India-Nepal Current Affairs

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India, Nepal renew petroleum supply agreement

India and Nepal have signed an agreement to renew supply of petroleum to Nepal for a period of five years i.e. till 2022.

The renewed agreement, which was overseen by the Petroleum Ministers of both countries, was signed even as both sides pledged to build a new pipeline for LPG.

Key Facts
  • The agreement was signed between Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) and Nepal Oil Company (NOC) and was overseen by Petroleum Ministers of both countries.
  • The renewed agreement is an umbrella document between the two countries detailing the continued supply of petroleum, oil and lubricant products.
  • It also puts in place an institutional mechanism for cooperation in the areas of additional services and technical assistance between the two countries.
  • Under it IOC will supply about 1.3 million tonnes of fuel annually to Nepal with a promise to double the volume by 2020.
Background

Indian Oil has been supplying petroleum and petroleum products to Nepal since 1974. The renewing of the agreement is considered India’s continued support to Nepal in meeting its complete hydrocarbon requirement. It has pledged to continue supplies, though petroleum supply to Nepal was severely hit during 2015-16 due to the blockade on the border. Thus, the new agreement also maintains the fuel supply exclusivity to India. 

Motihari-Amlekhgunj Pipeline
  • Both countries are also working to further deepen engagement in the oil and gas sector, including construction of petroleum product Motihari-Amlekhgunj Pipeline.
  • Once the pipeline completed, it will further ensure continuous and uninterrupted supply of products to Nepal.
  • India also agreed to extend the proposed Raxaul-Amlekhganj product pipeline to Chitwan and to start work on the pipeline in 2017-18.

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Indo-Nepal joint Military exercise Surya Kiran-XI held in Uttarakhand

The eleventh edition of joint military exercise ‘Surya Kiran 2017‘ between India and Nepal began in Pithoragarh area of Uttarakhand.

It is two-week long battalion level joint exercise between armies of both countries. It will focus on skills required for natural disaster management, counter-insurgency and jungle warfare.

Key Facts
  • The Surya Kiran XI aims at training of both the troops in the area of various counter insurgency operations over a prolonged period.
  • It will focus on other important aspects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations and environmental conservation.
  • In this exercise, Indian Army is represented by the officers and troops of Ekta Shakti Battalion of the Punjab Regiment. While, Nepali Army is being represented by Durga Baksh Battalion.
  • Both the armies will mutually benefit from the varied experiences gained during the exercise and strengthen the friendly relation between Nepal and India.
Background

The Surya Kiran series of military exercises are being conducted bi-annually, alternatively in India and Nepal. It is largest exercise in terms of troop’s participation in series of military training exercises undertaken by India with various countries. It aims at promoting military relations while increasing interoperability in conducting joint counter insurgency operations in mountainous terrain. The 10 edition of the exercise was held at Army Battle School, Saljhandi in Nepal in November 2016.

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CCEA approves $854.4 million investment for 900-MW Arun 3 hydropower project in Nepal

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved investment for the generation component of 900-MW Arun 3 hydropower project for an estimated Rs. 5723.72 crore ($854.4 million).

The project is located on Arun River in Sankhuwasabha district of eastern Nepal. It is expected to be completed within five years from the date of financial closure, which is planned for September 2017.

About Arun 3 hydropower project

  • The project is based on Run-of-River scheme that envisages about 70 metre high concrete gravity dam and 74 Km Head Race Tunnel (HRT).
  • It also has underground Power House containing four generating units of 225 MW each on Left Bank.
  • Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVN) Limited had bagged the project through International Competitive Bidding. It had signed MoU with Nepal Government for the project in March 2008.
  • The execution of the project will be on Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for a period of 30 years including five years of construction period.
  • The Project Development Agreement (PDA) was signed in November 2014, which provides 21.9% free power to Nepal for the entire concession period of 25 years.
  • The surplus power from the project will be exported to India from Dhalkebar in Nepal to Muzaffarpur in Bihar. It will strengthen power availability in India and also economic linkages with Nepal.

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