High Commission of India, Colombo organized joint celebration of Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Day (ITEC Day) and International Students’ Day on 22 March 2018 at Hotel Taj Samudra, Colombo. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Minister of Transport & Civil Aviation, Government of Sri Lanka, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest while High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu was the Guest of Honor.
Around 270 Sri Lankan alumni who pursued various courses in India, under ITEC scheme and Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarship scheme of the Government of India, attended the celebration. Several senior officials of Government of Sri Lanka were also present.
Every year, Government of India offers 750 scholarships to Sri Lankan students, for various Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Doctoral courses. India also provides around 400 fully-funded short term training opportunities to Sri Lanka under ITEC Program every year. These are aimed at strengthening the skill-sets and capacity building in Sri Lanka.
Speaking on the occasion, Nimal Siripala de Silva commended India’s achievements in the field of technology and research. He thanked the Government of India for the valuable development partnership, spread over a multitude of sectors in Sri Lanka. He described the ties between India and Sri Lanka as millennia-old friendship, and also noted the strong people-to-people ties based on shared culture and heritage. He also recalled the contributions made by Indian Civil services to meeting the developmental aspirations of its people and suggested that there could greater collaboration between the various training institutions in both countries.
High Commissioner of India Mr. Taranjit Singh Sandhu noted that the ITEC day and International Students Day reflect India’s belief that knowledge and prosperity only increase through sharing. He also noted that India’s experience may be of direct relevance to Sri Lanka. He recalled that last year, for the first time, the entrance examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technologies was held in Colombo. He added that Sri Lankan students can now also participate in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test to pursue medical education in India.