Over 9.30 lakh stranded Indians returned under Vande Bharat mission during coronavirus pandemic: MoS MEA

Addressing the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation- National Centre for Good Governance (ITEC-NCGG) Workshop on COVID-19  Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic, Muraleedharan said that so far more than 120,000 foreigners belonging to 120 countries have been repatriated from India.

Over 9.30 lakh stranded Indians returned under Vande Bharat mission during coronavirus pandemic: MoS MEA

Under the Indian government's evacuation mission, 'Vande Bharat' launched on May 7 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, over  9,30,000 stranded Indians have returned from abroad, said Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday (August 6).

Addressing the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation- National Centre for Good Governance (ITEC-NCGG) Workshop on COVID-19  Good Governance Practices in a Pandemic, Muraleedharan said that so far more than 120,000 foreigners belonging to 120 countries have been repatriated from India.

"So far more than 9,30,000 stranded Indians have returned home and now many are going back to the countries where they were working before the pandemic struck. Not only we brought our stranded citizens back but also facilitated repatriation of foreign nationals stuck in India. So far more than 1,20,000 foreigners belonging to 120 countries have been repatriated from India," he was quoted as saying in a statement by the External Affairs Ministry.

Muraleedharan  also shared information on Mission SAGAR writing, ''In spite of its own fight against the pandemic India sent medical assistance to more than 150 countries, Rapid Response medical Teams to Maldives Kuwait Mauritius & Comoros; & undertook Mission SAGAR to help our neighbours in Indian Ocean.''

He said the government also undertook a number of medical and early responder missions across the world.

"Operation Sanjeevani delivered 6.2 tonnes of essential medicines and hospital consumables to the Maldives. We overcame daunting logistical challenges to supply medicines and medical items to Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles and the Dominican Republic," he said.

He further said India also deployed Rapid Response medical Teams to help Maldives, Kuwait, Mauritius and Comoros deal with the pandemic.

"India launched Mission SAGAR, under which an Indian Naval Ship Kesari delivered coronavirus related assistance to Maldives, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles. This was the first time that a single operation covered all these countries in the region," he added.

On the MEA's prestigious Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programmes meant for capacity building in developing countries, he said they have been reformed and revamped considering the requirements of the changing times and technology.

"As you might be aware, ITEC aims to enhance India's development cooperation with partner countries. EITEC is one of the new modalities for delivery of ITEC programmes in which the learning is shifted to our partner countries and live online training is delivered by Indian faculties through video conferencing," he said.

The MEA has till date organised 10 such COVID-19 related eITEC training webinars in association with premier medical and governance institutions like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), etc. In which around 850 trainees from all around the world have participated, Muraleedharan added.

"These eITEC training programmes have been appreciated much and I hope our partner countries would continue to take advantage of them for developing their human resource," he said.

(With PTI input)