Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay called on State Minister of State for Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Innovation Dr. Seetha Arambepola on September 15 and discussed ways to deepen partnership between the two neighbouring countries in areas such as capacity building and skill development during the meeting.

Discussions focused on aspects such as training of trainers in vocational institutes in Sri Lanka, strengthening infrastructural capabilities of these institutes and generating interest among school-going children and youth in advanced space technologies. It was decided that both sides would work towards early realization of augmenting existing capacities and creating newer ones in chosen fields in an expeditious manner. Guided by the ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, the Government of India offers capacity building modules across a range of fields to Government Officials and other eligible Sri Lankan citizens every year. Under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme, around 400 slots are reserved for Sri Lanka annually. Shortlisted personnel from Sri Lanka receive unique, fully-funded training programmes under this rubric. In addition, several other customized modules are also organized by Government of India. It also provides scholarships to more than 200 Sri Lankan students each year to pursue courses spanning from under graduate to doctoral studies in various academic streams in prestigious institutes in India including IITs and NITs. To support students from disadvantaged backgrounds, financial assistance is provided to around 650 students from among Universities and Schools in Sri Lanka. Government of India is also committed to strengthening infrastructure in educational institutes in Sri Lanka. Accordingly, infrastructural activities in several institutes across the island are being undertaken as High Impact Community Development Projects.