Uzbekistan may soon have ‘India Study Rooms’ in different universities of the Central Asian country.
The issue was discussed at length by Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi with Uzbek Culture Minister Ozodbek Nazarbekov during her visit to Tashkent. This was the first official visit to any Central Asian country by Lekhi after becoming a minister in the Modi government.
The two countries signed a cultural exchange programme for the period 2021-25 under which a 50-member strong Indian delegation comprising film personalities of India will be participating in the Tashkent Film Festival next week.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the two countries agreed to further intensify cooperation in different spheres of culture given the deep civilisational connection between them. They will cooperate in the field of archives, films and preservation of Buddhist sites and translation of literary works.
Lekhi also met Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov during which they touched upon important areas of bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation. She emphasised on expeditious implementation of development projects in Uzbekistan under the $1 billion Line of Credit.
Both sides also agreed to conclude their ongoing negotiations at the earliest for the proposed bilateral investment agreement. The discussions dwelt upon the importance of maintaining close and regular consultations on the evolving situation in Afghanistan and the need to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan is not allowed to be used for any terror activities.
Lekhi had a number of speaking engagements during her visit. These included a lecture on ‘India’s democratic traditions’ at the Tashkent State University of Law and an address on ‘India-Uzbekistan relations- Strengthening Strategic Partnership’ at the Bukhara State University as part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
She met distinguished indologists from the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and other institutions and discussed ways to further promote Indian studies and philosophy in Uzbekistan.