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12-Aug-2019 19:15

These contacts were further strengthened in the medieval ages with the advent of Islam and later with the establishment of Muslim rule in India, many of whose rulers had their origins in Central Asia.At present, the Central Asian region is considered to be the part of India’s “extended neighborhood.” Modern Central Asia consists of five nations: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.Central Asia is so close and yet so far from India.The betterment of trade and commerce between India and the region would just not be in the arena of pure economics but would enter the domain of geoeconomics.Over the past decade, the region has become the site of great power tussles over energy resources.At the same time, the world witnessed India’s rise as an economic power and a regional power.The primary goal behind the Connect Central Asia policy was, as the name suggests, re-connecting with the region which has a long shared history with India. Subramanian, “The Central Asian Republics (CARs) posed the most excruciating and complex challenges to Indian diplomacy judged whether by geostrategic compulsions or by India’s energy concerns.” India’s Minister of State for External Affairs E.Ahmed unveiled the “Connect Central Asia Policy” (CCAP) at the first meeting of the India-Central Asia Dialogue, a Track II initiative, held from June 12-13, 2012 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to fast-track India’s relations with the Central Asian states, In his keynote speech, Ahmed mentioned that “the policy calls for setting up universities, hospitals, information technology (IT) centers, an e-network in telemedicine connecting India to the CARs, joint commercial ventures, improving air connectivity to boost trade and tourism, joint scientific research, and strategic partnerships in defence and security affairs.” The key elements of this policy cover many important issue areas, including political cooperation, economic cooperation, strategic cooperation, regional connectivity, information technology (IT), cooperation in education, people-to-people contact, medical cooperation, and cooperation in regional groupings.

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Since the Central Asian states were earlier a part of the Soviet Union, which had very friendly relations with India, the contacts between the two regions were not lost, unlike other nations that lost contact with the region due to frosty ties with Moscow. Many explanations have been offered for this drift, the most prominent being that India was thoroughly engaged with its immediate neighborhood, especially Pakistan, over the issue of Kashmir.India’s relation with Central Asia has a long history.The two regions have shared deep cultural linkages with each other over two millennia in terms of people to people contact, trade, and commerce.Ancient kingdoms like the Kushana Empire had territory in parts of both regions.These historical and civilizational linkages have spilled over into many areas including religion and culture.

Since the Central Asian states were earlier a part of the Soviet Union, which had very friendly relations with India, the contacts between the two regions were not lost, unlike other nations that lost contact with the region due to frosty ties with Moscow. Many explanations have been offered for this drift, the most prominent being that India was thoroughly engaged with its immediate neighborhood, especially Pakistan, over the issue of Kashmir.India’s relation with Central Asia has a long history.The two regions have shared deep cultural linkages with each other over two millennia in terms of people to people contact, trade, and commerce.Ancient kingdoms like the Kushana Empire had territory in parts of both regions.These historical and civilizational linkages have spilled over into many areas including religion and culture.This is because Central Asia is strategically positioned as an access point between Europe and Asia and offers extensive potential for trade, investment, and growth.