Embassy of India, Kabul
India has played a significant role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan. India's extensive developmental assistance programme, which now stands at around US 2 billion, is a strong signal of its abiding commitment to peace, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan. This makes India one of the leading donor nations to Afghanistan and by far the largest donor in the region. Government of India has taken on a number of medium and large infrastructure projects in its assistance programme in Afghanistan. Some of these include: construction of a 218 km road from Zaranj to Delaram for facilitating movement of goods and services to the Iranian border; construction of 220kV DC transmission line from Pul-e-Khumri to Kabul and a 220/110/20 kV sub-station at Chimtala; upgrading of telephone exchanges in 11 provinces; expansion of national TV network by providing an uplink from Kabul and downlinks in all 34 provincial capitals for greater integration of the country.
India believes that sustainable development of Afghanistan requires long-term investment in Afghanistan to help it exploit its natural resource wealth. India is, thus, at the forefront in promoting investment in Afghanistan. A consortium of public and private Indian companies has been formed to make one of the biggest investments in the country's mining sector in the Hajigak iron ore reserves. In an effort towards capacity building in mining area, a Mines Institute is proposed to be established in Kabul with GoI technical & financial support.
Some of the ongoing/completed Indian projects in Afghanistan include new Afghan Parliament building (inaugurated on 25 December 2015 jointly by H.E. Dr. Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi. Prime Minister of India); in addition GoI has also committed assistance for construction of Executive Block for the new Afghan Parliament building; Afghan-India Friendship Dam (Salma Dam); Doshi & Charikar substations (both completed); Restoration of Store Place; establishment of new Diagnostic Centre (completed) & construction of Decentralised Waste Water Treatment System at Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICH); establishment of Afghan National Agriculture Science & Technology University, Kandahar; commitment to supply 1.1 million MT of wheat to Afghanistan (711,882 MT of wheat or equivalent in cash already delivered at a cost of Rs. 989.45 crore); commitment to contribute US$ 1 million annually over next five years to Afghan Red Crescent Society for treatment of Afghan children with Congenital Heart Disease (214 children have already been treated under this aid till mid-March 2016); grant-in-aid of US$ 1 million to Habibia High School over next 10 years; and grant-in-aid of US$ 1 million to IGICH over next 5 years. India has also committed to contribute substantially in improving transportation system in Kabul and has decided to donate 1000 buses to Afghanistan along with upgradation related infrastructure.
A significant addition to India's development portfolio in Afghanistan is the Small Development Projects (SDP) scheme, in the fields of agriculture, rural development, education, health, vocational training, etc. The Small Development Projects are implemented in three Phases- under I & II phase (total commitment of US$ 20 million) 132 projects at a cost of approx. US$ 19.5 million were approved (94 projects completed). MoU for implementation of the Third Phase of the SDP scheme was signed during President Karzai’s visit to India in November 2012 with an additional outlay of US$ 100 million. A total of 287 projects at approx. US$ 52.5 million have been approved under Phase-III and are at various stages of implementation. 87 additional projects are under GoI’s active consideration.
In the area of skill development, GoI offers training to Afghan officials/nationals in diverse fields through 500 ITEC slots and 25 slots under TCS Colombo plan are allocated annually to Afghanistan, Specialised ITEC courses are held for Afghan Government Officials on specific demand, 614 ICAR scholarships under India-Afghanistan Fellowship Programme commenced in 2012-13 lasting up to 2020-21(208 fellowships have been utilised so far), training via tele-education at ANASTU, Kandahar and Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health, Kabul. GoI also grants ICCR scholarships to 1000 Afghans every year to pursue under graduate courses in various Indian universities in major cities across India.