Today Uzbekistan is a large scientific center in Central Asia. Almost 300 scientific institutions function in the country. There are a well-developed research basis and a wide scientific fund with over 25,000 skilled scientists and researchers. The scientists of the republic carry out fundamental research in the important trends of modern science contributing greatly in such branches like microelectronics, astronomy, biophysics, genetics and geology.
The accomplishments of Uzbek scientists in probability theory, hydrometeorology and the study of superconductors, medicine and agriculture are well known. During the transition period, the share of public funds allocated for the development of science make up 0.5 – 0.6% of the budget. Over 3.5 billion Soums are allocated annually for research programs carried out by the State Committee on Science and Engineering. Stemming from the issues of Uzbekistan’s development, the priority trends in scientific research include the utilization of genetic engineering in the production of new kinds of silkworm cocoons; the development of solar thermal systems; and the development of water-saving irrigation and water conservation technologies.
The Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan was formed on November 4, 1943, on the basis of 10 scientific-research institutes involving scientists of the evacuated scientific institutions from Ukraine, Byelorussia, and western regions of Russia. Today the Academy of Sciences is a supreme scientific institution in the republic and a center of research. The scientific institutions are incorporated into seven branches depending on the profile of their research: physico- mathematical sciences; mechanics and management processes; earth sciences; chemical-engineering sciences; biological sciences; philosophical, economic and juridical sciences; history, linguistics and literature. During the years of independence the scientists of Uzbekistan have scored great accomplishments in different branches of science. The Academy of Sciences has instituted Gold Medals named after al-Khorezmi, Khabib Abdulayev and Zakhiriddin Babur. Academician Kh. F. Fazylov, in 1993, has become the first holder of the Gold Medal named after al-Khorezmi in the field of natural and engineering sciences. Corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, U.I. Karimov, was the first to be awarded with the Gold Medal named after Z. Babur for his great contribution in the humanities.
In 1992 academician I. Kh. Khamrabayev became the first knight of the Gold Medal named after Kh. Abdullayev for his merits in the field of geology and geophysics.
International Scientific Cooperation
During the years of independence Uzbekistan has established and is developing scientific and technical cooperation with the USA, the European Union, Japan, China, Republic of Korea, India and others. As their basis they have over 60 international agreements in the field of scientific-engineering cooperation and the protection of intellectual property. Partnership relations are established with the scientific and engineering associations of the European Union INTAS and INCO-Copernicus, NATO’s scientific committee, the American Civil Research and Development Fund (CRDF), and the Ukrainian Scientific-Research Center. In 1999 about US$4 million was allocated for Uzbek scientists as international grants to implement the scientific and engineering projects. The decree by the Cabinet of Ministers of the republic stipulates a number of financial privileges, including exemption from state payments and taxes for the international scientific-engineering programs implemented in Uzbekistan. Lately a number of joint scientific-engineering projects with the USA, Germany, India, and the CIS countries is carried out along the priority trends on a bilateral basis. The republic regularly hosts international scientific-engineering seminars and conferences in various fields of natural, humanitarian sciences, medicine, agriculture, applied research, the innovation issues, the commercialization of science, the development and the transfer of technologies.
World Science and Uzbek Scientists
Prominent Uzbek scientists working currently are the successors of the scientific traditions and schools which have been set up in the republic during the previous years. A large group of world-famous scientists has been and is still working in the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the field of mathematics the science of Uzbekistan was made famous by such outstanding scientists Academicians Romanivsky V.I., T.N. Kary-Niyazov; T.A. Sarymsakov, T.D. Djuraev, S.K. Sirajdinov; in physics by Academicians U.A. Arifov; S.A. Azimov, WS.V. Starodubscev; in mechanics – Urazbaev M.T., Khodjinova M.A., Rakhmatullin K.A., Usmanhodjaev. In the field of chemistry – Academicians A.S. Sadykov; S.U. Yunusov, M.N. Nabiev; in biology – Academicians Shreder R.R., K.Z. Zakhirov; D.K. Saidov, Rusanov F.N., Mukhamedjanov M.V.; in medicine – Academicians V.V. Vakhidov; S.A. Alimov. The Academicians Kh.M. Abdullaev, H.N. Baimukhamedov, and G.A.Mavlianov in the field of earth science. The Academician Ya. G. Guliamov was an outstanding archeologist. The works by the Academician I.M. Muminov in the field of philosophy have attained world fame. The works by the Academicians Yu. Radjabov (Radjabi), G.G. Guliamov (Ghafur Guliam), Aibek, K.N. Nigmanov (Yashen) in literature and music are well known in the world. Academician Kh.S. Suleimanova did eminent works in the field of jurisprudence. American encyclopaedia “Who is who” published in 1992 in USA included almost thirty names the best Uzbek scientists.
The level of education in Uzbekistan corresponds to the parameters that are typical for the leading states of the world. Ninety-nine per cent of country’s population is literate; the principle of general 9-year education is still preserved. Judging by the indices of educational level, Uzbekistan is among the leading countries of the world. The country has managed to preserve the state system of training specialists, thus ensuring wide access to education for all strata of the population. The reform of educational system and training the national specialists is a state priority, that is embodied in the National Program on training the personnel and the Law on Education. In the sector of pre-school education the network of home kindergarten and complexes of “kindergarten – school” has been formed, as well as 800 groups, where children can take up art, music, foreign languages and basis of computerization. Over 400 academic lyceums, secondary schools and colleges have been formed at the expense of state investments. On the basis of the Decree issued by President Islam Karimov, On Establishing New Institutions of Higher Learning, dated February 28, 1992, a number of new universities and their branches was founded in the country. In 1997 the government of Uzbekistan started holding the second stage of reforms in the field of education. At present, any school can choose that program, which more completely meets its requirements and type of teaching, which means a partial decentralization in the system of education. The Asian Bank for Development allotted its credit to the government estimated at US $ 40 million to purchase new text-books for schools and US $50 million for the development of professional institutions network.
The National Program of Training
The National Program of training specialists and the Law on Education have laid the foundation for reformations of the educational system in Uzbekistan. The National Program is oriented to the formation of a new generation of experts with high professional and general culture distinguished for their creative and social activity. The program, among other things, stipulates the formation of absolutely new structures – the academic lyceums and colleges. On February 24, 1998, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a special decree on organizing lyceums, colleges and their management. The reason for the formation of them lies in the fact that students will acquire not only basic but also specialized knowledge on certain disciplines for further training in an institution of higher learning. Within 3 years boys and girls master 2-3 professions. Today there are over 400 academic lyceums and professional colleges in the republic. There are 246 specialized secondary schools where 250,000 students master 170 specialties.
Great attention is paid in the republic to the improvement of educational system and training of qualified specialists. On the basis of the president’s decree dated February 28, 1992, twenty-four new institutions of higher learning and their branches to train specialists for principle branches of the national economy were established. Today there are 59 institutions of higher learning function in the republic, including 16 universities, 39 teacher training institutes, medical, technical, economic, agricultural, and other institutes. About 300 thousand students master 276 specialties there. The oldest higher Institutions in Uzbekistan are the National University named after Ulugbek (in past: first – Middle Asian, than Tashkent State University), the Technical Institute ( Polytecnical Institute). Since 1991 the number of higher educational institutions has increased by 30 %. New higher educational institutions have appeared: the University of World Economy and Diplomacy, Academy of State and Public Structuring, Academy of Armed Forces, Academy of Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The Academy of State and Social Construction
The academy was set up in April 1995; it is the main institution for training, retraining and raising the level of state employees, government officials, and economic structure experts. The academic education is aimed at the formation in students of modern thinking, great erudition, and competence, initiative and creative approach towards the solution of a problem. There are three faculties at the Academy: the Faculty of State and Public Structuring (training term is 10 months), the Faculty of Bases and Principles of Market Economy (Training term is 10 months), and the Faculty of Intergovernmental Relations and Foreign Economic Ties (Training term is 12.5 months).