every one of these are in a crisis situation. Food has become severely affected due to our anthropogenic needs. Tuna stocks have almost disappeared in the Mediterranean. The absorptive capacity of oceans have almost depleted due to the high levels of carbon dioxide present in atmosphere.

Industry can play a role in conserving the environment for a better future in the climate crisis. Green Building Centres, for instance is initiated by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for playing a role in conservation. It has today become second-largest footprint of certified green buildings in the world. Green Building Centres are certified through a process called Green Product Certification System. Emphasis laid in Green Buildings is on Light Emitting Diode System (LED).

Air Conditioner today has become an essential household item. The problem with most ACs is that they are not Green Building friendly owing to their huge costs. Ozone hole is severely getting affected because of our choices. However, Simple Solutions exist, Said Mr Godrej. Many countries in Europe have shown a way of eliminating these polluting refrigerants and emphasise on using Propane, a natural substance.

Today, Water has been commodified in Chennai. It has been brought for drinking purposes via train. Industry and Government has a greater role to play in conserving water. Water pricing is crucial, and that will make even farmers realise that they cannot keep their pumps on 24/7. Reuse and Recycle is a school taught concept, and we tend to ignore it in our daily chores.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted in its report that ‘climate crisis’ today would mean hotter and colder days. Climate system will go in extreme situation. Climate crisis has become an alarming situation because it is hanging on the fence due to addressing issues of Development and Conservation on the same parallel.

Ananta Aspen Centre organised a C K Prahalad Memorial lecture on ‘Climate Crisis and Biodiversity Preservation Challenge: Role of Industry and Civil Society’ with Sir Jamshyd N Godrej on August 10, 2019 in Coimbatore.

CK Prahalad Memorial Lecture is an annual event jointly organised by Ananta Aspen Centre and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to commemorate the legacy and contribution of Late Professor CK Prahalad to shaping the idea of India as a Morally, Economically and Technologically advanced nation, capable of leading the world. Professor Prahalad, held as amongst the finest thinkers of his time, was the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business. He was invested in eradicating poverty; his book “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits” changed the market paradigm for businesses.

This edition is the 8th in the series of lectures organised earlier at different locations. The theme of this lecture is inspired with the ongoing global clout on an issue that is affecting the world over.

The lecture covered diverse issues like green buildings, and saving energy from getting depleted by considering at alternative energy endowments harnessed by different countries.

To know more, watch the video of the session here

Read the Full Transcript of the lecture here

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The Ananta Centre organized a session on Economy and Policy “What are the Priorities for Economic Growth for India 2019/20?” The Union Budget and After on August 1, 2019 at WWF Auditorium, New Delhi.

The session featured Mr AK Bhattacharya, Editorial Director, Business Standard, Mr Nitin Desai, Chairman, The Energy & Resource Institute and Trustee, Ananta Centre and Dr Rakesh Mohan, Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University and Distinguished Fellow at Brookings India. It was moderated by Mr Tarun Das, Chairman, Institute of Economic Growth and Founding Trustee, Ananta Aspen Centre.

The focus of the discussion was on the key issuesand policies to bring about a higher growth rate. An outstanding panel of India’s finest economic thinkers, two of whom have held the office of Chief Economic Advisor, gave their diagnosis on what are the issues burdening the Indian economy and what can be done to put India on to a new growth trajectory.

To know more, watch the video of the session: Click Here

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