India-Japan Current Affairs - 2020

What is Treaty on Open Skies recently in news?

The US President Donald Trump recently announced that USA is to withdraw from Open Skies treaty.

About the Treaty

The Treaty on Open Skies was signed in 2002. The treaty established an aerial surveillance system for its participants. There are 34 members that signed the treaty. Both US and Russia are signatories of the treaty.

Key Features of the treaty

The treaty establishes an region of unarmed aerial observation. The observation is allowed over the territories of the signatories. It enhances mutual understanding and gives confidence to all participants.

The treaty is considered as one of the most wide-ranging arms control effort that promotes transparency and openness amongst military forces.

What is the issue?

The US President has announced withdrawal from the treaty accusing that Russia has not stuck to its part of the deal. This is the third international arms pact the US has pulled out from since Donald Trump became the president.

The US also claims that Russia in the intention of annexing Crimean peninsula has designated an Open Skies refueling airfield in the region.

Signatory countries

The signatory countries of the treaty include UK, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, Belgium, Belarus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Czech republic, Estonia, Denmark, Georgia, Finland, Russia, Iceland, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine and Slovenia.

Kyrgyzstan is the only country that has not ratified the treaty

India

India has similar treaty with Japan. India and Japan signed open sky agreement in 2017. India signed the agreement in accordance with National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016.

India-Japan sign Rs 15,295 crores rail project

On March 27, 2020, the JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency), a funding agency of the Japanese Government signed an agreement with GoI for 3 mega rail infrastructure projects. The project cost has been estimated as Rs 15,295 crores

Highlights

According to the agreements, Rs 8,553 crores have been granted by the JICA for phase I of the Dedicated Freight Corridors to be constructed in India. Also, JICA has granted Rs 4,262 crores for the Mumbai-Trans Harbour link project. Around Rs 2,480 crores have been granted for the Mumbai Metro Line Project.

Significance

The dedicated freight corridor aims at fulfilling the increased freight transport demand in the country. It will act as a backbone for the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor development plan.

All the three projects focus on Mumbai as the population in the metropolitan city has increased. Also, several industries have come up in the region. This will also help in reducing pollution levels in the city.