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New transition in India-Nepal relations 

Synopsis: Recent Joint Commission Meeting in Delhi was a positive development for bilateral relations of India and Nepal. 

Introduction  

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali visited New Delhi for the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission. 

What was discussed in the meeting? 

In this joint meeting discussions on the following project and assistance took place. It will strengthen India-Nepal relations: –  

    • India assured an early delivery of vaccines to Nepal, in its fight against the pandemic. 
    • Cross-border rail connectivity projects, including a possible Raxaul-Kathmandu wide-scale railway line, were discussed. 
    • Further easing of cross-border movement of people and goods through ICPs was discussed.  
      • Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) at Birgunj and Biratnagar were inaugurated recently. These ICPs have helped in the smooth association of people and trade. 
      • These ICPs will ease trade and transit for Nepal, since it is dependent on India’s seaports for majority of trade.   
    • Nepal has shown support for India’s permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council (UNSC) to redirect the changed balance of power.  

However, India declined Nepal’s request of including boundary issues in the commission meeting. India suggested finding a fresh mechanism for that purpose. 

What are the possible reasons behind this positive development? 

    • India is not getting involved in any internal political conflict of Nepal and willing for deeper engagement with all sections. It has sent a positive signal in Nepal.  
    • After a brief period of friction, PM Oli is himself trying to reach India now. This policy change is also a result of China’s hyper-interventionism in Nepal’s politics.     

Way forward 

With the increasing demand for restoring the monarchy, Nepal cannot afford to enter another round of political volatility. India has always played a positive role in Nepal, a good India-Nepal bilateral relation in this regard is mutually beneficial 

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