HE Ambassador Manoj Kumar Bharti
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 India’s 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 as 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 nations. 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-Sectorial 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 has the following components :
- Training (Civilian and Defence) in India of nominees from ITEC partner countries;
- Projects and project related activities such as feasibility studies and consultancy services;
- Deputation of Indian experts abroad;
- Study Tours;
- Gifts/Donations of equipment at the request of ITEC partner countries; and
- Aid for Disaster Relief.
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. ITEC is a visible symbol of India's role and contribution to Mutual cooperation and partnership born out of a shared sense of solidarity and is entirely voluntary and free of conditionality's.