The 15th edition of "Surya Kiran", a joint training exercise between the armies of India and Nepal, will start at Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand on Monday with a focus on counterinsurgency operations, the defence ministry said today, according to a report in rediff.com.

The last edition was conducted in Salijhandi in Rupendehi district of Nepal on 3-16 December, 2019.

During this year's exercise, an infantry battalion from the Indian Army and an equivalent strength from the Nepali Army would be sharing their experiences gained during various counterinsurgency operations conducted over a prolonged period in their respective countries, the ministry's statement mentioned.

As part of the exercise, both the armies would familiarise themselves with each other's weapons, equipment, tactics, techniques, and procedures of operating in a counterinsurgency environment in mountainous terrain, it noted.

Also, there would be a series of expert academic discussions on various subjects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, high altitude warfare, and jungle warfare, it mentioned.

"The joint military training would culminate with a gruelling 48 hours exercise to validate the performance of both the armies in counter-insurgency in mountainous terrain," it stated.

The exercise is part of an initiative to develop inter-operability and sharing expertise between the two nations, it mentioned.

This exercise will go a long way in improving bilateral relations and will also be a major step towards further strengthening the traditional friendship between the two nations, it noted.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 18 2021, of The Himalayan Times.