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Ambassador's Remarks at the Virtual Celebration of ITEC Day 2021

Posted on: September 15, 2021 | Back | Print

His Excellency Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam,

Distinguished guests from our ITEC partner Ministries and Universities of Vietnam,

Distinguished alumni from various Ministries, Provincial Governments and Institutions of Vietnam joining us today,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you online to our programme today as we mark the 57 glorious years of our Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme.

It was on this day in 1964 that Government of India launched the ITEC programme. Over these 57 years, ITEC has become India’s flagship development cooperation initiative for capacity building and human resource development in partner countries.  It is a fine example of the South-South Cooperation and is based on the needs and priorities of our partners.

Our approach to development partnership and cooperation with our friends has been shaped by our belief that strengthening and augmenting national capacities are essential for bringing progress and prosperity for our people. With this conviction, our ITEC Programme has been customized to cater to the needs of our partner countries.

Today, the ITEC programme proudly claims to have reached out to more than 200,000 beneficiaries in 160 partner countries in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Pacific and Small Island countries. It highlights the important position of development cooperation in India’s foreign policy today.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

With Vietnam, we have a long history of ITEC partnership.  As a country with whom we have closely shared our developmental experience as a modern nation, Vietnam is one of our premier partners in this programme.

It gives us great satisfaction that over the last nearly fifty years, India’s development partnership with Vietnam has left a successful legacy of institution-building and human resource development. We are proud of the contributions made by these institutions and trained professionals in the national development and modernization of Vietnam, in areas ranging from agriculture to food security, economy to finance, engineering and technology to industry, public administration to policy making, history and culture to language, and Buddhist studies to study of Yoga.

India’s development cooperation and capacity building efforts with Vietnam are also in line with the important place that Vietnam occupies in our “Act East Policy” and the “Indo Pacific Vision”.  It embodies our belief that our two nations’ prosperity and our people’s well-being are interlinked.

Our development partnership with Vietnam is not unidirectional.  It is an exchange of experience and knowledge.  As much as Vietnam has benefitted from the capacity building initiatives such as ITEC, these programmes have also given India an opportunity to learn from Vietnam’s own experiences and practices.

For example, from being a recipient of agriculture technology to a country whose agricultural productivity today ranks among the best in the world, Vietnam offers many valuable lessons for India in agricultural best practices.

Today, there are nearly 3000 ITEC participants in Vietnam. Each of them is a valuable bridge of goodwill and friendship between our two countries and our peoples. We would like their numbers to constantly grow.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are also proud to have partnered with Vietnam when we launched a new initiative under the ITEC programme, called the e-ITEC. This new initiative is based on modern tools of distance learning and covers wide-ranging areas.

Though our first e-ITEC course was launched in October 2019 – a few months before the COVID-19 disruptions began – the new digital format of the programme proved immensely useful after travel restrictions were imposed globally due to the pandemic. Many of our e-ITEC course have also been specifically tailored for issues relevant to different aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic management.

We continue to invite our friends from Vietnam to take full advantage of these e-ITEC course until regular programmes begin after the normalization of pandemic situation. We regularly post details of upcoming programmes on our website and Facebook pages. We would also remain open to special courses customized to meet the specific request from Vietnam under our ITEC Programme.

Another important initiative we have launched is the offer of 1000 integrated fully-paid PhD fellowships for students from ASEAN countries in our very globally acclaimed Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).  We are happy that 10 Vietnamese scholars have so far availed of this highly prestigious programme.

Most recently, the Prime Ministers of India and Vietnam have reinforced the vision of our development partnership in the historic Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People that was adopted during the Virtual Summit in December 2020. This Joint Vision calls for further strengthening of our ITEC and e-ITEC programmes with Vietnam in diverse sectors.  

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ITEC, e-ITEC and all our other capacity building initiatives embody our belief that growth and prosperity of the world are indivisible and that India stands ready to play its part by sharing skills and technical expertise that it has acquired over decades of its developmental journey. 

Vietnam will continue to be our premier partner in this endeavor.

I would once again like to thank His Excellency Deputy Minister PHUC for joining our event today. We are grateful for all the support we have got from the Ministry of Education and Training for implementing our ITEC programme in Vietnam.  We hope to continue receiving this support.

I would also like to thank all the Ministries and agencies of Government of Vietnam as well academic institutions and universities, who have partnered with us in making the ITEC programme a success story of our development partnership. 

With these words, I wish you all good health and happiness. Please stay safe wherever you are, as we jointly fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you!

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