Ties that epitomise India’s neighbourhood first policy

Syllabus: GS II, Subject: International Relations, Topic: India and its neighbourhood, Issue: India-Bhutan relations

Basis of India Bhutan relationship:

  • Mutual respect and sovereignty recognition are fundamental.
  • India respects Bhutan’s identity and supports its economic development.
  • Bhutan trusts India without sovereignty
  • This trust lead to a unique level of mutual understanding and cooperation.


  • The Gelephu project of Bhutan is an ambitious plan to build a massive new city on India’s border with significant involvement from India.
  • India’s contribution of ₹5,000 crore to Bhutan’s 12th Five Year Plan.
  • Hydropower cooperation is fundamental to India-Bhutan relations providing clean electricity to India and revenue to Bhutan.

The way ahead:

  • Start direct flights between Mumbai/Delhi and Gelephu for improved connectivity.
  • Provide Indian technology and expertise for building infrastructure in Gelephu.
  • Promote visits by high-end Indian tourists and business persons to Gelephu.
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