The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme University
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 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, 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, 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 Programme has the following components :
- Training (civilian and defence) in India of nominees from ITEC partner countries;
- Deputation of Indian experts abroad;
- Study Tours;
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: For Civilian Training Programme, around 12000 scholarships are being offered to ITEC partner countries to attend the various training courses in India. The premiere institutions of India offers more than 300 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. The wide and diverse spectrum of skills and disciplines offered ranges from IT to rural development, parliamentary practices to entrepreneurship, marine to aeronautical engineering and so on. 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.
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.