August 24, 2018
New Delhi, August 24, 2018: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) shared its views and experiences at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi and Ajanta Visitor Centre, at the five-day International Buddhist Conclave, which is happening from August 22-26, 2018. The Government of Japan became partner country of the Buddhist Conclave. The theme of the conclave is "Buddha Path – The Living Heritage". The Conclave has been organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in collaboration with the State Governments of Maharashtra, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The inaugural session was attended by dignitaries such as Mr. Ram Nath Kovind, President of India; Shri K.J. Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism and Mr. Kenji Hiramatsu, Ambassador of Japan to India, Embassy of Japan among others.
The objective of the conclave is to showcase and project the Buddhist Heritage in India and boost tourism to the Buddhist sites in the country and to cultivate friendly ties with countries and communities interested in Buddhism. This is also the first time that an investor's summit has happened in Delhi for the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (GOI). Mr. Takayoshi Tange, Senior Representative, JICA India, made a presentation in the investor's summit representing Japan.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Takayoshi Tange, Senior Representative, JICA India said, "JICA believes that investing in tourism development is essential for investing in visitors' satisfaction, comfort and experience. Tourism development can become especially powerful when cultural development through the conservation of an iconic attraction such as the world known Ajanta and Ellora Caves, is combined with industrial development at a strategic location such as the city of Aurangabad, leading to the comprehensive development uplifting the living standards of the region. Convergence of quality infrastructure development and client-first visitors' experience becomes necessary, but this could be secured only when the related authorities take concerted and streamlined action with the cooperation of the private sector continuously. The excellent Visitor Centers constructed in Ajanta and Ellora have the good potential to improve visitors' experience, only if both centers are appropriately operated under streamlined policies and if there is a continuous improvement of displayed contents by the operators with the participation of academic, local, and private sectors"
Mr. Jaykumar Rawal, Minister of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra (GOM) and Ms. Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, GOM, visited the Ajanta Visitor's Center and caves after the inaugural session of conclave in Delhi. This year the Ministry of Tourism is organizing the International Buddhist Conclave at New Delhi and Ajanta (Maharashtra), followed by site visits to Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodhgaya (Bihar) and Sarnath (UP). The earlier International Buddhist Conclaves were organized in New Delhi and Bodhgaya (February 2004), Nalanda and Bodhgaya (February 2010), Varanasi and Bodhgaya (September 2012), Bodhgaya and Varanasi (September 2014) and in Sarnath/Varanasi and Bodhgaya (October 2016).
JICA has been associated with the Ministry of Tourism, GOI, to preserve the cultural ethos of World Heritage Sites and to enhance the tourists' experience. To promote tourism in India, JICA has extended a cumulative ODA loan of 11,076 million Japanese yen (approximately INR 700 crore) for the Ajanta-Ellora Conservation and Tourism Development Project (AECTDP). JICA has also extended ODA loans for Tourism Development Projects in both UP and Bihar.
Mr. Takayoshi Tange, Senior Representative, JICA India while making presentation at the International Buddhist Conclave in Delhi
Established by a specific law as an incorporated administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation, so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.
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