Antananarivo [Madagascar], September 24 (ANI): The Embassy of India in Madagascar celebrated 57th Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Day on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, India's Ambassador to Madagascar Abhay Kumar said that the ITEC programme proudly claims to have reached out to more than 2,00,000 beneficiaries in 161 partner countries.
"ITEC is Government of India's flagship program instituted on September 15, 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," Kumar said.
The Ambassador added, "It gives me immense joy to see the unique role played by ITEC in boosting capabilities of many Malagasy students and professionals. Since 2007, 854 Malagasy professionals have availed training in India under the ITEC programme."
Kumar mentioned that the ITEC programme is one of the many ways in which India has been a partner of Madagascar in its development journey.
"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 the ITEC programme is one of the many ways in which India has been a partner of Madagascar in its development journey," he stated.
The chief guest of the event was Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy Andriatongarivo, Minister of Communication and Culture of Madagascar.
"The professionals and people have been offered unique training courses, both civilian and defence, in different centres of excellence in India which empower them with not just professional skills, but prepare them for an increasingly globalized world. The entire expenditure on training under ITEC for category-I countries is borne by Government of India," Andriatongarivo said.
Two short films on ITEC Day and a development partnership between India and Madagascar were shown during the event.
It was followed by an elaborate cultural programme by the ITEC alumni in Madagascar which included a fashion show showcasing the rich and varied costumes of various states of India as well various regions of Madagascar. Indian and Malagasy dances were also performed by the ITEC alumni. Four ITEC alumni, out of which three were civilians and one was from the defence, also shared their experiences of the ITEC programme.
Secretary-General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, Tahiry Ratsimandao, who is an ITEC alumnus said, "I enjoyed my time in India during the course and I am thankful to the teachers who taught me. I like India so much especially Karol Bagh in Delhi. That is my favourite place. Indian youth has national pride and patriotism in them which I took in me during my visit to India as an ITEC trainee."
The event was attended by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, Chef de Cabinet of the Foreign Minister of Madagascar, Secretary Generals of several ministries of Government of Madagascar, a large number of ITEC alumni, and the members of the Indian community. (ANI)