Tuesday, November 2, 2010

  • 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. Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, who also served as the External Affairs Minister, was the main architect of the ITEC programme.

  • After their independence, the most important task before the developing countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America was the promotion of social and economic advancement of their people which had been retarded and in most cases reversed during the years of colonial rule. Skilled manpower and experts, financial resources and transfer of technology were the bottlenecks to be overcome. To meet the challenges of socio-economic development, cooperative efforts of the developing countries were as important as assistance from developed countries and international organizations. India has made substantial progress and gained useful experience in industrial and technological development after it regained its freedom in 1947. The ITEC Programme of the Ministry of External Affairs was an earnest attempt by India to share the fruits of its socio-economic development and technological achievement with other developing countries.
  • The ITEC Programme has been envisaged essentially as a bilateral programme. However, there have been instances when ITEC resources have been used for financing technical 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).
  • The ITEC Programme, fully-funded by the Government of India, has evolved and grown over the years. Under ITEC and its corollary SCAAP (Special Commonwealth African Assistance Programme), 158 countries in Asia, East Europe (including former USSR), Central Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean as well as Pacific and Small Island countries are invited to share in the Indian developmental experience in various fields. As a result of various activities under ITEC 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. Over the years, the technical and economic assistance programme of Ministry of External Affairs has generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries.
  • The ITEC/SCAAP Programme has the following components:
    1. Training (civilian and defence) in India of nominees from ITEC partner countries;
    2. Projects and project related activities such as feasibility studies and consultancy services;
    3. Deputation of Indian experts abroad;
    4. Study Tours;
    5. Gifting/Donation of equipment at the request of ITEC partner countries; and 
    6. Aid for Disaster Relief.

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