Central Asia Current Affairs - 2020

Dustlik 2019: India Uzbekistan joint Military Exercise

India will conduct its first ever military exercise with Uzbekistan in a 10-day session on counter terrorism tactics. The exercise will be held at Chirchiq Training Area, Uzbekistan between November 4 and November 13, 2019. The Defence Minister Shri Raj Nath Singh during his 3 day visit met the Indian contingent participating in the joint exercise.

Highlights of the Exercise

  • The aim of the exercise is to focus on counter-insurgency and counter terrorism operation in mountainous, rural and urban regions.
  • From India a 45-member contingent have been trained for firing heli-borne operations, mountain craft, combat conditioning, tactical operations and house-intervention drills under UN mandate. This contingent is participating in the exercise
  • As a part of the exercise, the Indian army will conduct training cordon and search operation, mobile vehicle check posts and room intervention.
  • The Uzbekistan army will conduct training on tactical drills and survival skills in deserts and mountains.
  • On the concluding day, both the countries will depict near-actual operations situations for a period of 24-hour.

Significance

The exercise will build inter-operability skills and confidence between the two armies and enable sharing of best practices between the two. As Uzbekistan is a key country in central Asia, India has been trying to reach out to Uzbekistan by means of various new areas of cooperation.

Regional variations in the World Economic Forums Public Opinion Survey

The findings from the World Economic Forum’s public opinion survey register regional variations on the various issues. Few of them are listed below:

  • When asked how important it is for countries to work together towards a common goal, a global average of 76 per cent said they believe it is either extremely important or very important.
  • The favourable sentiments were strongly felt in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where 88 per cent share the same view. On the other hand, 61 per cent of Western Europeans and 70 per cent of North Americans said they consider cooperation to be extremely or very important.
  • When asked whether their country has a responsibility to help other countries in the world, South Asia had the highest levels of concurrence with 94 per cent answering positively compared to a global average of 72 per cent. While the North Americans and Western Europeans were the least effusive, with only 61 per cent and 63 per cent respectively answering in the affirmative.
  • At a global level, 57 per cent, said they believe that immigrants are “mostly good” for their new country. But only 40 per cent of those living in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and 46 per cent of respondents in Western Europe subscribe to the same opinion, whereas the South Asians and North Americans exclusively agreed to this.
  • Most people still believe in the power of international cooperation but they share a much less positive view of their own country when it comes to social progress. Only 20 per cent of respondents in Western Europe feel it is either extremely common or somewhat common for someone to be born poor and become rich through hard work.

These variations are attributed to the socio-economic and political reasons.