Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his two-day visit to the Himalayan nation, addressed students at The Royal University of Bhutan.
In his speech, he elaborated on the deep spiritual, cultural and historical bond shared by the two neighbours. He accentuated on how India and Bhutan experience 'great attachment' with each other.
He said, "It is natural that the people of Bhutan and India experience great attachment to each other. After all, we are close not just due to our geography. Our history, culture and spiritual traditions have created unique and deep bonds between our peoples and nations."
During his address, PM Modi underlined the achievements of India and its transformation in various sectors.
He said, "Today, India is witnessing historic transformations in a wide range of sectors. India is eliminating poverty faster than ever before. The pace of infrastructure construction has doubled in the last five years."
"India is home to the world’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat that offers health assurance to 500 million Indians. India has among the cheapest data connectivity in the world, which is, directly and indirectly, empowering millions. India is also home to among the biggest start-up eco-systems in the world. This is indeed a great time to innovate in India! These and many other transformations have dreams and aspirations of the youth of India at their core" he added.
PM Modi shared with the Bhutanese students, that his book Exam Warriors was influenced by the teachings of Lord Buddha.
He said, "A few days back, my good friend, Prime Minister Dr Tshering wrote a Facebook post that touched my heart. In that post, he mentioned about Exam Warriors, a book I wrote to advise youngsters about how to face exams without stress."
"Much of what I wrote in Exam Warriors is influenced by the teachings of Lord Buddha, especially the importance of positivity, overcoming fear and living in oneness, be it with the present moment or with Mother Nature," he added.
Moreover, he stated that India and Bhutan are looking to go beyond the 'traditional sectors of cooperation' and cooperate on new frontiers.
He said, "Going beyond the traditional sectors of cooperation, we are seeking to cooperate extensively in new frontiers, from schools to space, digital payments to disaster management."
"We inaugurated the Thimphu Ground Station of the South Asia Satellite and expanded our space cooperation. Through satellites, benefits of telemedicine, distance education, resource mapping, weather forecast & even warning of natural disasters and reach even remote areas. It is even a matter of great happiness that young Bhutanese scientists will travel to India to work on designing and launching Bhutan’s own small satellite" , PM Modi added.
In his address, the head of the state he noted that he would associate Bhutan with the concept of 'Gross National Happiness' as he believes that the neighbour country has perceived the 'essence of happiness.'
He said, "In any part of the world if we ask the question what do you associate with Bhutan, the answer will be the concept of Gross National Happiness. I am not surprised. Bhutan has understood the essence of happiness. Bhutan has understood the spirit of harmony, togetherness and compassion."
"Bhutan’s message to humanity is happiness. Happiness which springs from harmony. The world can do with a lot more happiness. Happiness, which shall prevail over mindless hate. If people are happy, there will be harmony. Where there is harmony, there will be peace," he added.
In his departure statement issued in New Delhi on Friday, the prime minister said his visit to the Himalayan nation in the beginning of the current term reflects the high importance his government attaches to New Delhi's relations with Bhutan-- a "trusted friend and neighbour".
(With PTI inputs)