Event marks training ties with India
Thais at forefront of $45m scholarship
India is forging closer ties with Thailand through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) education and training programme that fosters cultural exchanges between the countries, according to the country's ambassador to Thailand.
At an event held to celebrate the ITEC and International Students Day on Sept 20 in Bangkok, ambassador Suchitra Durai said the government of India has long provided assistance through the ITEC development programme.
"It was launched in 1964. The decision was based on a recognition that it was necessary to establish relations of mutual concern. It now has several components, including training, projects, study tours, grant assistance and disaster relief aid. More than 600 Thai officials have joined various programmes under the ITEC scheme over the past decade," she said.
Ms Durai said the Indian government recently launched a fellowship programme worth around US$45 million for Asean students.
"Thailand will be at the forefront of the scholarship. It is an implementation of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's announcement at the 25th Asean-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi last year. Asean students can carry out doctoral research in cutting-edge areas, such as AI, machine learning and bioengineering, at Indian Institutes of Technology," she said.
Meanwhile, Suchart Tancharoen, deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, encouraged officials and students to avail themselves of India's resources.
"India has done tremendously well in the field of education as reflected in advanced science and space research," he said.
Mr Suchart said he hoped ITEC scholars will share their experiences and put them to good use on their return. "The programme not only enhances technical cooperation but also forges closer ties between the countries," he added.
Among the successful Thai alumni of Indian institutions is Sivakorn Krissanasuvan, a lecturer at Mahasarakham University, who completed her Masters and PhD courses in education on a scholarship.
"I studied in New Delhi for six years. I struggled to settle in a different country at first, but then it became my second home. I learnt that most Thai culture derives from India. For example, they namaste, but we wai. I also travelled to Buddhist sites in India," she said.
Cathaleeya Vatanatumrak, the auditor at the State Audit Office of Thailand, said the programme has changed her perception of India.
"I attended a one-month environment course. The country has stepped up efforts to protect its environment. I learned a lot about projects on waste management and wildlife protection. Moreover, Indian people are warm and amiable," she said.