As part of India’s policy to share knowledge and experience with the neighbouring countries, it increased ICCR scholarships for Bangladeshi citizens from 100 to over 200 each year, said Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
The Indian envoy was addressing a function organised to celebrate the annual ITEC and ICCR Day on Monday. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal attended the event as the chief guest.
“Following the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina to India in 2010, and subsequent visit to Dhaka by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, the number of ICCR scholarships has been increased from 100 to over 200 per year from 2012 onwards.”
Launched in 1964, the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme (ITEC) is the flagship programme of development partnership administration of government of India, he added.
He said the programme has made great strides in building bridges of friendship across 161 countries, including those in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as the Pacific and small island countries.
“The friendly nations are invited to share in the India Development experience acquired seven decades of India’s existence as a free nation. ITEC is about cooperation and partnership for mutual benefit.”
He said the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) was founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, independent India’s first Education Minister. ICCR helps formulate and implement policies pertaining to India’s external cultural relations, to foster mutual understanding between India and other countries. It also promotes cultural exchanges with other peoples.
Shringla said ICCR instituted scholarships to enable foreign nationals to study in India. The Government of India annually offers scholarships under 24 scholarship schemes for students from about 135 countries, including Bangladesh, through the ICCR.
The ICCR scholars are offered admission in over 140 prestigious institutions across India, including the University of Delhi, JNU, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong and NITs all over the country.
“Every year, more than 10,000 training slots are offered to partner countries to cover training in various disciplines like Accounts, Audit, Management, SME, Rural Development, Parliamentary affairs, etc. Skill development and capacity building is one of the major objectives of the ITEC programme,” he added.
He said a tailor made course for teachers on ‘IT, Web Designing, English Communication Skills and Pedagogy’ was designed on the specific request of the government of Bangladesh.
Two batches of the tailor-made course have so far been conducted at the National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research (NITTTR), Chennai in which around 80 teachers from schools, Arts and Science Colleges, Polytechnics, Vocational Education Institutes, Universities and madrassas have been trained.
“In addition to this, we have started training for Bangladesh Fire Service Personnel fat Centre for fire safety management and Training, New Delhi. Thirty participants in two batches were imparted training during current financial year.”
“We have a vibrant ICCR and ITEC alumni community in Bangladesh. The Association of Bangladeshi Students Studied in India (ABSCII) has been a pioneer in this regard and the IDEB has its own ITEC Alumni Association. We are closely associated with them and encourage them.”
“The High Commission of India commemorates ITEC and ICCR Day every year to recognise and felicitate the alumni and reiterate our friendship, which is a reflection of our deep ties as friendly nations.”