COLOMBO:Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad inaugurated the first of the 20 Nanasala that the Indian Government is financing at a cost of SL Rs. 13 million. Irrigation, Water Management, Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest. Presidentâ€™s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, also participated in the inauguration. The 20 Nanasalas have been carefully selected so that most of the districts in the Island will benefit from the project.
The financial assistance provided by India in establishing these Nanasalas underscores the Indiaâ€™s commitment to be a partner in the development of Sri Lanka. India has instituted various scholarship and training programmes to strengthen the Human Resource pool in Sri Lanka.
One Hundred Sri Lankan students who are studying â€œAâ€ level were awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships last year. Another group of 100 students who joined â€œAâ€ level in 2007 are being selected for this programme in association of the Education Ministry. The students were selected from all the 25 districts on means-cum-merit basis. The beneficiaries will receive
financial assistance of Rs. 1500/- per month for two years to pursue their â€˜Aâ€™ level courses.
The High Commission also awards 75 Indian Councils for Cultural Relations Scholarships to Sri Lankans for pursuing under-graduate and post-graduate courses in various institutes and universities in India.
The Indian Cultural Centre, Colombo awards 12 scholarships to Lankan students to follow under 150 graduate courses in music, dance and fine arts. In addition India provides scholarships each year for pursuing professional short and medium courses in India through scheme of technical co-operation under the BIMSTEC and Colombo Plan.
To assist in capacity building in agriculture, there are training programmes, scholarships, research projects and exchange of visits of farmers.
Sixteen MSc and twenty one PhD Scholarships at Indian Agricultural Research Institutions have been made available to Sri Lankan students.