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Varanasi-Kyoto Initiative: A dream project of transforming India's holy city into a 'Smart-Heritage City'
Asia's two great nations - India and Japan, who share cordial diplomatic relations, recently, came together and took various initiatives in view of enhancing their bilateral ties.

It has been learnt that Indo-Japan co-operation has traditionally been strong since the last few years, as both countries have worked together in several areas. Not only that, a unique decision has also been taken by the two nations, of taking up a dream project named 'Varanasi and Kyoto Initiative', a flagship project that emphasizes on the development of India's holy city - 'Varanasi'.

The initiative links India's heritage capital and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi with Japans' heritage city Kyoto.

The initiative aims to transform Varanasi into a Kyoto-style smart city, under which Japan will partner with India in order to boost the overall infrastructure of Varanasi, making the city a symbol of India's development.

The Varanasi-Kyoto partner city agreement, initiated by India Center Foundation (ICF), was signed in the presence of the leaders of both nations on August 30, 2014. ICF has been working towards India's national development process through India-Japan Global Partnership (IJGP) for nearly two decades.

IJGP a mutually beneficial partnership where India and Japan will work together by pooling their respective strengths to not only benefit the national interests of each other but also Asia and rest of the world

Headed by its Chairman Vibhav Kant Upadhyay, ICF, acting as a facilitator for Varanasi and Kyoto Foundation (VAKYO), established a bridge between the two great partner cities and has been responsible for transforming the lives of the local population by providing world-class infrastructure for them. The model will be pro-active, pro-people and of good governance.

Besides that, art, culture and heritage will be the key focus areas of the foundation, however, VAKYO will endeavour to facilitate and support the initiatives taken in other areas also for the benefit of both the cities.

The Varanasi and Kyoto Initiative has been envisioned under the Indo-Japan Development Framework (IJDF) that takes into account the RME (Relationships, Mechanisms and Empowerment/Economy) model of development.

The India Center Foundation along with the Global Partnership Summit and all its participants and stakeholders will act as the biggest push towards a truly enlightened populace and a chance for a prosperous life for all.

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