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TOPIC : GS 2 Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
The rising sun in India­ Japan relations
What is the news?
Contrary to the expectations, of many, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has turned out to be a true successor of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe, on the foreign policy front.
Shared values od QUAD
Tokyo and Washington also rallied around the standard of shared values.
Both powers repeatedly emphasised their vision of a Free and Open Indo­Pacific that respects the rule of law, freedom of navigation, democratic norms and the use of peaceful means to settle disputes.
In the aftermath of the successful Quad Summit, both parties expressed their continued support for the four­nation grouping of the United States, India, Australia and Japan.
China’s human rights violations in Xinjiang, its heavy­handed suppression of protests in Hong Kong and military aggression towards Taiwan came in for heavy criticism.
Given that the Japanese premier plans to visit India as soon as the situation permits following the COVID­19 pandemic, his dealing with the U.S. are a preview of that New Delhi can expect from Tokyo.
Japan expressed concern over China’s “unilateral” actions in the East and South China Seas, Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
India’s clashes with China in Galwan have turned public opinion in favour of a more confrontational China policy.
New Delhi and Tokyo have expanded high­level ministerial and bureaucratic contacts,
Conducted joint military exercises and concluded military pacts such as the Acquisition and Cross­Servicing Agreement (ACSA) logistics agreement.
Further, no meeting would be complete without an affirmation of New Delhi and Tokyo’s support for a Free and Open Indo­Pacific
Continued willingness to work with the Quad, which is fast emerging as a central pillar of the security strategies of both nations.
At both the countries meeting, accompanied by the planned 2+2 Ministerial meetings, will likely aim to take stock of the state of play in the security relationship.
Technology partnership
New Delhi and Tokyo put together a digital research and innovation partnership that ran the gamut of technologies from AI and 5G to the Internet of Things and space research.
As with the U.S.­Japan summit, both the countries may look to deepen cooperation between research institutes and expand funding in light of China’s afore mentioned technology investment programme.
Economy Front
Japan has poured in around $34 billion in investments into the Indian economy over the course of the last two decades
Japan is only India’s 12th largest trading partner, and trade volumes between the two stand at just a fifth of the value of India­China bilateral trade.
At summit will likely reaffirm Japan’s support for key manufacturing in intiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and the Japan Industrial Town-ships.
Connectivity Front
India will be keen to secure continued infrastructure investments in the strategically vital connectivity projects currently under way in the Northeast and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Third country outlook
Both have collaborated to build infrastructure in Iran and Africa, provide vital aid to Myanmar and Sri Lanka and hammer out a common Association of Southeast Asian Nations outreach policy in an attempt to counter China’s growing influence in these corners of the globe.
India and Japan to take a hard look at reports suggesting that joint infrastructure projects in Africa and Iran have stalled with substantial cost overruns.
Way forward
Shinzo Abe, in his book, Utsukushii Kuni E (Toward a Beautiful Country), expressed his hope that “it would not be a surprise if in another 10 years, Japan­India relations over- take Japan­U.S. and Japan­China relations”. Thus far, New Delhi has every reason to believe that Japan’s Yoshihide Suga is willing to make that dream a reality.
Mains question
India – Japan shared relationship have evolved over the decades . Discuss
Source: https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-rising-sun-in-india-japan-relations/article34453087.ece

PRELIMS PUNCHERS
1. Chinese Space station
The Tiangong Space Station or Chinese large modular space station is a planned space station to be placed in low Earth orbit between 340 and 450 km above the surface. The Chinese Space Station will be roughly one-fifth the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station.
It is designed to be used for 10 years which could be extended to 15 years and will accommodate three astronauts.
Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/china-launches-key-module-of-space-station-planned-for-2022/article34437716.ece

2. National commission for women
The National Commission for Women (NCW) is the statutory body of the Government of India, generally concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women. It was established in 31 January 1992 under the provisions of the Indian Constitution, as defined in the 1990 National Commission for Women Act.
The objective of the NCW is to represent the rights of women in India and to provide a voice for their issues and concerns. The subjects of their campaigns have included dowry, politics, religion, equal representation for women in jobs, and the exploitation of women for labour. They have also discussed police abuses against women. The commission regularly publishes a monthly newsletter, Rashtra Mahila, in both Hindi and English.
Sources: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ncw-launches-helpline-for-pregnant-women/article34444935.ece

3. Lalandar Shatoot Dam
Shahtoot Dam is a proposed dam in the Char Asiab District of Kabul Province. The establishment of the dam will provide drinking, irrigation and environmental water for the city of Kabul. The cost of this project is estimated to be about US$236 million.. The dam will be constructed by engineers from India.
The Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water inked an agreement with the Poyab Company of Iran under which the Iranian firm would complete the design of Shahtoot dam. It will provide potable water to more than 2 million residents of Kabul, in addition to the irrigation of in Char Asiab and neighboring districts. The dam will also provide clean drinking water to the Deh Sabz District. This is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan , after the India – Afghanistan Friendship Dam (Salma Dam ) which was inaugurated in 2016
Source: http://ddnews.gov.in/national/india-afghanistan-sign-mou-construction-lalandar-shatoot-dam%C2%A0

4. Yuva sahakar scheme
To cater to the needs and aspirations of the youth, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has come up with a youth-friendly this scheme for attracting them to cooperative business ventures. The newly launched scheme would encourage cooperatives to venture into new and innovative areas. The scheme will be linked to Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF)’ created by the NCDC.
The funding for the project will be up to 80% of the project cost for these special categories as against 70% for others. The scheme envisages 2% less than the applicable rate of interest on term loan for the project cost up to Rs 3 crore including 2 years moratorium on payment of principal. It would have more incentives for cooperatives of North Eastern region, Aspirational Districts and cooperatives with women or SC or ST or PwD members. All types of cooperatives in operation for at least one year are eligible.
Sources: https://pib.gov.in/Pressreleaseshare.aspx?PRID=1675420

Prelims question
Qn 1. Consider the following statement with reference to Yuva Sahakara
1. Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship launches youth-friendly this scheme for attracting them to cooperative business ventures
2. The scheme will be linked to Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF)’ created
Select the correct statement using code given below.
(a). 1only (b) 2 only
(c). Both of them (d). None of the above
Answer : B
To cater to the needs and aspirations of the youth, the National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC) has come up with a youth-friendly this scheme for attracting them to cooperative business ventures. The newly launched scheme would encourage cooperatives to venture into new and innovative areas. The scheme will be linked to Rs 1000 crore ‘Cooperative Start-up and Innovation Fund (CSIF)’ created by the NCDC.
The funding for the project will be up to 80% of the project cost for these special categories as against 70% for others. The scheme envisages 2% less than the applicable rate of interest on term loan for the project cost up to Rs 3 crore including 2 years moratorium on payment of principal. It would have more incentives for cooperatives of North Eastern region, Aspirational Districts and cooperatives with women or SC or ST or PwD members. All types of cooperatives in operation for at least one year are eligible.

2. Shahtoot Dam is located in
a. Iran
b. Iraq
c. Afghanistan
d. Syria
Answer: C

Shahtoot Dam is a proposed dam in the Char Asiab District of Kabul Province. The establishment of the dam will provide drinking, irrigation and environmental water for the city of Kabul. The cost of this project is estimated to be about US$236 million.. The dam will be constructed by engineers from India.
The Afghan Ministry of Energy and Water inked an agreement with the Poyab Company of Iran under which the Iranian firm would complete the design of Shahtoot dam. It will provide potable water to more than 2 million residents of Kabul, in addition to the irrigation of in Char Asiab and neighboring districts. The dam will also provide clean drinking water to the Deh Sabz District. This is the second major dam being built by India in Afghanistan , after the India – Afghanistan Friendship Dam (Salma Dam ) which was inaugurated in 2016

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