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PIB Summary for UPSC

16-April-2024

1. INDIAN ARMY CONTINGENT DEPARTS FOR INDIA- UZBEKISTAN JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE DUSTLIK

Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations

The India-Uzbekistan joint military Exercise DUSTLIK highlights bilateral defense cooperation, strategic partnerships, and regional security concerns for UPSC.

Context
●   The news is about the departure of an Indian Army contingent for the 5th edition of the India-Uzbekistan joint military Exercise DUSTLIK in Termez, Uzbekistan, aimed at enhancing military cooperation and joint operational capabilities.

 Additional information on this news:

  • The Indian Army contingent departed for the 5th edition of India-Uzbekistan joint military Exercise DUSTLIK, scheduled from April 15th to 28th, 2024, in Termez, Uzbekistan.
  • This exercise alternates between India and Uzbekistan annually, with the previous edition held in Pithoragarh, India, in February 2023.
  • The Indian contingent consists of 60 personnel, including 45 from the Indian Army (primarily from the JAT Regiment) and 15 from the Indian Air Force.
  • Uzbekistan’s contingent, comprising approximately 100 personnel from their Army and Air Force, will be from the Southern Operational Command.
  • The aim is to enhance military cooperation and joint operational capabilities in mountainous and semi-urban terrains.
  • Tactical drills will focus on joint planning, intelligence, special arms skills, heliborne operations, cordon and search, room intervention, and demolition.
  • This edition includes combat support arms and services personnel, along with two Women Officers.
  • The exercise aims to share best practices in joint operations, enhance interoperability, and strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and relations between India and Uzbekistan.
India – Uzbekistan Relations:

Importance for India:

●  Strategic Location: Uzbekistan’s strategic location in Central Asia makes it a key partner for India in advancing regional connectivity, trade, and security interests.

●  Economic Opportunities: India views Uzbekistan as a potential market for its goods and services, particularly in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, and information technology.

●  Energy Cooperation: Uzbekistan possesses significant natural gas and oil reserves, presenting opportunities for energy cooperation, investment, and joint ventures between the two countries.

● Cultural Ties: India and Uzbekistan share historical and cultural ties dating back centuries, fostering people-to-people exchanges, tourism, and cooperation in areas such as education and cultural heritage preservation.

Security Collaboration: India seeks to enhance security collaboration with Uzbekistan to address common threats such as terrorism, extremism, and drug trafficking, contributing to regional stability and counterterrorism efforts.

Importance for Uzbekistan:

● Diversification of Partnerships: Uzbekistan aims to diversify its international partnerships and reduce dependence on traditional allies, making India an attractive partner for cooperation in various fields.

● Economic Development: Uzbekistan seeks to leverage India’s expertise and investments to promote economic development, modernization, and industrialization in key sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and infrastructure.

● Connectivity: India’s engagement in Central Asia, including through projects like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), offers Uzbekistan opportunities for enhanced connectivity, trade facilitation, and access to international markets.

● Cultural Exchanges: Uzbekistan values cultural exchanges with India to promote tourism, cultural diplomacy, and the preservation of shared heritage sites, fostering mutual understanding and friendship between the two nations.

●  Security Cooperation: Uzbekistan sees value in strengthening security cooperation with India to address common security challenges, including terrorism, extremism, and regional stability issues in Central Asia.

PYQ: Q. Which of the following has/have shrunk immensely/ dried up in the recent past due to human activities?

1.     Aral Sea

2.     Black Sea

3.     Lake Baikal

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3
(c) 2 only
(d) 1 and 3

Ans: (a)

(UPSC civil services Prelims 2018)

Mains: A number of outside powers have entrenched themselves in Central Asia, which is a zone of interest to India. Discuss the implications, in this context, of India’s joining the Ashgabat Agreement (250 words/15m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2018)

Practice Question:  Discuss the significance of the India-Uzbekistan joint military Exercise DUSTLIK in fostering regional security cooperation and bilateral relations. (150 Words /10 marks)

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