15th December, 2022 International Relations
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Context: The 6th Edition of Indo - Kazakhstan joint training exercise “KAZIND-22” is scheduled to be conducted at Umroi (Meghalaya) from 15 to 28 December 2022. Joint annual training exercise with the Kazakhstan Army was instituted in 2016 as Exercise Prabal Dostyk, which was later upgraded to a company level exercise and renamed as Ex Kazind in 2018.
- Aim of the exercise is to build positive military relations, imbibe each other’s best practices and promote the ability to operate together while undertaking counter terrorist operations in semi urban / jungle scenario, under a UN peace enforcement mandate.
- This joint exercise will enable the two armies to train, plan and execute a series of combined tactical drills for neutralising of likely threats that may be encountered in UN peace keeping operations.
- The scope of this exercise involves a Command Post Exercise (CPX) at the Battalion level and Company level Field Training Exercise (FTX) on sub-conventional operations.
- During the exercise, participants will engage in variety of missions ranging from joint planning, joint tactical drills, basics of special arms skills, HADR and raiding a hostile target.
- “Exercise KAZIND” will enhance the level of defence cooperation between Indian Army and Kazakhstan Army which will further foster the bilateral relations between the two nations.
India’s Relations With Kazakhstan:
- India was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan.
- Diplomatic relations were established in February 1992.
- India and Kazakhstan have been strategic partners since 2009.
- India and Kazakhstan actively cooperate under the aegis of multilateral fora including CICA (Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the UN organizations.
- India supported Kazakhstan‘s successful candidature for non-permanent membership of UNSC in 2017-18.
- The India-Kazakhstan Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) established in 1993 is the apex bilateral institutional mechanism for developing trade, economic, scientific, technological, industrial and cultural cooperation between the two countries.
- The Indo-Kazakh Defence Cooperation is carried out under the framework of an agreement on “Defence and Military Technical cooperation” signed in July 2015.
- Kazakh Armed Forces Unit underwent training on peacekeeping operations in India for deployment under an Indian Battalion at the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Trade & Economy:
- Kazakhstan is India‘s largest trade and investment partner in Central Asia.
- As per statistics of Kazakhstan for 2019, total bilateral trade between India and Kazakhstan amounted to US$ 1.56 billion.
- FICCI and Chamber of International Commerce of Kazakhstan have set up a Joint Business Council (JBC) to promote trade, economic and investment cooperation between the two countries.
- India and Kazakhstan enjoy close cultural relations that manifest in the popularity of yoga, Indian films, dance and music in Kazakhstan.
- Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre in Nur-Sultan is engaged in various cultural activities, including conducting yoga, dance and music classes; celebration of Indian festivals.
- India provides scholarships in various disciplines under the ICCR Scholarship programmes for students from Kazakhstan.