The event highlighted strong ties between Thailand and India.
By Ashima Sethi
The Embassy of India, Bangkok hosted a celebration for the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Day 2021 on 15th September 2021 at the embassy itself. Taking the form of a hybrid gathering to abide with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the event was presided over by H.E. Suchitra Durai, Ambassador of India to Thailand, while Khun Hataichanok Siriwadhanakul, Director of HRD Bureau, Thailand lnternational Cooperation Agency (TICA) attended the celebration as the Guest of Honour.
Other representatives from TICA were also in attendance alongside ITEC alumni and embassy officials. During the event, video messages from other ITEC alumni were presented, including those from Thai Solar Sisters from Mechai Pattana School who attended the “Training Rural Women on Solar Electrification & Rainwater Harvesting” course at the Social Work and Research Centre (SWRC), Tillonia. The video messages were followed by the sharing of experiences in India from Thai alumni.
The event also saw Khun Siriwadhanakul discuss the long-standing cooperation between India and Thailand in the area of capacity building. In her remarks she also praised the role of India’s ITEC Programme, which was launched by the Government of India in 1964. Recognised as the lndian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme, it is a flagship programme centered on developmental partnership. It has three components: (i) short term training courses with a length of between three weeks to two years; (ii) deputation of lndian experts abroad; and (iii) study tours of foreign officials in India.
Under ITEC, the Government of India works with 160 partner countries around the world and offers up to 14,000 training slots annually. The courses are offered to both civilian and defence personnel and cover a wide-variety of subjects ranging from rural development to governance, IT, banking, renewable energy, and robotics. It is reported that under this programme, Thai officials have been a part of both short-term, regular courses as well as the e-ITEC training courses that have been held by reputed training institutions in India. Till date, over 700 Thai officials have attended regular ITEC courses, while 150 more enrolled in online training facilities.
While it started primarily as a bilateral programme, the ITEC framework has always proved to be applicable for cooperative initiatives with regional organisations across the globe, including but not limited to ASEAN, the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, and BIMSTEC.
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