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Ambassador's speech on ITEC Day 2021

Posted on: September 23, 2021 | Back | Print

Excellency Mrs. Lalatiana Andriatongarivo Rakotondrazafy, Minister of Communication and Culture (Chief Guest)
Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Government, ITEC Alumni, Members of Indian Community, 
Honorable guests,

I extend a very warm welcome to all of you on this occasion when we are celebrating the ITEC Day. This year marks the 57 glorious years of the Indian Technical Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme. 
Let me first express our sincere gratitude to H.E. Mrs. Lalatiana Andriatongarivo Rakotondrazafy, Minister of Communication and Culture for accepting our invitation to be the Chief Guest for this function.  Excellency, we deeply appreciate and value your personal interest and support in the successful implementation of ITEC Programme between India and Madagascar. 

We are equally thankful to officials of various Ministries of Madagascar for their efforts in encouraging officials from all relevant departments of the Government of Madagascar to participate in this programme. 
ITEC is Government of India’s flagship program instituted on 15 September 1964. It is aimed at sharing India’s own development experiences with fellow developing countries on the basis of partnership and cooperation for mutual benefit. Its major thrust area is on capacity building targeted towards skill development and professionalism of the trainees in their respective fields of activity.  ITEC programmes have been increasingly gaining reputation due to the quality training imparted by Indian institutions and the warm hospitality extended by India to the scholars. 
Today, the ITEC programme proudly claims to have reached out to more than 200,000 beneficiaries in 160 partner countries. This highlights the primacy of development cooperation and strengthening people to people contacts in India’s foreign policy. 
It gives me immense joy to see the unique role played by ITEC in boosting capabilities of many Malagasy students/professionals.  Over past 5 years, 359 Malagasy nationals have availed the ITEC program. 22 slots are allotted to Madagascar for training in defense institutions of India for the training year 2021-22 and we have started planning for the next training year 2022-23.
Unfortunately, due the global COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional format of physical training through ITEC has been suspended and the ITEC programs have been functioning in a fully digital mode since March 2020. I am hopeful that as situations normalizes, the physical training courses will be back. 
As India celebrates Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate its 75 years of Independence, I would like to highlight the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the whole Earth is one family), one of the core philosophies of Indian civilization since ancient times. Madagascar is a crucial part of this family and ITEC programme is one of the many ways in which India has been a partner of Madagascar in its development journey. I am glad to meet all of you who have been a part of the ITEC programme experience and hope that the programme has been able to create an understanding of India within you. I believe this will act as a bridge in fostering even closer bilateral relations between our two friendly countries.
I hope that more and more Malagasy students, academicians and professionals will come forward to take advantage of the ITEC programme, both physically and virtually.
Before I conclude, I would like to thank all the concerned Ministries of the Government of Madagascar and all other agencies & institutions, who have partnered with us in making the ITEC programme a success story of our development partnership. I take this opportunity to reiterate India’s commitment to strengthen and expand its bilateral partnership with Madagascar, including in the field of training and skill development, to achieve even greater successes in our future efforts.

Thank you.