IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


16th March, 2024 International Relations


Copyright infringement not intended Picture Courtesy:


Context: The meeting between the Prime Minister of India and the Prime Minister of Bhutan in New Delhi marks a significant diplomatic engagement between the two countries.

Key Points

  • Bhutan's Prime Minister's visit to India is his first overseas visit since taking office in February 2024, highlighting the importance of India-Bhutan bilateral relations.
  • Both leaders reviewed progress in several fields of bilateral partnership, with a focus on infrastructure development, connectivity, energy and hydropower cooperation, people-to-people interactions, and development This shows a thorough evaluation of the two countries' ongoing collaboration.
  • The leaders highlighted their commitment to strengthening India-Bhutan's special and unique This emphasises the significance of the long-standing link between the two countries, which have strong historical, cultural, and geographical ties. 

Indian-Bhutan Relation

  • Mutual trust, goodwill, and understanding are hallmarks of India-Bhutan relations, which are founded on historical links and common principles.
  • Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation: The Treaty was signed in 1949 and revised in February 2007, serves as the foundation for India-Bhutan relations. This treaty serves as the foundation for the two nations' long-term friendship and cooperation.
  • High-level Exchanges: Regular high-level meets between India and Bhutan have improved bilateral relations. These exchanges include visits by heads of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and other officials, which facilitate collaboration in a variety of fields such as infrastructure, education, and defence.
  • Trade and Economic Ties: The India-Bhutan Agreement on Trade, Commerce, and Transit, signed in 1972 and updated in 2016, established a free trade zone between the two countries. India is Bhutan's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade continuously expanding over the India continues to be the major source of investment in Bhutan, considerably contributing to the country's economic progress.
  • Development Partnerships: India has been an important contributor to Bhutan's socio-economic development since the 1960s. India's support includes multiple sectors, including agriculture, health, education, and infrastructure. This development cooperation demonstrates India's commitment to Bhutan's advancement and well-being.
  • Hydropower Cooperation: Hydropower collaboration is an important component of bilateral economic cooperation, with India supporting Bhutan in developing its hydropower This cooperation benefits both countries economically and helps Bhutan's socio-economic growth.
  • Educational, cultural, and interpersonal exchanges: India and Bhutan have significant educational and cultural ties, with India providing various scholarships for Bhutanese students to study in India. People-to-people encounters strengthen mutual understanding and cultural bonds between the two countries.
  • Educational, Cultural, and People-to-Person Exchanges: India and Bhutan work closely together in the spheres of education and culture, with India providing various scholarships for Bhutanese students to study there. People-to-people contacts foster mutual understanding and cultural linkages between the two countries.
  • Cultural and Buddhist Connections: India and Bhutan share significant cultural and religious ties, which are strengthened via pilgrimages, cultural exchanges, and preservation initiatives.
  • New Areas of Cooperation: Both countries are looking into new areas of cooperation, such as digital initiatives, space cooperation, and collaborative satellite development, demonstrating their commitment to expanding bilateral connections in developing sectors.
  • COVID-19 Assistance: During the COVID-19 pandemic, India gave Bhutan with critical medical supplies and assistance, expressing solidarity and support during difficult times.
  • Indians Working in Bhutan: The significant number of Indian citizens working in Bhutan, particularly in construction and education, demonstrates the two nations' close economic ties.


  • The relationship between India and Bhutan is marked by mutual trust, collaboration, and similar It covers a wide range of areas and contributes to the financial and social advancement of both countries.

Must Read Articles:

INDIA BHUTAN RELATIONS: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/india-bhutan-relations-15


Bhutan is strategically placed between India and China, a major geopolitical force with which Bhutan shares a complicated relationship. How can India negotiate this issue while maintaining Bhutan's security without appearing overbearing or impeding Bhutan's sovereign foreign policy?