Launch of Nehru-Wangchuk scholarships for Bhutanese

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External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, on his maiden visit to Bhutan, announced a new series of scholarships for young students from the Himalayan nation to study in prestigious Indian institutions, the external affairs ministry said on Saturday. Krishna, on his first trip abroad after taking over his current post, launched the Nehru-Wanghuck scholarships in Thimpu in the presence of his Bhutanese counterpart Ugyen Tshering. He recalled that India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru had first arrived in Bhutan in 1958 on horseback across the Himalayas and was warmly received by the then king Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. That meeting, Krishna said, portended the special relationship between India and Bhutan.

Krishna held wide-ranging talks with Bhutanese King Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the world's youngest monarch at the helm of the youngest democracy, and other leaders on a wide array of bilateral and regional issues, including the security situation in Nepal. Shortly after his arrival on Thursday, Krishna flagged off the first Paro-Bagdogra (Assam) flight of Bhutan's Druk Air that would spur greater connectivity and promote trade and tourism between the two neighbours. Putting energy cooperation at the heart of the growing India-Bhutan relationship, Krishna said New Delhi was committed to generating 10,000 MW of hydel power for export to India by 2020.

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