Development partnership occupies a paramount place in India's foreign policy. India's external development assistance programmes in developing countries have increased significantly in their scope and coverage in the past few years.These include Lines of Credit, grant assistance, technical consultancy, disaster relief, humanitarian aid, educational scholarships and a wide range of capacity building programmes including short-term civilian and military training courses.
This development cooperation is based on two main pillars, first, Development cooperation incorporating the idea of partnership, i.e. working for mutual benefit and secondly, development cooperation based on priorities determined by the partner. In recent years, the development cooperation programmes have expanded voluminously, both in geographical spread and sectoral coverage. The Development Partnership Administration (DPA) was set up in the Ministry of External Affairs in January 2012.
DPA aims to streamline and improve delivery of the various elements of India's development assistance through the stages of conceptualization, launch, implementation and commissioning. The DPA functions in close coordination with the concerned Territorial Divisions of the Ministry, who continue to be the main interlocutors with partner countries on the prioritization and selection of projects for coverage under India's development assistance initiatives.
DPA comprises of three Divisions and among them DPA- II Division is the nodal division for all capacity building programmes, including the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), Special Commonwealth Assistance for Africa Programme (SCAAP) and Technical Cooperation Scheme (TCS) of Colombo Plan schemes.