Facts for Prelims


News: Recently, Containers from Russia’s Astrakhan port crossed the Caspian Sea and eventually reach Nhava Shiva port in Mumbai, signaling the launch of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).

What is INSTC?
• INSTC is a 7,200-km multi-modal transport corridor that combines road, rail and maritime routes connecting Russia and India via Central Asia and Iran.
• The corridor is expected to consolidate the emerging  Eurasian Free Trade Area.
• The legal framework for the INSTC is provided by a trilateral agreement signed by India, Iran and Russia at the Euro-Asian Conference on Transport in 2000.

Importance of INSTC
• It can bypass Pakistan thereby giving access to Afghanistan, Central Asia and beyond.
• It reduces freight costs by 30% and the journey time by 40% in comparison with the conventional deep-sea route via the Suez Canal.
• INSTC can shape a north-south transport corridor that can complement the east-west axis of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
• It signals significant shift in approach of Indian Foreign policy from that of Non-alignment to multi- alignment. India is working on QUAD, SCO, INSTC, I2U2 (West Asian Quad)

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