INDIA-BHUTAN ARE NATURAL PARTNERS
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, concluded his two-day state visit to Bhutan during which he attended 13 programmes in 27 hours, and held talks with the country’s leaders to further deepen the bilateral ties.
- PM Modi had a two-day visit to the neighboring country, outlined a new blueprint for cooperation between India and Bhutan, identifying space, education, and health as areas that would add a fresh dimension to ties dominated so far by cooperation in the hydel power sector.
- The recent visit was the first to Bhutan since the 73-day India-China standoff in 2017 triggered by an intrusion by Chinese troops into territory claimed by Bhutan.
- During the visit PM Modi launched several projects in different areas from LPG to space technology, as well as enhancing cooperation in science and education sectors.
- He called on Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and exchanged views on taking the “exemplary” the countries partnership forward.
- Not only geographical proximity but history, culture and spiritual traditions have created unique and deep bonds between the people of the two countries.
- The two countries inked 10 MoUs in the fields of space research, aviation, IT, power and education to infuse new energy in their tie:
- The collaboration and relationship between Royal Bhutan University and IITs of India and some other top educational institutions are in line with today’s requirements for education and technology.
- More students were invited to visit India for studies in traditional areas such as Buddhism and newer areas like space research. As of now, over four thousand students from Bhutan are engaged in studies in India.
- 720 megawatts (MW) Mangdechhu hydel power project, the Ground Earth Station and SATCOM network was inaugurated jointly by PM Modi and Bhutanese prime minister Lotay Tshering.
- On increasing the currency swap limit for Bhutan under the SAARC currency swap framework, Modi said India’s approach is “positive”. He said an additional USD 100 million will be available to Bhutan under a standby swap arrangement to meet the foreign exchange requirement.
- India will enhance the communication, public broadcasting and disaster management coverage in Bhutan.
- He also announced to increase the supply of LPG from India from 700 to 1000 MT per month to meet the growing needs of the people of Bhutan.
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