June 17, 2022
India and Nepal, as close neighbours, have unique friendship and cooperation connections marked by an open border and deep-rooted people-to-people links of kinship and culture. The free movement of individuals across borders has a long history. Nepal is bordered by five Indian states: Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.India and Nepal conduct high-level visits and interactions on a regular basis. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi visited Nepal twice in 2014, once for a bilateral visit on August 3-4 and again for the 18th SAARC Summit on November 25-27. Mr. K.P. Sharma Oli, Prime Minister of Nepal, paid a State visit to India from February 19 to February 24, 2016. Mr. Bimalendra Nidhi, Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs, visited India as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on August 18-22, 2016.Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ of Nepal visited India twice in 2016: on 15-18 September on a State visit and on 15-17 October for the 1st BRICS-BIMSTEC leaders’ meeting in Goa. On November 2–4, 2016, President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee conducted a State visit to Nepal. This was the first State visit to Nepal by an Indian President in 18 years. Mrs. Bidya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal, conducted a State visit to India from April 17 to April 21, 2017. Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of Nepal, paid a State visit to India from August 23 to August 27, 2017.The Government of India’s development aid to Nepal is a broad-based programme concentrating on the establishment of infrastructure at the grass-roots level, through which different initiatives in infrastructure, health, water resources, education, and rural and community development have been executed. In recent years, India has helped Nepal expand border infrastructure by upgrading ten highways in the Terai region, building cross-border rail linkages at Jogbani-Biratnagar and Jaynagar-Bardibas, and establishing Integrated Check Posts at Birgunj, Biratnagar, Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj. In FY 2019-20, the entire economic aid budgeted under the ‘Aid to Nepal’ budget was INR 1200 crore.Thus India and Nepal’s relationship has improved over the years and would inturn be fruitful in the upcoming days.
By Subhechcha Ganguly
Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra looked into the field-level progress of the works under the ...