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Ambassador's speech at celebration of ITEC Day on 26 February 2019

Posted on: February 26, 2019 | Back | Print

Ambassador’s speech at celebration of  ITEC Day on 26 February 2019

Your Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Omar Al Marhoon, Minister of Civil Service,
Your Excellency Sheikh Said Nasser Al Saddi, Advisor to the Minister of Manpower,
Your Excellency Sheikh Hilal Al Ma’amari, Chief of West Asia Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Your Excellency Abdullah Hamad Al Badi, Chief of  Human Resources Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Distinguished ITEC Alumni,
Other Distinguished guests,
Good evening!

I extend a warm welcome to you at the Indian Embassy for the celebration of ITEC Day.

We are grateful to H.E. Sheikh Khalid Al Marhoon for accepting our request to be the Chief Guest for this event. As Minister of Civil Service, Your Excellency has contributed immensely to the success of the ITEC Programme in Oman and we wholeheartedly thank you for your support.

Friends, in India, we are guided by the philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” which means that the whole world is one family. This principle of the fundamental unity and inter-connectedness of all life forms was encoded in ancient Indian scriptures. The ITEC program is a manifestation of our strong belief in this philosophy as under this programme India shares its knowledge and know-how for capacity building of other developing countries.  

I will not dwell on the details of the ITEC programme as we have just watched a video on the same. I will just highlight the broad contours - At present, every year, India provides around 12,000 ITEC scholarships in 300 short, medium and long-duration courses in 47 state-of-art centers of learning & excellence. These courses cover a diverse range of subjects from agriculture,  management, English language to IT, Science & Technology, and biotechnology.

As regards Oman, Government of India had offered 125 ITEC scholarships to Oman for financial year 2018-19. We had offered larger numbers in previous years, but the utilization was low – sometimes less than 50%. However, this year, the ITEC Programme has received a good response and already 115 slots have been utilized by Oman with one month to go. This is more than the combined total of ITEC slots utilized in last two financial years.

We are thankful to Ministry of Civil Service and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Oman for paying special attention to faster processing of ITEC applications.  We hope that this positive trend will sustain and I can say with confidence that Government of India will be happy to increase the number of slots for Oman, if there is demand.

I am also happy to inform that for the first time, a group of officials from Majlis Al Shura are currently undergoing training in a specially-organized ITEC course at the Bureau of Parliamentary Studies & Training of Indian Parliament. Similarly, a group of officials from Ministry of Manpower are scheduled to visit India shortly to attend the course “Quality assurance in Technical Education in Developing Countries”.

Let me reiterate that under the ITEC Programme, special customized courses can be organized dedicated for Omani candidates in your areas of interest provided we have assured 20-25 participants and sufficient advance notice.

Our bilateral cooperation in training extends beyond ITEC. For example, a group of officials from Mazoon Diary will soon be undergoing a practical course in dairy farming in India. We also organize training programme for defence personnel in significant numbers.

Friends, India and Oman have always enjoyed close and friendly relations spanning over 5000 years. These strong bilateral relations have become exceptionally close under the wise leadership of HM Sultan Qaboos and evolved into a strategic partnership. I take this opportunity to wish His Majesty, on behalf of all of us, a long life and good health.  

We are aware of Oman’s efforts towards economic diversification and its vision to become a knowledge economy. India will remain a strong partner in this journey. 

Training and skill development under ITEC Programme is contributing to Oman’s efforts towards development of its human resources. Moreover, ITEC programmes promote people-to-people contacts and inter-cultural exchanges.  

I thank all the ITEC alumni for joining us today in large numbers.  We hope that the training courses you attended in India have been useful in your profession. Of course, you may have faced some challenges but I am sure these are part of the overall wonderful experience that you had.  This celebration is an effort to bring all ITEC Alumni from Oman together so that you can share your experiences and views with the Embassy and among yourselves. I invite you to interact with us and your fellow ITEC alumni over dinner. 
Before concluding, on behalf of Embassy and Government of India, I once again thank the Ministry of Civil Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Ministries and Organizations in Oman for their support in implementation of ITEC Programme in Oman. I also take this opportunity to reiterate India’s commitment to strengthen and expand its strategic partnership with Oman, including in the field of training and skill development.

Thank you.