India and Nepal have wide-ranging cooperation in the defence sector

Nepal Army Chief General Prabhu Ram Sharma on Tuesday left for New Delhi on a four-day visit to India on an invitation extended by Indian Army Chief, General MM Naravane.

The visiting Nepal Army Chief will be conferred with the rank of an honorary General of the Indian Army by President Ram Nath Kovind on November 10 amidst an investiture ceremony, said a statement issued by the Nepal Army.

During his stay in India, General Sharma is scheduled to hold meetings with Indian Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of the Army Staff Gen MM Naravane and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhary, it noted.

Sunita Sharma, General Sharma’s spouse and the chairperson of the Nepali Army Wives Association (NAWA), is accompanying him.

On Monday, a day prior to his departure, COAS Gen Sharma was accorded a Guard of Honor at the Army headquarters, the statement maintained.

Ambassador of India to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra, General Officers of the Nepali Army and residential Defense Attaches were present during this official farewell Programme, it mentioned.

Since 1950, India and Nepal have been awarding each other’s Army Chief with the honorary rank of General in recognition of the mutual harmonious relationship between the two armies.

India and Nepal have wide-ranging cooperation in the defence sector. India has been assisting the Nepal Army (NA) in its modernisation by supplying equipment and providing training.

Assistance during disasters, joint military exercises, adventure activities and bilateral visits are other aspects of India’s defence cooperation with Nepal.

A number of defence personnel from Nepal Army attend training courses in various Indian Army training institutions.

The ‘Indo-Nepal Battalion-level Joint Military Exercise Surya Kiran’ is conducted alternately in India and in Nepal.

The 15th edition of the Indo-Nepal combined battalion level military training ‘Surya Kiran’ concluded at Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India on October 2.
Regular exchanges and visits of chiefs of the two countries have also ensued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indian Army Chief MM Naravane had visited Nepal in November last year.

He had presented the Nepal Army with medical equipment including X-ray machines,

computed radiography systems, ICU ventilators, video endoscopy units and anesthesia machines, for two field hospitals of the Nepali Army.

As a mark of friendship and strong ties between New Delhi and Kathmandu, India in March this year had sent one lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Nepal Army.