New Government in Nepal: Indo-Nepal Relations

Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” was sworn in as Nepal’s new Prime Minister on Monday, after he switched sides to join hands with a bitter foe, the former prime minister Kharga Prasad Oli.


            As close neighbours, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and  cooperation characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people–to–people contacts of kinship and culture. It shares a border of over 1850 Kms in the east, south and west with five Indian States – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand – and in the north with the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China.

The India–Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the bedrock of the special relations that exist between India and Nepal. Under the provisions of this Treaty, the Nepalese citizens have enjoyed unparalleled advantages in India, availing facilities and opportunities at par with the Indian citizens. The Treaty has allowed Nepal to overcome the disadvantages of being a land–locked country.


The Nepal  new political map included the territories Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura—an area of 335 square kilometers (129 square miles) that India also claims. . Opening up of Lipulekh pass for Kailash Mansarovar has led Nepal lodge protest with India claiming Kalapani area in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand as its own territory. The new route passes through Kalapani,

The issue of the Nepal-India Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) report remained unsettled in 2019. The EPG, an expert panel formed in 2016, submitted its report in 2018, suggesting ways to update the bilateral relationship. But their recommendations are gathering dust as India is refusing to receive the report.

) Rising Chinese influence:

  • Closeness of Communist parties with China having an anti-India (Nationalist) stance
  • Deeper infrastructure and economic partnerships such as mutual rail agreement, military exercise pact called Sagarmatha friendship etc.

2) Small Nation syndrome of Nepal with insecurities due to their traditional dependence on India. Concerns of Nepal with India-

  • Interference in domestic matters and pressure tactics such as the alleged blockade of 2015 in protest of the constitution limiting seats for the Madhesi people.
  • Indian investors and businessmen in Nepal limit opportunities for the domestic population.

3) Economic concerns- Trade imbalance with India enjoying surplus, incomplete hydropower projects from the Indian side like the Pancheshwar project.

To tackle such concerns India recently has extended assistance to focus on the infrastructure creation-cross border rail links like the Jayanagar Bardibas link, the establishment of Integrated Check Posts such as Bhairahawa Nepalganj, energy cooperation through Motihari Amlekhganj Pipeline, focus on mutual religious tourism are some examples.

The Indian PM has emphasised on 5Ts such as the “Tradition, Trade, Tourism, Technology and Transport “formula for Nepal. India needs to further invest in key growth areas of Nepal and timely completion of pending hydropower projects.


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