Israel Seeks Big Data to Revolutionise Indian Farm Production

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on a six-day visit during which he will hold extensive talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who received him at the airport, setting aside protocol.

On Sunday, Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu attended a ceremony to rename Teen Murti Chowk in central Delhi as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also called on the Israeli Prime Minister. Later, Mr. Modi hosted a private dinner for Mr. Netanyahu and his wife Sara.

India and Israel on Monday inked nine pacts to boost cooperation in key areas, including cybersecurity and energy. The agreements were signed after extensive talks between Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu for bolstering bilateral ties in strategic areas. The two Prime Ministers, accompanied by their respective senior Cabinet colleagues, held delegation-level talks during which they also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Speaking to journalists about the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vijay Gokhale, Secretary in charge of economic relations in the MEA, said Israel proposed to track individual Indian farmers, even as both sides joined hands to use a similar data-driven method to fight cybercrimes.

“The idea of big data was brought into the discussion by the Israeli side in the context of emphasising how technology can now be used to agglomerate vast amounts of information and then bear on individual field and individual [Indian] farmer’s efforts, to improve the yield.

The official refused to elaborate whether India had safeguards in place to share Aadhaar-based data with Israel, but indicated that the data under consideration would be of a magnitude to facilitate monitoring of “individual farmers’ and ‘water utilisation, cutting of crop, plantation, soil condition.”

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