Nepal and India signed six Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) on Monday during the day-long visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. One of the major takeaways of the visit is the joint development of the Arun-4 hydroelectricity project between the two neighbouring nations. India's Sutlej Jala Vidyut Nigam (SJVN), and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), will jointly develop the project that has an installed capacity of 695 megawatts. The SJVN is currently developing, the Arun-III hydroelectricity project in the same river that has a generation capacity of 800 megawatts. Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA, and Nandalal Sharma, chairman of SJVN, signed the agreement on the respective sides. With this, now both sides would set up a joint venture company where SJV will put 51 per cent stake while NEA will have a share of 49 per cent, as per the agreements.
Nepal will receive 21.9 per cent free energy after completing the project. It will cost around $750 million to develop the project. The two sides also signed an MoU between the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Lumbini Buddhist University on the establishment of Dr. Ambedkar Chair for Buddhist Studies. Similarly, the ICCR and the Centre for Nepal and Asian Studies Tribhuvan University signed another pact on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies at CNAS. Likewise, the ICCR and the Kathmandu University (KU) also signed an agreement on the establishment of the ICCR Chair of Indian Studies at the latter. The KU and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have signed another MoU on collaboration in the education sector, while a Letter of Agreement was inked between the two for a joint degree programme at the Master's level. The pacts were signed after bilateral talks between Modi and his Nepali counterpart, Sher Bahadur Deuba.