Bhutan’s 3rd National Council polls on April 20

Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) announced the date to put the election process in motion in obedience to the Royal Decree issued on February 15, calling elections in pursuance of Section 191 of the... More

World Bank grants USD 4.8 million for REDD+ project

The World Bank granted USD 4.8 million to support the country’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strengthening Bhutan’s forests under the Bhutan REDD+ Readiness Project on February 9 in Thimphu. The Reducing Emissions... More

Political complexities, poor road, labour shortage among hurdles to regional trade connectivity

Regional trade connectivity can help boost the economic growth of a country. However, political complexities and ground realities in trade facilitation are proving to be a growing concern. This is according to the first draft... More

Tobgay invites investors to explore opportunities in Bhutan

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay urged foreign investors to explore investment opportunities in Bhutan while speaking at the “Advantage Assam – Global Investors’ Summit, 2018” in Guwahati, in India’s state of Assam. Hundreds of business... More

Bhutan for importing more medicines from Bangladesh

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has expressed eagerness to import more medicine from Bangladesh saying that Bangladesh’s drugs are becoming popular increasingly in Bhutan because of high quality. The Bhutanese premier said this during a... More

Bhutan opens consulate in Guwahati

Bhutan on Friday (Feb 2) became the second country after Bangladesh to open a consulate in Guwahati. The consulate office was jointly inaugurated by Bhutanese Foreign Minister Damcho Dorji and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal... More

Increasing number of vehicle poses threat to Bhutan’s pristine environment

As Bhutan opens up to modernization, the number of vehicles and pollution level are increasing, thereby threatening the small Himalayan country’s pristine environment. The constitution of Bhutan requires the government to maintain 60 percent of... More

Unemployment highest among Bhutanese with middle & higher education

For every five working age population, there are three persons contributing to the production of goods in Bhutan, according to the Labour Force Survey Report 2016 the labour ministry released. The report estimated about 190,819... More

Bhutan’s import of edibles from India dip

Bhutan’s import of food items from India decreased by close to half a billion ngultrum in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same period in the previous year. In 2016, the... More

Private equity comes to Bhutan

Bhutan is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, but the Himalayan kingdom has a fundamental problem: Its private sector is relatively underdeveloped and starved for capital. The Asian Development Bank projects gross domestic product... More

Bhutan working with India on GST

While India’s goods and services tax (GST) has cut the competitive edge of Bhutan’s export-oriented industries, Bhutan still has a few advantages, the country’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said. The government, he said, must accept... More

Bhutan witnesses gender imparity rise

Ranking 124th of the 144 countries, the global gender gap report (GGGR) 2017 shows that Bhutan saw an increase in gender imparity over the past few years. This is a drop from the 121st position... More

Bhutanese industries suffer post GST

The application of Indian goods and services tax (GST) has hit some of the largest export-oriented manufacturing industries in the country. Since all imported goods coming into the country from India are zero taxed, the... More

Bhutan cuts multidimensional poverty by almost half

Bhutan’s multidimensional poverty rate has come down to 5.8 per cent from 12.7 per cent in 2012, according to the Bhutan Multidimensional Poverty Index 2017. The National Statistics Bureau (NSB) released the report on... More

India’s WB govt to construct road near the border of Bhutan

The government of India’s West Bengal state has decided to construct a new road near the border of Bhutan which will help strengthening the tourism infrastructure in the region. According to state government sources... More

29.1% Bhutanese male children not interested in education

Although six years is the official minimum age for entering primary school, 42 percent of the population aged six years and above do not have education according to the Bhutan Living Standards Survey (BLSS)... More

Bring women on board in Bhutan elections

Parliamentary elections are nearing in Bhutan. Political parties have started to announce their candidates. People's Democratic Party, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (Bhutan Peace and Prosperity Party), and Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP) have declared 20 candidates to... More

Poverty rate drops to 8.2 percent in Bhutan

A total of 56,865 people in Bhutan live below the poverty line, according to the Bhutan Poverty Analysis Report (PAR) 2017. This means that one out of 12 people belongs to households whose per capita consumption... More

Vehicles, the main polluter in Bhutan

Low carbon vehicle strategy and a roadmap developed by National Environment Commission (NEC) recommend using e-taxis, urban buses and hybrid vehicles to address the growing vehicle emission in the country. According to Bhutan State of... More

Bhutan’s happiness index catches on in other countries too

Ever since the previous King of Bhutan mooted the idea of Gross National Happiness as an alternative index, it has caught on in many places other than the idyllic Himalayan kingdom too. Not only does... More

Bhutan’s Thorthormi glacier recedes by 1.2kms in last 16 years

The Thorthomi glacier has receded by 1.2kms in the last 16 years, according to a research by a volunteer expert with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Jun Saito. Jun Saito teaches researchers to use Quantum... More


On the Afghan Taliban’s ‘open letter diplomacy’

Writing an open letter is not something that has been done for the first time. In fact, the Afghan Taliban had welcomed the Trump administration into office by writing a letter and urging them of withdrawing from Afghanistan. The letter written this week, however, comes at a time when... More

Myanmar faces increased international pressure

The Myanmar government is desperately trying to deflect the growing campaign at the UN to impose sanctions because of its failure to solve the inter-communal violence that has torn its western region apart and caused nearly a million Myanmar Muslims – who call themselves Rohingyas – to flee to... More

Courage beyond compare

On Feb 13 at about 1210 hours an armoured cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicle of a private security services company was parked outside the Tarnol branch of Meezan Bank in Islamabad to pick up cash amounting to Rs. 14 million from the bank . As the two security guards, Supervisor Muhammad... More

International affairs in time of transparency: The Oxfam syndrome

The Oxfam infection has spread far and wide. Its impact is deeper than just one NGO facing problems about covering up sex abuse in Haiti and as we learn Chad as well.  Now reports are saying that sexual abuse cases are routine in the international development world which till... More

India cautious of its mediation and intervention in Maldives

Despite its reservations about the Abdulla Yameen regime in the Maldives, India does not appear to be responding to the call of the Maldivian opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed to initiate a “military-backed diplomatic initiative” to force Yameen to retract from his drastic actions against the judiciary. According to the Maldivian... More


Khalistan factor casts a shadow over Trudeau visit

Khalistan, the issue that kept India-Canada ties on ice through three decades from 1980, has reappeared as an issue more recently, taking away much of the warmth that was expected during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ongoing visit to India. Former diplomats say the seeds of the current tensions were... More

Hasina is no Mujib

Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, exudes confidence. I visited Dhaka for the first time in April 1972, within four months of the birth of Bangladesh. Dhaka, then pronounced Dacca, was a small town, desperately trying to accommodate the demands of a sovereign state. There is no doubt that the... More

China will not fall into the ‘Thucydides Trap’ with India

The West’s notions of history and geography between Europe and Asia, are drenched in myriad cultural implications and can be traced back to ‘The Romance of Alexander’. This is a collection of essays mixing truth, epic drama and mythology, composed between the death of Alexander The Great in 323 B.C.,... More

How China and Pakistan could lay the Road to Peace in...

Referred to as an interminable and protracted war, the ongoing US-led war in Afghanistan is becoming a stalemate with no end in sight in the near or long term. Since the violence and bloodshed have been the most common phenomenon in an already war-torn region, the war is perhaps... More



Gorkhaland, Mamata and the Chinese factor

Just a few days ago I warned two young student leaders in Darjeeling of West Bengal, against the violent movement which has started there for a separate Gorkhaland. I told them in no way should they support this demand. This has multifarious geo-political risks. If a Gorkhaland state is... More