India Extends Over USD 32 Billion in Credit to Partner Nations for Development Projects
India Extends Over USD 32 Billion in Credit to Partner Nations for Development Projects

India has expanded its international outreach by extending 308 Lines of Credit worth over USD 32.02 billion to various partner nations, said V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs. This update was shared during a session in the Upper House where Muraleedharan responded to inquiries about India's significant development projects and the financial allocations for each of these ventures.

Highlighting India's approach, Muraleedharan emphasized that the country's developmental endeavors are tailored to suit the specific needs and aspirations of partner nations. These projects, funded through Lines of Credit, grants-in-aid, and capacity-building programs, span across continents, including Asia, Africa, CIS, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Pacific Islands. Among these initiatives, around USD 17.06 billion has been allocated to Asia, USD 12.15 billion to Africa, and USD 2.81 billion to other regions.

A comprehensive list of nearly 600 projects encompassing diverse sectors like infrastructure, power, connectivity, agriculture, education, and health has been undertaken. Notably, a significant focus lies on neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan.

Moreover, India collaborates closely with international organizations like UNDP and ASEAN to jointly finance projects and run capacity-building programs in partner nations. Responding to queries regarding India's strategic global interests, Muraleedharan mentioned that India offers capacity-building assistance through its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme. Annually, around 160 countries benefit from these scholarships, providing more than 14,000 training slots for civilian and defense courses.

The Minister outlined various modes of support, including in-person training at Indian institutions, deploying Indian experts to partner countries, onsite training programs, online e-ITEC initiatives, and establishing training centers abroad. Additionally, he mentioned the launch of the eVidyaBharati and e-AarogyaBharati Network Project (e-VBAB) to provide tele-education and telemedicine services specifically to African partner countries.

Highlighting the latest developments, Muraleedharan noted that ITEC has introduced region-focused capacity-building courses for the first time in 2023-24. These initiatives include the 'Sagar Amrut' package aimed at Pacific Island Countries, offering 1,000 training slots over five years. Furthermore, there's a provision for 500 training slots over four years for Indo-Pacific countries as part of the QUAD Infrastructure Fellowship.

Earlier this year, during the virtual 1st Voice of Global South Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled several initiatives like the Global South Centre of Excellence, Global South scholarships, and the Global South Young Diplomats Forum. The inauguration of the Global South Centre of Excellence took place during the subsequent 2nd Voice of Global South Summit on November 17, 2023.

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