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Update: India offers single largest number of courses to Guyanese soldiers; Coast Guard officer prepares to leave

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 June 2021, 20:48 by Denis Chabrol

India on Tuesday announced that it has for the first time offered the single largest number of military courses to Guyanese soldiers which would last from three to six months during 2021 to 2022.

After a number of former GDF officers objected to the initial assertion that “this is the first time that Guyana has access to these military training programmes,” the Indian High Commission later stated that that reflected the largest number of military courses being offered to Guyana.

“The total number of 19 scholarships for military training is the first ever by India in such a large number by India for Guyana. That is the intent of the release. Earlier trainings were done with no consecutive recurrence. This time shows India’s commitment to Guyana’s growing requirements at a larger scale under the ITEC program,” the Indian High Commission said in a clarification.

The Indian High Commission in Guyana announced that the first recipient of a scholarship under Naval Course, Lieutenant Coast Guard Derrick Johnson is likely to leave for India soon for the Long N Course at ND School, Kochi, Kerala in July 2021.

The diplomatic mission said 19 defence training slots would include 10 army courses, four naval courses and five air force courses.

Under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme, India would cover all expenses related to this training and provide the trainees return air ticket, accommodation charges, tuition fee, living expenses, medical expenses, external and internal tours for the courses.

Till 2020, India normally offered 50 training slots annually to Guyana for skill development and capacity building through various courses of  the ITEC programme.

More than  650 Guyanese scholars, who had already received training under ITEC Programme, are contributing effectively to Guyana so far.

“India extends defence cooperation to a number of countries where the armed forces work together to achieve mutual aims and objectives, to assist them strengthen their institutions in relation to security, to strengthen security systems in the context of continued threats of territorial incursion and terrorism, to provide training in various military skills, including combat, marksmanship, emergency medical evacuation, search-and-rescue and recovery responses, etc;” the Indian High Commission said.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) every year offers nine fully paid scholarships for studies in prominent Indian Institutions for Under Graduate, Post Graduate and PhD courses.

In addition, two fully paid scholarships in Music, Dance, performing art, theatre, sculpture, Indian Cuisine etc. and two slots to study Hindi in India are also provided by ICCR.

In May-June this year, India has already provided training to 25 media professionals from Guyana under ITEC.  Due to COVID-19 pandemic, multiple e-ITEC online courses have been held in 2020-21, which has benefitted over 10 Guyanese participants.