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 :
(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
Being a founder member of Colombo Plan, India is extending technical cooperation and assistance to Colombo Plan countries since 1950, under Technical Cooperation Scheme of Colombo Plan. 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 scholarships for training in India in premier 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 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.