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Thursday, October 28, 2021
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What is ‘Suryakiran’ and Why is it Important for India and Nepal?

Written by Sairaya Chopra, a grade 12 student.

Neighboring countries, India and Nepal’s army will be participating in a joint military exercise called ‘Suryakiran X-V’ starting on the 20th of September 2021 up until the 3rd of October in Pithoragarh, a town in Uttarakhand, for two weeks…

By I Kid You Not , in News , at September 17, 2021 Tags: , , ,

Written by Sairaya Chopra, a grade 12 student.

Neighbouring countries, India and Nepal’s army will be participating in a joint military exercise called ‘Suryakiran X-V’ starting on the 20th of September 2021 up until the 3rd of October in Pithoragarh, a town in Uttarakhand, for two weeks.

Three hundred Army soldiers from each country will work together. In an interview with Wion, Santosh Ballav Poudyal (spokesman for the Nepal Army) stated “The area of focus in the exercise will be counter insurgency and general warfare technique.” As the military exercise is being helped during the Covid 19 pandemic, strict safety protocols have been adhered to, such as the participants getting vaccinated (both doses) as well as carrying out PCR tests.

This follows a flurry of controversy that erupted during a recent visit by a Nepalese military group to India to meet with their Indian counterparts.

According to a Times of India article, during an interview, a senior army officer from Uttar Bharat headquarters said “The visiting team will interact with Indian Army delegation and acquaint itself with the administrative/ training infrastructure available and also finalize a roadmap for the exercise.

What’s the aim?

The aim of the visit is to facilitate and prepare both participating teams for successful joint training to include integrated battle drills, counter-insurgency operations in mountainous terrain, enhance the interoperability  skills in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations between the two countries.”

As part of the programme, there will be  drills related to counter insurgency, counter-terrorism operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief response mechanism as well as important lectures

Suryakiran started in 2011 and it occurs alternately between India and Nepal. The last Suryakiran exercise was from 3rd December to 16th December 2019 and it happened at Nepal Army Battle School (NABS) in Saljhandi. The name ‘Suryakiran’ translates to ‘rays of the sun’ Sanskrit

List of Surya Kiran Exercises (2011-2019)

Surya Kiran Ex. Year Location
Surya Kiran I 2011 Vairengte (Mizoram) India
Surya Kiran II 2011 Amlekhganj, Nepal
Surya Kiran III 2012 Himalayan region of India-Nepal border
Surya Kiran IV 2012 Himalayan region of India-Nepal border
Surya Kiran V 2013 Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), India
Surya Kiran VI 2014 Saljhandi, Nepal
Surya Kiran VII 2014 Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), India
Surya Kiran VIII 2015 Saljhandi, Nepal
Surya Kiran IX 2016 Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), India
Surya Kiran X 2016 Saljhandi, Nepal
Surya Kiran XI 2017 Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), India
Surya Kiran XII 2017 Saljhandi, Nepal
Surya Kiran XIII 2018 Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), India
Surya Kiran XIV 2019 Saljhandi, Nepal

Source: Table from https://byjus.com/free-ias-prep/surya-kiran/

India and Nepal’s defence cooperation include:

  • Assistance during disasters
  • Joint military exercises
  • Adventure activities and
  • Bilateral visits

What makes the bond between India and Nepal so strong?

In order to recognize their mutual relationship, for the last 71 years, both armies have been awarding the other’s Army Chief with the honorary rank of ‘General’. Along with this, 32000 Nepalese Gurkha soldiers are part of the Indian Army.

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