PM Modi inaugurates Zen Garden, Kaizen Academy in Gujarat: All you need to know!

While inaugurating the two projects, the Prime Minister elaborated on his vision of creating a 'Mini-Japan' in Gujarat.

Created On: Jun 28, 2021 13:42 IST
Zen Garden, Source: Twitter
Zen Garden, Source: Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 27, 2021 inaugurated a Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy at Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) in Ahmedabad through video conference.

While inaugurating the two projects, the Prime Minister elaborated on his vision of creating a 'Mini-Japan' in Gujarat and thanked leaders of Hyogo Prefecture, especially Governor Toshizo Ido and Hyogo International association for their contribution to the establishment of the Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy.

The Prime Minister termed the dedication of the Zen Garden and Kaizen Academy, as a symbol of ease and modernity of the India-Japan relationship and then underlined his personal connection with Japan and his appreciation for the affection of the people of Japan, their discipline, skills and work culture.  He said that his assertion to create mini-Japan in Gujarat encapsulated the aspiration of warmth for visiting Japanese people.

Zen Garden

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out to the similarities between ‘Zen’ and Indian ‘Dhyan’ and dwelled on the emphasis on inner peace along with outer progress and growth in the two cultures. 

• He said that the Indians will find a glimpse of the same peace, poise and simplicity in this Zen garden, which they experienced in Yoga through the ages. 

• He added saying that Buddha gave this ‘Dhyan’, this enlightenment to the world.

Kaizen Academy

• The Prime Minister similarly highlighted both external and internal meanings of Kaizen which not only emphasizes ‘improvement’ but ‘continuous improvement’.

• He recalled that as a Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had in the past implemented Kaizen in Gujarat administration. 

• It was introduced in administrative training in Gujarat in 2004 and a special training camp was held for the top civil servants in 2005. The continuous improvement was reflected in the refinement of processes, leading to a positive impact on governance. 

• The Prime Minister then informed that he also brought Kaizen-related experience of Gujarat to Prime Minister's office and other central government departments after becoming the Prime Minister to continue with the importance of governance in national progress.

• He said that Kaizen is now being used in many departments, institutions and schemes of the Central Government. 

What is Kaizen?

• Kaizen is a Sino-Japanese word for "improvement". It is a concept that refers to business activities that continuously improve all functions involving all employees right from the CEO to assembly line workers. 

• Kaizen also applies to processes and has been applied in healthcare, psychotherapy, life coaching, government and banking.

• Kaizen aims to eliminate waste and redundancies by improving standardized programmes and processes.

When was Kaizen first practiced?

Kaizen was first practiced in Japanese businesses after World War II, influenced by American business and quality-management teachers. It has since then spread across the world.

Implementation of Kaizen in Gujarat

• Prime Minister recalled his special efforts to improve golf facilities in Gujarat after he realised that Japanese people love golf. Golf courses were not common in Gujarat at that time but today, there are many golf courses in Gujarat.

• There has also been a spread of Japanese restaurants and the Japanese language in Gujarat.

India-Japan relationship

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi also talked about Japan's spirited participation in the 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit' over the years and noted that over 135 companies ranging from banking, automobile to pharma and construction have made Gujarat their base. 

• He noted that companies like Mitsubishi, Toyota, Suzuki Motors, Honda Motorcycle and Hitachi are involved in manufacturing in Gujarat and contributing to skill development of the local youth. 

• He further noted that three Japan-India Institute for Manufacturing have been set up in Gujarat that are further giving skill training to hundreds of youth with the tie-up with technical universities and IITs. 

• Further, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO's) Ahmedabad Business Support Centre is also providing work-space facility to up to five companies simultaneously. Many Japanese companies have benefitted from this.

• Prime Minister also recalled the visit of the former Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe to Gujarat and said the visit gave new momentum to the India-Japan relationship.

• He also highlighted that the India-Japan friendship has become even more important for global stability and prosperity in the period of pandemic.

• He stated that the current challenges demand that friendship and partnership between the two nations to get even deeper.

• PM Modi wishes to create a model of schools in Gujarat based on the school system of Japan. While remembering his visit to Taimei Elementary School in Tokyo, he expressed appreciation for the blend of modernity and moral values in Japan's school system. 

• He further emphasised that India has the confidence of centuries-old cultural relations with Japan and also a common vision for the future.

• He also stressed on the strengthening of Special Strategic and Global Partnership with Japan and informed about the Japan plus mechanism in the PMO.

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