AMMAN — A good number of Jordanians dispatched to attend training courses in India over the past few years said they had second thoughts about the trip all together.
However, their fears faded away when they reached the South-Asian country, experienced life there and gained professional knowledge through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.
At a ceremony on Wednesday celebrating ITEC’s alumni and its golden jubilee, they said their “exquisite and unique” experiences proved them wrong, and made them change their perspectives.
At present, they said they were grateful for what they called the experience of a lifetime, expressing enthusiasm and eagerness to tell others about it. Many wished they could have the chance to go on such a journey again.
Jameel Jaber, an employee at the Land and Survey Department, who attended ITEC training in 2008 said: “Really, I was not sure about going, but it turned out to be an excellent experience.”
“True, I lost eight kilos there; the food was too hot, but it was excellent with marvellous sights. As for the training, they really have the knowledge, and the trainers there use British English, which is easy to understand, and they are very friendly.”
“We learned how to use the GIS, which is the ground information system. This helped us a lot later on in our work,” Jaber noted.
Raed Mrayat, a Ministry of Education employee, was also reluctant to go to India.
“I was 45 years old and I did not want to leave my wife and children behind, but it was a beautiful and unique trip,” he said.
Addressing the ceremony, attended by several Jordanian and Indian officials, Seham Odwan, a Ministry of Labour employee, spoke about her experience with the ITEC programme.
“It was an unforgettable experience,” she said, noting that she learned “a lot and met people from diverse cultures and countries” she had no idea about.
“It was an eye-opening experience,” added Odwan, who has recently completed a three-week training course on gender issues.
Addressing the attendees, Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif expressed the Kingdom’s appreciation of the strong relations between Jordan and India, and he paid tribute to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
“I am sure we can develop and enhance our relations,” Saif said, highlighting India’s development and expressing the government’s readiness to translate all initiatives into tangible action.
In 1964, newly independent India took the decision to share its development expertise and the lessons it was gaining through the ITEC initiative to help build the national capacities of others and build partnerships, an embassy statement said.
“India has always believed in this philosophy: That we share what we have,” Indian Ambassador to Jordan Anil Trigunayat told the attendees.
“The programme has given us the possibility of growing together,” the ambassador said, noting that the embassy is also working through different activities to revive the Jordanian-Indian Friendship Association soon.
The ceremony is important because the ITEC programme celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Trigunayat told The Jordan Times, noting that it was initiated by the Cabinet of Jawaharlal Nehru.
Besides organising training courses in India, ITEC covers the dispatch of Indian experts abroad, aid for disaster relief, study tours and feasibility studies or consultancy services, the ambassador said.
There are 47 trainings institutions in India that run more than 280 training courses in subjects ranging from IT and public administration to election management and entrepreneurship.
Since 2007, 173 Jordanians have benefited through ITEC courses in different fields. This year, the Indian government offered 25 scholarships to Jordan.
However, there is a need to further identify the training programmes needed for this region, Jordan in particular, and include them in the list of ITEC programmes, according to the Indian embassy.
Among the attendees of Wednesday’s ceremony, there were a few young men who had little information about ITEC and were asking what the programme was about, and what the eligibility criteria were.
They were advised that further details can be found at http://itec.mea.gov.in and also on http://itecapps.nic.in.
In picture (Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif speaks at a ceremony in Amman on Wednesday celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme, also attended by Foreign Ministry Secretary General Mohammad Tayseer Bani Yassin (left) and Indian Ambassador to Jordan Anil Trigunayat (Photo courtesy of Indian embassy)