There are professional training opportunities under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme which more Barbadians should access.

High Commissioner of India to Barbados, Ms. Murugesan Subashini, made this observation during a courtesy call on Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, at his Ministry???s headquarters in Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael.

The ITEC programme is a bilateral initiative which offers training and capacity building opportunities to professionals and people from developing countries.

???India believes in human and youth development,??? Ms. M. Subashini said, pointing out that in recent years the number of Barbadian participants had dropped. She explained it was critical for Barbados to increase its numbers since countries with high participants would benefit from increased opportunities.

Minister Lashley agreed that the ITEC Programme was an advantageous avenue for human resource development. He outlined that the island was seeking to improve its capacity in the areas of culture, film, sports infrastructure, science, technology, animation, innovation and Information Communications Technology.

He also noted that Barbados was working on upgrading its culture and sports facilities, adding that both countries should consider this as an area for collaboration. ???This would be a good gesture as we are trying to attract international events as a means of diversifying the economy and enhancing the population???s skillset,??? he said.

Minister Lashley further suggested that Barbados and India should also consider cultural exchanges as well as technical assistance cooperation in animation and film.?????Barbados is being promoted as a film destination and we are hoping to attract Bollywood films,??? he said, stating that the country had a budding film industry.

The Indian envoy concurred that cultural exchanges were crucial for people-to-people relations and assured Minister Lashley that Barbados has her support there.

She added that India wanted to remain connected with its diaspora and said persons of Indian descent in Barbados could do so through the Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children and the Know India Programme.

Persons seeking information on those initiatives should contact the Embassy of India to Barbados based in Paramaribo, Suriname. Ms. M. Subashini is also High Commissioner of India to St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Suriname.??Barbados and India established diplomatic relations on November 30, 1966.

Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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