India-Bhutan Relations.

Gautam

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PM Modi to visit Bhutan in August

This would be Modi's first trip since the Doklam tri-junction military face-off in 2017 which led to heightened tensions between India and China after the Chinese troops intruded into a disputed territory between China and Bhutan.

By Geeta Mohan
New Delhi
PUBLISHED : July 30, 2019
UPDATED : July 30, 2019 05:19 IST

The two sides would be signing some important Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) during PM Modi's visit. (File Photo)

Furthering India's "neighbourhood first" policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bhutan on August 17-18.

This would be Modi's first trip since the Doklam tri-junction military face-off in 2017 which led to heightened tensions between India and China after the Chinese troops intruded into a disputed territory between China and Bhutan.

While no official announcement has been made by New Delhi, Bhutan's prime minister Dr Lotay Tshering confirmed this at a 'meet the press' event on Friday, according to a local newspaper report in Bhutan.

The two sides would be signing some important Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) during PM Modi's visit.

"The itinerary is not yet confirmed but there are four to five memoranda of understanding to be signed and few major projects to be declared. We are working on the details but it keeps changing," said Dr Tshering.

Bhutan was the first country PM Narendra Modi visited after taking office in 2014, emphasising the importance of this Himalayan nation in India's foreign policy.

Earlier, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar chose Bhutan as his first country to visit after taking oath in May.

Bhutan's premier was one of the leaders invited for the oath-taking ceremony of PM Modi in May this year after he won the general elections. As a member of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) nations, Dr Tshering represented Bhutan at the swearing-in on 30 May.

With China trying to build inroads into Bhutan, India would want to keep this neighbour as close as possible. There already has been an ongoing conversation not only in Beijing but also in Thimphu of opening up diplomatic relations between the two nations.

For India, Bhutan is a key partner where both sides are heavily invested in the relationship. India is looking at many development projects in Bhutan, particularly in the hydro-power sector.

Meanwhile, the local report also stated that Japanese Prince Hisahito of Akishino will also make his first overseas trip to Bhutan which is scheduled next month although the date is not confirmed.

Japan Times stated, "HRH Prince Hisahito, the second inline to the Chrysanthemum Throne is expected to travel to Bhutan in August with his parents, Crown Prince Akishimo and Crown Princess Kiko, in what would be the 12-year-old's first overseas trip."


PM Modi to visit Bhutan in August
 

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Inauguration of ISRO's earth station will give fillip to Bhutan's communication, broadcasting sector

Thimphu [Bhutan], Aug 16 (ANI): The inauguration of the ground earth station, built by ISRO will give immense benefits to Bhutan in terms of communication, broadcasting and disaster management sectors, India's ambassador to Bhutan Ruchira Kamboj said on Friday.
In 2017, India launched the South Asia satellite. Bhutan has been provided with a transponder as a consequence of which a ground earth space station was built. It is now ready and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this will be connected to terminals across the country, giving Bhutan immense benefits in terms of communication, broadcasting and disaster management," Kamboj, in an exclusive interview, told ANI.
Underlining that space is a whole new sector opening up between India and Bhutan, the envoy said that Bhutanese engineers have been trained in India under the ISRO's 'Unnati' capacity building and training programme and the process will continue.
"Bhutan will also be benefitting from the training and capacity building programme that India will impart to Bhutan in terms of analysing data from India's remote sensing satellite," Kamboj said.
The South Asia Satellite was launched in 2017 and is a geostationary communications satellite, helping to meet the growing telecommunications and broadcasting needs of six countries in the region namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Talking about Modi's upcoming visit to Bhutan, Kamboj said that 10 MoUs will be signed between both sides.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bhutan may be seen as a continuum leading to a strengthened India-Bhutan partnership. 10 MoUs will be signed between the two countries and there will be five inaugurations which will take bilateral ties to the next level," she said.
Divulging the agenda of the visit, Kamboj remarked, "The launch of the RuPay card is something that has been developed in the last two to three years. Eventually, it is going to be launched. In the financial sector, we will be working towards the launching of the BHIM app."
All the initiatives that you see in this visit are the result of a lot of hard work undertaken by Prime Minister Modi during the last five years," she added.
During Modi's meetings with the Bhutanese leadership, both sides will discuss the full range of bilateral relations between the two sides and will also discuss international and regional issues of common concerns, Kamboj said.
"Prime Minister Modi's visit is coming at a fortuitous time for Bhutan as it will shortly graduate to middle-income country status. This is a very unique development paradigm followed because on the one hand, while there is economic growth and prosperity, at the same time, they balanced it off with the famed happiness concept," she stressed.
"Over the years, India has played a major role in the socio-economic development of the country for the aspirations and priorities of the people of Bhutan," the envoy said.
On the Sankosh multipurpose hydroelectric project, Kamboj said that discussions have started between both countries and hoped that an agreement would be reached soon.
Highlighting the steps to improve education linkage between India and Bhutan, the envoy said that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector.
"The Royal University of Bhutan will sign four MoUs -- one each with the IITs of Delhi, Bombay and Kanpur and NIIT Silchar...This is a very positive development in the STEM subjects," Kamboj said.
She also said that there will be a launch of commemorative stamps marking 50 years of hydropower cooperation between India and Bhutan.
Bhutan has lauded India's decisions on Jammu and Kashmir calling them "bold, courageous and forward-looking", Kamboj stressed.
India recently scrapped Article 370 which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, hiving the region into two union territories of Ladakh- without a legislature, and Jammu and Kashmir- with the legislature.
"Bhutan has fully supported India in the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, they have recognised that this is purely an internal matter of India. They have lauded it as a very bold, courageous and forward-looking step that will ensure the socio-economic development of Jammu and Kashmir and also bring peace, progress, and prosperity to the Union Territory," she said.
Kamboj underlined that Bhutan has extended completely unequivocal support for India's bid for permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
"Bhutan wholeheartedly supports India's bid for permanent membership at the UNSC. In fact, Bhutan has said that it is an anomaly that India is not today in the UNSC when it should be. The Prime Minister of Bhutan on September 22, 2017, had clearly enunciated this. They offer wholehearted support to India for a permanent seat in an expanded security council," she remarked.
Preparations to welcome Modi are in full swing in the Himalayan nation. The Prime Minister is expected to arrive in Paro on August 17 for a two-day bilateral visit.
On the second day of his visit, Modi is scheduled to visit the National Memorial Chorten. He will also be attending a cultural performance at Tashichhodzong - a Buddhist monastery -- hosted in honour of the visiting leader.
Modi will depart for New Delhi from Paro on Sunday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.
Inauguration of ISRO's earth station will give fillip to Bhutan's communication, broadcasting sectors
 
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PM Modi’s Bhutan visit: Hydro-electric projects, defence, security, space and trade to be top agenda
By: FE Online |
Published: August 10, 2019 10:04:57 PM
Till date, India has played a significant role in the construction of three Hydroelectric Projects (HEP) in Bhutan which generate 1,416 MW. Around 336 MW is generated by Chukha plant, 60 MW by Kurichhu and 1,020 MW generated by Tala plant.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck during their meeting at Thimphu. (Reuters)
In line with the government’s continued focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will go on a two day state visit to “trusted friend and neighbour” Bhutan next week.
The two-day visit starting Aug 17 at the invitation of Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering Starting Aug 17, will highlight the importance New Delhi gives to its relations with Thimphu.
According to the foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, Prime Minister Modi will receive audiences with the Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the Fourth King, and hold talks with Tshering. And the leaders of both countries talk about ways of not only deepening ties but also how to diversify the bilateral partnership. This will include economic and development co-operation, hydro-power co-operation.
Briefing media persons ahead of the visit, the foreign secretary said that the highlight of the visit will be the inauguration of the Mangdechhu hydropower project.
He pointed out that the first tranche of Rs 5000 crore that India had committed last December as development assistance to Bhutan’s 12th five-year plan.
Major announcements and few MoUs are on the agenda to be inked at the end of delegation-level talks between the two leaders.
This is Modi’s first visit after military standoff at Doklam, which was started by an intrusion by Chinese troops into the territory in 2017 and is in line `neighbourhood first policy’. It may be recalled that Modi had visited Bhutan as a Prime Minister in 2014 as his first overseas stop.
On May 30, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering had represented his country at Modi’s swearing-in ceremony and last year Tshering had chosen India as his first overseas visit after he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of that country.
With China gradually making inroads in Bhutan, India has been playing a critical role in that country’s economic development including in hydro-power projects, like the commissioning of the 720 MW Mangdechhu project, located on the Mangdechhu River in the Trongsa Dzongkhag district.
Till date, India has played a significant role in the construction of three Hydroelectric Projects (HEP) in Bhutan which generate 1,416 MW. Around 336 MW is generated by Chukha plant, 60 MW by Kurichhu and 1,020 MW generated by Tala plant.
The two countries have inked an inter-governmental agreement in 2014 when Modi had visited that country, soon after becoming a prime minister. This agreement was for four more HEPs under a joint venture and included 600 MW at Kholongchhu, 180 MW at Punakha, 570 MW at Wangchhu and 770 MW at Chamkharchhu. Together these will generate 2,120 MW of power once completed.
In the Space sector, the two sides have been working on expanding their relationship and Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate Ground Earth Station built by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), from where the South Asia Satellite is expected to provide access to wide-ranging applications such as disaster management, weather forecasting and communications to Bhutan.
As part of Neighbourhood First policy, Modi had in 2014 floated the idea of having a satellite that would help the South Asian neighbours and that ISRO had launched South Asia Satellite in May 2017.
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Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
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Tripura, NE, India
Last month I saw Rupay card ad at Heathrow airport. It's a pleasant surprise to find a Govt of India initiative is being promoted worldwide.
RuPay works in UK ? I thought it was present in only a few countries. Bhutan, Singapore, Maldives etc. It does have a few partnerships with JCB Japan, UnionPay China. Discover card of US etc.

It is going international very quickly. Many govts. signing up to RuPay to make it easier for Indians to spend money there.
 

Bali78

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RuPay works in UK ? I thought it was present in only a few countries. Bhutan, Singapore, Maldives etc. It does have a few partnerships with JCB Japan, UnionPay China. Discover card of US etc.

It is going international very quickly. Many govts. signing up to RuPay to make it easier for Indians to spend money there.
I am not sure whether it works in UK. I don't have one :).