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India-Nepal Ties

Context:

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.

Relevance:

GS II- International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Highlights of the Visit
  2. India-Nepal Ties
  3. 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.

Hydropower Projects:

  • 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.

India-Nepal Ties:

  • 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

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November 2022
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