Brief Historic Background
- For most Mongolians, India is a “spiritual neighbour”, a declared ‘third neighbour’, a ‘strategic partner’ and a center for pilgrimage. Of late, our relationship has expanded beyond cultural sphere into various facets of cooperation in economic and defence sectors.
- The 3 Ds Democracy, Dharma and Development Partnership have emerged as the pillars of India Mongolia relationship.
- Historically, our two nations have interacted through the vehicle of Buddhism that has developed, nurtured and promoted the friendship and spiritual connect. Some Indian & Mongolian historians have conjectured about migration of some tribes from Kangra kingdom to Mongolian territory 4300 years ago.
- Mangaldev, son of the King headed the migrants and majority of them returned to India after staying there for about 2000 years though there is no historical evidence yet to prove this. In 1924, the then Prime Minister of Mongolia Mr. A. Amar mentioned in his book – “Short History of Mongolia” that Mongolian forefathers came from backside of Himalayan Mountains.
- Another interesting thing often quoted, is about ‘Ganga Nuur’ lake which accordingly to many Mongolians derived its name after ‘Ganga River’ in India from where some Mongolian Lamas brought water and poured into the lake in Sukhbaatar Province and naming it so.
- As for our strongest cultural bond, Buddhism appears to have traversed to Mongolian steppes through Tibet and Himalayan region.
- During the Hunnu State of 3rd century BC and later during the period of Great Mongol Empire Buddhist monks, several traders from India visited Mongolia.
- In 552 BC, a Lama Narendrayash from the State of Udayana (Northern India) with some others visited Nirun state. Since to most Mongols India is the land of Buddha, Lamas and students from Mongolia used to travel to Nalanda, once the largest residential University in India, to study Buddhism.
- In modern times, Buddhism has been promoted by cultural and literary contacts between the people of India and Mongolia.
- The intellectual development of Mongolia is ostensibly influenced by the Mahayana school of Buddhism, its philosophy and philosophical treaties of Nagarjuna used in simplified expression and terminology
- Holding of two important Buddhist international conferences – Asian Buddhist Conference on Peace (ABCP) and Samvaad-III Budhism-Hindusim Global Dialogue in Gandan Monastery in May and Sept 2019 respectively – in which India plays an important role, have contributed to consolidating of this shared heritage in recent years.
- A paradigm shift and a strong momentum was brought in our bilateral relations in May 2015. The historic and first ever visit of Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to Mongolia, paved the way for elevation of our partnership to ‘Strategic’ level.
- India’s gifting of 150,000 doses of Covid Vaccine on Feb 22, 2021 was billed as a “historic” moment by Mongolian Deputy Prime Minister, as it was the Mongolia’s first vaccine came from India.
- Joint India-Mongolia exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant’ is held annually
- Indian Armed Forces Observers regularly participate in the Annual multilateral peace keeping exercise ‘Khan Quest’ in Mongolia.
- A Joint Working Group for Defence cooperation also convened annually
Border Patrolling Cooperation:
- The BSF (MHA) of India and the Mongolian General Authority for Border Protection (GABP) have been closely cooperating on border patrolling and related subjects for over eight years
Disaster Management Cooperation
- between National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) picked up pace in the recent years.
- In 2018, 25 officers of NEMA were trained in India under ITEC.
- A Working Group for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy has been set up between the respective agencies of the two countries i.e. the DAE and the Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia.
Commercial, Economic and Technical Cooperation
- An Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation for MFN status to each other in respect of customs, duties and all other taxes on imports and exports and an MoU co-operation in the field of Geology and Mineral resources
- The volume of bilateral trade is modest in value & volumes. Main items of exports to Mongolia include medicines, mining machinery and auto parts, etc.
- Imports from Mongolia include raw cashmere wool.
Other Areas of Cooperatiom
ICCR scholarships : For the Academic Year 2019-20, Mongolia has been offered 50 slots (20 slots each under Aid to Mongolia and General Cultural Scholarship Scheme and 10 slots under Cultural Exchange Programme/Education
Humanitarian assistance worth US$50,000 was provided by the Government of India to the flood affected Provinces (Bayan Ulgii, Arhangai and Huvsgul) of Mongolia in August 2018.
Humanitarian Assistances: Humanitarian assistance worth US$ 20,000 in the form of beds, bedrolls, toys, etc for the children of herders in Sukhbaatar Aimag (severely affected by harsh winter ‘Zud’) was provided.
Digital Connectivity Network: The Government of Mongolia sought India’s assistance on expansion of network in rural areas and improvement of infrastructure of main ICT network
Medical Missions: A team of 17 Indian Rotarians doctors led by Mr. R.K. Saboo, Ex-President of Rotary International undertook the second medical mission to Mongolia in May 2019 and conducted about 300 surgeries and donated medical equipment/medicines worth USD 12000.
Cultural Cooperation :
- The India-Mongolian Agreement on Cultural Cooperation was first signed in 1961 and a CEP between the two countries has always remained in force.
- The Agreement envisages co-operation in the fields of education by way of scholarships, exchange of experts, participation in conferences.
- For the last 20 years the mission has been organizing Hindi Language classes in Mongolia and every year 4 students are granted scholarships to study Hindi language at Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra annually
- Hindi films are fairly popular in Mongolia. The serial Mahabharata, dubbed in Mongolian, has been telecast on Ulaanbaatar TV.