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MoUs exchanged during Indian PM Modi's visit to Lumbini

2022 May 17, 11:41, Kathmandu
Indian Prime Minister (left) and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba Photo: RSS

Multiple issues of bilateral relations and cooperation were discussed and memorandums of understanding (MoU) were exchanged during the Lumbini visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At the invitation of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, Prime Minister of India, Modi, paid an official visit to Lumbini Buddha Jayanti.

According to a press release issued by Foreign Ministry on Monday, the Indian Prime Minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation consisting of the National Security Advisor, Foreign Secretary, and other senior officials of the government of India. The two Prime Ministers held bilateral talks in Lumbini. During the bilateral talks, the two Prime Ministers had a broad overview of Nepal-India cooperation and matters of mutual interests to further enhance the close and cordial ties between the two countries. Prime Minister Deuba thanked Modi for India’s assistance in fighting the COVID pandemic. He also expressed gratitude for India’s support in the post-earthquake reconstruction.

 Moreover, the two sides discussed promoting cooperation in connectivity; early supply of fertilizers; expeditious conclusion of the revised Transit Treaty, its Protocols and Memorandum; review of the treaty of trade; additional air entry routes; hydropower generation; culture and tourism including Buddhist circuit and Ramayana circuit; education and academic collaboration; increasing the threshold of carrying Indian currency by individuals; and cooperation at regional and multilateral forums in matters of mutual interest. Other issues featured during the discussion were infrastructure development including the dry port and integrated check posts in Chandani Dodhara as well as bridges linking Purnagiri Mai, Uttarakhand, India, and Parshuram Dham in Dadeldhura, Nepal; and Jhulaghat over Mahakali River.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Deuba requested the Indian PM Modi to consider constructing the Motigada-Fattepur-Rampur Road in the Udaypur district of Nepal under Indian grant assistance. In the context of the official inauguration and commencement of commercial operation of the Gautam Buddha International Airport, Prime Minister Deuba highlighted that the airport would further facilitate connectivity, cultural linkages, and people-to-people movements and promotes cultural tourism. He also requested the additional air entry routes from Mahendranagar, Nepalgunj, and Janakpur.

Deuba also requested seamless power trade on a long-term basis under mutually beneficial terms. Both sides satisfactory with the Arun III project's progress and welcomed the signing and exchange of MoU between Nepal Electricity Authority and SJVN Ltd. India for the development of the hydropower project. The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of hydropower for clean energy and noted that immense potentials exist for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the hydropower sector.

Prime Minister Deuba invited interested companies from India such as NHPC for the development of the West Seti Hydroelectricity project. The two Prime Ministers agreed to take up the Pancheswor Project with priority. Prime Ministers of Nepal and India had also visited Maya Devi Temple and worshipped at the Birthplace of the Lord Gautam Buddha. They laid the foundation stone for the construction of the India International Center for Buddhist Culture and Heritage at the Lumbini Monastic Zone and attended the special ceremony organized by the Lumbini Development Trust in Lumbini International Buddhist Meditation Center and Assembly Hall in the afternoon.

Indian Prime Minister (left) and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba
Photo: RSS
Indian Prime Minister (left) and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba Photo: RSS

MoU on collaboration in the academic field, power sector The two Prime Ministers also witnessed the exchange of the following Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) related to cooperation and collaboration in the academic field and power sector:

i. MoU between the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies (CNAS), Tribhuvan University, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) on the Establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian studies;

ii. MoU between Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal, and ICCR on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies;

iii. MoU for Cooperation between Kathmandu University, Nepal, and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM);

iv. Letter of Agreement between Kathmandu University (KU), Nepal, and Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), India (for a joint degree program at Masters’ level at KU Campus.);

v. MoU between the Lumbini Buddhist University (LBU) and Indian Council for Cultural Relations on the Establishment of the Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies (ICCR Chair), and

vi. Memorandum of Understanding between Nepal Electricity Authority and SJVN Ltd for development and implementation of Arun-4 hydropower project, Nepal.

Indian PM Modi returned home in the afternoon upon completing the visit to Lumbini. He was seen off by Prime Minister Deuba, his Arzu Rana Deuba, ministers, and senior officials of the government. The official visit of Prime Minister Modi to Lumbini, Nepal has contributed to deepening the socio-cultural bonds and cooperation between Nepal and India, the press statement asserted.


bilateral relations MoU Lumbini visit Lumbini Narendra Modi Buddha Jayanti COVID Pandemic hydropower Uttarakhand Gautam Buddha International Airport Janakpur Arun III project Maya devi temple Kathmandu University
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