VIF Delegation Visit to Uzbekistan
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Uzbekistan held a nationwide referendum on constitutional reforms on April 30, 2023. A delegation from Vivekananda international Foundation (VIF) which included Dr Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF and Dr Pravesh Kumar Gupta, Associate Fellow (Central Asia), were invited by the Central Election Commission of the republic of Uzbekistan to monitor the referendum process as an international observer.

During the visit to Uzbekistan,VIF delegation held meeting with the heads of Uzbek think tanks. A meeting with Mr Eldor Aripov, Director, Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies (ISRS) under the President of Uzbekistan, was held on April 28, 2023. ISRS is also a partner institution of VIF. Both sides discussed the status of bilateral relations and explored ways to enhance them further. It was highlighted that the constitutional reforms in Uzbekistan is an important event to the fundamental reset of the country's political system, stimulating Uzbekistan’s foreign policy. However, implementation is important when these kinds of changes are initiated. India, as the largest and oldest democracy, is ready to share its experiences of running a successful democracy with Uzbekistan. Both VIF and ISRS can cooperate in this regard. This may further concretize relations between VIF and ISRS.

On May 1, 2023, the VIF delegation met with Mr. Vladimir Norov, Director, International Institute for Central Asia (IICA). During the discussion, both sides noted that India-Uzbekistan relations are deeply rooted in the historical past that goes back thousands of years. The digital revolution in India and its success can be shared with Uzbekistan which is also progressing toward digital transformation. There are a few other areas with huge potential for cooperation: agriculture, food security, and climate change.

The delegation also had a meeting with India’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr. Manish Prabhat. During the meeting, Ambassador briefed about the country's ongoing developments and the progress of India-Uzbekistan relations.

The delegation visited to the Tashkent campus of Amity University. It was learned that Amity's technical courses are popular among Uzbek students. Other Indian institutions have also established campuses in other Uzbek provinces. Sambhram University has built an ultra-modern Digital IT campus in Jizzax province to further the professional IT education, while Sharada University has a campus in Andijan. India's contribution to the growth of the IT sector in Uzbekistan is recognised. With the assistance of India, an IT park has been developed in Tashkent. Interactions with the country's youth revealed that Uzbek youths are particularly interested in acquiring internship opportunities in professional courses in India, especially IT.

Bollywood movies and music is also immensely popular in Uzbekistan, which has aided in increasing people-to-people contacts. It is felt that a museum featuring Indian films, particularly the Bollywood films, may be opened in Tashkent. This is likely to prove popular and contribute to strengthening people-to-people relations. The Uzbek people are quite welcoming and have a high regard for Indians. This might also be utilised to expand the tourist potential between the two countries. There is also a need to focus on historical and cultural contacts between the two regions to highlight the civilizational links between the people of the two countries.

The visit to Uzbekistan has been very productive, thus paving the way for further cooperation in enhancing the India-Uzbekistan ties.

Event Date 
April 28, 2023
May 2, 2023

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