Japan to Fund Projects in India

Japan has finalised loans and a grant totalling around 233 billion yen for several key infrastructure projects in India, including for a project in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Grant for Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI):

  • A grant of 4.01 billion yen for a project for the improvement of power supply in strategically located Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • The grant would be used to procure 15MWh batteries as well as power system stabilisers to allow better utilisation of solar power generated in South Andaman.
  • This grant is Japan’s first ever Official Development Assistance (ODA) to a project in the A&N islands.
  • ODA is defined as government aid designed to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries.
  • Loans and credits for military purposes are excluded.
  • India has been the top recipient of the Japanese government’s financial aid under the ODA.

Japan’s Aid for Other Projects:

  • For Delhi Metro’s fourth phase.
  • For Metro lines under Namma Metro’s second phase in Bengaluru.
  • For crop diversification in Himachal Pradesh.
  • For mitigating fluorosis in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu and Barmer districts.

Significance of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) are located at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.
  • It is a group of 572 islands, which straddles some of the busiest trade routes in the world.
  • ANI spans 450 nautical miles in a roughly north-south configuration adjacent to the western entrance to the Malacca Strait, which is itself a major Indian Ocean chokepoint.
  • Geopolitically, the ANI connects South Asia with South-East Asia. While the northernmost point of the archipelago is only 22 nautical miles from Myanmar, the southernmost point, Indira Point, is a mere 90 nautical miles from Indonesia.
  • The islands dominate the Bay of Bengal, the Six Degree and the Ten Degree Channels that more than sixty thousand commercial vessels traverse each year.
  • The Andaman and Nicobar Islands constitute just 0.2% of India’s landmass but provide near 30% of its Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • Due to the presence of ANI in the Bay of Bengal, India has a better position to play a vital role in Indo-Pacific
  • Recently, the Prime Minister has declared that the ANI will be developed as a “maritime and startup hub”.

SOURCE: MINT

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