An Indo-Lanka laugh
The High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha hosted a reception at Hotel Taj Samudra this week to celebrate the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Day in Sri Lanka.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris was the chief guest of this year’s event, attended by alumni of the programme, officials from various government departments, chambers of commerce, and media.
The event, held annually brings together the alumni of the ITEC programme, the flag bearer of the Indian Government’s bilateral technical cooperation effort with other countries.
Over 200 ITEC alumni from various parts of Sri Lanka who have received training in India in a variety of fields over the last few years under this programme attended this year’s reception.
In his remarks, the High Commissioner had said that bilateral cooperation between India and Sri Lanka was wide-ranging and growing strongly and that education was a key dimension of the partnership.
He also had referred to the Knowledge Initiative launched during the visit of Sri Lankan President last year to India and noted that ITEC is an important component of this partnership.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Peiris had said that the ITEC programme was a very useful initiative of the Government of India and an effective instrument of South-South cooperation.
“Wide range of ITEC training programmes has been developed with creativity and imagination to fulfill the needs of the developing countries and to help develop human potential thorough structured training,” the Minister had said.
The ITEC Programme was launched by the Government of India in 1964 as a programme of bilateral cooperation and technical assistance to partner countries. Under this programme, India shares its rich experience in the field of economic development, manpower, skills and technology with 156 friendly countries.
Sri Lanka is one of the largest beneficiaries of the training programme under ITEC and has been allocated 145 seats for 2010-2011, up from 80 slots in 2007-2008.
The entire cost for training under the ITEC programme including the return international airfare, tuition fees, accommodation, emergency medical treatment, stipend, book allowances, and study tour are met by Indian Ministry of External Affairs.