More Nigerians would benefit from Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme this year as the number of fellowships offered under it has been raised to 210 to accommodate the increasing demand for the training.

The High Commissioner to Nigeria Mahesh Sachdev said 188 persons have so far availed themselves of ITEC fellowships for this year (2012-13 session) and the number of positions has been raised to 210.

“Although the current Indian official year (which began on April 1 2012) still has over 3 months to run, in past eight and half months we have already exceeded the best annual figures so far by each of them. Thus, 188 Nigerians have availed of ITEC fellowships so far in 2012-13,” Sachdev told the audience.

According to him, the number is higher than 177 in full year 2011-12, a factor that warranted the additional places given to Nigerians.

He was speaking at the ITEC Day reception, held on Monday, for former beneficiaries.

Nigeria’s minister of Science and Technology, Prof Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, who also met with the 150 ITEC fellows from different parts of Nigeria, applauded Indian contribution to capacity building through the programme.

“My two visits to India during the year to attend India-Africa Science and Technology Ministers Meeting in New Delhi and for Bengaluru Space Exposition in September were very propitious and would remain in my memory for a long time,” the minister said.

The Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation or ITEC programme was launched in 1964 as an earnest attempt by India to share the fruits of its socio-economic development and technological achievement with other developing countries on bilateral basis.

Over past 48 years, it has become one of the world’s largest bilateral development capacity sharing programmes.

(This article was published on December 19, 2012)
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