Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement to Parliament, revealed that India, in addition to its financial aid initiatives, has introduced the e-VidyaBharati and e-ArogyaBharati Network Project (e-VBAB). This initiative aims to extend tele-medicine and tele-education services across Africa, as highlighted by the Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan.
The ministry disclosed that India has provided 308 lines of credit (LOC), amounting to approximately £32.02 billion, to various partners, including nations such as Sudan, Fiji, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Nepal.
Responding to queries from BJP MPs Iranna Kadadi, Anil Jain, and Satish Chandra Dubey in the Rajya Sabha, MoS Muraleedharan detailed how these funds have supported over 600 projects, spanning areas like connectivity, power, infrastructure, and health.
Highlighting India’s commitment to global capacity-building, the minister underscored the significance of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC).
This initiative extends capacitybuilding assistance to partner nations in the Global South, with approximately 160 countries benefiting from scholarships annually. Over 14,000 training spots are made available each year for both military and civilian courses.
Addressing the needs of developing nations, the ITEC, established in 1964, facilitates technological collaboration with countries like Afghanistan, Lithuania, the Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan.
During the Forum for IndiaPacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) Summit in May, India introduced the Sagar Amrut scholarship for Pacific Island countries. Additionally, the QUAD Infrastructure Fellowship, a joint initiative of the United States, Australia, India, and Japan, was announced.
MoS Muraleedharan highlighted India’s assistance to partner nations, citing contributions such as the construction of the Titas and second Bhairab rail bridges in Bangladesh, the connection of electrical grids between Mali and the Ivory Coast, and support for Ethiopia’s sugar sector and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment and Development. Notable projects also include the establishment of a combined-cycle power plant in Sudan.
Several grant assistance projects were outlined, including the IndiaBangladesh Friendship Pipeline between Siliguri and Parbatipur, the Afghan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam), the restoration of the Thiruketheeswaram temple in Mannar, Sri Lanka, and the construction of power substations in Afghanistan.