The Government of India has increased the number of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme scholarships offered to Omanis from 50 to 80 from April this year, the Indian ambassador to Oman informed.
“Given the popularity of the ITEC programme in the Sultanate, the number of ITEC scholarships has been increased for the Sultanate on an ad hoc basis to 80 during the coming financial year starting from April 1,” J.S. Mukul, the Indian ambassador to the Sultanate, told on the sidelines of a dinner hosted to celebrate ‘ITEC Day’ with very enthusiastic participation of alumni from Oman.
The ITEC programme was instituted by a decision of the Indian Cabinet on September 15, 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India. The then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who also served as the external affairs minister, was the main architect of the ITEC programme.
“Every year India provides 7,400 scholarships through more than 270 courses in 47 institutions which are state-of-the-art centres of learning and excellence. The ITEC programme covers a very diverse range of subjects from traditional areas like agriculture, SMEs, management, and English language to leading-edge technologies covering IT, science and technology, biotechnology, etc. Over the years, the ITEC programme has generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries,” the ambassador added.
The ITEC programme, which is fully funded by India, has evolved and expanded over the years. Under ITEC, 161 partner countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, East Europe, as well as Pacific and Small Island countries are invited to share in the Indian developmental experience in various fields.
Yesterday’s event was attended by around 200 ITEC alumni and Omani officials from various ministries and departments. During the function, ITEC alumni shared their experience of their training time in India saying they enjoyed their India stay as it is a country rich in cultural heritage with modern development.
They hailed the benefits they derived from their participation in ITEC training courses. “A cosmopolitan environment and easy acceptance of all cultures and customs, makes India a friendly nation. The experience was quite helpful for me. The programme I attended was under direct guidance of India’s Parliament. It helped me to learn how to draft legal documents. It helped me to develop my skills and the practical knowledge in my job,” Riyadh Al Balushi, a senior legal researcher at General Directorate of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Legal Affairs, told Times of Oman.
While admiring the hospitality of Indians, Riyadh also praised the quality of democracy prevalent in the country, which truly empowers the people.
Yahya Al Shansi, lecturer at Higher College of Technology, said that the ITEC programme has helped him a lot in his career and he is currently working on a project with the skills he acquired in India.