Tag Archives: japan

Quad to become Quad plus

Theme

On 12th march 2021, India, the USA, Australia and Japan conducted the first ever summit to discuss regional and global challenges. Till now there were only semi-regular meeting.

What is Quad?

  • India, Australia, the USA & Japan came together to collaborate in relief efforts after the Indian Ocean earthquake and Tsunami in 2004. This Tsunami core group formed ‘Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)’ in 2007.
  • The primary objective of Quad nations is to ensure a free and open Indo-pacific region, which is increasingly being misused by China to its advantage. Quad nations conducted their largest joint naval exercises in 2020.
  • Quad is informally called ‘Asian NATO‘ since it has the scope to become a powerful coalition just like NATO in Europe and North American countries.

Benefits of Quad:

  • Collaboration in defence, maritime security, counterterrorism, and information exchange is highly beneficial to all the Quad nations.
  • Many countries in the world are importing raw materials and goods from China and hence suffered a lot in the pandemic time due to broken supply chains. At present, all the Quad nations have trade relations with China. Quad is a great opportunity to diversify supply chains to reduce dependence on China and to opt for Free Trade Agreements among each other. This kind of economic collaboration is helpful to all the countries involved and also for the global economy.
  • In order to diversify supply chains, Quad nations may help among themselves with the investments to tap the resources. This is very helpful in getting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). For example, at present Australia has the world’s sixth-largest reserves of rare-earth minerals, which is essential to manufacture smartphones, EV batteries and high-powered motors. China supplies almost 60% of the world’s rare earth minerals. The positive thing is that most of Australia’s are untapped and needs investment to extract the minerals. And by this, dependence on China for rare earth minerals will be reduced. This cooperation is a great opportunity for all the Quad nations to increase exports and to improve the economy.
  • Quad meeting in 2020 included New Zealand, South Korea and Vietnam too, which is signalling towards the Quad-plus coalition.
  • It was announced that financing for Covid vaccines is the top priority for the latest meeting, which is going to be conducted on 12th March 2021. This cooperation is very beneficial to strengthen global health security.

Conclusion:

Quad is a great opportunity to diversify supply chains and to counterbalance China’s aggression. There is a high possibility that some other countries too will take part in it and it may become Quad plus. Quad has the potential to become a strong coalition like NATO in Europe.

JAPAN’S INNOVATIVE STYLE OF EDUCATION

Japan , has one of the most compelling stories in education. Japanese students are continuously accustomed to getting warnings about breaking their own records of winning Nobel prizes .It is this pressure in them which can even  be seen in the country’s demolishing presence globally. Japan who is facing challenges in maintaining research position, have continuously been taking steps to improve the situation.

One of the major challenges faced by them was the continuously decreasing number of journals written by scientists , because of reduction in the state funding for operation costs. Deteriorating financial situation had led to the closing of research institutes, leading to few journals being published.

The Ministry of education , Culture, Sports ,science and Technology came up with WISE(World-leading Innovative & Smart Education) programme. These programmes established five year doctoral problems, inside and outside Japan. These  schemes will define the skills and expertise needed to resolve the problems faced. The main purpose behind these programme were to nurture outstanding researchers who would serve in different sectors, leading to creating values ,thereby bringing innovation in the society.

Another programme was the DII programme for innovation specially in future electronics. Gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs were  used widely. The scheme nurtured three types of people-deployers, innovators and the investigators. Collaboration and Co-operation between the three personnel were necessary to accelerate innovation. The highlight of this programme was to give births to engineers who’ll not only do conventional study, but even practise entrepreneurship and social services. Students under these  programme will take part of two internships. One would be of two weeks, connecting the students with the peers of other countries, while the second internship would be of six  months, where the deployers would work towards broadening their minds, innovators would work towards learning production and investigators will begin with international collaboration.

With the help of programmes like DII and WISE, Japan can breakthrough and regain back its list glory in research and development.