Mahendra P Lama selected in India - Nepal Eminent Persons Group

dr Mahendra P Lama
Last week’s meeting in New Delhi between the premiers of India and Nepal ended with the signing of seven agreements. Prime Minster Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Khadga Oli have decided to set up an Eminent Persons Group comprising eminent persons from the two countries. The EPG was actually proposed in July 2014 during the third meeting of the India–Nepal Joint Commission in Kathmandu. Each country will nominate four members, preferably a parliamentarian, a lawyer, an economist and a civil society activist. Its mandate will be to comprehensively review bilateral relations and recommend measures including institutional frameworks to further enhance bilateral ties between the two neighbours. The Indian government has nominated well-known development economist Mahendra P Lama from Darjeeling, former Uttarakhand chief minister Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Director General of Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis Jayant Prasad and Dr B.C. Upreti, senior fellow at the Vivekanand International Foundation, a New Delhi-based think tank. Nepal is represented by MP DrRajanBhattarai, former finance and foreign minister DrBhekBahadurThapa, former Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority chief Surya NathUpadhyay and former law minister NilambarAcharya. The EPG will have a full fledged and separate secretariat in both countries with funding coming from either side. Of the seven agreements signed by the neighbours, two MoUs included the US$250 million assistance by India to Nepal for post earthquake reconstruction work in the neighbouring country and strengthening of the road infrastructure in the Terai region of Nepal. (EOIC)

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