Nepal’s first female President Bidya Devi Bhandari will visit India on April 17. It will be her first foreign tour after taking up office in October 2015. She will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee.
The Nepal President will also attend a function in Varanasi at the Banaras Hindu University.
India and Nepal have been on rocky terms ever since India had halted the supply of essential goods to Nepal after the Madhesi agitation.
Here are a few things to know about Nepal’s first female President:
She joined politics very early in life. She was elected twice in Nepal’s parliamentary elections — in 1994 and 1999.
Before becoming President, she was vice-chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal and chair of the All Nepal Women Association.
She was number 52 in Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women in 2016.
She has served as Minister of Defence and again was the first woman to hold that position. She was also the minister for environment and population in the ’90s.
She replaced Ram Baran Yadav, Nepal’s first President, after the Nepalese monarchy was abolished.
Bhandari constantly stresses the need for gender equality and runs the President’s Women Upliftment Programme which aims to bring women at the forefront of social and economic activities.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met the Bhandari earlier this month while attending a two-day Nepal Investment Summit. He said that India should partner with Nepal for various sectors of development.