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 ideas 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 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 grouping like Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MCC), 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, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Paciifc 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 programme have generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries.
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: It is fully sponsored by the Government of India. There are 47 institutions conduct around 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 7 broad categories for easy identification:
i. Accounts, Audit, banking and Finance
ii. IT, Telecommunications and English Courses
iii. Management Courses
iv. SME / Rural Development Courses
v. Specialized Courses
vi. Technical Courses
vii. 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 course have been noticed which indicates the efficiency 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 to personnel belonging to all the three wings of Defence Services, viz. Army, Air Force & 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 by some selected developed countries on self financing basis. The training field covers Security and Strategic Studies, Defence Management, Marine and Aeronautical Engineering, Logistics and Management, etc.
For more details on the ITEC Programme please visit https://www.itecgoi.in/index.php .