India and Nepal Relations: Civil Services Mentor Magazine - January - 2016

India and Nepal Relations

India and Nepal relationship is like none other, it is deeply ingrained in the history and and geographical factors. Other important connection between the two countries is that its people to people contact very high. There has been a long tradition of free movement of people across the borders. Nepal shares a border of over 1850 Kms with five Indian States - Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, north of Nepal lies the Tibet. More than six lakh Indian reside in Nepal. Most of them being the migratory workers who move to Nepal seasonally.

India and Nepal both get some special priviledges which other neighbours don’t. This special relationship derives its power from Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950. 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. This treaty in a way helped Nepal to overcome of the disadvantages it faced by being a country which is land locked. Since 1950 various parties from both the side have given their opinion to change the treaty. India has maintained that it is willing to examine all bilateral arrangements with a view to further strengthening relationship with Nepal.

Exports from Nepal to India increased from IRs. 230 crores in 1995-96 to IRs. 3187.4 crores in 2012-13 and India’s exports to Nepal increased from IRs. 1,525 crores in 1995-96 to IRs. 22939.4 crores in 2012-13. Main items of exports from India to Nepal are petroleum products, vehicles and spare parts, mild-steel billets, machinery and parts, medicines, hot and cold rolled sheets, wires, rods, coils, bars, electrical equipments, cement, threads and chemicals.

Till 1990 political parties were banned in Nepal, country was goverened through Panchayat system. In 1990 a Popular Revolt, lifted the ban on political parties, it also brought some of the demeocratic character into the Nepal electorate system. Still lot of essential characters of democracy were missing in this constitution. Again following the 2006 democracy movement in Nepal, Interim Constitution was promulgated in 2007. It began with the 12 Point Understanding reached between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists at Delhi in November 2005.

Constituent assembly was formulated with a term till 2010 which was later extended to 2012 to form the constitution of Nepal. Constitution made by constituent assembly was not acceptable to every political party in the Nepal. It led to widespread protest and new constitutuent assembly was formulated in 2013. India provided 764 vehicles at a cost of Rs. 56.12 crores to the Election Commission and Police agencies of Nepal for use during the Constituent Assembly–cum–Parliament elections.

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