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  • 30 Oct 2018
  • 21 min read
International Relations

India-Japan Summit

Recently Prime Minister of India visited Japan to attend the 13th India-Japan annual summit.

  • The Annual India-Japan Summit was instituted in 2006.

Outcomes of Summit

  • Indo-Pacific
    • India and Japan pledged to work together for the benefit of the Indo-Pacific region and the world at large.
    • India and Japan have decided to cooperate for peace, stability, and prosperity in Indo-Pacific.
    • The two nations share their vision for the Indo-Pacific is based on a rules-based order that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations ensures freedom of navigation and overflight.
  • Partnership for Global Prosperity
    • India and Japan have decided to cooperate on the development of connectivity via quality infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region, including in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh as well as in Africa.
  • Development of India’s North-East
    • India-Japan Act East Forum will identify and implement projects for enhancing connectivity, sustainable forest and ecological management, disaster risk reduction and people-to-people exchanges in India’s North-East.
  • Infrastructure Project in Rest of India
    • Japan has committed to invest in India’s key infrastructure projects and in the capacity building like India’s Bullet Train (Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project) and metro rail projects in various cities.
  • Skill Development India
    • India and Japan have signed agreements on cooperation in skill development by increasing the number of Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIMS) as well as the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in various Indian states.
  • IT Sector
    • India and Japan have launched a comprehensive India-Japan Digital Partnership with the vision to develop IoT (Internet of Thing) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) solutions by utilizing the "Japan-India Start-Up Hub” in Bengaluru and NASSCOM’s IT corridor project in Hiroshima Prefecture.
    • This will bring convergence between India’s flagship programmes such as "Digital India”, "Start-Up India” and "Smart City” with Japan’s "Society 5.0” to promote societal benefits.
  • Health Care
    • A memorandum was signed linking Japan’s Asia Health and Well-being Initiative (AHWIN) with India’s Ayushman Bharat and to introduce affordable technology, skill development and best practices in healthcare.
  • Partnership for Peace
    • In order to deepen bilateral security and defense cooperation, India and Japan have instituted Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2 Dialogue).
    • The two countries affirmed their commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons and called for early conclusion of negotiations Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).
  • Environment
    • Both countries have signed the agreement to strengthen cooperation on sustainable and clean forms of energy. Japan joined and ratified the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • Currency Swap Agreement
    • India and Japan have signed a currency swap agreement worth $75 billion. It is expected to help stabilize fluctuations in the value of the rupee vis-a-vis the dollar, and bring down the cost of capital for Indian companies while accessing Japanese capital markets.
  • Other Areas
    • India and Japan have signed agreements covering a number of areas like in agriculture, food processing, forestry, space cooperation, counter-terrorism, support on UNSC Reforms, disaster risk reduction, make in India.

History of India-Japan Relations

  • India’s earliest documented direct contact with Japan was with the Todaiji Temple in Nara, where the eye-opening of the statue of Lord Buddha was performed by an Indian monk, Bodhisena, in 752 AD.
  • The Japan-India Association was set up in 1903 and is one of the oldest international friendship bodies in Japan.
  • Japan and India signed a peace treaty and established diplomatic relations on 28th April 1952.
  • This treaty was one of the first peace treaties Japan signed after World War II.
  • India has been one of the most important recipients of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) since the inception of Yen’s Loan Assistance in 1958. India was also the first beneficiary of this program.
  • In September 2014, Japan-India relationship was upgraded to “Special Strategic and Global Partnership.”

India-Japan Relation Significance

  • Economic and Commercial Significance
    • India has been the largest recipient of Japan’s ODA.
    • Japanese ODA supports India’s efforts for accelerated economic development particularly in priority areas like power, transportation, environmental projects and projects related to basic human needs.
    • The Ahmedabad-Mumbai High-Speed Rail, the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC), Delhi Metro Project have been realized with Japanese assistance.
    • The India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) came into force in August 2011 is the most comprehensive of all such agreements concluded by India and covers not only trade in goods but also Services, Movement of Persons, Investments, Intellectual Property Rights and other trade-related issues.
    • In the Financial Year (FY) 2016-17, India-Japan trade reached US$ 13.61 billion. India’s export to Japan for 2016-17 was US$ 3.86 billion; whereas India’s Import from Japan for 2016-17 was US$ 9.76 billion.
    • Japan is the fourth largest foreign investor in India. The amount of Japan's cumulative investment in India from April 2000 to September 2016 is US$ 23.76 billion, which is nearly 8% of India's overall FDI during this period.
  • Defense Cooperation
    • Japan lifted its 50-year ban on arms export and signed a Defence Framework Agreements concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology to India.
    • India and Japan defense forces organize a series of bilateral and multilateral exercises namely, MALABAR, JIMEX.
    • India and Japan have also been cooperating with other regional powers and have formed Quadrilateral grouping which includes US, Australia, Japan, and India.
  • Strategic Relations
    • India and Japan have a shared concern over the rise of China.
    • For Japan, this includes Chinese claim over the Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and for India, it is Chinese claim on the Northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.
    • India and Japan have also been advocating for the reforms in United Nations Security Council through G-4 Grouping. Japan has also supported India’s bid at the membership of Nuclear-Supplier Group.
    • India and Japan have also proposed to partner in the development of Africa through Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) which has been considered as a counter to the Chinese Belt and Road initiative.

Society 5.0

  • Society 5.0 is a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the solution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space.
  • Society 1.0 is the hunter-gatherer age.
  • Society 2.0 is the age of agriculture.
  • Society 3.0 is the age of industries.
  • Society 4.0 is the information age.

Currency Swap

  • Currency swap agreement involves trade in local currencies, where countries pay for imports and exports at ptr-determined rates of exchange without the involvement of a third country currency like the US dollar.

Biodiversity & Environment

Air Pollution and Child Health: Prescribing Clean Air

Recently WHO has released a report on air pollution and its effect on children titled ‘Air pollution and child health: prescribing clean air’.

  • The report on air pollution and child health was released on the eve of the WHO’s first ever global conference (30 October 2018 - 1 November 2018) on Air Pollution and Health.
  • This report summarizes the latest scientific knowledge on the links between exposure to air pollution and adverse health effects in children.
  • It is intended to inform and motivate individual and collective action by health care professionals to prevent damage to children’s health from exposure to air pollution.

Key Findings

  • About 98 per cent of children under the age of five years in low- and middle-income countries, which include nations like India, were exposed to air pollution caused by finer particulate matters in 2016.
  • Every day 1.8 billion children, which makes around 93 percent of the world’s children under the age of 15 years, breathe air that is polluted enough to put their health and development at serious risk.
  • Air pollution is one of the leading threats to child health, accounting for almost 1 in 10 deaths in children under five years of age.
  • India faces the highest air pollution-related mortality and disease burden in the world with more than 2 million deaths occurring prematurely every year, accounting for 25% of the global deaths due to poor air quality.
  • About 1,00,000 children below five years died in India in 2016, due to complications in their health that was brought about by increased levels of outdoor and indoor air pollution.
  • After India, Nigeria ranked second at 98,001 number of child deaths due to air pollution in 2016, followed by Pakistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia.
  • India was among the countries where over 98 per cent of all children below five years of age live in areas that exceed the WHO air quality standards.
  • Air pollution is proving to be deadly for kids, damaging their brains and infecting them with serious diseases.


  • In India, nearly 65 per cent of homes still use biomass fuel for cooking and there are studies that show a positive association between household air pollution and problems among children. If the family is burning fuels like wood and kerosene for cooking, heating and lighting, they would be exposed to higher levels of pollution.
  • Children exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life.
  • When pregnant women are exposed to polluted air, they are more likely to give birth prematurely and have small, low birth-weight children.
  • One reason why children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution is that they breathe more rapidly than adults and so absorb more pollutants. They also live closer to the ground, where some pollutants reach peak concentrations — at a time when their brains and bodies are still developing.
  • Air pollution impacts neurological development and cognitive ability of kids, negatively affecting mental and motor development. It can also trigger asthma, and childhood cancer.
  • Children who have been exposed to high levels of air pollution may be at greater risk for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease later in life. It’s damaging children’s lung function, even at lower levels of exposures.

Way Forward

  • Promoting the use of cleaner transport, energy-efficient housing and urban planning to reduce air pollution especially fine particulate matters.
  • Governments should adopt measures such as reducing the over-dependence on fossil fuels in the global energy mix and facilitating the uptake of renewable energy sources.
  • Better waste management can reduce the amount of waste that is burned within communities and thereby reducing ‘community air pollution’.
  • Schools and playgrounds should be located away from major sources of air pollution like busy roads, factories and power plants.
  • Accelerating implementation of policy measures like the switch to clean cooking and heating fuels and technologies. This can drastically improve the air quality within homes.

Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts for Prelims (30th October 2018)

Odisha Launches Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS)

  • Odisha launched the first-of-its-kind Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) in India which will warn coastal communities and fisherfolk simultaneously about impending cyclone and tsunami through siren towers.
  • Sirens will go off from the towers installed along the coast of the State if a button is pressed in the State emergency centre in Bhubaneswar.
  • Fishermen fishing in deep sea can also be reached via mass SMS on their mobile phones through EWDS.
  • The EWDS, a collaborative effort of the Central and State governments, has been implemented under the assistance of World Bank.
  • It comprises technologies such as satellite-based mobile data voice terminals, digital mobile radio, mass messaging system and universal communication interface for interoperability.
  • It’s a part of the last-mile connectivity programme under National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project and aims to inform the last man living near the sea in case of an impending cyclone.

National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project

  • The National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) is a project of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), implemented in 13 cyclone-prone coastal States/UTs with the assistance of World Bank.
  • The objective of the NCRMP is to reduce vulnerability of coastal communities to cyclone and other hydro meteorological hazards through:
    1. 1. Improved early warning dissemination systems,
    2. 2. Enhanced capacity of local communities to respond to disasters,
    3. 3. Improved access to emergency shelter, evacuation, and protection against wind storms, flooding and storm surge in high areas,
    4. 4. Strengthening DRM capacity at central, state and local levels in order to enable mainstreaming of risk mitigation measures into the overall development agenda.
  • The first Phase of the project is being implemented since 2011 in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
  • The second phase will be implemented in the States of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal. The project is to be implemented from 2015-16 to 2019-2020.

Adenovirus Infections

  • A recent outbreak of Adenovirus has killed 9 children in the USA.
  • Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that can infect people of all ages and often affect the upper respiratory tract.
  • The signs and symptoms of adenovirus infections are similar to those of the common cold.
  • The infections usually cause only mild symptoms and get better on their own in a few days. But they can be more serious in people with weak immune systems, especially children.
  • Different adenoviruses cause illness at different areas in the body. Some strains cause infection of the lining of the eyelids, breathing passages, and lungs, while others affect the bowel or bladder.
  • Adenovirus is highly contagious. Infections are common in close-contact settings, such as childcare centers, schools, hospitals, and summer camps.

Train 18

  • India's first engineless semi-high speed train - "Train 18" - was rolled out by the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
  • It will eventually replace the Shatabdi Express for inter-city travel.
  • The fully air-conditioned train, driven by a self-propulsion module, has the potential to become the country's fastest train provided the infrastructure was improved.
  • Train-18 has two driving trailer coaches with aerodynamic driver's cab (nose cone) on both the ends which will enable quicker turn-around time at destinations.
  • Every alternative coach is motorized, to ensure even distribution of power and faster acceleration/deceleration.
  • Features: CCTV cameras, diffused lighting, automatic doors and footsteps, GPS-based passenger information system.
  • Train 18 was the only new train announced in Budget-2018. It is manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative at half the cost of import.
  • The railways will now focus on another project - Train 20 - the next generation aluminium-bodied sleeper class trains that will replace the Rajdhani Express trains and is expected to be rolled out by 2020.

Gujarat’s First Mega Food Park

  • The Minister for Food Processing Industries inaugurated the first Mega Food Park in Surat, Gujarat. A second Mega Food Park was also sanctioned in Mehsana District of Gujarat.
  • Mega Food Parks along with other schemes like Integrated Cold Chain and Value Addition, Infrastructure for Agro-processing Clusters etc. is under an umbrella scheme known as Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana.

Pradhan Mantri Kisan SAMPADA Yojana (PMKSY)

  • It is implemented by Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI).
  • It is the rechristened version of the Central Sector Scheme- SAMPADA (Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters).
  • Its objective is to supplement agriculture, modernize processing and decrease Agri-Waste.

Mega Food Park

  • It aims to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers.
  • Mega Food Parks create modern infrastructure facilities for food processing along the value chain from farm to market with strong forward and backward linkages through a cluster based approach.
  • Common facilities and enabling infrastructure is created at Central Processing Centre (CPCs) and facilities for primary processing and storage is created near the farm in the form of Primary Processing Centers (PPCs) and Collection Centers (CCs).
  • The financial assistance under the scheme is provided in the form of grant-in-aid, i.e. 50% of eligible project cost in general areas and 75% of eligible project cost in North East Region and difficult areas (Hilly States and ITDP areas) subject to maximum of Rs. 50 crore per project.

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