India is sending a team to Kyrgyzstan to train its armed forces in UN peacekeeping operations and also impart English language skills. The team will arrive in the central Asian country by the end of this month, a defence ministry spokesperson said.
The decision was announced after a meeting between defence minister A K Antony and his Kyrgyz counterpart Major General Abibilla Kudayberdiev in Bishkek on Monday. Antony is leading a defence delegation to Kyrgyzstan.
Antony said though the present level of defence engagements were rather limited between the two sides, there was “potential to enhance the scope and scale of activities in a gradual manner in areas of mutual interest, particularly in the field of military training, defence research and development and production of defence armaments”.
On Tuesday, Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva and Antony inaugurated the Kyrgyz-Indian Mountain Biomedical Research Centre at Bishkek. The spokesperson said the centre will carry out research on the mechanism of short term and long term high altitude adaptation. “It will also mobilize and synchronise the expertise of the two countries in the area of high altitude research,” he said.
Scientists at the centre will focus on molecular biology approaches to identify markers for screening of people for high altitude resistance and susceptibility to high altitude sickness and development of mountain maladies.
Antony said India had a wide network of research establishments not only in armaments but also in physiology, medicine, animal husbandry, nutrition etc under defence establishments. “We can explore areas for cooperation in research and development in high-altitude base agriculture, plantation, animal husbandry, poultry and food processing that would also help generate rural employment and remove poverty,” he said.