Good news for students in Fiji and the Pacific region as they will benefit from a 5-year education program initiated by the Indian government that offers 1000 additional scholarships at a rate of 200 scholarships per year.
While sharing his opening statement, the Indian High Commission, Palaniswarmy Karthigeyan says the celebration has marked the extraordinary partnership that fuels the progress of the relationship between the government of Fiji and India.
He says the scholarships are offered to the 14 countries under the India Technical and Economic Cooperation program.
He adds as part of the 12-step action plan announced by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, 100 participants from these 14 countries will be offered training opportunities in hospitality, tourism, nursing, health care and election management.
Karthigeyan says the people in the Pacific region will also need to understand the magnitude and the scale of this programme that embodies the principles of equality, solidarity, and mutual respect to other countries around the world.
He adds to meet the increased number of requirements here from the prospect of capacity building and up-skilling, 200,000 officials from friendly foreign countries including Fiji have been offered free courses and have benefited from the initiative.
The High Commission further says that as part of their 12-step action plan, the Indian government will also build a 100-bed super speciality hospital here in Fiji that will be called the Pacific Hospital and a desalination plant that will provide potable water by using seawater.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Biman Prasad says Fiji's relationship with India had reached new heights, and this day was a testament to their deepening ties.
Professor Prasad says India's enduring support for education and training in Fiji has been traced back to a time when Fiji lacked a university, and the prospects for Fijian citizens to study abroad were few.
He says that during that time, India emerged as a crucial ally by extending scholarships and training initiatives like ITEC that played a pivotal role in shaping the future of Fiji's civil servants, teachers, doctors, and engineers.
He further says that the hospital project also demonstrates India's dedication to strengthening healthcare infrastructure in the Pacific.
Deputy PM says the ITEC Day is not just an anniversary but it's a celebration of a remarkable partnership between Fiji and India which holds the promise of a brighter and more prosperous future for both nations.
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