The bilateral relationship between Cambodia and India continues to grow, as the countries celebrated the success of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme on Tuesday.
Entering its sixth decade, ITEC is Indian government’s assistance programme focusing mostly on capacity-building, with the purpose of attaining social and economic well-being.
Indian Ambassador H.E Ms Manika Jain said around 1,600 scholarships have been given to Cambodia under the programme and that this year alone, a total of 175 training slots have been offered to government and public officials.
“Other than training in India, the programme also covers sending experts to other countries, donating equipment and other materials and also disaster relief in certain cases,” the ambassador said.
She noted that many of ITEC alumni have now found themselves in distinguished positions in the government, including Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary of State Eat Sophea.
“India also offers scholarships under various schemes for degree and research programmes in the premier institutions and universities in India. Cambodia, at present, is offered 25 scholarship slots each year and we can increase this if there is demand,” she said.
With over seven decades’ worth of experience in development training, India currently offers its expertise in over 30 subject areas to more than 160 partner countries. Annually, India allocates approximately $30 million for over 10,000 training slots worldwide.
Among the subjects offered include English, Computer Applications, Management, Entrepreneurship Development, Rural Development, Agriculture Industries, Labor Administration, Audit, Finance and Banking.
The event, which took place at the Great Duke Hotel, was officiated by Ms Manika with an auspicious oil lamp-lighting ceremony. It was also made merrier with beautiful performances of Khmer traditional ‘blessing dance’ and the Indian Bharatanatyam, which cherished the culture of both nations.
Meanwhile, Minister of Women’s Affairs H.E Dr. Ing Kantha Pavi, acknowledged that ITEC has successfully demonstrated India’s competence as provider of technical know-how, expertise as well as training opportunities. She also applauded the efforts for being in line with Cambodia’s rectangular strategy to invest in human resources development.
She also expressed her gratitude towards the Indian government for newly-received grants under the Mekong-Ganga cooperation to promote women’s economic empowerment through information technologies and to enhance girls’ access to formal education by improving the school environment.
During the event, ITEC alumni Vong Chamroeun took the opportunity to share his experiences after undergoing a training in India prior to the general elections period. Vong, who is also the advisor to the National Election Committee chairman, said the training helped him learn more about the process of a free and fair election.
“It was a really interactive training with full of efforts from the training coordinators team. All specific election training courses are really important to us, such as the international standards of a free and fair election and principles of election management. At the end of the day, we gained extra knowledge definitely,” he said.