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Venue: BICC, Dhaka
Date: 02-11-2014

His Excellency Mr. Pankaj Saran, the High Commissioner of India,

Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation alumni,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.


Good afternoon to you all.


At the outset, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh H.E. Mr. Pankaj Saran for inviting me at this august Golden Jubilee celebration of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and Indian Council for Cultural Relations Day in Dhaka today. I am delighted to be here amongst you.


India is our close neighbour and a time-tested friend. The government and the people of India stood beside us and extended all-out cooperation during the war of liberation in 1971. We remain grateful for India’s contribution to our War of Liberation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Bangladesh attaches great importance to its relations with India. Our two countries have a multitude of commonalities. Under the dynamic leadership of our two Prime Ministers, the thriving relationship is set to scale greater heights. This would inevitably bring greater collective prosperity not only for two neighboring  countries, but also for the South Asia region as a whole.


India was the ancient centre of art, culture, and heritage. The richness and diversity of Indian culture has spread all over the world. Today, India is emerging as a global power and excelling in many sectors. I, therefore, believe that India’s diverse development experience and expertise would be shared to the benefits of other developing countries through ITEC programme.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


The Golden Jubilee is a significant milestone of achievement, an important landmark of our bilateral relations. ITEC Programme, launched in September 1964, is a commendable development cooperation initiative of the Government of India. It aims at extending technical assistance, technology transfer and capacity building to other developing countries. I look at it as a demonstration of India’s genuine commitment to support other developing countries to prosper together.


Distinguished Guests,

As we know, India has been organizing a large number of training programmes for Bangladesh under the aegis of ITEC. These include customized courses for civil servants, police personnel, teachers, Election Commission officers, etc. I am happy to know that a total of 845 Bangladeshi professionals from various disciplines have availed of training courses under the ITEC programme and Colombo Plan since 2007-08.


I am also happy to learn that slots for Bangladesh were increased in 2011-12 and then again in 2014-15. It is gratifying that all slots allotted to Bangladesh under ITEC and Colombo Plan were fully utilized in 2013-14. In addition, special courses for about 1500 civil servants are underway at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration. All these are having notable contribution to our human resources development and capacity building. This bears the testimony to our growing relationship.


Distinguished Guests,


This Golden Jubilee of ITEC programme is quite significant as it gives us an opportunity to reflect on the existing friendship and co-operation, a relationship based on shared history, geographical proximity and commonality in culture, values, ethos and heritage.


I am also delighted to know that ITEC has created a large network of alumni across the continents. I believe that this would help develop stronger cultural bond and people-to-people contact. Therefore, it is easier for ITEC scholars  to relate their learning to Bangladesh context.


It is a matter of satisfaction that our awardees are having quality learning and training opportunities to enrich themselves through Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholarships.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


In conclusion, I would like to thank the Indian High Commission in Dhaka for their laudable contribution to ITEC programme. Bangladesh is  also offering some training programmes to India. All these constitute an important facet of our bilateral cooperation and bring the two countries closer. I would like to see the Indo-Bangladesh relations grow perpetually to our mutual benefit. I extend my best wishes to ITEC alumni and congratulate ITEC awardees on their brilliant endeavour. Finally, I wish the ITEC Golden Jubilee and ICCR Day celebration all success.


I thank you all.


            Khoda Hafez, May Bangladesh Live Forever.


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