This is my second work assignment at the India office. The more I learn about this country, the more I realize the enormousness and profoundness of it. The vast land of the country, which is nine times larger than Japan, displays the glorious summit of the Himalayas, Great Plains with dynamic rivers, sun-baked deserts, and vast expanse of Indian Ocean. The land is home to almost 1.4 billion people, who speak variety of languages and nurture rich culture.
To assure steady improvement of the living standard of the 1.4 billion people, the present government led by Prime Minister H.E. Narendra Modi has been vigorously conducting bold economic reforms and implementing policies to support the poor population. During the five years since its establishment, the government has achieved high economic growth of approximately 7 % every year. Though the country is currently suffering from the damage caused by COVID-19, the world recognized its latent power when the great achievement of 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccination was accomplished in October 2021.
On the other hand, if we look at the development stage of India, GDP per capita was approximately 2,000 USD in 2020, which is one twentieth that of Japan, and there are still almost 300 million people suffering from poverty across the nation. In SDGs index India ranks at 120th out of 165 countries, where other indicators such as illiteracy, infant mortality rate etc., are at higher levels than those in other developing countries. I do not feel any exaggeration in it when H.E. Narendra Modi mentioned at UN General Assembly in 2021 that "When India grows, world grows".
The long-lasting supports to India with Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) including JICA's projects have been contributing to the development of the country. JICA implements wide range of cooperation, from construction of rail and road networks, development of Water supply and hospitals, to despatch of volunteers, utilizing Japanese knowledge and experience often with the support from Japanese companies, institutions and citizens. After the pandemic hit in 2020, JICA has extended emergency loans and provided medical equipment in order to support government of India's COVID-19 response. India is one of the major countries that are promoting shared vision of "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" and plays an important role in realizing stable development of Indo-Pacific region. Considering its huge potential as emerging giant power, strengthening people-to-people and economic relationship between India and Japan will be benefit for Japanese side as well.
JICA will continue to provide its support for projects that contribute to the development of India and for achieving inclusive and sustainable growth. Especially, looking beyond the COVID-19 crisis, we will not only support standard ODA loan and technical cooperation projects, but will also explore opportunities of collaboration with NGOs and social enterprises that have been working in the frontline of the development to further enhance the achievements of Japan - India economic cooperation. Though projects introduced in this website are limited, I hope it will help you get a glimpse of JICA's activities in India.
SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative
JICA India Office
To explore JICA's activities in India, please visit the weblink below: