Vietnam a premier partner in Indian technical-economic programme: Indian Ambassador
Hanoi, September 19 (VNA) - Vietnam is one of the premier partners in the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. India’s development cooperation and capacity building efforts with Vietnam are also in line with the important place that Vietnam occupies in India’s Act East Policy and Indo Pacific Vision, according to Indian Ambassador Pranay Verma. “With Vietnam, we have a long history of ITEC partnership,” the Ambassador told the ITEC celebration day recently held in Hanoi. “As a country with whom we have closely shared our development experience, Vietnam is one of our premier partners in this programme.” In 1964, the Government of India started to implement the ITEC programme, offering technical and economic training scholarships in India to thousands of applicants from more than 160 countries. “Vietnam is one of the countries receiving the largest number of ITEC scholarships from India, said Phan Thi Ngoc, Deputy Director General of Personnel & Organisation Department under the General Statistics Office of Vietnam. Every year, India grants Vietnam about 130 scholarships under the ITEC programme in the form of long-term and short-term courses. After 30 years, India has trained more than 3,000 Vietnamese officials, civil servants, experts and lecturers in various fields including agriculture, finance-banking, education and training, technology, public administration and policy making. Indian Ambassador Pranay Verma said he was proud that over the last 50 years or so, India’s development partnership with Vietnam has left a successful legacy of institution-building and human resources development. “We are proud of the contributions made by these institutions and trained professionals in the national development and modernisation of Vietnam, in areas ranging from agriculture to food security, economy to finance, engineering and technology to industry, public administration to policy making, history and culture to language, and Buddhist studies to the study of Yoga,” he said. The diplomat added that the development partnership with Vietnam is an exchange of experience and knowledge. As much as Vietnam has benefitted from capacity building initiatives such as ITEC, these programmes have also given India an opportunity to learn from Vietnam’s own experiences and practices. From being a recipient of agricultural technology to a country whose agricultural productivity today ranks among the best in the world, Vietnam offers many valuable lessons for India in agricultural best practices, he said. “Each of them is a valuable bridge of goodwill and friendship between our two countries and our peoples,” he said. “We would like their numbers to constantly grow.” According to the diplomat, India has partnered with Vietnam when it launched a new initiative under the ITEC programme, called e-ITEC. The new initiative is based on modern tools of distance learning and covers wide-ranging areas. Though the first e-ITEC course was launched in October 2019, just a few months before the COVID-19 disruptions began, the new digital format of the programme proved immensely useful after travel restrictions were imposed globally due to the pandemic. Many e-ITEC courses have been specifically tailored for issues relevant to different aspects of COVID-19 management. “We continue to invite our friends from Vietnam to take full advantage of these e-ITEC courses until regular programmes begin after the normalisation of the pandemic situation,” he said. Another important initiative that India has launched is the provision of 1,000 integrated fully-paid PhD fellowships for students from ASEAN countries in its acclaimed Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Ten Vietnamese scholars have so far availed themselves of this highly prestigious programme. The expansion of ITEC and e-ITEC programme with Vietnam in diverse sectors was also mentioned in the Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People adopted by the Vietnamese and Indian government leaders during a virtual summit in December 2020, the Ambassador said, adding that Vietnam will continue to be India’s premier partner in this endeavour./.