India-Bhutan Relations

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  • The Rupee Crunch and India- Bhutan Economic Engagement*

    While loans, grants and lines of credit offer a solution to deal with immediate crises, it is important to gauge the long-term impact of such Indian policies on India-Bhutan relations.

    July 16, 2012

    Turan Nishant asked: Is there any sign of Bhutan possibly titling towards China for economic reasons? If yes, then what should be India's strategy towards Bhutan?

    Medha Bisht replies: Bhutan has adopted a very cautious, guarded and pragmatic foreign policy towards China. Given the strong India - Bhutan relations, which is built on the foundation of trust and mutual benefit, it is unlikely that Bhutan will tilt towards China. There are three other reasons which will discourage Bhutan's tilt towards China. First, Bhutan's industrial belt is in the South and geographically trade facilitation becomes more convenient with India. Second, Bhutan- China boundary dispute has not been resolved as yet. I do not see both countries having an economic relationship with an unresolved boundary dispute in the back burner. Third, for establishing ties with China, Bhutan will have to reverse its policy of not having any diplomatic relations with P-5 countries. That would mean having diplomatic relations with the United States of America too.

    Having said this, I am not negating the possibility of the China factor. Domestic pressure is building up in Bhutan to resolve the boundary dispute with China. With Bhutan now encouraging the private sector to come up, there will be some circles in Bhutan, who will see business in engaging with China.

    Today, the Indo- Bhutan relations have become all encompassing, cross cutting various sections of society. India, therefore, has to be more sensitive and responsive in its engagement with Bhutan. India also needs to factor in the change taking place in Bhutanese society and politics.

    Drug Trafficking in India: A Case for Border Security

    Drug Trafficking in India: A Case for Border Security

    Trafficking of drugs takes place overwhelmingly through land borders followed by sea and air routes. Given the vulnerability of the borders to drug trafficking, India has tried to tackle the problem through the strategy of drug supply and demand reduction, which involves enacting laws, co-operating with voluntary organisations, securing its borders and coasts by increasing surveillance, as well as seeking the active cooperation of its neighbours and the international community.

    India-Bhutan Power Cooperation: Between Policy Overtures and Local Debates

    With hydel cooperation emerging as an important pillar in India-Bhutan relationship, this Issue Brief examines the challenges and opportunities in this sector in the years to come.

    October 07, 2011

    Bhutan 2010: Foreign Policy Developments

    Security and development cooperation have become the twin pillars of the India-Bhutan relationship.

    December 30, 2010

    Chumbi Valley: Economic Rationale but Strategic Resonance

    Shaping responses towards the issue of Chumbi Valley would perhaps require a penetrating understanding of the “reality” that defines China’s political trajectory in South Asia in coming years.

    September 23, 2010

    Maneesh Aggarwal asked: What will be the impact for India if Bhutan allows Chinese to Chumbi valley and how India will encounter it?

    Medha Bisht replies: Chumbi Valley has historically been of economic value to India, Tibet and Bhutan. Given the Chinese posturing on Chumbi Valley, however it has been elevated to a strategic level. In the changing geo-political context, as China makes inroads into Southern Asia, suspicion over the Chinese’s intent therefore needs to be reckoned with.

    Chinese influence over the Chumbi valley could impact India in four ways. First, China proximity to India’s North-East and Siliguri Corridor which connects North-Eastern states to India and Nepal to Bhutan becomes closer. Second, it also gets closer to Bangladesh’s periphery in the North as a narrow stretch of land divides Bangladesh from Bhutan. Third, China, will have a better hold over Tibet, thus weakening any potential cards which India would want to play at a later stage, and fourth, it get an offensive advantage to thwart India’s military posturing. Defence of Sikkim in this context would be important. Six roads so far have been built by China near Bhutan’s North and North-West areas. Some sources point out that by 2017, China can have a rail link going to the place.

    India first needs to look inwards and strengthen it its defence preparedness and infrastructure construction plans. Second, at the bilateral level focused effort are needed on engaging Bhutan as a strategic partner, thus sensitizing it of Indian concerns. Third, India should maximize its soft-power approach, providing an enabling environment in Sikkim for Buddhism to flourish.

    Water Security for India: The External Dynamics

    Water Security for India: The External Dynamics
    • Publisher: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    India is facing a serious water resource problem and as trends suggest, it is expected to become 'water stressed' by 2025 and 'water scarce' by 2050. Premised on this, this IDSA Report raises fundamental questions about the forces driving water demand and the political dynamics of riparian relations, both in terms of hindrances and opportunities, amongst states in the subcontinent.

    • ISBN 81-86019-83-9 ,
    • Price: ₹. 350/-
    • E-copy available

    India–Bhutan Relations: From Developmental Cooperation to Strategic Partnership

    The India–Bhutan relationship is perhaps the only bilateral engagement in South Asia, yielding high dividends to both parties. While Bhutan all through the years has appreciated India for its economic assistance, India, for its part, has been sensitive to Bhutan's developmental needs. The relationship has helped Bhutan shape a unique developmental trajectory based on gross national happiness. Bhutan's economy has grown substantially in recent years. However, the development cooperation between the two countries can be effectively divided into three significant waves.

    May 2010

    Indo-Bhutan Joint Action against Insurgents

    Indian insurgent groups are re-establishing camps in Bhutan and are also forging links with Bhutanese rebel groups.

    October 05, 2009