First prominent display of bilateral cooperation since Deuba took charge as Prime Minister
India and Nepal on Wednesday jointly inaugurated six schools reconstructed with Indian financial assistance as part of a scheme to rebuild educational institutions and health centres of Nepal that were damaged in the April 2015 earthquake.
The gesture is the first prominent display of bilateral cooperation since Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba took charge in July after the Supreme Court of Nepal dismissed Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.
The schools were inaugurated in Kavrepalanchowk by Anurag Srivastava, Joint Secretary in-charge of the Nepalese affairs in the Ministry of External Affairs, and MPs of the area Gokul Prasad Baskota and Ganga Bahadur Tamang.
Official exchanges had remained low over the last three months but on September 26, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met his Nepalese counterpart Narayan Khadka on the sidelines of the General Assembly in New York.
“Pleased to meet my new Nepalese colleague, Dr. Narayan Khadka. Agreed that we should work together closely to take our special relationship forward,” said Mr. Jaishankar after the meeting.
According to a press release from the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, the schools were rebuilt using earthquake-resistant technology and will cater to at least 2,000 students. “The schools are part of the government of India’s commitment to reconstruct educational institutions across eight districts affected by the earthquake under grant assistance of $50 million,” said the press statement from the Indian mission. Kavrepalanchowk was one of the worst-affected districts along with vast areas in Gorkha, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchowk among others.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held for the construction of a Primary Health Care Centre in Kavrepalanchowk. The centre is one of the 132 units being rebuilt with India’s financial assistance. India has committed $250 million for reconstruction of health, education and cultural sites.