India-Uzbekistan Current Affairs - 2020

Defence Minister: attends SCO meeting; signs Bilateral Engagement with Uzbekistan

Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh is to attend key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He will also participate in bilateral engagements with the Uzbekistan Government.

The Minister is to represent India in the meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of SCO at Tashkent. The Council meets to discuss on multilateral economic cooperation in the SCO region.

Highlights of the visit

  • The Minister will sign bilateral agreements and hold a meeting with his Uzbekistan Counterpart. It is to be noted that the first ever India-Uzbekistan bilateral military exercise “Dostlik 2019” is to begin between November 4 and November 13, 2019.
  • The meeting is the third CHG meeting that is being attended by India after it became a member of SCO. The last two meeting were held in 2017 at Sochi, Russia and in 2018 at Dushanbe in Tajikistan.

Council of Heads of Government

The CHG is the second highest decision-making body in the SCO. The Indian representative of the CHG is PM Modi.

The Council of Heads of the State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. It meets during the SCO summits that are held once in a year. President Ram Nath Kovind represents India at the Council.

India, Uzbekistan sign 17 agreements for cooperation in various sectors

India and Uzbekistan have inked 17 agreements including for cooperation in the fields of tourism, national security, training of diplomats, against trafficking and visa free travel for diplomatic passport holders. These agreements were signed after delegation level talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in New Delhi.

In was first concerted effort from India to open strategic communication channels and broadened defence and counter-terrorism cooperation with Uzbekistan. Both countries also agreed to hold joint military training exercise in area of counter-terrorism, cooperate in field of military education and military medicine, set up Joint Working Group (JWG) to support and sustain enhanced, mutually-beneficial defence-related activities. They have also decided to institute a regular dialogue on Afghanistan.

Signed Agreements are

  • Agreement for visa-free travel for diplomatic passport holders.
  • Agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism.
  • Memorandum on cooperation in the field of military education.
  • MoU on Cooperation in the sphere of Law and Justice.
  • Agreement in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
  • Agreement in scientific-technical and innovation fields.
  • Agreement on cooperation in the field of health and medical science.
  • Agreement on mutual cooperation in combating illicit trafficking narcotic drugs
  • Agreement on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
  • MoU between Samarkand City of Uzbekistan and Municipal Corporation of Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
  • MoU on establishment of mutual cooperation and partnership
  • Agreement on cooperation on establishment of the India- Uzbekistan business council
  • Program of Cooperation between Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and India for 2019-2020.
  • MoU on for Development of pharmaceutical industry under the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • MoU on Cooperation for establishment of the Uzbek-Indian Free Pharmaceutical Zone in the Andijan Region of Uzbekistan.
  • MoU for cooperation between Office of the Security Council under  President of Uzbekistan and  National Security Council Secretariat of India.
  • MoU on Cooperation between Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under President of Uzbekistan.