• Wednesday, 24 July 2024

MoCIT focused on law, policy making; concept paper on AI ongoing

Published Date : December 26, 2023

Kathmandu, Dec 26: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) has been enforcing laws and policies aligning the annual programmes, goals and periodic plans.

The ministry has informed that some bases of policy implementation could be observed over the year. It is engrossed on law and policy formulation and implementation.

Nepal stands at around 151st position on e-governance development index, while the MoCIT is effortful to prepare telecommunication infrastructures, people’s access to IT for public service and capacity building of relevant workforce. Smooth service delivery is aimed at via e-governance.

The MoCIT has been working actively to adopt and improve integrated office management system and correct website template, increase threat surveillance through monitoring of IT system, ensure better communication and connection via group SMS, connect people to Nagarik App, promote software and hardware vetting, data recovery and cloud computing.

Ministry spokesperson Netra Subedi informed that the ministry was enforcing law and policies aligning the annual programmes and targets and periodic plans. “In the past one year, some new initiatives were launched, while some were near completion,” he said, however admitting that some were not enforced as expected.

According to him, there are hindrances on structural and practical levels, which could be foiled via coordination and confidence.

The expansion of optical fibre has reached 15,000 km till this mid-November by increasing from 12,230 km in the mid-January. Similarly, expansion of fixed broadband has upped by 4 percent reaching 39.67 percent; internet consumers’ density also witnessed 3 percent rise from 131 percent.

Now, the number of government offices integrated in Nagarik App has reached 62 from 53. The mobile broadband expansion has reached 94.88 percent, while radio’s access is 92 percent.

Moreover, the FTTH service is now available in 73 districts and the 4G/LTE service reached 67 percent. A total of 39 government offices are enforcing GIOM.

On the policy and law fronts, the printing bill and public service broadcasting bill are under consideration at parliamentary committee, while the Council of Ministers has approved the process of formulation of Nepal media council bill, national mass communications bill, and bill relating to regulation and management of social networks.

The National Cyber Security Policy, 2080 has come into operation, and the Radio Frequency Policy of Telecommunications Service, 2080 has been endorsed.

As per the ministry, NTA’s policy on use of information technology, 2080 has been approved, while the draft of the national advertisement policy, 2080 has been released for public feedback.

The Advertisement Regulation, 2080 has been amended, while the postal office regulation was presented before the Council of Ministers.

Concept paper on AI ongoing

Moreover, Directive on Management of the Use of Social Networks, 2080 is approved. The MoCIT also shared the information that it was working on concept paper on artificial intelligence. “Concept paper on AI is being prepared with the consultation of experts,” spokesperson Subedi informed RSS.

The IT division under the ministry is coordinating on ‘Digital Nepal Framework’. The Framework is being updated, while ‘Digital Nepal Acceleration Project’ is being implemented under the support of the World Bank.

The social networks unit at ministry is devoted to smooth operation and regulation of social networks as per the Directive.

Digital signature, development and standard of IT, connecting service delivery to IT, incorporation of fundamental issues of cyber safety and data security are being finalized under the IT bill.

Even a virtual interaction named ‘meet your minister’ is in operation.

Efforts are underway to receive complaints of indifference to concern by the platform owners online.

“Serious homework is on to reduce digital divide,” Subedi said, adding, “Ministry is aware on all-out efforts to fend off cyber attacks and build cyber hygiene”.  The cyber security monitoring centre is run round the clock now.

Agreement was made between the Department of Postal Service and Qatar Airways on courier service and under which, EMS service is begun in 39 countries. The foreign postal service is launched also in Jhapa, Morang, Banke, Kailali, Rupandehi, Parsa and Pokhara.

Unity in diversity our unique identity: Vice President Yadav

Kathmandu, Dec 26: Vice President Ramsahaya Prasad Yadav has said unity in diversity is a unique identity of Nepali people. Nepal is rich in language, culture and religion.

Giving messages of best wishes on the occasion of Udhauli festival observed by the Kirat community and Yomari Punhi by the Newar community today, Vice President Yadav said such festivals help foster further unity, integrity, coexistence, religious and social tolerance and fraternity.

“I believe the festivals- one observed by the Kirat community and another by Newar community- will spread the message of unity in diversity and bind Nepali society in a thread of unity,” he stated in the message.

Even the Jyapu Day is observed today.

Over 400 people receive services from integrated mobile camp

Khotang, Dec 26: More than 400 people have received various services from the integrated mobile camp at Kharmi of Rupakot Majhuwagadhi municipality-11 in the district.

The mobile camp was organized jointly by the municipality, District Administration Office, and Balsewa Society where a total of 477 people were provided services.

As many as 95 persons got identity cards of senior citizen, while 40 persons were recommended for citizenship certificates. Similarly eleven persons were given disabled persons identity cards and 42 underwent kidney tests.

Seven farmers got their soils tested and 49 dogs vaccinated against rabies. Medicine for livestock was also distributed in the camp.

It was informed that all 15 wards will have such mobile service camps so that people would realize the presence of local government.

Banking criminal brought to Nepal with INTERPOL aid

Kathmandu, Dec 26: The Nepal Police has brought a banking criminal Rajindra Pasman, 44, from Qatar with the help of INTERPOL.

Pasman, hailing from Aurahi rural municipality-5 of Dhanusha district, was issued a red notice by the INTERPOL for his involvement in the fraud and organized crime.

Spokesperson of Nepal Police, Kuber Kadayat, informed the  that Nepal Police was able to bring Pasman with the help of INTERPOL Qatar on Monday.

Pasman and his group had illegally transferred Rs 900 thousand from various accounts of Machhapuchhre Bank. He used ATM cards of different banks and took away the money.

It was revealed in course of investigation that he was currently in Qatar for employment.

Upon the request of the Nepal Police, the INTERPOL general secretariat had issued red notice against Pasman on December 7, 2023.

Ex-British army Rai constructs school building at personal aid of Rs 13.9 million

Taksar (Bhojpur), Dec 26: A former British military person Krishna Bahadur Rai has constructed a school building at the cost of Rs 13.9 million at Pauwadung rural municipality in the eastern belt of Bhojpur district.

Rai spent his income for the cause of education to the remote villagers.

The Shitaladevi Basic School got building with the generosity of ex-British military Rai. The 6-room building was handed over to the school management team on Monday.

Rai informed that he constructed a new building for the school which had very old infrastructures. “Although I had planned a building for health post, I later assisted for school as the health post had already go a new one,” the 70-year-old Rai said, adding that he would also manage a playground for the schoolchildren.

He expressed belief that the new infrastructure would help foster quality education.

On the occasion, rural municipality chair Kiran Rai appreciated Krishna Bahadur’s philanthropy. “It is a huge contribution to the village. We’re indebted to him.”

Similarly, school principal Chandra Bogati informed that the new school building would help retain students and cater quality education at a time when number of students was declining in the wake of migration.


PM Dahal addressing nation at 5:00 pm today

Kathmandu, Dec 26: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is addressing the nation upon the completion of his one year in government leadership today.

PM Dahal will be addressing the nation at 5:00 pm from his office, Singh Durbar, according to PM’s press advisor Govinda Acharya.

The head of the government is sharing government initiatives taken over a year for good governance, social justice and economic development of the country.


Car hits two pedestrians to death

Gandaki, Dec 26: Two pedestrians were hit to death at Prasyang of Pokhara Metropolitan City-5 in Kaski last night.

A car running towards Zero KM from Baglung Bus Park hit Dholandra Chhantyal of Nadipur, Pokhara-3 and another unidentified youth, according to District Police Office.

Taken to the health facility after the incident, doctors at Paschimancal Regional Hospital declared that the pedestrians had already breathed their last.

The car driver has been absconding, while the vehicle is impounded, the police informed.

Country’s economy improving, claims Finance Minister Mahat

            Chitwan, Dec 26: Finance Minister Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat has said country’s economy is improving and the economic indicators are now positive.

            Talking to media persons at Bharatpur Airport today, Minister Mahat shared, “The negative publicity that there is no future in Nepal and no one should invest in Nepal has ended. Now, environment of investment has been built in the country.”

            Although attempts were made to spoil the investment climate, the economy has come to comfortable state, he stressed. 

            The Finance Minister viewed, “Self-confidence of investors has boosted. The future is beautiful if we move ahead with the message – let us invest by identifying areas of investment.” Urging one and all to invest and spend without any doubt, he clarified that the government has the policy of investing in profitable industries.

            Minister Mahat further said share market is rebounding gradually and a remarkable number of tourists have visited Nepal. “There is improvement in real estate business. There are enough prospects of profit if investment is focused in infrastructure.”

            He called for investment in tourism sector, which has immense potential. FM Mahat opined the recent decision of the Nepal Rastra Bank has addressed the problems of entrepreneurs. 

Maoist Centre observes 131st ‘Mao Day’    

            Kathmandu, Dec 26:  Prime Minister and CPN (Maoist Centre) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has described Marxism as a philosophy to make a substantive analysis of a concrete situation.

            In his address to a programme organised at the party central office Parisdanda on the occasion of the 131st birth anniversary of the Chinese leader Mao Zedong (Mao Day) today, Dahal said, “The cultivation of Marxist thoughts remains a primary challenge for the Communist movement at present.”

            He insisted on the need of developing ideology being based on the evolving global context. “Today’s national and international scenario differs from that of Mao’s lifetime. Significant global changes have occurred post-Mao, with imperialism persisting through new strategies and actions. We, as Maoists, need to adapt ourselves to the given context, but unfortunately it has not happened.”

            On the occasion, he said remembering Mao means analyzing and understanding ideology and revolution in a fundamental way.

            He said social justice, good governance and prosperity are bases for charting out a course for socialism and the incumbent government is actively working towards that end.  “The government accords top priority to social justice, good governance and prosperity to create a foundation for socialism. We will move ahead accordingly.”

            The Maoist Chair took time to say that the party will come up with a new campaign once its ongoing campaign entitled “Maoists with people: special transformation campaign” concluded. The four-month campaign is set to conclude on January 1.

            Mao Tse-tung (Zedong), a great Chinese politician, Marxist theorist and a revolutionary figure was born December 26, 1893, Shaoshan, Xiangtan, China.

            Maoist Centre’s vice chair Pampha Bhusal, general secretary Dev Prasad Gurung, deputy general secretary Barshaman Pun were among those attending the event.

More than 11 thousand temporary shelters built for Jajarkot earthquake victims

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: So far 11,336 temporary houses have been constructed for the earthquake survivors in five districts. More than 67 thousand beneficiaries have been registered in Jajarkot, Rukum West and Salyan districts of Karnali province and Bajura and Bajhang of the Sudurpaschim province until now.

            The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) said 10,118 more temporary houses are being built. NDRRMA chief executive officer Anil Pokharel said the beneficiaries have been taking the grant amount meant for building temporary shelters entering into agreement and constructing the temporary houses.

            According to him, 5,202 temporary shelters have been built in Jajarkot and 5,798 in Rukum West. Similarly, 193 temporary houses have been built in Salyan, 13 in Bajhang and 130 in Bajura districts.

            Over Rs 2.26 billion has been allocated to the affected districts and more budget will be needed as the number of beneficiaries rises. Of this amount, Rs 1.53 billion has reached the local levels from the districts. Pokharel added that Rs 587 million 800 thousand has been transferred to the bank account of the beneficiaries verified by the local level.

            There are 35,140 beneficiaries in Jajarkot followed by 23, 608 in Rukum West; 4,576 in Bajhang; 2,729 in Bajura and 1,730 in Salyan, according to the Authority.

            NDRRMA, Policy and Planning Division Chief Bharat Mani Pandey said grant agreement still remains to be signed with nearly 50 thousand additional beneficiaries and the signing of agreement is ongoing. It is estimated that the number of beneficiaries will reach 80 thousand and the Authority is making its preparations accordingly, Pandey added.

            He said the NDRRMA is preparing to manage Rs 4.75 billion that would be required for building temporary shelters for the estimated 80 thousand beneficiaries.

            The November 3 earthquake with its epicenter at Ramidanda of Jajarkot affected Rukum West, Salyan, Bajhang and Bajura as well. Now the constructions of temporary shelters for the affected are going on.

President expresses concern over ’empty villages’

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: President Ramchandra Paudel has expressed his concern over villages turning ’empty’ due to rampant migration to urban areas. 

            In his address to a function marking the 65th anniversary of Thamel-based Saraswoti Multiple Campus today, the Head of the State urged one and all to seek ways to address the situation.

            He said villages face depopulation despite advancements in education, communications, road, health and electricity sectors after the advent of democracy. Villages experience a population decline to consume the benefits of developments, according to the President.

            Stressing that education system of any nation should be determined by given socio-economic situation and other needs, the President advised authorities to formulate education policies and programmes capable of producing globally competitive human resources. “Combined efforts are necessary towards this end and academic institutions should take its initiations.”  

            He urged policymakers and relevant authorities to concentrate on finding solutions to address the issue and highlighted the need of promoting job opportunities and vocational education to prevent the widespread migrations of youths in search of careers abroad.  He said he was pleased to be part of the anniversary celebrations of the campus carrying a history of 65 years.

            The President who was once a student of this college said he had given his fertile time to the movement for democracy as the college student. According to him, the college atmosphere had played a role to further enhance his political awakening and thus his political career.

            President Paudel mentioned that Saraswoti Campus has become the source of inspiration for Nepal’s education sector as it had provided opportunity for pursuing higher education in easy and accessible manner in those days when it was very difficult for Nepalese youths to get education.   

            “Not having physical infrastructures with campus even in present situation is the matter of concern. I urge the government to provide special support for physical infrastructures of the country’s oldest and leading educational institution, Saraswoti Campus,” he shared.  

            Similarly, Acting Vice Chancellor of the Tribhuvan University Prof Dr Shiva Lal Bhusal pointed out the need of strengthening the existing educational institutions rather than establishing new ones.

            Achievements could be gained only if the university is connected with State’s plan, he said.

            Founding Campus Chief of the Campus, Prof Shankar Raj Pathak, recalled that President Paudel was very active during his student life and expressed the belief that the country would achieve development and prosperity from President Paudel’s activeness.

            Likewise, Campus Chief Golaman Gurung informed that the Campus has been running different educational programmes keeping the educational quality in mind.

            Established on Poush 10, 2016 BS, Saraswoti Multiple Campus has around 7,000 students.

JSP Nepal’s central work execution committee meeting kicks off           

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: A meeting of the Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) Nepal’s central work execution committee has begun at the party office in Balkumari, Lalitpur.

            The agenda of the meeting is selection of candidate from the party for the National Assembly election, said Purna Basnet, Chief of the party’s central publicity and publications department.

            Similarly, the meeting will discuss on preparation for the party’s political committee meeting to be held in Kathmandu from January 10 and the central committee meeting scheduled for January 12. It will also deliberate on allocation of responsibilities to the party central committee members.

            JSP Nepal has formed a taskforce comprising its work execution committee member and organization department Chief Rajendra Shrestha and the in-charges of the seven provincial committees for allocation of responsibilities to the members.

Marathon of over Rs 1.8 million prize in Pokhara from Feb 17 

            Gandaki, Dec 26: An international Safal Pokhara Marathon Championship carrying a prize amount of Rs 1.85 million is going to be organised from February 17, 2024 at Pokhara of Kaski.

            Ex-Sportsmen Forum Nepal is organising the Championship. Forum Treasurer Mahesh Poudel shared that the 42-kilometer open marathon would be organised towards men category. The winner of this category would receive Rs 500,000 prize.

            Similarly, half-marathon of 21 kilometer towards women category, 10-kilometer race (women-men), five kilometer race (to be participated by school students), visually impaired and wheelchair  race would also be organised, he mentioned.

            Race competition targeting the men and women above 50 years has been included from this year in the championship.

            Forum Chairperson Hari Prasad Parajuli said study regarding the alternative route for marathon race is underway.

APSIG newly elected Chair, Aryal, pledges policy intervention for internet  connectivity

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: Asia Pacific School on Internet Governance (APSIG) newly elected chair and advocate Baburam Aryal has expressed commitments to advancing studies and research works on internet policy and its use in the Asia-Pacific region.  As he said, his leadership would dedicate time for enhancing internet connectivity in the Asia-Pacific.

            Aryal who was declared elected as the APSIG Chair on Sunday said he planned to undertake a study for expanding the maritime internet connectivity and those areas marred by geographical remoteness.

            Known for his expertise in cyber law, cyber security, telecommunications law, and media law, Aryal secured the chair position by receiving 21 votes, surpassing his competitor Mubashir Sargana (15 votes) from Pakistan.

            In the vice-chair elections for two seats, Dr Govind Kumar from India secured the highest 21 votes while Nepal’s Shreedeep Rayamajhi and Pakistan’s Waqas Hassan  got equal 16, and in the second round of election, Hassan secured 18 to get elected on the post.

            The third contender for the vice chair post, Iqbal Ahmed from Bangladesh obtained nine votes and was out from the first round.

            The term of new leadership is of two years. On the five-member Board of Directors, Sagarika Wickramasekera from Sri Lanka has been already elected on the secretary post and Shah Zahidur Rahman from Bangladesh as treasurer. Their elections were unopposed.

            It is said APSIG works for raising awareness and capacity building in the relevant area within the Asia Pacific region.

Government forwards activities for iron ore exploration

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: The government has forwarded activities related to iron ore exploration in the country to minimise iron import from India.

            Iron extraction works have been pursued after the study carried out by the Department of Mines and Geology found that there are iron ore deposits from west Namjakot to east Dhaubadi under Hupsekot rural municipality-5 in Gandaki province.

            Activities for the study of iron exploration were forwarded by establishing ‘Dhaubadi Iron Company Limited’ from a decision of the cabinet meeting held on August 21, 2019.

            The company was registered as ‘Dhaubadi Iron Company Ltd’ at the office of the Company Registrar on September 26, 2019 and operated from February, 2020.

            Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Dr Janak Bahadur Chand, said the Company studied about the quality of iron ore and volume of deposits as well as completed a geological study, drilling act and chemical testing at the iron mines area.

            The Company has been carrying out financial and commercial feasibility despite limited resources and human resources, he mentioned.  It has forwarded a process for land acquisition at Kawasoti municipality and Devchuli municipality for the industry.

            The government has already sent five tonnes of iron at Sichuan Institute of Metallurgical Geology and Exploration, Chengdu of China for the test. The Chinese lab informed that the mine has the iron appropriate for industrial production.

Preservation of traditional indigenous culture is common responsibility of all   Nepalis: PM  

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has said it is the common responsibility of all Nepalis to protect and preserve the traditional indigenous culture.

            “The traditional indigenous culture of various castes, linguistic and cultural groups is the identity and prestige of the Nepalis,” he said while addressing a programme organised by Jyapu Culture Development Trust at local Basantapur today on the occasion of the 20th National Jyapu Day.

            The PM described the traditional fairs, festivals, cultural heritages and activities as the priceless assets of Nepal. “Nepal is a common country of various castes, linguistic, religious and cultural communities. Although small in terms of its geographical size, the biodiversity, enchanting natural heritages and the social structure found here remain as typical in the world,” he said.

            Stating that Nepal is rich in terms of ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural diversity, PM Dahal said every community has taken the culture as an inseparable part of their life.

            “I am confident that the National Jyapu Day would help promote mutual friendship, amity and tolerance not only amongst the Jyapu people within and outside the Kathmandu Valley, but also among the citizens of various faiths and culture from different communities and regions,” the Head of Government said on the occasion.

            Noting that it is the State’s responsibility to conserve the historical and cultural heritages, to keep own traditions alive and align them with the new concept of development, he said the government is committed to preserve and promote the culture, keeping this fact in mind.

            Prime Minister Dahal maintained that the government applauds the efforts of Jyapu people within the Kathmandu Valley in preserving their traditional unique culture despite of several obstructions.

            He also congratulated the Jyapu community for their initiatives for cultural preservation through the Trust that was initiated from a small assistance of the government, and for celebrating the 20th National Jyapu Day.

            The PM pledged further assistance to the Trust from the government side in the coming days.

            PM Dahal mentioned that he during his first premiership had decided to celebrate Nepal Sambat as National Sambat and made mandatory decision to use Nepal Sambat in government documents during his present third premiership and the decision is being implemented.

            He stressed, “I am constantly struggling for the identity and rights of all communities, caste, gender and groups as per the specialty and social structure of the Nepali society. I want to make sure that there would be support from government’s side and my own in coming days too.”

            The Prime Minister wished that National Jyapu Day could disseminate the message of national unity and prosperity by spreading new enthusiasm and happiness among all communities, not only in Jyapu community.

            Similarly, Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh pointed out the need that all should be united in conservation and promotion of Newari language, heritages and culture.

            Deputy Mayor of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Sunita Dangol, explained that the KMC has paid special attention in conservation of Jyapu community and archeological heritages. 

            Likewise, Trust Chairperson Mangal Krishna Singha and Coordinator of National Jyapu Day, Dhan Bahadur Maharjan, they have been moving ahead coordinating in the task of promoting Jyapu culture nationally and internationally.

            On the occasion, the Trust honoured Prime Minister Dahal with shawl and letter of appreciation for his decision of using Nepal Sambat in government’s documents announcing Nepal Sambat as National Sambat.

DGM Shakya honoured

            Deputy General Manager of the , Raju Shakya, has been honoured on the occasion of National Jyapu Day.

            The Trust honoured Shakya, involved in journalism since three decades, for his remarkable contribution in promotion of Jyapu community through media sector.  The Trust honoured 27 individuals of different sector including DGM Shakya for their contribution in promotion of Newari language and Jyapu culture on the occasion.

Healthy criticism prevents government from possible deviation: Minister Sharma         

            Kathmandu, Dec 26: Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Rekha Sharma, has said healthy criticisms that appear in media are welcoming as they discourage the government and political forces from possible deviation.

            Inaugurating the second China-Nepal Media Summit organized by South Asia Network TV here today, the Minister media contents dedicated to healthy criticisms of the government and warnings against possible wrongdoings are positive aspect of media.

            Sharma also the Government Spokesperson said good governance, prosperity and social justice are top priorities of the government.

            Citing that the status of political rights will remain incomplete in absence of the guarantee of the right to Press and the freedom of expression and in Nepal political rights have been established along with the right to Press and freedom of expression. She acknowledged the role of media in making significant movements for democracy successful in history.

            Though Nepal and China had officially established diplomatic ties in 1955, the close neighbours enjoy cordial socio-economic and cultural relations for centuries, according to the Minister who said, “Nepal and China are enjoying cordial relations since the evolution of human civilization in this region.  Bhrikuti and Araniko had significantly contributed to strengthening these relations.  These ties are becoming deeper.”

            She also took time to say that the exchange of high-level visits between the two nations aim to enhance the bilateral relations.

            The Communications and Information Minister said impact of a global economic shrinkage of late has seen in media as well, adding that it is our collective concern to face the challenges causes by social sites collectively. “Legal initiations have started to make the use of social sites safe and systematized. The latest IT innovations demanded a digital platform for each media.”

            She added this type of events is vital for taking the government-government and people’s-to-people relations to a new height.

            Officiating Ambassador for Nepal, Wang; Federation of Nepali Journalist (FNJ) Chair Bipul Pokhrel, Nepal Tourism Board chief executive officer Dr Dhananjay Regmi, Nepal-China Media Forum Chair Kishore Shrestha and South Asia Network TV founder Hou Zhihong spoke on the roles of media in further strengthening Nepal-China relations.

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