Global Economy

India’s ITEC: Resiliance, sociability and growth in the covid times

NEW DELHI: The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, under the aegis of Ministry of External Affairs, isaiming at capacity building, skill development, transfer of technology and sharing of experiences with the partner countries. It is an important step taken by the Government ofIndia to empower young professionals from developing countries and forms an important component of India’s development partnership and cooperation with the developing world.

The ITEC programme commenced in 2020 and had diverse participants from across the world. On March 24, 2020, the Government of India, to combat the COVID – 19 pandemic, had to unfortunately take certain measures. A nation-wide lockdown, which continues until now, was implemented. This disrupted theITEC Programme and also had an impact on the participants.

In these distressing and difficult times, stories of few participants are not only an example of the government’s effort to empower and instill skills in young professionals but also reflect on the Prime Minister’s vision of VasudhaivaKutumbakam.

Grace Lisa Hewith, age 29, from Paramaribo, Suriname, who primarily works as an administrative and finance professional,came to India on February 17, 2020 on a Student visa (S-6) to pursue the ITEC – Special Training Programme for Yoga Trainers, which ended on March 15, 2020. Due to the unprecedented situation, Grace hasn’t been able to go back to her home country. She expressed her gratitude towards the Ministry of External Affairs for not only providing her with accommodation and all other amenities but also taking constant feedbacks in these hard times. She was grateful for the opportunity granted by the Government of India and also expressed her gratitude for the enriching learning experience.

She said that, “there couldn’t be a better place to learn this course from” and was intrigued to know about the history, the philosophies and practice of Yoga and its therapies. She hopes that the Ministry of External Affairs continues to conduct such courses and programmes so that people can continue to benefit from them. She plans to teach yoga after going back to Suriname as she explained how she is now more educated about yoga and its techniques. She appreciated the proactive measures taken by the Government of India for prevention and protection against COVID – 19 to make her and everyone else feel safe and protected!

Lidia del Carmen Menjivar Castro, age 40, from San Miguel, El Salvador is an agronomist and a yoga teacher by profession. She came to India on a Student visa (S-6) on February 16, 2020to pursue the ITEC – Special Training Programme for Yoga Trainers. The course, which ended on March 15, 2020, she explained, was very insightful and has helped her to develop skills in Yoga. It has also helped her to build knowledge about Yoga and has connected her with all learned people from the area which she believes shall help to create a yoga driven community around the world. Due to theunprecedented situation at hand, she hasn’t been able to leave India yet, but had to say that, “India feels like home!” She is staying at the University Campus where she assured that “all the assistance” is being provided by the Government of India. She expressed immense gratitude for a comfortable single occupancyroom, good food and all other necessities to be healthy and safe. She also acknowledged the prompt measures taken by the Government of India to ensure protection of all. She had to say that India has instilled in her the “idea of community” which is helping her to stay afloat, and is equipping her with resilience!

Sodnom Chuluunpurev, age 30, from the city Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, works as a Senior officer at Office of the President of Mongolia and came to India to pursue the Basic English Programme organized by ITEC. He acknowledged how the Ministry of External Affairs has helped him throughout the stay in India. He expressed his gratitude towards the Government of India for granting him monetary help by way of a scholarship and also proving him with an allowance for the period of lockdown to combat with the crisis. He was also grateful for all arrangements made by the Government to facilitate his journey back home. This includes flight tickets, hostel stays, curfew passes etc. He also specifically mentioned and thanked his “kind coordinator” from the Ministry of External Affairs.

Fatmata Haja Sesay, age 32, from Freetown, Sierra Leone, is an intern under the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Sierra Leoneand had come to India on February 22, 2020, on a Student visa (S-6), to pursue the ITEC – Corporate Governance and Excellence in Management of Public Enterprise Programme.The programme was to end on April 3, 2020, but got disrupted due to the unforeseen situation. She emphasized on “how brilliant the course is and how it educates and empowersprofessionals and helps them with their careers.” She thanked the Government of India for conducting such programmes and for giving her the opportunity to be a part of this skill development initiative. She showed immense gratitude towards the management and staff of International Management Institutefor imparting vast knowledge and for providing all necessary support during the lockdown period. She acknowledged the steps taken by the Government of India for prevention and protection against COVID – 19. She thanked the Ministry of External Affairs for having rendered such hospitable services.She expressed that the measures taken by the Government of India have ensured safety and well – being of all.


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