Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Food belt, Knowledge corridor with Japan’s cooperation

A Japanese delegation expressed interest in food belt, infrastructure, tourism and education sectors. The Freight corridor was ICF’s brainchild. It now proposed the development of food belt, which can feed entire Asia, and Knowledge corridor.

CJ: Arindam Roy, 15 Apr 2008 Views: 1240 Comments: 0

A HIGH-level delegation of leading bankers and investors from Japan expressed deep interest in infrastructure, tourism and education sectors of Bihar, a state with rich cultural background, which is known worldwide as land of Buddha.

The delegation, lead by Dr. Shimada Haruo, former special advisor for Economic and Fiscal Policy to the cabinet office of Japanese Prime Minister, expressed willingness for the development of the region as envisioned by India Center Foundation (ICF). The study tour by this delegation was a result of the efforts by the foundation.

ICF proposed the development of food belt along the Ganga. The Gangetic plain is so fertile that the food grains produced here could feed entire Asia.

In the first phase of its tour the delegation visited two destinations of Bihar, Vikramshila and Patna. At Vikramshila, which is famous world over for one of the largest Buddhist Universities in the ancient period, Vibhav Kant Upadhyay, chairman, ICF, introduced the delegation with the glory and cultural diversity of India along with the potential and determination for the development.

Dr. Shimada Haruo expressed his wholehearted support for development of Bihar. He said, "I believe India and Japan can face the challenges of these changing times by mutual support. Our centuries old relations can be the alibi of my belief."

"In 2003, the ICF gave the concept of rapid transport system (RTS) connecting the four metropolitan cities in India, to the policy makers. In those days, I was the economic advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi. There is no doubt that through these corridors India can reach its development goals much early. On the lines of economic corridor, there is one more concept of Knowledge Corridor between Delhi and Kolkatta. It will pass through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This corridor can make India able to use the capacity and potential of these states to the maximum," Dr. Shimada said.

People from Vikramshila cutting across all factions and party line were assembled for this noble cause. Amongst present on the occasion were, state Congress president Sadanand Singh, local MLA Ajay Manadal, Village Pradhan, and many other Panchayat representatives were standing united for the cause initiated by India Center Foundation. A local leader Nishi Kant said that it is an honour for the people of Vikramshila to carry world known legacy of knowledge and peace created by Buddha.

The delegation, then, attended a seminar, in Patna, on economic and development scenario in Bihar organised by Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI). Dr. Shaibal Gupta and Dr. Ghosh of ADRI made a presentation on socio-economic conditions in Bihar with the help of economic indicators and social conditions in Bihar.

Upadhyay, chairman, ICF expressed his concern for the state of Bihar, which is a fertile land of talents but they are not being nourished properly. He applauded the past glory of Bihar and connected it to the capital of wisdom in ancient times particularly world known Vikramshila and Nalanda Universities. Acting as a catalyst in nation building process India Center Foundation is evolving a global partnership between India and Japan. India Center Foundation gave the slogan of 'Strong India – Strong Japan' and 'Strong Japan – Strong India'. The same slogan is now the symbol of mutual co-operation between the two countries. On these lines both the countries can give a new direction to the world.

While concluding the seminar both ADRI and ICF agreed to work closely towards socio-economic development of Bihar and decided to work out new approaches and programs for the area.

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