India-Nepal Relations- Relevance for UPSC Exam
- GS Paper 2: International Relations– India and its neighbourhood- relations.
India-Nepal Relations in News
- Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited to Lumbini, Nepal which served a useful but limited purpose for India-Nepal Relations.
- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a short visit to Lumbini in Nepal on Buddha Jayanti.
Lumbini in India-Nepal Relations
- Significance of Lumbini: Lumbini, in Buddhist tradition, is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha.
- Both nations agreeing that Lumbini was the birthplace of Gautama Buddha.
- This ends a needless irritant in the India-Nepal relations, with some hyper-nationalist Nepalis claiming that the Indian government had a different belief on the Buddha’s origins.
- Establishment India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage (IICBCH): Modi along with his Nepali counterpart laid the foundation stone for the India International Centre for Buddhist Culture and Heritage in the Lumbini Monastic Zone.
- The IICBCH Centre will play a role in challenging the preponderance of the Chinese sponsorship and patronage of the Buddhist festivals and institutions in the area.
- IICBCH could also be a harbinger of a focused development of the area into a tourist and cultural hub for pilgrims and other visitors.
- Treaty of Peace and Friendship: it was signed in 1950 which governs the India-Nepal Relations.
- Hydropower Projects: During recent visit of the PM Modi, an MOU for the development and implementation of the Arun-4 hydropower project was signed.
- Cultural Relations: Both India-Nepal share a strong cultural relation along with good people to people ties.
- Lumbini and Buddhism is one of the example of strong cultural realtion between India and Nepal.
India-Nepal Relations- Way Forward
- Religious Diplomacy: the current Indian government seeking to utilise “religious diplomacy” as a means to emphasise the special relationship.
- Strengthening Economic and Geopolitical Ties: Beyond a soft power emphasis on cultural ties, India-Nepal relations need to graduate to a more meaningful partnership on economic and geopolitical issues.
- Unlike in the Past, a substantial reduction in the Nepali youths’ dependence on the Indian economy is being seen, requiring a changed economic cooperation model.
- Enhancing role of Nepal in Developmental Projects: Presently, Indian government continue to retain a substantial role in partnering the Nepali regime in development projects.
- India-Nepal ties need to refocus on work related to infrastructure development in Nepal, which includes hydropower projects, transportation and connectivity, and which could benefit the citizens of the adjoining States in India as well.