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The Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Charlot Salwai, and the High Commissioner of India, H.E. Ms. Neeta Bhushan, jointly inaugurated the Centre of Excellence in IT (CEIT) in national capital Port Vila earlier this month, marking a significant milestone in the technological and educational collaboration between the two nations.

The newly established CEIT is a testament to the shared commitment of India and Vanuatu to foster technological advancement and facilitate knowledge exchange. The project aims to provide state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and education, enhancing the digital capabilities and expertise of the Vanuatu populace.

The Government of India has played a crucial role in this initiative by providing all necessary IT equipment, including hardware, software, and servers. Meanwhile, the Government of Vanuatu, through the Ministry of Education and Training and the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (VIT), funded the building, space, furniture, and connectivity required to establish the centre.

A key component of this collaboration is the training of four master trainers from Vanuatu. These trainers underwent an intensive six-month program at C-DAC India, a scientific society under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India. To ensure the sustained quality of education, India has also deputed two experts, including a Centre Head (Director) and a Trainer, to Vanuatu for two years.

WhatsApp Image 2024-06-18 at 4.30.55 PM (1) Photo: Supplied

In his inaugural speech, PM Charlot Salwai highlighted the deep and friendly ties between India and Vanuatu, expressing appreciation for India’s capacity-building initiatives through various programs such as the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) and ICCR scholarships. He praised India’s development cooperation program for its positive impact on the lives of Vanuatu’s people. PM Salwai also announced plans to open a Vanuatu Embassy in New Delhi by the end of this year, further strengthening diplomatic relations.

High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan conveyed her heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Vanuatu for their support and collaboration in making the CEIT project a reality. She appreciated the mutual respect, shared goals, and genuine desire to enhance the lives of the people that characterise the partnership between the two nations. She expressed optimism that the centre would serve as a catalyst for many more collaborative ventures and commended the dedicated teams from both India and Vanuatu for their tireless efforts in bringing this vision to fruition.

The inauguration of the CEIT in Port Vila is a significant step towards empowering the next generation with advanced IT skills, fostering innovation, and strengthening the bilateral relationship between India and Vanuatu.

First appeared in the June 19 2024 issue of the Indian Weekender.