General Studies IIIndia and NeighborhoodINTERNATIONAL RELATION

Nusantara as new capital of Indonesia


Indonesia’s parliament has passed a bill to relocate the nation’s capital from Jakarta to a jungled area of Kalimantan on Borneo island.

Why has Indonesia chosen Nusantara as its new capital?

Nusantara has been chosen as Indonesia’s new capital, keeping in mind the future of the country. The initial relocation is expected to start between 2022 and 2024. 

Indonesia aims to fully relocate to the new capital in the next decade and by 2045 it is expected to release the vision of ‘World City for All”.

The recently approved bill provides the legal framework for the ambitious $32 billion mega project. The bill also stipulates how the development of the capital will be funded and governed.

Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa told parliament after the bill became law that the relocation of the capital city to Nusantara is based on several considerations including regional advantages, welfare and a vision of the birth of a new economic centre of gravity. 

Why is Indonesia relocating its capital from Jakarta?

Indonesia decided to relocate its capital from Jakarta, as the city is prone to flooding amid climate change. It also suffers from chronic congestion and air pollution.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo had first announced that the country’s capital would be relocated in 2019, but the move got delayed due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Why is Jakarta sinking and how fast?

The city of Jakarta sits on the swampy ground near the sea, which not only makes it one of the fastest sinking cities on the Earth but also prone to flooding. Jakarta has been sinking into the Java Sea at an alarming rate due to the over-extraction of groundwater.

As per several studies, the city that is home to more than 10 million people, could entirely sink by 2050. Flooding has also been projected to be a recurring issue for the inhabitants. Jakarta is one of the world’s most overpopulated urban regions. 

Nusantara: New Capital of Indonesia

  1. Indonesia’s new capital city will be called Nusantara, which means archipelago in Javanese. The name of the new city was chosen by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. It is a Javanese term that means archipelago. 
  2. The new city will be built in a dense forest on the island of Borneo, 1300km away from Jakarta. 
  3. The new capital city will take a total land area of 256,143 hectares, almost all of it converted from the forest area.  
  4. Borneo is the world’s third-largest island, which is owned majorly by Indonesia with Brunei and Malaysia owning parts of its northern region. 
  5. The new capital will help strengthen supply chains and place Indonesia “in a more strategic position in world trade routes and investment flows as well as technological innovation.
  6. The city will be a low-carbon “super hub” that will support health, pharmaceutical and technology sectors and promote sustainable growth in Indonesia. 
  7. Nusantara is expected to be headed by a chief authority whose position will be equivalent to that of a minister.

How is the Relation between India and Indonesia?

 Indians have visited Indonesia since ancient times, and ancient Indonesian (Austronesian people) have embarked in maritime trade in Southeast Asian seas and the Indian Ocean. The Ancient Indians spread Hinduism and many other aspects of Indian culture including the Sanskrit and Brahmi Script. The trace of Indian influences is most evident in great numbers of Sanskrit loanwords in Indonesian languages.

  1. Both countries have agreed to establish a strategic relationship.
  2. India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime boundary with Indonesia.
  3. India and Indonesia were among the 5 founders of the Non-Aligned Movement.
  4. India has established better economic ties with Indonesia through the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations).
  5. In the Indonesian Dance and Drama traditions, Ramayana is a major theme.
  6. On the sidelines of the G20 summit in 2019 held at Osaka, India and Indonesia set an ambitious target of increasing the bilateral trade between 2 nations, to $ 50 billion by 2025.
  7. In the year 2016 Trade between India and Indonesia stood at $ 12.9 billion which rose to $ 18.13 billion in the year 2017 and it stood at $ 21.11 billion in the year 2018-19.
  8. In order to increase the trade and reduce the trade deficit, Indonesia has recently agreed to import rice, and sugar from India.
  9. India has offered a level playing field to Indonesia in the import of palm oils which were earlier skewed towards Malaysia.

Which Country Colonized Indonesia?

Indonesia was a colony of Dutch for many years. The country was overrun by the Imperial Japanese Army in March 1942 during World War 2. They attained freedom with the surrender of Japan in the year 1945. However, Dutch recognized the independence of Indonesia only in the year 1949, in the face of international pressure.

Source: Times of India

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