India-Fiji Current Affairs
India and Fiji has signed an MoU on defence cooperation after the delegation level talks between Minister of Defence, Finance and Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley and the Minister of Defence and National Security of Fiji, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in New Delhi. The MoU envisaged cooperation on defence industry, military training, humanitarian assistance & disaster management. In particular, Defence partnership as well as the maritime security and naval cooperation were identified as an area of promise. The MoU provides for stepping up of defence and security ties in defence production and military training.
Fiji is an archipelago consisting of 332 islands located in the heart of Pacific Ocean. The main ethnic groups in the Fiji include Fijian, Indian, European, and other Pacific Islanders. As of now, around 37% of the total inhabitants of the country are of Indian origin.
India was represented by a commissioner since 1948 to look after the interests of the people of Indian origin. After Fiji’s independence in 1970, the commissioner’s post was upgraded to that of the High Commissioner. India and Fiji’s bilateral ties have grown steadily in the past few years. Several MoUs have been signed between the two countries in the fields of health, Tourism, IT, defence and security.
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Fiji.
The Agreement is for updation of the existing ASA between the two countries which was signed in January, 1974.
- The objective of new ASA is to improve the air connectivity between the two countries by updating the existing ASA, keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector.
- Under new ASA, both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline. These airlines shall have right to establish offices in other country for promotion and sale of air services.
- The designated airlines shall have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified routes. The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently.
- These airlines will have freedom to decide tariffs in respect of the agreed services at reasonable levels based on the commercial considerations.
- Besides, they can enter into cooperative marketing arrangements with the designated carriers of same party and other party.