INDIAN TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION (ITEC) PROGRAMME
- The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme was instituted by a decision of the Indian Cabinet on 15 September 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India. The ITEC Programme, born out of the vision of our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, was formally launched under the premiership of Lal Bahadur Shastri. The decision regarding setting up the ITEC programme was predicated on the underlying belief that “it was necessary to establish relations of mutual concern and inter-dependence based not only on commonly held ideals and aspirations, but also on solid economic foundations. Technical and economic cooperation was considered to be one of the essential functions of an integrated and imaginative foreign policy.”
- The ITEC Programme is essentially bilateral in nature. However, in recent years, ITEC resources have also been used for cooperation programmes conceived in regional and inter-regional context such as Economic Commission for Africa, Industrial Development Unit of Commonwealth Secretariat, UNIDO, Group of 77 and G-15. In more recent years, its activities have also been associated with regional and multilateral organizations and cooperation groupings like Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), African Union (AU), Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO), Pan African Parliament, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) and India-Africa Forum Summit.
- The ITEC Programme, fully funded by the Government of India, has evolved and grown over the years. Under ITEC and its sister programme SCAAP (Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme), 161 countries in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Pacific and Small Island countries are invited to share in the Indian developmental experience acquired over six decades of India’s existence as a free nation. As a result of different activities under this programme, there is now a visible and growing awareness among other countries about the competence of India as a provider of technical know-how and expertise as well as training opportunities, consultancy services and feasibility studies. These programmes have generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries.
The ITEC/SCAAP Programme has the following components :
- Training (civilian and defence) in India of nominees from ITEC partner countries;
- Projects and project related activities such as feasibility studies and consultancy services;
- Deputation of Indian experts abroad;
- Study Tours;
- Gifts/Donations of equipment at the request of ITEC partner countries; and
- Aid for Disaster Relief .
- Training or capacity building is one of the major activities under ITEC. The professionals and people from developing countries are offered unique training courses, both civilian and defence, in different centres of excellence in India which empower them with not just professional skills, but prepare them for an increasingly globalized world.
(a) Civilian Training Programme: It is fully sponsored by the Government of India. There are 47 empanelled institutions conducting 280 short-term, medium-term and long-term courses during the year. The training programme is demand-driven and subjects selected are of interest to developing countries for their working professionals on a wide and diverse range of skills and disciplines.
The courses have been divided into seven broad categories for easy identification:
- Accounts, Audit, Banking and Finance Courses;
- IT, Telecommunication and English Courses;
- Management Courses;
- SME/Rural Development Courses;
- Specialized Courses;
- Technical Courses; and
- Environment and Renewable Energy Courses.
For Civilian Training Programme, 8280 slots have been allocated to ITEC/SCAAP partner countries in 2013-14 to attend the various training courses in India. An encouraging trend of senior level participants from within and outside Government joining ITEC courses has been noticed which indicates the efficacy of the courses for capacity building, empowerment and upgrading of skills. At the specific request of partner countries, special courses on specific topics are also organized under the ITEC.
(b) Defence Training: This covers training of personnel belonging to all the three wings of Defence Services, viz., Army, Air Force and Navy nominated by the ITEC partner countries in prestigious institutions like National Defence College, Defence Services Staff College, etc. The facility is also extended and availed of by some select developed countries on self financing basis. The training field covers Security and Strategic Studies, Defence Management, Marine and Aeronautical Engineering, Logistics and Management, etc.
- India assists ITEC partner countries, on the basis of mutually agreed projects, to establish useful infrastructure facilities with technology and skills appropriate to their resources and needs. Through project assistance, India also demonstrates the skills, technologies and human resource capabilities, which it has acquired in the course of its own development. A number of bilateral projects are undertaken, notably in the fields of archaeological conservation, Information Technology, (IT) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
- Feasibility studies and consultancy services, at the request of ITEC partner countries, are also carried out under the Programme. Results of these studies are handed over to the Governments concerned to use in a manner deemed appropriate by them.
Deputation of Indian Experts
- Indian experts are deputed to friendly countries on their request to assist in developmental activities. The experts study the problems and suggest solutions without disturbing the local socio-economic and cultural environment. Some of the fields covered in recent years have been creative arts, pest management, military training, IT, audit, medicine, English teaching, telecommunications, agricultural research, etc. Indian experiences and expertise in the fields of small and medium scale industries, agriculture and financial management have been found to be particularly relevant to the developing countries.
- Study tours in India are undertaken at the specific request of ITEC partner countries. Specific areas of interest are identified and two to three weeks programme is arranged during which the delegates are taken to important institutions, training centres, and places of interest in different parts of India.
Gifts/Donations of Equipment
- The Government of India provides gifts / donations of equipment to ITEC partner countries to assist in their developmental efforts. These gifts/ donations are usually in response to requests of these friendly countries and the commitments made by the political leadership.
Aid for Disaster Relief
- Under this Programme, India supplies humanitarian aid like food grains, medicines and similar other items to countries struck by natural disasters. Cash assistance is also provided.
- Since its inception in 1964, India has trained thousands of trainees in ITEC/SCAAP partner countries. To commemorate the Programme, September 15 has been designated as ‘ITEC Day’. Indian Missions in ITEC/SCAAP partner countries generally host a reception to celebrate the event during the course of the year as convenient. All ITEC/SCAAP alumni are invited along with Ministers and other high dignitaries of that country dealing with the ITEC programme. The alumni share their experiences about the training programme as well as their stay in India, which also serves as a meeting point for ITEC participants in building alumni networks and providing feedback. In many countries, ITEC alumni have formed ITEC friendship societies. ITEC alumni are also interacting through social networking site Face Book (www.facebook.com/ITECnetwork).
- Another cooperation programme of India, the Technical Cooperation Scheme of Colombo Plan, was started in 1950 with a view to providing technical assistance to neigbouring Colombo Plan countries. Through this Scheme, India provides comprehensive and integrated training to participants from Asian member countries of Colombo Plan with the purpose of assisting them to enhance their administrative and technical capabilities through human resource development. The Ministry of External Affairs has been entrusted with the administration of the TCS of Colombo Plan since April 2010. Under this Scheme, India offers 500 slots for training in India at 26 centres of learning covering diverse disciplines keeping in mind the needs of our Colombo Plan countries.
- ITEC is the flagship programme of the Indian Government’s capacity building effort, not only because of its magnitude and wide geographical coverage but also for innovative forms of technical cooperation. DPA-II Division of Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in the Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal division for handling all capacity building programmes. The ITEC programme, along with SCAAP and TCS of Colombo Plan, is a visible symbol of India’s role and contribution to South-South cooperation. South-South Cooperation is a partnership born out of a shared sense of solidarity and is entirely voluntary and free of conditionalities. It furthers national development priorities of our partners and has national ownership at its centre. India remains a staunch proponent and practitioner of South-South Cooperation which constitutes a fundamental pillar of India’s foreign policy and diplomacy.
ITEC and Bulgaria
Candidates from different fields from Bulgaria have been going to india under the ITEC scheme to attend different training modules as well as to attend projects in different parts of india. The number of participants who have attended various courses under the ITEC programme since 2001-02 is as under:
||No. of ITEC participants
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