India promotes entrepreneurial skills in developing world

The boss's nod was not a problem, and Alvarado was subsequently selected for the International Programme on Human Resource Development and Entrepreneurship Education/Training (HRD-EE) in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi.

Alvarado was one of the two course leaders - the other was Akhil Shakya from Nepal - for the batch of 25 comprising one more participant from Costa Rica, three from Afghanistan, two each from Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tanzania and one each from Cambodia, Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Sudan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

"In Costa Rica, there are no specific entrepreneurship training programmes, unlike here in India," Alvarado said.

"My boss quickly saw the point why I wanted to come here. The training here would not only help upgrade my skill sets but would also help add value to the company, as my inputs when I go back will be vital to the company itself and other employees as well,"  Alvarado told IANS.

The programme is conducted by the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (Niesbud), an apex body under the small scale industries ministry that coordinates various institutions and agencies engaged in developing entrepreneurship.

"We leave it to the participants to democratically choose one male and one female member as team leaders who would coordinate among other members so as to address their problems and issues effectively," said Rishi Raj Singh, training officer, Niesbud.

Over the past 27 years, Niesbud has trained hundreds of participants from the developing world in human resource development and entrepreneurship education.

Niesbud has a team of experts in all aspects of entrepreneurship and exhaustive library, documentation and infrastructure facilities for conducting international training. The faculty has constant interactions by way of visits and consultations with different countries in the area of entrepreneurship.

The HRD-EE course is being conducted by Niesbud as part of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme of the Ministry of External Affairs. The cost of training, including international airfare, course fee, book allowance, accommodation and study tours, for both the programmes is borne by the Indian government.

"Thousands of participants from Asia, Africa, Central Europe and Latin America have participated in our programmes over the last four and a half decades. The ITEC programme has today acquired a distinct profile and brand name for India in the developing world... India now welcomes more than 5,000 participants every year from 159 ITEC/SCAAP partner countries to attend civilian vocational training courses," Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said.

SCAAP stands for Social Commonwealth African Assistance Programme.
"Apart from courses on ICT, linguistics, rural development, entrepreneurship and others, courses on mining as well as new and renewable energy sources have been included keeping in mind the requirement of the developing world in the present-day scenario," Krishna said.

"In 2010-11, more than 230 courses, both short-term and long-term, are being offered in 46 institutions in India on a diverse range of subjects," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said.

Amupolo Sakaria, who works in the HR Directorate of Namibia's defence ministry, is happy being a part of the HRD-EE programme.

"The course really helped me acquire more skills, knowledge and innovation for problem-solving and decision-making in the HR domain. I am particularly getting enlightened about the technology and entrepreneurship involved in HR practices," he said.

Nepal's Shakya, the co-leader of the batch, who works for an NGO involved in development processes in his country's rural areas, spoke in a similar vein.

"I got to know about this course from an Indian Embassy advertisement in a local paper. India has made rapid strides in the field of entrepreneurship and this course is helping me to learn and upgrade my skills which I can transfer to my organisation when I return to my country," Shakya told IANS.

Costa Rica's Alvarado best summed up the spirit of ITEC: "I am very happy to be here, I love India and highly recommend ITEC and Niesbud. It has been an unforgettable experience and I am very grateful to the government of India for all this," a smiling Alvarado said before returning to her Latin American nation.

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