Context: Nepal has postponed the recruitment rallies which were to be held in that country to recruit Gorkha soldiers for the Indian Army under the Agnipath scheme.
Why has Nepal postponed Agnipath recruitment rallies?
- The decision to postpone these rallies has been taken by the Nepalese government as it is of the opinion that this new form of entry into the Indian military is not covered under the Tripartite Agreement signed between Nepal, Indian and UK governments in 1947.
- According to reports from Nepal, the government feels that the Agnipath scheme must be approved by it and for that political consultations with all parties in Nepal must take place.
What was the Tripartite Agreement between India, Nepal and UK?
- Soon after Indian Independence on August 15, 1947, an agreement was reached by the governments of India, Nepal and the UK regarding the future of the Gorkha soldiers who were serving in the Indian Army.
- As per the terms of this agreement four regiments of Gorkha were transferred to the British Army while the rest remained with the Indian Army.
- The agreement also provides for the terms and conditions of the Nepal-domiciled Gorkha soldiers in the Indian Army and for their post-retirement benefits and pensions.
- The largest body of Gorkha troops serves in the Indian Army while in the UK their presence has been reduced from four regiments to just two.
Have any changes been made in Gorkha unit recruitments over the years?
- There have been attempts to reduce the dependence on Nepal for the Gorkha soldiers in the Indian Army, and to this effect, the composition has increasingly been attempted to be balanced between Indian and Nepal-domiciled troops.
- Also, a pure Indian Gorkha battalion was raised in 2016.
What is the socio-economic impact on Nepal of Gorkha soldiers serving in the Indian Army?
- A major economic and social impact is felt in Nepal due to the Nepal-domiciled Gorkha soldiers serving in the Indian Army and much of it has to do with the remittances that they send home.
- These remittances have “significantly contributed to social modernization in the isolated villages, while the financial remittances spurred entrepreneurship development thereby contributing to regional development”.
- Another aspect is the presence of ex-servicemen of the Indian Army in Nepal retired personnel form an important link of goodwill between India and Nepal.
Source: Indian Express