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1947 pact on Gorkha soldiers

Topics Covered: Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.

1947 pact on Gorkha soldiers:

Why in News?

Recently, Foreign Minister of Nepal said that the 1947 agreement among India, Nepal and the United Kingdom that deals with the military service of Gorkha soldiers has become redundant.

About the 1947 pact on Gorkha soldiers:

  • Following the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16, the British decided to recruit Gorkha soldiers in 1815.
  • After India’s Independence in 1947, the question of allotting the 10 regiments of Gorkha soldiers was settled by the Britain-India-Nepal Tripartite Agreement.
  • The agreement divided the Gorkha Regiments of the british Empire between India and the United Kingdom.
  • It also assured that the Gorkha soldiers of Nepal while serving in the british military will draw perks and privileges equivalent to their counterparts.

What’s the issue now?

  • For some time now, Gorkha veterans have been alleging that the UK has been discriminating against them.
  • The objection from Nepal regarding the Gorkhas serving in the Indian military has been heard more prominently in the recent months in the backdrop of Nepal-India territorial dispute over the Kalapani region.

What next?

Nepal has written to the United Kingdom to review the engagement with London to secure the prospects of the Gorkha soldiers.

And also, Nepal is planning to terminate the 1947 agreement.

Gorkhas in the British Army:

Currently, the Gorkhas comprise up to 3% of the British Army, and in 2015 completed 200 years of service there.

  • Regarded as fierce and loyal, the Gorkhas are held in high esteem in the British Army. They are enlisted not only in the infantry, but also in the engineering corps and as logisticians.
  • Their signature weapon, the khukri, famous for the inwardly curved shape of its blade and its legendary utility, forms part of the Gorkha regimental insignia in Britain as well as in India.
  • Queen Elizabeth II of Britain is guarded by two personal Gurkha officers.

Insta Fact:

The Indian Army Chief is granted the honorary post of a General in the Nepal Army.


Prelims Link:

  1. Causes and the outcomes of the Anglo-Nepalese War of 1814-16.
  2. About Treaty of Sugauli.
  3. Overview of the 1947 pact on Gorkha Soldiers.
  4. Where is Kalapani.
  5. Where is Naku La?
  6. Where is Doklam?

Mains Link:

Discuss the contributions of Gorkhas to the Indian army and implications of their service on India – Nepal relations.


Sources: the Hindu.