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QUESTION NO.2011 RELATIONSHIP WITH BHUTAN

August 05, 2021

RAJYA SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2011
TO BE ANSWERED ON 05.08.2021

RELATIONSHIP WITH BHUTAN

2011. SHRI RAKESH SINHA:

Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to state:

the number of Indians who live in Bhutan and number of them who have acquired permanent citizenship;

whether there is any mechanism other than Embassy to have regular and frequent interactions between policy makers, intellectuals and social elites of Bhutan and Ministry of External Affairs to understand the neighbour’s problems and deter Chinese efforts to influence the Bhutanese politics and society;

whether India is helping Bhutan in police and civil administration training and encouraging cultural exchange programmes; and

whether the Indian Council of Cultural Relations would focus on Bhutan to evolve cultural ties more effectively?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]

(a) to (d) The estimated number of Indians residing/working during normal times (pre-COVID-19) in Bhutan is about 40,000, excluding about 7000 workers who travel to Bhutan on a daily basis. No cases of an Indian national renouncing his/her citizenship and acquiring Bhutanese citizenship has come to notice.

India and Bhutan have frequent interactions through visits of culture troupes and youth delegations; seminars; conferences etc. Recently, the Foreign Minister of Bhutan participated in the Raisina Dialogue 2021.

India is engaged with Bhutan in police and civil administration training and encouraging cultural exchange programmes. India extends about 300 training slots annually to police and civil administrators of Bhutan under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme and other programmes.
The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) regularly organizes different activities in Bhutan for the promotion of cultural ties. The ICCR has a full fledged cultural centre in Bhutan, which is active in organizing activities such as yoga and music classes and customized cultural programmes.

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