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Japan ready to support India in achieving 21st century goals: Japan’s Consul General

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Mumbai: The 21stcentury is a century for India to achieve, and Japan is very much ready to support India in achieving its goals in various fields, said Mr Ryoji Noda, Consul General, Consulate of Japan, Mumbai, at the 11th Anniversary VLFM/CSM Learning Convention organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“21st century is a century of India. 21stcentury is a century for India to achieve. And Japan is very much ready to support India to achieve its goals in various fields. I would also like to say that the 21st century is a century of Japan and India relations,” said Mr Noda, while delivering his inaugural address.

“There are cultural exchanges, exchanges between the countries, business leaders and in education (between the two countries). I am happy about it,” Mr Noda said, adding that both our prime ministers are meeting annually. As part of the initiative Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit India later this year.

During the meeting of prime ministers of both the countries in 2014 it was decided to double Japan’s foreign direct investment (FDI) into India to Rs 2.1 lakh crore in five years’ timeframe. Japan is expected to provide Rs 1.2 lakh crore for the high speed rail project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

By 2030, India’s population will cross that of China and will see high prosperity. By then, half of India’s population is expected to move into middle-class from lower income group. “That is amazing,” Mr Noda said quoting a United Nations’ analysis.

The Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing Programme has been working to transform Indian Manufacturing since 2006. It is a unique collaborative initiative of the Government, Academia and Industry with active support from Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Government of India and Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA), Government of Japan..

The CSM/VLFM Program has been an Industry wide movement impacting close to 5000 visionary leaders in the past decade. This in turn has produced numerous successes in new ideas, products, processes, etc. – which have gained international fame.

Stating that JICA was working in India on two important projects in the manufacturing sector, Mr Takema Sakamoto, Chief Representative, JICA India said, that they are worker level skill development by bringing experts from Japan for lectures and training etc., and the other one with top-down approach to bring in ‘Mindset Change”. “In this context, JICA lanched VLFM programme,” Sakamoto added.

Mr Jamshyd Godrej, Chariman of VLFM Initiative and past president of CII, said, “Visionary leaders, who have passed out in the initial few batches of the VLFM Initiative, have created over 900 new products already.” Over 5,000 students from 1500 companies have passed out of the programme so far.

Indian Institutes of Management (IIM), Calcutta, and Indian institutes of technology (IITs) are planning to change their curriculum based on VLFM Initiative’s programmes, said Prof. Saibal Chattopadhyay, Director, IIM-Calcutta. The new legislative act to enable IIMs to issue degrees will upgrade this programme soon, Mr Chattopadhyay added.

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said the total alumni of the institution will be taken to over 9,000 by 2020. Beyond September 2018, VLFM has to decide its future course, by when the first phase of JICA partnership ends, Mr Banerjee added.
A publication titled, “VLFM/CSM, A Decade of Transforming Indian Manufacturing”, and a case study on Harita Seating Systems Limited titled “Leading Ahead with VSME” were released at the convention.
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