Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane visited Nepal from November 4-6, 2020 to strengthen overall ties including in areas of defence and security between India and Nepal. He visited Nepal at the official invitation of Nepal Army Chief Purna Chandra Thapa.
i.General MM Naravane was accompanied by his wife Veena Naravane, who is the chairperson of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) of the Indian Army.
ii.They were received by Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Prabhu Ram of Nepal upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
Importance of the Meeting:
i.The visit assumes significance as General Naravane is the highest ranking Indian dignitary to meet Nepalese leadership after the Kalapani Territorial dispute.
ii.Nepal protested against the Inauguration of new road infrastructure in Lipulekh-Kalapani area on May 8, 2020.
India gifts medical equipment to Nepal:
i.India gifted medical equipment including X-ray machines, computed radiography systems, ICU (Intensive Care Unit) ventilators, video endoscopy units and anaesthesia machines, for two field hospitals of Nepali Army.
ii.Additional Ventilators were gifted to assist the Nepali Army in its fight against COVID-19 Pandemic.
General Naravane Conferred Honorary rank of General of Nepali Army:
i.General MM Naravane was conferred the honorary rank of General of Nepali Army by Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari in a ceremony at the President’s Official Residence ‘Shital Niwas’ in Kathmandu.
ii.General MM Naravane is the 18th Indian Army Chief to be conferred with the title.
iii.He was presented with a Scroll and Sword during the function.
i.The practice of conferring Army Chiefs of each other’s country with honorary titles has been followed for seven-decades.
ii.Commander-in-Chief General KM Cariappa was the first Indian Army Chief to be decorated with the title in 1950.
iii.In January 2019, Chief of Nepali Army, General Purna Chandra Thapa, was made the honorary General of Indian Army by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind.
iv.Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli, Indian Ambassador Vinay M. Kwatra and other senior officials of both countries were present during the ceremony.
Nepal PM Oli reiterates Special Relationship:
On November 6, 2020, Indian Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane met Nepal Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli. KP Sharma Oli also holds the post of Defence Minister of Nepal.
i.They discussed present issues between two countries and agreed to resolve them through dialogue.
ii.PM Oli also stated that India and Nepal have a long-standing and special relationship.
iii.During the Meeting, Nepal’s PM Oli discussed the tradition of conferring the status of honorary Maharathi on the army chiefs of the two countries.
i.General MM Naravane handed over a welfare grant of INR 5 Lakhs to 70-year old Lance Havildar Dil Bahadur Chhettri (Retired), a winner of Maha Vir Chakra (MVC), the second highest Gallantry Award of India.
ii.He was awarded the MVC for his bravery during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war. He was part of Indian Army’s Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) during the war.
Recent Related News:
i.On May 19, 2020, Amidst the border dispute with India, Nepal’s cabinet has accepted a new political map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura under its territory.
ii.July 7, 2020, A new four-storey school building, developed with the Indian assistance of Rs 1.94 crore (Nepalese Rupees (NR) 31.13 million) under the Nepal-Bharat Maitri Development Cooperation programme has been inaugurated in Shri Saptmai Gurukul Sanskrit Vidyalaya, Ilam district of Nepal
About Indian Army:
Chiefs of Army Staff – General Major Mukund Naravane
Headquarters – New Delhi
Prime Minister – KP Sharma Oli
President – Bidya Devi Bhandari
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency- Nepalese Rupee