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Current Affairs: India Becomes a Member of SCO

India Becomes a Member of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation)

India is set to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) when the security grouping meets for its summit in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in (23.06.2016) Tashkent to attend the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit. During his meeting with Chinese President, he thanked China for supporting India's membership of SCO. Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent, is hosting the important Shanghai Cooperation Organization annual meeting.

Background
  • In December 2014 India applied for SCO membership. On May 24 this year the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers in Tashkent adopted the memorandum of obligations for India to gain full membership. 
  • India's investment in Iran's Chabahar port has opened the West Asian Market to Indian trade and commerce.  Now with the SCO membership India can also access via sea and road links a huge market extending to Central Asia and Europe. 
  • The Central Asian countries have rich reserves of various minerals, oil, gas and coal. The region can play a major role in meeting India's energy as well as strategic needs. Last year, Prime Minister Modi's visit to five Central Asian countries strengthened India's engagement with the region. 
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
  • The SCO started as the Shanghai Five in April 1996 in Shanghai when China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed a Treaty on Deepening Military Trust among them. 
  • In June 2001, the group was renamed as the SCO by including Uzbekistan. It aimed to increase trade and investment and also increase cooperation in combating terrorism. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organisation which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. 
  • These countries, except for Uzbekistan had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organisation. On July 10, 2015, the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members, and they are expected to join by 2016.

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