On 26 January, India celebrates its major public holiday - Republic Day. It was on this day - 26 January 1950, less than three years after independence, that the Constitution came into force, proclaiming India a sovereign secular democratic republic. It embodies the unique spirit of pluralism and tolerance forged by India's long history and inherent in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious society of this wonderful country.
Indian civilisation is one of the oldest, home to brilliant philosophers and modern scientists who have made significant contributions to world scientific knowledge, including numerous ideas and methods that have served as a starting point and helped to create and strengthen the foundations of many areas of modern science and technology.
The contributions of ancient Indian mathematicians who created the concept of zero, number system and decimal notation, which are fundamental to modern mathematics, are invaluable.
Indian scientists made an important contribution to astronomy by accurately predicting eclipses. They developed sophisticated theories that were later adopted by Greek and Arab astronomers.
Ayurveda, which originated in India, has had a huge influence on the development of modern medicine and is still successful and practised today.
The contribution of ancient Indian architects who created the beautiful Taj Mahal and Khajuraho temples is undeniable. Their methods of building large structures have influenced modern architecture.
Ancient Indian philosophy has had a profound influence on the development of modern thought, especially in the field of ethics, morality and spirituality, which formed the basis for the views of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest political and spiritual leaders of the 20th century and the founder of independent India.
Speaking about modern India, it should be noted that since independence, India has made tremendous strides in socio-economic and political development, becoming one of the most influential members of the world community. India's position and role in world politics and economy is due to a number of factors.
It is favourable demographic growth that has kept this country firmly at the top of the world in terms of population. The Indian economy is one of the largest in the world, ranking third in the world in terms of gross domestic product calculated on the basis of purchasing power parity. India's technological capabilities, especially its leadership in the field of computer technology, are undeniable.
The tangible advances in India's economic development over the past decade are attributed to the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister in 2014. He is pursuing a policy of economic modernisation aimed at improving the nation's well-being and prosperity. This policy has been informally termed as 'Modinomics' in some countries. The efforts of the government of the republic are focused on further development of the country's economic potential with an emphasis on such areas as electronics, semiconductors, and green energy.
India's foreign policy activity has also increased significantly, as it continues to build up co-operation within the framework of the leading international formats - the G20, BRICS and SCO. India's markedly increased economic potential and its active involvement in the global economic and political world order have led to the formation of new strategic interests that include the Central Asian region.
The India-Central Asia dialogue aimed at expanding friendly and mutually beneficial relations between them in bilateral and multilateral formats is successfully developing.
Constructive nature is inherent in the current bilateral Uzbek-Indian relations. Their development is facilitated by the proximity of viewpoints or convergence of positions on the most important problems of international relations and regional security issues, in particular on combating international terrorism and countering illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, as well as the commitment of the States of the region to reducing and eliminating weapons of mass destruction. The parties continue to focus on the difficult situation in Afghanistan, preventing the humanitarian crisis from worsening and promoting the peace process in the country. Uzbekistan views India as one of the leading partners in the region and the world.
The summit meetings between President of Uzbekistan Sh.M.Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister of India N.Modi in September-October 2018 and January 2019 gave a powerful impetus to the development of bilateral relations. The Uzbek leader's participation in the first India-Central Asia summit in January 2022, where strategic priorities and concrete proposals to promote practical cooperation in this format were discussed, made a significant contribution to the development of bilateral relations.
To date, the two sides have made significant progress in trade and economic, scientific, technical and humanitarian co-operation. In recent years, trade turnover between Uzbekistan and India has doubled, and the number of joint ventures has increased to 400. Agreements have been reached on the implementation of 50 investment projects worth about $3 billion. Together with Indian partners, work has been completed on the construction of a technopark of advanced information technologies in Tashkent. Branches of India's leading higher education institutions - Amiti University in Tashkent and Sharda University in Andijan - have been opened. Major investment projects are being implemented.
The lack of a direct land transport link between India and Central Asia remains a major constraint to the dynamic development of our economic relations. In this regard, the development of a new corridor through the Chabahar port may become a key link in the framework of the North-South international transport corridor project. The parties are interested in further development of long-term partnership relations, utilisation of untapped potential, expansion of cooperation in political, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
India's fruitful co-operation at the bilateral level and within international structures has been made possible by India's commitment to international peace and security, support for just and respectful relations between States and international law enshrined in the Constitution, which has successfully developed the largest democracy in the world, ensuring the preservation and continuity of the achievements of many generations of the Indian people. The adoption of the fundamental law of the country and the proclamation of the Republic of India on 26 January 1950 marked the beginning of a new era in the history of one of the world's earliest civilisations.
Director of the Diplomatic Academy
at the UWED, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan.