India-Kazakhstan Current Affairs
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The bilateral military exercise “PRABAL DOSTYK – 2017” between India and Kazakhstan began at Bakloh, Himachal Pradesh. ‘Prabal Dostyk’ means ‘Robust Friendship’
It is second edition of the joint military training exercise between both countries. The first edition of exercise was held in Karaganda region of Kazakhstan in September 2016.
The fourteen day joint training aims to build and promote bilateral army-to-army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan and the Indian Army. It also aims at enhancing military ties between two countries for achieving interoperability between two armies.
The exercise will help in strengthening ties between two countries and would serve as platform for exchange of drills and procedures leading to seamless interoperability. The training contingents comprise of platoon strength from the 11th Gorkha Rifles of Indian Army and similar strength of Kazakhstan Army.
The Indian troops participating in joint exercise have undergone extensive training in counter terrorism and low-intensity conflict operations at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte, Mizoram.
Kazakhstan has opened its honorary consulate in Chennai. The consulate will cover the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. It will be headed by well-known businessman Suraj Shantakumar. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has expressed confidence that the establishment of the consulate in Chennai, which is a major industrial centre would promote the potential for economic cooperation in a number of areas like IT industry, engineering, tourism, transport infrastructure, as well as agricultural production.
Among the countries that constituted former USSR, Kazakhstan has emerged as the second largest economic partner for India. Kazakhstan is natural resources, minerals, oil and gas and chemical products. It is the largest exporter of Uranium to India. The prospectus of cooperation looms large in several areas. Recently, there was a meeting between the special working groups on textiles from the two countries in Kazakhstan. The bilateral trade between the two countries was around 618 million USD in 2016. India exports pharmaceuticals, tea, tobacco, and engineering equipment to Kazakhstan and imports oil products, metals and natural minerals from that country.