India wants Amerindians included in scholarship programme

Guyana Chronicle
September 24, 2001

THE Government of India has indicated that it would like to see more Amerindian candidates nominated for the 15 or so scholarship programmes offered Guyana annually.

So far, 230 Guyanese have benefited from scholarships offered under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme. The Indian Government is willing to increase the number of slots allocated to Guyana so that candidates for study programmes are representative of all segments of the Guyanese populace, including the Amerindians.

“We will also be happy if all the communities in Guyana are able to avail themselves of these scholarships. In particular, we would certainly like to see more Amerindian candidates being nominated for these awards,” Indian High Commission to Guyana, Dr Prakash Joshi posited.

Speaking recently at a reception in observance of the 37th anniversary of ITEC Day held on the lawns of his University Gardens residence, the High Commissioner said it was observed that all of the ITEC slots in recent years were utilised by persons from the City.

Under the ITEC programme, the entire expenditure, including international airfares and boarding and lodging in India, of a scholarship awardee, is borne by the Government of India.

The programme was the brainchild of former Indian Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru. He formulated it in 1964 to share India’s expertise and technical know-how with other developing countries, the Indian High Commissioner said.

He noted that India itself at that time, had also lacked advanced technology in many areas and was dependent on other countries for meeting its requirements in machinery and high technology.

But despite all of the constraints, Prime Minister Nehru felt that the time was appropriate for India to extend her hand of friendship to other developing countries, facing similar problems and difficulties.

As a consequence, during the last 37 years, the scope of ITEC has tremendously expanded and eager young men and women from all over the world travel to India, and are attached to some of the best institutes, where they specialise in areas of interest to them.

The ITEC courses cover a wide range of areas and include small-scale industry, rural development, software technology, oceanography, mass communication, banking and finance, enhancement of technical skills and empowerment of women.

The primary purpose is to equip the candidates with skills and knowledge which they will find relevant and useful to their vocation when they return to their countries, High Commissioner Joshi added.

Referring to the Guyanese nationals who have been to India, Dr Joshi said candidates have invariably reported that the training has contributed to the enrichment of their professional knowledge and expertise.

The Indian Government, he added, is often touched by trainees who return and extol their experiences in India.

Alluding to the services rendered by Indian professionals to Guyana, the High Commissioner said that at present, an ITEC expert, Dr. Sunita Sharma, a physiotherapist, is in Guyana.

Dr Joshi said that approval has also been granted for other ITEC experts to come to Guyana in the near future.

Meanwhile, Dr Archana Agrawal, a Senior Radiologist in New Delhi, should be arriving here within two weeks.

High Commissioner Joshi expressed best wishes to all the Guyanese who received training in India, referred to them as “our special friends”, and he thanked the Government of Guyana for extending every cooperation to the Government of India, which has helped in making the ITEC programme a huge success.