India-Uzbekistan Current Affairs - 2020

India, Uzbekistan sign MoUs in fields of Military Medicine and Military Education

India and Uzbekistan signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoU), for enhancing bilateral cooperation in fields of Military Medicine and Military Education between the Armed Forces of the two countries. The MoUs were signed during the three-day visit by Defence Minister of India Rajnath Singh to Tashkent (Uzbekistan capital) from 1-3 November 2019. This was the first visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Uzbekistan in nearly 15 years.

Key Highlights of Meet

During the meeting, bilateral consultations were held between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov.

The MoU inked after the meet were the byproduct of interactions emanating from MoU on Military Education signed between India and Uzbekistan in October 2018.Two Institution-to-Institution MoUs on training and capacity building between institutes of higher military learning of India and Uzbekistan were also signed.

Two defence ministers also witnessed the first-ever exchange over a video-link between College of Defence Management in Secunderabad, Telangana and Armed Forces Academy of Uzbekistan in Tashkent.

Both defence ministers also presided over the opening of first-ever India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise called- Dustlik-2019, that will be held from 4-13 November 2019 at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent.

India- Uzbekistan Relation

Earlier in September 2018, after the visit of then Defence Minister of Uzbekistan to India, both sides (India and Uzbekistan) expressed satisfaction at the enhanced level of defence engagements. This enhanced level of engagement is reflected in the first-ever meeting of Joint Working Group (JWG) on Defence Cooperation (in February 2019), visit of Defence Secretary of India to Uzbekistan (in March 2019) and the first-ever Defence-Industry Workshop organised in Tashkent (in September 2019).

India has also offered a concessional line of credit of $40 million US for the procurement of goods and services by Uzbekistan from India. The direct exchange in relation to training, capacity building and education between Armed Forces on both sides has also witnessed significant growth.

India and Uzbekistan would continue to work together to further raise their level of engagement in defence sphere in keeping with strategic partnership between two countries. This would be based on higher level of mutual trust and respect between two countries as well as on their shared views and approaches on a range of regional and international issues which includes promoting regional stability and security and combatting extremism and terrorism.

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.