India approves agreement with BFDA and MoU with DoE

Meanwhile, PM Dasho Tshering Tobgay will speak at the India Today Conclave today

Two days before the visit of Bhutanese Prime Minister (PM) Dasho Tshering Tobgay to India, a meeting of the Indian Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra —Modi approved the signing of an agreement between the Bhutan Food and Drug Authority (BFDA) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for cooperation in food safety. The agreement will facilitate trade between the two countries, an official statement said.

According to Indian media, BFDA will issue a health certificate as proof of compliance with requirements prescribed by FSSAI for exporting products from Bhutan to India. This will promote ease of doing business and reduce compliance costs on both sides.

Further, the Indian Cabinet also approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Bhutan’s department of energy (DoE) for extending co¬operation in energy efficiency and energy conservation measures.

“Under this MoU, India aims to assist Bhutan in enhancing energy efficiency in households by promoting the star labeling programme developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The framing of building codes to suit the climate conditions of Bhutan will be facilitated based on India’s experience. The creation of a pool of energy professionals in Bhutan is also envisaged by institutionalizing the training of energy auditors,” the Indian media reported.

According to the media, India also aims to support Bhutan’s efforts to implement the standards and labeling scheme. Energy-intensive appliances are the main products leading to higher consumption of power in households or commercial establishments and this can be optimized if consumers prefer high-efficiency appliances.

The MoU was prepared by the power ministry in consultation with the external affairs ministry and the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade. It will enable the exchange of information, data and technical experts related to energy efficiency and energy conservation.

Sources said that the MoU with Bhutan is expected to be signed during the Indian PM’s visit to Bhutan next week.

Meanwhile, Bhutan was provided the largest share of the external aid portfolio in India’s budget for 2024-25, with an outlay of ₹2,068 crore (Nu 20.68 million).

Further, PM Dasho Tshering Tobgay who is currently in India will be speaking today at the two-day (March 15-16) India Today Conclave. He will be speaking on “A Himalayan Marvel: GNH 2.0 – Gross National Happiness for the 21st Century”.

The India Today Conclave – India’s premier thought forum – is entering its 21st year. The Conclave 2024 brings together visionaries, leaders, and luminaries from across the globe under one roof to delve into the essence of ‘Brand Bharat: An Assertive Nation in an Uncertain World’. Spanning over two decades, the conclave has established itself as a premier forum for dissecting the complexities of our times, stimulating intellectual debates, and seeding the ideas that shape our world.

According to the organizers, in a century marked by unprecedented challenges, from the financial tumult of 2008 to the devastating pandemic waves that swept across the globe, one nation has consistently emerged stronger from the trials – India, known as Bharat. “As the world finds itself ensnared in the throes of ongoing conflicts and the consequent uncertainties that cloud our collective future, Bharat stands tall, a beacon of stability and optimism in an otherwise turbulent global landscape.”

The organizers have also written in the Indian media that the world order is in flux, with traditional powerhouses grappling with internal and external pressures. “Amidst this, Bharat has adeptly navigated the geopolitical whirlwinds, championing the ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, the world as one family, while firmly anchoring its stance on the global stage. From spearheading the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic to offering decisive leadership within the G20, Bharat has exemplified its readiness to lead, balancing global welfare with unwavering national interest.”

India Today Group Chairman Aroon Purie kicked off the India Today Conclave yesterday.

Some personalities speaking at the Conclave are Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation, Bjarke Bundgaard Ingels. Danish Architect, Funder and Creative Partner, Bjarke Ingels Group, Arun Yogiraj. Sculptor, Artist., Aryama Sundaram (Jury) Senior Advocate and  Aroon Purie. Chairman and Editor-in-Chief, India Today Group.

By Sherab Dorji, Thimphu