Context: Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is on an official visit to India, seeking to enhance cooperation in power, transport and tourism.
More on the news: Key highlights of visit
- Export of hydropower: India-Nepal have signed a series of agreements, including export of Nepal’s hydropower to Bangladesh through Indian Territory.
- A long-term Power Trade Agreement has been signed, aiming to set a target of importing 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal in the coming years.
- Infrastructure assistance: NHPC and VUCL (Vidyut Utpadan Company Ltd.) of Nepal have signed agreement for the development of Phukot Karnali Hydroelectric Project and Lower Arun Hydroelectric Project.
- Access to inland waterways: Both the sides have signed the revised Treaty of Transit under which Nepal will get access to India’s inland waterways.
- Railway connectivity: Both sides jointly inaugurated a cargo train from Bathnaha in India to Nepal Customs Yard. The rail link was built with an Indian grant.
- Upgradation of petroleum pipeline: Foundation was laid for development of Phase-II facilities as part of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline.
- Religious tourism: The projects related to the Ramayana Circuit will be expedited.
India-Nepal ties: Significance
- Economic significance:
- Trade: Nepal shares border with 5 Indian states. Hence an important point of trade and economic exchange.
- Energy security: India and Nepal share many trans-boundary Himalayan rivers with huge hydropower potential.
- Foreign exchange: Remittances sent from India is one of the major sources of foreign exchange.
- Strategic significance:
- Buffer state: Nepal acts as buffer state between India and China. It prevents any future chances of aggression.
- Internal security: Cooperation of Nepal is necessary for curbing cross-border smuggling of weapons, fake currency and narcotics.
- Cultural significance:
- Pilgrimage sites: Many Hindu and Buddhist religious sites are in Nepal making it an important pilgrimage site for Indian citizens.
- Common religion: Majority of citizens in India and Nepal are Hindus, forming a major civilisational link between the two nations.
- Diaspora: Nepali diaspora in India and Indian workforce in Nepal act as people-to-people link.
Areas of Cooperation between India and Nepal
|Trade and Economy||