INDIAN TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION (ITEC) PROGRAMME
The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme was instituted by a decision of the Indian Cabinet on 15 September 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India. The ITEC Programme, born out of the vision of our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, was formally launched under the premiership of Lal Bahadur Shastri. The decision regarding setting up the ITEC programme was predicated on the underlying belief that "it was necessary to establish relations of mutual concern and inter-dependence based not only on commonly held ideals and aspirations, but also on solid economic foundations. Technical and economic cooperation was considered to be one of the essential functions of an integrated and imaginative foreign policy."
The ITEC Programme is essentially bilateral in nature. However, in recent years, ITEC resources have also been used for cooperation programmes conceived in regional and inter-regional context such as Economic Commission for Africa, Industrial Development Unit of Commonwealth Secretariat, UNIDO, Group of 77 and G-15. In more recent years, its activities have also been associated with regional and multilateral organizations and cooperation groupings like Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), African Union (AU), Afro-Asian Rural Development Organization (AARDO), Pan African Parliament, Caribbean Community (CARICOM), World Trade Organization (WTO) and Indian Ocean Rim - Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) and India-Africa Forum Summit.
The ITEC Programme, fully funded by the Government of India, has evolved and grown over the years. Under ITEC and its sister programme SCAAP (Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme), 161 countries in Asia, Africa, East Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Pacific and Small Island countries are invited to share in the Indian developmental experience acquired over six decades of India's existence as a free nation. As a result of different activities under this programme, there is now a visible and growing awareness among other countries about the competence of India as a provider of technical know-how and expertise as well as training opportunities, consultancy services and feasibility studies. These programmes have generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries.
The ITEC/SCAAP Programme has the following components:
Training (civilian and defence) in India of nominees from ITEC partner countries;
The courses have been divided into seven broad categories for easy identification :
India assists ITEC partner countries, on the basis of mutually agreed projects, to establish useful infrastructure facilities with technology and skills appropriate to their resources and needs. Through project assistance, India also demonstrates the skills, technologies and human resource capabilities, which it has acquired in the course of its own development. A number of bilateral projects are undertaken, notably in the fields of archaeological conservation, Information Technology, (IT) and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Feasibility studies and consultancy services, at the request of ITEC partner countries, are also carried out under the Programme. Results of these studies are handed over to the Governments concerned to use in a manner deemed appropriate by them.
Indian experts are deputed to friendly countries on their request to assist in developmental activities. The experts study the problems and suggest solutions without disturbing the local socio-economic and cultural environment. Some of the fields covered in recent years have been creative arts, pest management, military training, IT, audit, medicine, English teaching, telecommunications, agricultural research, etc. Indian experiences and expertise in the fields of small and medium scale industries, agriculture and financial management have been found to be particularly relevant to the developing countries.
Study tours in India are undertaken at the specific request of ITEC partner countries. Specific areas of interest are identified and two to three weeks programme is arranged during which the delegates are taken to important institutions, training centres, and places of interest in different parts of India.
The Government of India provides gifts / donations of equipment to ITEC partner countries to assist in their developmental efforts. These gifts/ donations are usually in response to requests of these friendly countries and the commitments made by the political leadership.
Under this Programme, India supplies humanitarian aid like food grains, medicines and similar other items to countries struck by natural disasters. Cash assistance is also provided.
Another cooperation programme of India, the Technical Cooperation Scheme of Colombo Plan, was started in 1950 with a view to providing technical assistance to neigbouring Colombo Plan countries. Through this Scheme, India provides comprehensive and integrated training to participants from Asian member countries of Colombo Plan with the purpose of assisting them to enhance their administrative and technical capabilities through human resource development. The Ministry of External Affairs has been entrusted with the administration of the TCS of Colombo Plan since April 2010. Under this Scheme, India offers 500 slots for training in India at 26 centres of learning covering diverse disciplines keeping in mind the needs of our Colombo Plan countries.
ITEC is the flagship programme of the Indian Government's capacity building effort, not only because of its magnitude and wide geographical coverage but also for innovative forms of technical cooperation. DPA-II Division of Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in the Ministry of External Affairs is the nodal division for handling all capacity building programmes. The ITEC programme, along with SCAAP and TCS of Colombo Plan, is a visible symbol of India's role and contribution to South-South cooperation. South-South Cooperation is a partnership born out of a shared sense of solidarity and is entirely voluntary and free of conditionalities. It furthers national development priorities of our partners and has national ownership at its centre. India remains a staunch proponent and practitioner of South-South Cooperation which constitutes a fundamental pillar of India's foreign policy and diplomacy.
How to Apply
Applicants are required to submit the prescribed ITEC/SCAAP Form to the nodal/designated Government Department/Agency of candidate's country.
Nodal/designated Department/Agency is, in turn, required to forward the applications to the Embassy/High Commission of India, accredited/concurrently accredited to the nominating country.
Candidates are required to fill in the Application Form carefully and not leave any column incomplete/blank or furnish incorrect information. Undertaking by candidate and certification from employer (Part-II of Application Form), are mandatory.
Who can apply
Officials in Government, Public and Private Sectors, Universities, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, etc.
Candidates should possess adequate work experience.
Eligibility criteria for admission to Courses
Upon selection, the Embassy/High Commission of India will inform the nodal/designated Department/Agency of the nominating country and the candidate.
Selected candidates are required to familiarize themselves fully with the living conditions in India and about the Institute through the Institute's website.
Decision regarding acceptance of applications/nominations rests solely with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.