India and World – Central Asia & SCO

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India and World – Central Asia & SCO


India-Central Asia

  • India’s presence in Central Asia
    • Member of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
      • Only inter-governmental forum in Central Asia that India is a part of
    • Observer in SCO
    • India’s only foreign military base is in Tajikistan
    • TAPI <refer TAPI under energy article>
  • Close link between the peace, security and stability of Central Asia and India
  • India’s interest in Central Asia
    • Strategic, military and economic
    • Energy
      • Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan can provide oil and gas
      • Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan hold great hydroelectric potential
    • Strategic location
      • Sandwiched by Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan
      • India cannot afford to lag behind in this competition for resources
    • Security and stability
      • The region holds Islamic terrorist groups that may find way to India
      • If there is instability in Central Asia, combined with the precarious situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it can lead to serious security problems for India
    • Economic cooperation
    • Cultural dialogue
    • India is surrounded by unstable states and if it can cultivate positive and effective relations with its immediate northern neighbours, all the better
  • What can Central Asia gain?
    • Market to diversify their energy supplies
    • A strong nation that can help them balance Chinese, Russian and US pressure
    • Help in progressing their economies beyond just energy supplies, say IT sector and capability building
    • Foreign investment
  • Challenges
    • Lack of efficient surface transportation capabilities and connectivity
  • Way forward
    • Develop the International North-South Corridor


  • Diplomatic relations established in 1955
  • India was the first country outside the Soviet block to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia
  • Mongolia supports India’s candidature as a permanent member of the UN SC
  • Pratibha Patil visited the country in July 2011
    • Three agreements were signed to expand cooperation in defence, planning and education and media exchanges
    • First Indian presidential visit after a gap of 23 years
  • Cultural links
    • Buddhism


  • PM MMS visited Astana in April 2011
  • Three major agreements signed during the 2011 visit
    • Civil nuclear cooperation
    • Between state oil companies on a 25 pc stake for India in a Caspian Sea basin block (Satpayev and Satpayev Vostochni)
    • Agriculture
  • Background
    • Lukewarm relations for a decade
    • After that India invited Pres Nazarbayev to be Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2009
    • Strong cultural ties: Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Bollywood at present.
  • Energy ties
    • Caspian basis in rich in oil resources
    • Kzk willing to supply Uranium to India
    • Satpayev oil block
  • Agriculture
    • Agreement signed. Explore possibility of Indian farmers taking over Kazakh farmland on lease.


Shanghai Co-operation Organisation

  • SCO has slowly established itself as an important forum for the Eurasian region.
  • Presently the SCO prioritises peace and security issues, mainly, dealing with terrorism, separatism and focuses on making the whole region a stable and in predicable situation
  • Major issues in the region
    • Security and stability
    • Terrorism and Separatism
    • Narcotics trade
    • Trafficking and smuggling
  • 10th summit of SCO held in Astana in 2011. Astana Declaration adopted
    • At this summit an agreement on the criteria for membership was also reached and Insia is likely to join soon
    • Iran may not be able to join due to UN sanctions
  • Astana Declaration
    • Stressed the goal of combating the three forces
      • Terrorism, extremism and separatism
    • Summit called for a neutral Afghanistan
    • Adopted a counternarcotics strategy for 2011-16
  • SCO will have an important role in imparting stability in Afghanistan after US leaves

India and SCO

  • India is an observer member (2005) along with Iran, Pakistan and Mongolia
  • The Yekaterinburg summit of 2009 was attended by MMS. This marked a new chapter of India’s relationship with SCO
  • India’s interest in SCO
    • Be a partner in enhancing regional security
    • Make a gateway to Central Asia
    • Fight against drug trafficking
    • Energy security
    • Strengthen people to people contacts, exchanges of business persons and scholars
    • trade, investment and technology flows
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