India and Israel Relations

  • GS Paper – 2 Bilateral Groupings & Agreements, Groupings & Agreements Involving India and/or Affecting India’s Interests, Effect of Policies & Politics of Countries on India’s Interests.
  • PAGE 13, Explained

Why is it in the news?

  • In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between the two nations, India and Israel unveiled a commemorative logo on Monday.
  • Both the Star of David and the Ashoka Chakra, which appear on the national flags of both nations, are used in the logo, which creates the number 30 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between them.

The Most Important Points

Relationships with Diplomatic Missions:

  • Despite the fact that India recognised Israel in 1950, the two nations did not establish formal diplomatic relations until the 29th of January 1992. As of December 2020, India was one of 164 member nations of the United Nations (UN) that maintained diplomatic relations with Israel.

Relationships in the Economic and Commercial Sectors:

  • Following a decline of USD 200 million in 1992, bilateral goods trade (excluding defence) reached USD 4.14 billion (excluding defence) during the period April 2020 – February 2021, with the balance of trade in India’s favour.
  • The trade in diamonds accounts for around 50% of all international trade.
  • India is Israel’s third-largest trading partner in Asia and its seventh-largest trading partner in the world.
  • Israeli corporations have made investments in India in energy, renewable energy, telecommunications, real estate, and water technology, and they are concentrating on establishing research and development centres or manufacturing units in the country.
  • In addition, India and Israel are in discussions on finalising a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).


  • After Russia, India is the second-largest importer of military equipment from Israel, which in turn is the second-largest defence supplier to India after the latter.
  • Over the years, the Indian armed forces have acquired a diverse range of Israeli weapon systems, which include Phalcon AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) and Heron, Searcher-II, and Harop drones, as well as Barak anti-missile defence systems and Spyder quick-reaction anti-aircraft missile systems.
  • As well as missiles and precision-guided munitions from Israel, including Python and Derby air-to-air missiles as well as Crystal Maze and Spice-2000 bombs, were purchased by the United States.
  • Country representatives decided during the 15th Joint Working Group (JWG 2021) meeting on bilateral defence cooperation to organise a Task Force to develop a comprehensive Ten-Year Roadmap to explore new areas of collaboration.

Cooperation in Agriculture:

  • The signing of “a three-year work programme agreement” for progress in agricultural cooperation is scheduled for May 2021.
  • Aims to expand current Centres of Excellence, build new centres, boost CoE’s contribution to society, transition Centres of Excellence into self-sufficient status, and stimulate private sector firms and partnership. Description of the programme:

Science and Technology (S&T):

  • An 8th Governing Body meeting of the India-Israel Industrial Research and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F) was recently held in which specialists from India and Israel discussed ways to broaden the scope of the fund.
  • They authorised three joint research and development projects for a total of 5.5 million dollars and proposed steps to establish a more extensive India-Israel cooperation ecosystem.
  • I4F is a bilateral partnership between India and Israel to promote, facilitate, and support cooperative industrial research and development initiatives between enterprises in India and Israel to solve the difficulties in the agreed-upon ‘Focus Sectors.’


  • Israel is also a member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which is led by India and corresponds extremely well with the goals of both nations, which want to increase their cooperation in renewable energy and become a partner in the clean energy sector.

The Best Way Forward

  • Since 1992, the relationship between the two countries has grown stronger, mostly as a result of shared strategic objectives and security challenges.
  • As a result, Indians are sympathetic toward Israel, and the government is currently rebalancing and recalibrating its West Asia policy in the interests of its own national security.
  • India and Israel must overcome their susceptibility as a result of their religious extremist neighbours in order to contribute to the solution of global concerns such as climate change, water shortage, population growth, and food insecurity.
  • For India to gain the most possible benefit from the geopolitical realignments brought about by the Abraham Accords, it is imperative that it pursue a more muscular and proactive Middle Eastern strategy.


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