Conakry: Union Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi during the signing of bilateral agreements between India and Guinea, in Conakry on Aug 2, 2019. (Photo: IANS/RB). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Aug 10 : Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd, a PSU under Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, has entered into a strategic alliance with the African countries of Benin and the Republic of Guinea, as part of a larger pan-African e-network project on education and medicine.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by President Ram Nath Kovind during the first ever state visit from India to Benin, Gambia and Guinea recently.

The MoU is for setting up of the e-VBAB Network as part of a larger pan African e-network project on education and medicine. The e-VBAB is e-vidhyabharti and e-arogyabharti (e-VBAB) network.

Under these projects, TCIL will, initially, extend free tele-education courses to about 15,000 African students and tele-medicine courses to 5,000 doctors and paramedics in Africa, which may be extended more on a self-sustainable model later after looking at its success.

The PAN African e-network project has been now renamed as e-Vidya Bharati and e-Arogya Bharati (e-VBAB) Network Project.

TCIL's Director (Technical) Kamendra Kumar signed the agreements with his counterparts. e-VBAB, the flagship project of the Ministry of External Affairs, is a step towards capacity building in the field of university education and medical science.

It provides an opportunity for local employment and opens the door for access to education and medical expertise from India to African students, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff.

The Ministry of External Affairs has initially proposed to start a pilot project with 14 African countries namely Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, South Sudan, Liberia, Benin, Republic of Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Sudan.

Out of these 14 countries, TCIL has initially signed an MoU with two countries -- Benin and The Republic of Guinea -- during the President's recent visit to West Africa.

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