NEW DELHI, 16 June-2014, TNN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday emphasized on the possibilities of greater educational contacts with Bhutan and suggested doubling the scholarships being provided to Bhutanese students in India. India will now provide scholarships worth Rs 2 crore.
Modi said India will also assist Bhutan in setting up a digital library which will provide access to Bhutanese youth to two million books and periodicals. Modi said educational links were important for strengthening people-topeople contacts. He also inaugurated the Supreme Court building which has been built with Indian assistance. On Monday, he will address a joint session of Bhutan parliament.
Modi described Bhutan as a natural choice for his first visit abroad as the two countries shared a “special relationship”. “Our hydropower cooperation with Bhutan is a classic example of win-win cooperation and a model for the entire region. During the visit, we will lay the foundation stone of the 600MW Kholongchu hydropower project,” he said. “I will review with the Bhutanese leadership our development cooperation programme to make it even more effective and responsive to the changing aspirations of the people of Bhutan.”
In a banquet held in his honour, Modi said India and Bhutan had a “made-for-each other relationship”. He said while the world talks of GDP, Bhutan talks of national happiness, adding there could be many parameters to measure happiness, but he wished to suggest a new one — how is your neighbour? Among the parameters on which Bhutan measures happiness, having a good friend like India should be one of them, Modi said.