The sky is the limit for the partnership between India and Sri Lanka, India’s High Commissioner Gopal Baglay said on Thursday as he emphasised the importance of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme in overall bilateral ties.
The High Commission of India in Colombo celebrated ITEC Day 2022 to mark 58 years of capacity-building partnership between India and Sri Lanka through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).
Sri Lankan Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha and Secretary to the Ministry of Education Nihal Ranasinghe graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour, respectively.
“High Commissioner emphasised the importance of #ITEC cooperation in the overall India-Sri Lanka partnership and remarked that “sky is the limit” for the bilateral partnership,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.
The ITEC network in Sri Lanka is ever-growing with more than 400 slots offered every year. Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC) is a bilateral assistance programme run by the Government of India.
It is a demand-driven, response-oriented programme that focuses on addressing the needs of developing countries through innovative technological cooperation between India and the partnering nation.
Baglay also noted India’s endeavour to help Sri Lanka in the education sector, including in higher education through partnerships between higher education institutes in India and Sri Lanka, the Colombo Gazette newspaper reported.
India and Sri Lanka are to increase cooperation in education and skills training, he said.
The event was attended by over 100 participants, which included ITEC alumni from Sri Lanka, officials and professionals from diverse sectors who have participated in various training courses in India under ITEC programmes.
In his address, Premajayantha lauded the historically close relations between India and Sri Lanka for more than 2000 years.
He appreciated India for the ITEC slots and the annual scholarships offered to Sri Lankan nationals and thanked India for the financial support extended to Sri Lanka in recent months.
India has extended bilateral assistance amounting close to USD 4 billion this year to Sri Lanka.
Besides the current 402 ITEC slots, around 700 scholarships are offered to Sri Lankan nationals every year, the newspaper said.
The minister highlighted the scope for further cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the field of higher education, skill development and capacity building, especially from India’s STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and IT sectors.
He also referred to the comprehensive National Education Policy of India and its benefits for students and educators.
The participants shared their experiences of ITEC training in India and appreciated the holistic content of the different ITEC programmes.