The Pres­i­dent of In­dia re­turns after a suc­cess­ful two days visit to Bhutan

Bhutan Times - - Front Page - Tashi Deki

On the invitation of His Majesty the King, the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of In­dia Shri Pranab Mukher­jee paid a state visit to Bhutan on 7-8 Novem­ber, 2014. The Pres­i­dent of In­dia was ac­com­pa­nied by the Union Min­is­ter of State for Rail­ways, four Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment, Sec­re­tary to the Pres­i­dent, For­eign Sec­re­tary and other se­nior of­fi­cials of the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

Dur­ing the visit, the Pres­i­dent of In­dia held wide-rang­ing dis­cus­sions with His Majesty in­clud­ing bi­lat­eral and re­gional is­sues. The Pres­i­dent also met His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo. Ly­onch­hen Tsh­er­ing Tob­gay called on the Pres­i­dent, His Majesty and His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo hosted lunches sep­a­rately in hon­our of the Pres­i­dent and his del­e­ga­tion. Pres­i­dent of In­dia de­liv­ered an ad­dress on “In­dia-Bhutan Re­la­tions” to Bhutanese dig­ni­taries, in­tel­li­gentsia and the me­dia at the Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, Thimphu.

The meet­ings were held in a warm and friendly at­mos­phere, re­flect­ing the spirit of mu­tual trust, co­op­er­a­tion and un­der­stand­ing that char­ac­terise the unique and spe­cial re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

The main out­comes of the dis­cus­sions were both sides ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over the ex­cel­lent state of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and reaf­firmed their com­mit­ment to fur­ther strengthen the spe­cial friend­ship be­tween the two coun­tries.

The two sides reaf­firmed the trust and con­fi­dence be­tween the two coun­tries and their mu­tual se­cu­rity in­ter­ests. They agreed to con­tinue their close co­or­di­na­tion and co­op­er­a­tion with each other on is­sues re­lat­ing to their na­tional in­ter­est, and not al­low each other’s ter­ri­tory to be used for in­ter­ests in­im­i­cal to the other.

The Gov­ern­ment of In­dia re­it­er­ated its com­mit­ment to Bhutan’s so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment and con­tin­ued support for the suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion of 11th Five Year Plan.

The Pres­i­dent Shri Pranab Mukher­jee re­it­er­ated the support of the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia to ed­u­ca­tion and ca­pac­ity build­ing of Bhutan. He launched the School Re­form Pro­gramme of the Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan, a Nu. 3487.2 mil­lion GOI-as­sis­tance project and in­au­gu­rated the Yelchen Cen­tral School. The Pres­i­dent an­nounced the dou­bling

of the Am­bas­sador’s Schol­ar­ship pro­gramme from Nu.10 mil­lion to Nu.20 mil­lion per year.

The Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan ex­pressed their support to the noble ideas un­der­ly­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of Na­landa Univer­sity and agreed to be part of this in­ter­na­tional col­lab­o­ra­tion in the pur­suit of re-es­tab­lish­ment of link­ages of knowl­edge across the world. By sign­ing the MOU on the es­tab­lish­ment of the Na­landa Univer­sity, Bhutan be­came only the sec­ond coun­try out­side the East Asia Sum­mit process to do so.

The fol­low­ing three MOUs on bi­lat­eral co­op­er­a­tion in the field of ed­u­ca­tion were also signed dur­ing the visit the first one be­tween the Royal Univer­sity of Bhutan and the English and For­eign Lan­guages Univer­sity, Hy­der­abad, for aca­demic co­op­er­a­tion for English lan­guage teach­ing in Bhutan; and the sec­ond one be­tween the Royal Univer­sity of Bhutan and the Na­tional In­no­va­tion Foun­da­tion of In­dia, to en­able mu­tual co­op­er­a­tion and ex­change of ex­per­tise and ideas and the third one be­tween the Royal Civil Ser­vices Com­mis­sion and the In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, Ahmed­abad, for joint or­ga­ni­za­tion of train­ing pro­grammes and ca­pac­ity build­ing of of­fi­cials of the two coun­tries.

The Pres­i­dent of In­dia launched the up gra­da­tion project for dou­ble­lan­ing of the East-West High­way, a Nu. 4636.57 mil­lion GOI-as­sis­tance project.

The two sides agreed that their co­op­er­a­tion in the field of hy­dropower was mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial and a win-win sit­u­a­tion for both coun­tries. They ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion over the progress of the three on­go­ing HEPs to­talling 2940 MW un­der the in­ter-gov­ern­men­tal model. They re­it­er­ated their ex­ist­ing com­mit­ment to the 10,000 MW ini­tia­tive and in this con­text for the early im­ple­men­ta­tion of the four JV model projects.

The Pres­i­dent of In­dia also in­au­gu­rated the Jigme Wangchuck Power Train­ing In­sti­tute, a Nu. 337 mil­lion GoI-as­sisted project.

The visit of the Pres­i­dent of In­dia to Bhutan re­in­forced the tra­di­tion of reg­u­lar vis­its at the high­est lev­els, and ex­ten­sive ex­change of views be­tween close friends. It fur­ther strength­ened the ex­cel­lent bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween In­dia and Bhutan.

The Pres­i­dent and his del­e­ga­tion left for New Delhi yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

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