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Celebration of ITEC and ICCR Days, 2016

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The Embassy of India in Nur-Sultan celebrated the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Days on February 17 in Nur-Sultan and February 28 in Almaty. A distinguished ITEC Alumnus Mr. Roman Vassilenko, Chairman of the Committee for International Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Kazakhstan joined the celebration as the Chief Guest at the function in Nur-Sultan. Over 80 ITEC and ICCR Alumni attended the programme in Nur-Sultan and over 65 alumni attended the programme in Almaty.


Ambassador Shri Harsh K. Jain welcomed the guests. He spoke about the ITEC programme organized by the government of India to share India’s developmental experience with other friendly developing countries. He stated that the ITEC programme now provides 10,000 scholarships annually at leading training institutions in India to over 140 countries and 10 multilateral organizations. Ambassador informed that as part of the programme, India provides technical know-how and capacity building covering a wide range of subjects in both civilian and defence spheres, consultancy services, deputation of Indian experts abroad, humanitarian aid and disaster relief. He noted that over 1000 scholars from Kazakhstan comprising about 880 civilian participants and over 132 defence personnel have benefited from the programme.


Ambassador stated that ICCR offers more than 3300 scholarships annually to foreign students in various streams of humanities, commerce and science & technology at undergraduate, post-graduate and doctoral levels and performing arts in premium Indian universities and institutions. He noted that over 200 scholars from Kazakhstan have availed ICCR scholarships. He expressed confidence that more and more scholars from Kazakhstan would benefit from the two programmes in the coming years and would, in turn, contribute to the socio-economic progress of Kazakhstan and friendly ties between India and Kazakhstan.


He informed that ICCR has a Cultural Centre in Nur-Sultan and supports the activities of the Centre of Indian Classical Dances in Almaty directed by Ms. Akmaral Kainazarova. He underscored that both the centres are engaged in multifaceted cultural activities and exchanges between the two countries. He spoke about the opening of the Centre for Indian Music and Dance at the Nazarbayev University and the launch of Yoga classes at the Al-Farabi University in 2015. He recalled the celebration of golden jubilee of ITEC programme and ICCR Day in Nur-Sultan last year, where having noticed that several ITEC and ICCR alumna had come from Almaty, he promised to hold the celebration of ITEC and ICCR Days in Almaty too from next year. He expressed satisfaction for being able to fulfill the promise.


He congratulated one of the ICCR alumna Ms. Akmaral Kainazarova, Director, Centre of Indian Classical Dances in Almaty for being awarded the title of “Honored Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan” [Kazakhstannyn Enbek Sinirgen Kairatkeri”] in recognition of her work for the past 18 years in uniting the people through her dance, strengthening friendship, spirituality and cultural ties, enriching the knowledge about Kazakhstan abroad, spreading the main principles of humanity and healthy life style through spiritual Indian classical dance and undertaking educational work including Asian philosophy among young people.


In his address, Chief Guest Mr. Roman Vassilenko fondly recalled his own experience in his ITEC training in 1995. He appreciated the highly useful training, visits to various institutions and historical sites organized during his training programme in India. He noted the strong and strategic partnership built by India and Kazakhstan in the past two decades as is evident from the constant strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in trade, investment, education, science, culture and sports. He expressed gratitude for India’s support to advancing CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia) process and recalled the then Prime Minister Shri A.B. Vajpayee’s visit to Kazakhstan to participate in its first summit in June, 2002. He described the honour accorded to President of Kazakhstan Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev to be the chief guest in India’s Republic Day celebrations in January, 2009 as the sincere respect and friendly attitude enjoyed by Kazakhstan in India. He stated that important discussions held between Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and President Nazarbayev during the former’s visit to Kazakhstan in July, 2015 provided an impetus to further development of cooperation between the two countries in all key directions.


Ms. Gulnar Sarseke, an ITEC alumna; Mr. Timur Zhussupov, an ITEC alumnus; and Ms. Aigul Kazhmuratova, an ICCR alumna shared their experiences at the event in Nur-Sultan. Ms. Laura Yerekesheva, an ITEC as well as ICCR alumna; Dr. Seningul Dossova, an ITEC alumna; Ms. Akmaral Kainazarova, an ICCR alumna; Mr. Berik Umarov, an ITEC alumnus; and Ms. Ainagul, an ITEC alumna shared their experiences at the event in Almaty.

A documentary on India titled “India A Profile” by Ms. Yasmin Kidwai was screened at the event in Nur-Sultan. The film was followed by a cultural programme, which comprised a Ganesh Stuti by Ms. Chandrani K. Ojah, Kathak Dance Teacher at Indian Cultural Centre (ICC); Kathak dance performance by 4 junior group students and a Bollywood dance by 6 senior group students from the ICC; flute recital by Mr. Bhaskar Ojah; and 2 Bollywood dance sequences by Bollywood Dance Group from Art Yoga Studio, Nur-Sultan. In Almaty, the Centre of Indian Classical Dances put up a short cultural progamme including an impressive classical dance performance of “Alarippu” meaning “Flower Bud”, followed by a Kathak dance performance by Ms. Akmaral Kainazarova and a performance of Shabdam “Muruga” in classical Bharatnatyam style by children. The events ended with Cocktail receptions serving assortment of Indian cuisine.