Thu, 28 Jan 2021

Kathmandu [Nepal], November 27 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla concluded his two-day bilateral visit to Nepal on Friday.

On the final day of his visit, Shringla inaugurated four development projects completed with Indian assistance in Gorkha and Manang districts.

According to a press release by the Indian Embassy in Nepal, Shringla travelled to Gorkha and inaugurated three schools constructed with Indian reconstruction assistance viz. Shree Mahalaxmi, Shree Ratnalaxmi and Shree Tara Secondary Schools, in the presence of Ram Krishna Sapkota, Secretary, National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal.

Speaking on the occasion, Shringla emphasised that education is the best investment in the future of the country and its people. Since 2003, Government of India has built nearly 270 educational campuses across Nepal under High Impact Community Development Projects scheme, complementing the efforts of Government of Nepal in this area.

Shringla also encouraged Nepali students to take advantage of over 3,000 scholarships being provided by the Indian government to contribute in the development of their country and to further strengthen India-Nepal partnership.

The release further informed that the Indian government also substantially fulfilled its commitment in the housing sector with over 46,500 houses handed over to the beneficiaries in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts, as part of its post-earthquake assistance to Nepal.

"India is also working with Government of Nepal on the reconstruction of 147 health posts and hospitals in 10 districts of Nepal under a grant of USD 50 million and 28 cultural heritage sites in 8 districts of Nepal under another grant of USD 50 million," said the release.

Shringla also addressed a limited gathering of leading civil society members on India-Nepal relations at an event hosted by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA), where he laid out the foundational multi-dimensional strength of the ties between the two countries.

He also inaugurated the Tashop (Tare) Gompa monastery constructed at Shree Kharka village in Manang district, and conveyed his pleasure at the Government of India's role in restoring this ancient monastery in the Manang district and in contributing to the preservation of the rich Buddhist heritage of this Himalayan region.

The Foreign Secretary, who reached Kathmandu on Thursday, called on Nepali leadership President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

Shringla had also met Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and his Nepali counterpart Bharat Raj Paudyal.

During his meeting with the Nepali Foreign Minister, Shringla conveyed an invitation from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to Gyawali to visit India for the next round of the Joint Commission Meeting.

According to sources, Shringla conveyed India's interest in deepening economic linkages, promoting connectivity, expanding the development partnership and strengthening people-to-people contacts, particularly among the youth.

He briefed PM Oli on the numerous projects being funded by India, which benefit all sections of Nepali society. The Foreign Secretary also invited Nepal to take advantage of India's market and economic growth.

Shringla also handed over 2,000 vials of Remdesivir injections as part of India's continued support to Nepal in its efforts to combat COVID-19.

PM Oli thanked Shringla for India's assistance during COVID-19, while discussions took place on vaccine development and deployment. Shringla assured that Nepal's requirement would be considered on priority.

Upon his arrival, Shringla said India and Nepal have "very strong" ties and their endeavour would be to take the relationship between the two nations forward. (ANI)

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