This article reviews the relationship between Nepal and India, particularly in water resources cooperation. The two South Asian neighbours have entered into a number of agreements/treaties in water resources, namely, Sarada Agreement (1920), Kosi Agreement (1954), Gandak Agreement (1959) and Mahakali Treaty (1996). Nepal is criticized within the country for being unable to secure its benefits, and that all the agreements are in Indian favour. However, the Indian side claims that overpoliticization of water issues in Nepal is the reason for not achieving the benefits from these agreements. After the Mahakali Treaty, there is a deadlock in Nepal–India water cooperation as the implementation of the treaty has not materialized even after more than two decades of its ratification. Therefore, all the forms of cooperation in the past between Nepal and India can be viewed as the consequence of hydro-hegemony rather than mutuality. The article concludes that both nations need to move forward to create a mutual trust for the equitable utilization of water resources, as there is a huge potential for constructive cooperation.


  • It reviews Nepal-India water Relationship and examines whether the water cooperation is due to mutual interest or Hydro-hegemony.

  • It points out the lapses in the past forms of cooperation.

  • It suggests for adoption of internationally accepted principles to strengthen mutual cooperation.

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