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India, Israel to enlarge web of ties, institutionalise cyber security dialogue

India and Israel are all set to institutionalise cyber security cooperation

india Updated: May 21, 2017 23:49 IST
Shishir Gupta
Modi is expected to visit the Middle Eastern country in July during which the two sides are expected to finalise pacts in key sectors.
Modi is expected to visit the Middle Eastern country in July during which the two sides are expected to finalise pacts in key sectors.(File Photo)

With national cyber security coordinator in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr Gulshan Rai bound for Tel Aviv this week, India and Israel are all set to institutionalise cyber security cooperation in the run-up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Jerusalem in July.

Israeli and Indian diplomatic sources also confirmed that secretary (Industrial Promotion and Policy) Ramesh Abhishek, along with Invest India team, reached Tel Aviv on Sunday, a day after foreign secretary S Jaishankar left for India after meeting Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu last Friday.

Abhishek will hold talks with his Israeli counterpart to promote investment in India under Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative besides the defence sector.

Despite India and Israel being close partners in defence and security for the past two decades, the two countries have still to institutionalise cyber security dialogue.

Israel is a leading global power in offensive and defensive technologies, and is one of the very few countries to have the capability of intercepting Net-based communication platforms.

Given that terror and extremist groups world over communicate through Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), India looks toward Israeli cooperation in this vital area.

Although it is early days yet, India and Israel would like to exchange notes on protecting national databases from malware and hackers.

The two sides are preparing to set up a dialogue or a joint working group where cyber-experts from both sides could exchange information or technologies for mutual benefit.

Israel is also reaching out to chief ministers of key Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra for one-on-one dialogues with agriculture, irrigation, water and sanitation majors over the coming months in order to cooperate on specific state-related problems.