The armies of India and Nepal have started the 15th edition of joint military exercise Surya Kiran at Pithoragarh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

The two-day joint military training exercise will validate the performance of both armies in counterinsurgency in mountainous regions.

The Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army and an equivalent counterpart from the Nepali Army are participating in the drill.

The forces will share their experiences drawn from several counter-insurgency operations during the exercise.

In the exercise, both armies will familiarise themselves with each other’s weapons, equipment, tactics, techniques and operating procedures in a counter-insurgency environment.

Exercise Surya Kiran aims to build interoperability and sharing expertise between the two countries.

In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence said: “This joint military training will go a long way in improving bilateral relations and also will be a major step towards further strengthening the traditional friendship between the two nations.”

Furthermore, a set of expert academic discussions on different subjects such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), high-altitude warfare (HAW) and jungle warfare will be conducted.

Each year, the Surya Kiran series of exercises is conducted in either Nepal or India.

In 2019, the last edition of the Surya Kiran exercise was concluded in Nepal.

In November 2016, India and Nepal completed the tenth edition of the Surya Kiran-X exercise, at the Army Battle School in Saljhandi, Nepal.