Speeches/Statements ITEC Day Celebrations on 23 September 2022 – Remarks by Ambassador Suchitra Durai

ITEC Day Celebrations on 23 September 2022 – Remarks by Ambassador Suchitra Durai

Ambassador’s Speech on the occasion of ITEC Day

Reception/Dinner on September 23, 2022

H.E. Khun PikulkaewKrairiksh, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs

Khun UreeratCharoentoh, Director General of Thailand International Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand

Dear ITEC and ICCR Alumni 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen

Good Evening / Sawasdee Kha

1.Let me begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to H.E. Khun PikulkaewKrairiksh for gracing this event. Also, I would like to convey my gratitude to Khun UreeratCharoentoh, Director General of Thailand International Cooperation Agency or TICA for sparing your valuable time to attend this annual reception today. The enthusiastic support of the Thai Government Cooperation Agency for the ITEC Programme has brought tremendous success to the ITEC Programme and the Indo-Thai relation in the field of education.

2.would like to extend a warm welcome to ITEC alumni both civilians and those from Royal Thai Armed Forces, ICCR Alumni and Indian Studies professors from various prestigious Thai universities. It’s pleasure to have you here at this annual celebration where we try to bring together those who have availed scholarships granted by the Government of India to pursue various educational and training programmes in India.

3.India’s vibrant and bilateral relationship with Thailand has traditionally had a strong educational component. Currently, over six thousand students from Thailand have active student visas for studying in various Indian schools and colleges.

4.The ITEC Programme was instituted by on 15 September 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance of the Government of India. The ITEC Programme, fully funded by the Government of India, has evolved and grown over the years. Under ITEC, 161 countries including Thailand are invited to share in the Indian developmental experience. As a result of different activities under this programme, there is now a visible and growing awareness among other countries about the competence of India as a provider of technical know-how and expertise as well as training opportunities, consultancy services and feasibility studies. These programmes have generated immense goodwill and substantive cooperation among the developing countries. Training or capacity building is one of the major activities under ITEC. The professionals and officials from different sectors of Thailand are 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. From the year 2000, over 600 Thai officials have attended various training courses in India under ITEC Programme and more than 200 had been trained online. In addition, through the defence training scheme under ITEC, more than 70 Thai defence officials have undergone training in India since 1986.

5.Separately, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers about 3,500 scholarships annually under 23 scholarship schemes in graduate, postgraduate and doctoral programme as well as in professional courses such as engineering, pharmacy, accountancy, business administration, and management. Scholarships are also given for learning Indian dance, music, painting, sculpture, etc. Over 250 persons from Thailand have availed of these scholarships over the past 20 years.

6.This year, we offer 40 scholarships to Thailand for onsite courses and unlimited number for online courses under the ITEC scheme. And also, 29 scholarships are offered to Thai students under different schemes of ICCR.

7.As in previous years, we look to this evening’s gathering to provide us an opportunity for informal interaction with ITEC and ICCR alumni. We look to each one of you to help promote India and greater understanding amongst our peoples. We value your suggestions to improve our programmes.

8.I hope that you enjoy the cultural programmes, Ramayana Performance which depict the shared cultural heritage between India and Thailand and Bharatnatyam Dance, one of the world renowned classical dance form of India which will revive your recollections on India.

9.I also hope this annual event would provide you yet another opportunity to refresh memories of your stay in India, interact with my colleagues at the Embassy and to share your experience with other alumni.

Thank you./ Khob Khun Kha