The Prime Minister of Nepal visited India and held a summit meeting with the Indian Prime Minister.
Relevance: GS II- International Relations (India and its neighbourhood)
Dimensions of this Article:
- Highlights of the Visit
- India-Nepal Ties
- Connectivity and Development Partnership between India and Nepal
Highlights of the Visit:
- The Prime Minister of Nepal has encouraged his Indian counterpart, to resolve a border conflict.
- The Indian side made it clear that both countries must address the boundary problem through conversation and that such issues should not be politicised.
- India has previously rejected Nepal’s unilateral move in 2020 to rewrite its constitution to include the Kalapani area for the first time in the country’s history.
Memorandum of understandings :
- Nepal (as the 105th member country) has signed a framework agreement to join the India-led International Solar Alliance.
- Three other agreements were signed: a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on expanding technical cooperation in the railways sector, and two agreements between Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation for the supply of petroleum products for five years and technical expertise sharing.
Power Sector Cooperation:
- India urged Nepal to seize all potential in the power industry, including joint development of power generation projects and cross-border transmission infrastructure development.
- Through capacity building and direct support for generation and transmission infrastructure projects, India plays a critical role in the development of Nepal’s power sector.
- Nepal also praised India’s recent cross-border electricity trading legislation, which have given it access to the Indian market and allowed it to sell power with the country. Nepal sells its excess electricity to India.
- The two sides decided to speed up work on the long-delayed Pancheshwar multipurpose dam project (on the Mahakali River), which is seen as a game-changer for the region’s development.
- The 35-kilometer cross-border railway line connecting Jaynagar, Bihar, and Kurtha, Nepal, was inaugurated.
- This is the first broad-gauge passenger rail link between the two countries, and it will be extended to Bardibas in Nepal, thanks to a Rs 548 crore Indian contribution.
- Under an Indian line of credit, the Indian side handed over the Solu Corridor, a 90-kilometer, 132-kV electricity transmission line.
- By linking to Nepal’s national grid, the line would assist supply electricity to several isolated areas in northeastern Nepal.
- In Nepal, India’s RuPay card was launched.
- After Bhutan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, Nepal is the fourth country to accept RuPay.
- 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