India keen to ‘cultivate’ Bhutan youths for closer ties: Foreign Secy

India keen to ‘cultivate’ Bhutan youths for closer ties: Foreign Secy

Agency News

Thimpu, Aug 18: India is keen to 'cultivate' younger generation of Bhutan for enhanced ties and closer bond between the two countries and between the people of both the nations, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the Royal University of Bhutan. This is a very well thought out decision. The Prime Minister and the Government of India believe that it is important that we cultivate and build in the younger people of Bhutan and connect with youth of India," Mr Gokhale told reporters after PM Modi held talks with his Bhutanese counterpart Dr Lotay Tshering.

Both sides also inked a number of pacts and quite a few between premier institutes and law schools in the two countries. "Number of agreements inked actually focus on higher education- which we believe is a core part of the youth to youth relationship," Mr Gokhale said.
He further said Prime Minister Modi will of course share his vision and would outline the idea on what he feels for the relationship in his interaction with the students and the faculty members of the Royal University of Bhutan on Sunday.

"All in all, I can say it has been a very fulfilling first day," Foreign Secretary said. Mr Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Bhutan on Saturday. "I am very happy that I have come to Bhutan soon after the beginning of my second term,' Mr Modi said earlier. In 2014 also Prime Minister Modi had visited Bhutan soon after taking over the reins of governance in India.

Mr Gokhale said Prime Minister Modi's "primary objective" is to strengthen the relationship and to "have a forward looking set of objectives" to achieve in next five years in partnership with the Royal Government of Bhutan. Describing India-Bhutan ties as an 'enduring partnership', the Foreign Secretary also said it was a "very moving signing ceremony" of agreements between two sides as those were inked in front of Semtokha Dzong, which is an important cultural and spiritual centre in Bhutan.

"It was indeed a mark of privilege for us and great deal of respect that the Royal Government of Bhutan has shown that the two Prime Ministers did over see the signing process of pacts and MoUs in front of the image of the Lord.

The Semtokha Dzong, built in 1629 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, functions as a monastic and administrative centre and is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan. UNI