Recently, the Indian Prime Minister has visited Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha, where he laid a foundation stone along with Nepalese Prime Minister for a Buddhist Vihara, being built with Indian assistance.
GS II- International Relations
Dimensions of the Article:
- Highlights of the Visit
- India-Nepal Ties
- Connectivity and Development Partnership between India and Nepal:
Highlights of the Visit
International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage:
- In the Lumbini Monastic Zone, he performed the’shilanyas’ ritual to kick off the construction of the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage.
- The centre will be a world-class institution that will welcome pilgrims and visitors from all over the world to experience the essence of Buddhist spirituality.
- The two leaders signed five agreements, including one for the development and implementation of the 490.2 megawatt Arun-4 hydropower project between the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Ltd and the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA).
Setting up a Satellite Campus:
- India has offered to set up a satellite campus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Rupandehi and has sent some draft memoranda of understanding for signing between Indian and Nepali universities.
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project:
- Nepal discussed some pending projects like the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, an important arm of the Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India in 1996, and West Seti Hydropower Project, a reservoir-type project with a projected capacity of 1,200 megawatts.
- Nepal is an important neighbour of India and occupies special significance in its foreign policy because of the geographic, historical, cultural and economic linkages/ties that span centuries.
- There has been a long tradition of free movement of people across the open border.
- Nepal shares a border of over 1850 km with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
- The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal.
- Nepalese citizens avail facilities and opportunities on par with Indian citizens in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty.
- Nearly 8 million Nepalese citizens live and work in India.
Connectivity and Development Partnership between India and Nepal:
- Government of India’s development assistance to Nepal is a broad-based programme focusing on creation of infrastructure at the grass-roots level, under which various projects have been implemented in the areas of infrastructure, health, water resources, education and rural & community development.
- In recent years, India has been assisting Nepal in
- development of border infrastructure through upgradation of 10 roads in the Terai area
- development of cross-border rail links at Jogbani-Biratnagar, Jaynagar-Bardibas
- establishment of Integrated Check Posts at Birgunj, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj.
- The total economic assistance earmarked under ‘Aid to Nepal’ budget in FY 2019-20 was INR 1200 crore.
- Apart from grant assistance, Government of India has extended Lines of Credit of USD 1.65 billion for undertaking development of infrastructure, including post-earthquake reconstruction projects.
- In April 2018, the ‘India-Nepal New Partnership in Agriculture’ was launched with a focus on collaborative projects in agricultural research, development and education.
-Source: The Hindu