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  • Monday, 26 February 2024

KMC collects around Rs 5 billion in revenue in six months

Published Date : January 17, 2024

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) collected around Rs 5 billion in revenue in the first half of the current fiscal year 2023/24.

            The collection is higher by around 350 million than that of the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

            KMC Revenue Department Chief Dhruba Kafle told  that the highest revenue collection for the KMC was from the house rent tax at over Rs 1.35 billion followed by tax in property at over Rs 670 million.

            The swelling in the size of tax payers is attributed to increase in revenue collection. The KMC has aimed to generate over Rs 10 billion in revenue for the current fiscal year.

            KMC has been collecting revenue under 36 different headings including property, home maintenance, business registration, advertisement, entertainment, real estate, VAT and vehicles among others, informed Kafle.

            If revenue collection goes in the same pace, the KMC would meet its annual revenue collection target at the end of the fiscal year, he viewed.

            The KMC intensifying the tax collection drive also led to collect the outstanding amount since long thereby contributing to increase in revenue collection.

Locals urged to stay alert of leopard menace

Damauli (Tanahun), Jan 17: Locals of Bandipur Rural Municipality-4, Tundikhel, Hospital and other areas of Tanahun district are being panicked with frequent visibility of leopards in the evening hours.

Chairperson of Tundikhel Tole Development Committee, Kisan Pradhan cautioned everyone when leopards are repeatedly seen in the area in the evening.

“All are getting frightened when the jungle beast is seen every day. The guardians are requested not to take children to the areas around hospital and Tundikhel space in the evening”, Chair Pradhan said. He shared that the committee had already asked the locals to clean up bushes around their homes.

Amir Gurung, a local, urged all to stay alert in the evening and early morning hours as leopards are frequently visible in Tundikhel area. “Children are more prone to leopard attacks so they should be kept cautious in the morning and evening hours”.

Bandipur Rural Municipality chair Surendra Thapa said informed that the locals were asked to adopt safety measures to remain away from leopard attacks.

It may be noted that the number of people injured and killed by leopards in Tanahun has increased. In the last six years, 13 children have lost their lives due to leopard attacks. Children below 12 years were among those killed by the leopard. Children from Bhanu and Shuklagandaki municipalities, Abukhaireni and Bandipur rural municipalities have died due to leopard attacks.

According to the Division Forest Office, Tanahun, leopards have started bouncing on people in lack of prey in the forest. In order to ward off leopard menace, people have been urged to light up their homes in the evenings and night and not to walk alone.

Assistant Forest Officer Kashiraj Pandit said that the houses should be illuminated in the evening and night, the bushes should be cleaned and children and elderly people should be taken care of as measures to avoid leopards.

Human-wildlife conflict is on the rise due to rising deforestation, settlement expansion, killing and hunting of wild animals.

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Korala-Triveni road: Dedhgaun-Jhyalbas section targeted to be completed by mid November

Triveni (Nawalparasi), Jan 17: The physical progress of Dedhgaun-Jhyalbas section along the Korala-Triveni road section has reached 30 percent. The Gandaki province government has categorized it as a pride project.

Road Engineer of the Infrastructure Development Office, Nawalpur Ram Krishna Ghimire informed that the progress of first section of the road starting from Dedhgaun was satisfactory.

In the first phase in Dedhgaun-Jhyalbas, currently the construction of 14.1-km road is gaining momentum. The construction of the section, which had started since April 2022 after signing an agreement, is targeted to be completed by November this year.

Lama Gaurishankar JV is constructing the road at a cost of Rs 322 million. The road widening work has been completed in the section, which is currently underway with a plan to blacktop the drain.

Engineer Ghimire said that the construction of the drain has been completed in three kilometers of this section, which will have a breadth of 11 meters.

The road starts from Dedhgaun of Nawalpur and connects it to the East-West Highway after reaching Chormara via Ruchang-Jhyalbas. Engineer Ghimire said that the construction of another 7-km of road has also been forwarded in the second phase. “After 14-km of the first section, the construction of another seven kilometres road has progressed,” he said.

Of the 41 kilometres from Dedhgaun to Jhyalbas, 20-km will remain after the second phase of the project has progressed, he said.

A 9-km road from Jhyalbas to Chormara has already been constructed last year. The province government aims to take the road connecting Chormara to the East-West Highway from Dumkibas to Triveni. However, no work has been carried out on the Dumkibas-Triveni section due to the Chitwan National Park.

On the north side, the road connects Dedhgaun of the district to Khairenitar via Manpur and Bhimad of Tanahun and connects to the Prithvi Highway.

The Gandaki province government has emphatically taken ahead the road project as it is the shortest route to connect Mustang’s Korala to Nawalpur’s Triveni.

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Water birds of 41 species found in Narayani river area

Nawalparasi, Jan 17: As many as 41 species of birds have been found in the Narayani river area in course of the water bird census this year

Bird census coordinator at Chitwan National Park Western Sector, DB Chaudhary informed that 41 species of birds have been found in the Narayani river area this year.

“In the census last year, 43 species of birds were found while birds of 41 species found this year”, he shared.

According to Chaudhary, eight species of birds found last year were not seen during the count this year and six species of birds found this time around were not seen last year.

The bird census was undertaken by mobilizing four groups at Chitwan National Park towards Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta east) and Narayani river and wetland areas.

The bird census has been carried out in the Narayani River area every year as migratory birds come to the area from different countries including Mongolia, Burma, Siberia, China, Russia, Thailand and Korea.

Chaudhary said overall number of birds has decreased this year as compared to last year. “This year too, we have seen a decline in overall number of birds,” he said, adding, “The number of birds in Nepal is gradually decreasing every year.”

Chaudhary informed that the highest number of birds coming here from the northern hemisphere, including Siberia, to escape the cold, has decreased significantly this year. “This year, the number of ducks has decreased by 50 percent compared to the past,” he said.

“The number of khoya ducks has decreased due to drying up of water in the Narayani river channel towards Nawalparasi (Bardaghat Susta East). It is said that the number of dependent birds is decreasing due to rise in pollution in the Narayani River.

He further said that the number of birds coming here has declined due to the decrease in the food found in the river and changing state of the habitat.

Chaudhary said the number of indigenous birds found in the Narayani River and wetlands, including the national park, has also decreased this year, which has increased the challenges in the field of bird conservation.

Baikal Gairi bird, considered the world’s rarest bird, was found in Narayani River during this year’s bird census. According to Bird Census Coordinator Chaudhary, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has also listed duck species in the red list of endangered species.

“Although the Baikal Gairi bird has been found in big rivers and lakes in Nepal, it has been seen for the first time in the Narayani river area,” Chaudhary said”.

The birds have come to the Narayani river area for food and rest while moving from north to south.

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Parliamentary role not effective- leader Rai

Kathmandu, Jan 17:Presidnet of National Assembly Legislation Management Committee, Jayanti Devi Rai said Nepal has yet to institutionalize the parliamentary practice so it has caused trouble to address the issues of public concerns raised in the parliament.

The law-making has been relegated to the backburner due to frequent disruption of parliamentary process in the practice of a year, she told RSS.

Lawmaker Rai further said though some seminal works were carried out to strengthen federalism in the country they are not up to the satisfaction level.

“Law-making and raising public concerns have not been effectively materialized when House sessions were not run smoothly”, she commented.

The political maneuvering has shadowed the law-making process, Rai, also the vice-chairperson of CPN (Unified Socialist), noted.

The LMC President shared that the NA has enacted several bills and is also making necessary preparation to finalize remaining bills. “We have frequently discussed with the government to enact the bills presented at the NA without any delay”, she informed. 

Rai further shared, “They had undertaken a study based on the questions – What are the laws to be made during the remaining tenure of the parliament? How many laws did the province government make? What are the laws that need to be made immediately? How effective were the laws made and how many laws should be classified and studied? it has sent a positive message across the country”.

The government needs to give priority to law making and pay attention to the needs of the people, leader Rai mentioned.

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PM directs to conclude police adjustment within 15 days

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite the police adjustment process.

            During today’s meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha, and security officials at his official residence in Baluwatar, the Prime Minister expressed concern over the sluggish progress in the police adjustment process, despite the enactment of the Nepal Police (Province Police Operation and Coordination) Act, 2076 BS.

            According to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, he directed them to complete the process within the next 15 days.

            In the meeting, the Prime Minister was concerned over the challenges arising from delays in enacting federal laws and executing the police adjustment, adversely affecting the functioning of provinces. He urged the concerned authorities to consider the matter seriously.

            “The status of implementation of federalism has not met expectations, and provinces are experiencing direct consequences. The functions of Chief Ministers and provincial governments have been hampered, he said, adding that anti-federalist forces have got a chance to criticize the system and the presence of provincial governments due to this. He called for the prompt conclusion the adjustment procedures within the next 15 days, in accordance with the Act.

            Present at the meeting were federal ministers, Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal, Home Secretary Dinesh Bhattarai, Inspector General of Police Basanta Kunwar, and officials from the Home Ministry.

APF given charge of customs check at TIA

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: A contingent of 30 Armed Police Force (APF) personnel, under the command of an inspector, has been deployed at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) to oversee customs checks.

            The mobilization of the Armed Police Force (APF) in customs affairs aims to ensure effective customs checks and enhance security, said Dr. Tokraj Pandey, the chief customs administrator of TIA.

            “The decision to involve the APF in customs checks comes in response to the finance ministerial-level request and the decision of the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister. The APF personnel are working in five shifts on a daily basis to conduct customs checks at the airport,” he added.

            The move to seek direct supervision and involvement of the APF in customs duties is expected to improve airport security and facilitate more effective service delivery.

Discussions held on removing hurdles in building bridges near Indian border in Dhanusha

            Janakpurdham, Jan 17: Discussions have been held to resolve the dispute over bridges on the bordering area with India in Dhanusha.

            Nepali Congress leader and former deputy prime minister and home minister Bimalendra Nidhi and Ajaya Nishad, member of Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament from Muzzafarpur, Bihar state of India, held discussions on this matter in Muzzafarpur on Tuesday. Nishad is a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

            During the talks, leader Nidhi said that discussions have to be held at the higher level as the requests made to the Indian side at the district-level  to remove the obstacles in the construction of bridges on the bordering area at Nagarain municipality and Mukhiyapatti Musaharniya rural municipality in Dhanusha district have gone unheeded.

            Nidhi said that although roads have been constructed on both sides of the Nepal-India border for the convenience of the people of both countries, bridges could not be constructed for many years due to the obstruction by the India side. He argued that this issue should become a matter of concern for the people’s representatives on both sides of the border.

            “The foundation was laid for construction of four bridges on the bordering area here when I was the Minister for Physical Infrastructure 10 years back. Some works have been carried out, but the SSB has been creating obstructions in the construction of bridges, saying structures cannot be constructed on the no-man’s land and this was the order to them from the higher authorities,” leader Nidhi said in the meeting.

            He further contended that if the obstruction continued like this, no bridge can be constructed on the Nepal-India border and it also raises a question as on what basis the bridges constructed so far were built.

            “How can the peoples of the two countries be linked if bridges cannot be constructed in the no-man’s land? The people of both Nepal and India living near the border are facing problem as roads have been constructed on both sides but there are no bridges. So, you, as a leader of the BJP and a lawmaker, should also take initiatives for removing this obstruction (in the construction of bridges),” Nidhi told the BJP leader Nishad. 

            On the occasion, Nidhi stated that the Nepali delegation, himself included, had come to meet the Indian side not only to express the sentiments of the Nepal but also those shared by the Indian people in the bordering areas.

            In course of the discussions, BJP leader and lawmaker Nishad expressed his commitment to make initiatives from his side for removing the obstacles created by the Indian side in construction of bridges. He said that the problem would be resolved by holding talks with the Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB) officials through Amit Shah, the Home Minister of the Indian central government.

            “Neither the border nor the bridge should be an obstacle in the relations between India and Nepal, and in the connectivity of the citizens of the two countries. But still there are some problems. I have inquired with the Indian officials and journalists as well regarding the problems related to bridges,” lawmaker Nishad said, adding that he would personally talk to BJP leader and Home Minister Amit Shah as it was an issue related to the Home Ministry. “I don’t think the issue of bridge is not a big problem. Initiatives will be taken for resolving this issue,” he reiterated.

            Accompanying leader Nidhi in the talks were Nagarain municipality mayor Binaya Kumar Yadav, the Mukhiyapatti Musaharniya rural municipality Chair Jaya Kumar Yadav and technicians including Senior Divisional Engineer Arun Kumar Lal Karna, the Chief of the Road Division Office Janakpurdham and other stakeholders from Nepal.

            Locals have complained that the Indian SSB is creating obstruction in upgrading the bridge over the Jamuni river at Rajghat to a six-lane structure linking Jatahi of Nepal to Piparaun of India, in the construction of a suspension bridge connecting Lagama, Nagarain-6 to Laharniya of India and in the works of the under-construction bridge over the Jamuni river at Thalhighat, Bairiya Tol. This bridge links Musaharniya rural municipality-2 with Bairiya Tol of the same rural municipality.

            Chief Engineer Karna said that although half of the construction works on these four bridges have been completed, problems have been encountered in going ahead with the remaining construction as the Indian side has been obstructing in the construction, saying the bridges touched the Indian land.

            According to him, the obstacles in the construction of the bridges can be removed only through initiations from the higher level.

Water Supply Minister urges to not doubt quality of Melamchi water

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: The Ministry of Water Supply has urged one and all to trust the quality of water supplied through the Melamchi Drinking Water Supply Project which was resumed from Monday in the Kathmandu Valley.

            Issuing a notice today, Ministry Joint Secretary and Spokesperson, Meena Shrestha, said the water supplies from the Melamchi River meet the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards as it is distributed to consumers only after processing it at the water processing plant at Sundarijal.

            The Ministry said that initially, the water may appear muddy due to soil residues within the water pipes, a consequence of the prolonged disruption in water supplies. It assures the public that the water will become clear with continued flushing after the resumption of regular supplies. The notice urged consumers not to be swayed by rumors and to trust in the water quality.

            Simultaneously, the government has established a facilitating committee to address any issues in the Melamchi drinking water supplies. In case consumers encounter problems, they are requested to contact the committee.  The government aims to supply 170 million liters of water daily from the Melamchi River in Sindhupalchowk to meet the needs of the Kathmandu Valley.

 PM Dahal instructs related ministry and bodies to resolve problems of cooperatives

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has instructed the government bodies including the Ministry concerned to promptly resolve the problems related to cooperatives.

            The PM issued this directive in course of the discussions held at Baluwatar this morning with officials of the related bodies, said a press note issued by the PM Secretariat.

            The Prime Minister on the occasion said provisions should be made in the Act itself so as to promote the cooperatives as infusing the embryo of socialism and focussed on collectivism and the interests of the lowest section of society. He further added that the cooperatives should be made systematic by adopting immediate and long-term measures.

            He instructed the Ministry and bodies concerned to carry out the required homework on an immediate and long-term basis for resolving the problems seen in the cooperatives.

            Stating that his attention was drawn towards forming an effective regulatory body for the monitoring of cooperatives, PM Dahal directed the existing cooperatives regulatory agencies to present a report, classifying the cooperatives as well-performing, in crisis and bankrupt.

            He called for paying attention to the security of the amount kept by depositors in the cooperatives, pointing out the need of taking effective steps in coordination of all the three tiers of the government for this.

            Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Minister for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Ranjita Shrestha, Chief Secretary of Government of Nepal, Baikuntha Aryal and officials of the related ministries, departments and bodies were present on the occasion.

Identity issue will also be resolved, asserts NC leader Sitaula

            Taksar (Bhojpur), Jan 17: Nepali Congress former general secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula has said the issue of identity emerging at present will be resolved as the drawn-out conflict was brought to an end through mutual understanding.

            Talking to the people’s representatives of Bhojpur today in connection with the National Assembly election to be held on January 25, he said discussions would be held on the topic of identity after the National Assembly election is over.

            “Such a big conflict and struggle was resolved. Mutual understanding and talks are necessary to seek solution to this issue of identity. The National Assembly will get complete shape after the election on January 25. We will find a solution to the identity issue starting discussions on it with the Assembly getting complete shape,” he said.

            Leader Sitaula urged the voters to vote for the leaders of political parties working in favour of the constitution and the people. “Give your votes to the parties in the ruling coalition that is standing on the side of the federal democratic republic,” he said, adding that understanding was needed among all the parties for tiding over challenges facing the nation today.

Glacial lakes in Manang disappearing alarmingly

            Manang, Jan 17: Many of the glacial lakes in Manang district are limited to pictures at present whereas in reality they are disappearing alarmingly.

            Gangapurna Lake situated at 3,820 metres above the sea level is one among such lakes which is turning into a ground rapidly, worried Kalu Ghale, a local resident of Disyang rural municipality-5 in the district.

            Recalling the colour and the natural look of the glacier stream that flowed by his house in the past, Ghale expressed his concern that many small glacier lakes in the district were either receding or drying up.

            Contrary to his thought that the glacier lake could attract tourists, the lake, he said, was turning into a ground.

            First brought to public’s attention by Swiss geologist Dr Toni Hagen in 1957, the Gangapurna glacier spanning around nine kilometres in length has been the basis for studying geological formations and climate change, according to Ghale.

            The Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research had already conducted research on the flow of the glacier that is shrinking every year. One of the researchers of the group Shalikram Sigdel warned that there was a threat of disappearance of glacier lakes due to the global warming triggered by climate change, unexpected snow avalanche and rainfall.

            Amidst the risk and fear of losing glacier lakes such as Gangapurna, the Disyang rural municipality is moving ahead with a plan to bring Gangapurna Lake to its original form.

            Sonam Gurung, Disyang ward no 6’s Chairperson, informed that they had allocated over Rs 30 million to revive the receding Lake. She shared, “Tender has been called for this. We are preparing to excavate soil and sand from the lake that is filled with such substances.”

            They plan to protect Gangapurna Lake in an area of 21.8 hectares of land by constructing a 3.5 metres high and 193 metres long dam. He assured that the visitors would get to see the Lake regaining its old glory next year.

            Similarly, Phurwa Lama, campaigner of Visit Manang, opined that conservation of old glacier lakes should be a top priority although new glacier lakes were forming lately.

PM Dahal setting out for Uganda tomorrow to attend 19th NAM Summit        

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ is leaving here for Uganda leading Nepali delegation on January 18.

            The visit is aimed at attending the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit to be held in Kampala of Uganda in January 19-20. The PM will board the Qatar Airlines’ 2:15 am flight for Uganda, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

            The PM will be accompanied by his daughter Ganga Dahal, Minister for Foreign Affairs Narayan Prasad Saud, Sewa Lamsal, Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other senior government officials, the Ministry said.

            On the first day of the two-day Summit, PM Dahal will address the plenary session on the theme ‘Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence’.

            On the same day, Dahal will attend the state banquet hosted by the President of Uganda, General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in honour of the Heads of the delegation from the NAM member states.

            In addition to the Summit activities, PM Dahal is slated to hold bilateral meetings with the Head of the States, Head of the Governments, and other dignitaries attending the event.

            Foreign Minister Saud has already left here for Uganda on January 15’s mid night to participate in the ministerial meeting taking place in Uganda from January 17-18. Preceding the ministerial meeting, the senior officials meeting was held from January 15-16.

            Agendas of the Summit include considering report of the preparatory ministerial meeting, reviewing the progress achieved in the outcome of the 18th NAM Summit held in 2019 and adoption of the Kampala Declaration among others.

            Nepal, being a founding member of the NAM, has been actively participating in all NAM Summits. The principle of nonalignment is one of the bedrock principles of Nepal’s foreign policy.

            PM Dahal is scheduled to return Kathmandu on January 21’s morning.

            Following the 19th NAM Summit, the Third South Summit is taking place in Uganda itself from January 21-22 which will be led by Foreign Secretary Lamsal, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prime Minister directs for addressing grievances of those going abroad on visit visa

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has directed the bodies concerned to take measures immediately to stop the inconveniences faced at the airport by abroad-bound Nepalis going on visit visa and taking work permit. He said that complaints of this have been received.

            The PM issued this instruction in course of discussions today with Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Sarat Singh Bhandari, Chief Secretary Dr Baikuntha Aryal and the secretaries of the related ministries.

            Stating that complaints have been received of those bearing the visit visa and labour permit facing inconvenience at the airport, PM has instructed for immediately creating conducive environment, according to the PM’s Private Secretariat. 

            “I have heard of the complaint that those going abroad on visit visa are turned back from the airport citing lack of proper documents, but they are allowed to travel after some days through a ‘setting’ (meaning in collusion). Please do and get done according to the Immigration Work Procedures’ in connection with those going abroad on visit visa. Please, stop pestering the people,” he said.

            The Prime Minister has directed the bodies concerned to conduct awareness programme on foreign employment and visit visa reaching the local levels and to work in favour of the nation and people.

EC directs government to make security arrangements for NA election

            Kathmandu, Jan 16: The Election Commission has directed the government to ensure security arrangements necessary for holding the National Assembly (NA) elections on coming January 25 in a cordial atmosphere.

            A meeting of the EC today directed the government to make the NA-election related security arrangements in coordination of the Home Ministry in involvement with security agencies.

            The government has been urged to consider potential security challenges for voters, election candidates, offices of the election officers, election employees, and for the management of election logistics and in the voting stations and put security arrangements in place accordingly, according to EC assistant spokesperson Shreedhar Panthi.

            The EC has set up the offices of the election officers in its province offices in Morang, Dhanusha, Makwanpur, Kaski, Dang, Surkhet and Kailali.  It has sought the security arrangements in those routes using the election voters for visiting polling stations and in their residential areas as well.

            Province Assembly members, chairs and vice chairs of rural municipalities, mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities are the voters of NA election.

            The EC has directed for coordination hoteliers in the districts where polling centers have been established to facilitate voters with accommodation at their personal expenses and the coordination with the respective District Administration Office during the movement of voters and for the security of polling centers and stations.

            It has also urged the district election security committee to deliver actively to ensure the effective and reliable election security arrangements.

Minister Sharma stresses on making University programmes more practical

            Kirtipur (Kathmandu), Jan 17: Minister for Information and Communications Technology, Rekha Sharma, has called for making University academic programmes more practical and relevant to entrepreneurship and the job market.

            During the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Central Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, Tribhuvan University, and the Digital Empowerment Society, the Minister highlighted the vital role of the IT sector in achieving economic prosperity in the current era. 

            The MoU aims to provide training opportunities for Master’s level students at the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology, TU specifically in Microsoft companies. The agreement was signed by Department Chief Sarbin Sayami and Society Chair Rajendra Aryal, representing their respective sides, in the presence of Minister Sharma.

            Minister Sharma stressed the importance of bridging the gap between TU educational programmes and the consumer sector to prove wrong the narrative that university graduates are not immediately qualified for the job market. Everyone entering the job market ahead should be trained with new IT skills. This approach, as she believes, could generate interest in academic streams that currently attract fewer students.

            Stating that IT was a subject of international competition and students could earn foreign currency working from home, the Minister viewed that the University should be more active in producing skilled in this sector.

            According to her, the government was preparing to implement ‘Digital Nepal Framework’ to ensure every citizen’s access to IT. She urged to connect all academic subjects to IT.

            She assured that the government would provide scholarship for IT students in the upcoming budget and shared that law to regulate social media would be introduced within 2080 BS.

            As per the agreement inked today, 30 students selected on the basis on competition among the students studying in the 7th semester of Masters in IT will be taught the commercial course of the Microsoft Company.

            Samir Thapa, Director of Date and AI at Microsoft Company in the USA, facilitated for this, it was shared. Department Chief Sayami, the selected 30 students would get jobs at home and abroad in the related filed upon the completion of their study.

            Choplal Bhusal, Officiating Vice-Chancellor of the University, emphasized optimal utilization of the theoretical and practical knowledge provided in the University.

            Addressing the programme virtually, Microsoft’s Thapa shared that the collaboration was initiated to those aspiring to build a respectable career in the related field in the USA.

            According to him, many of the IT graduates from Nepal in the USA were compelled to do menial jobs in lack of proper synergy between the academic programmes of the University and the need of the IT sector.

Monetary offerings at Pathibhara Temple cross Rs 3.5 million in one month

            Phungling, Jan 17: The monetary offerings made by devotees to the goddess Pathibhara at the Pathibhara Temple in Taplejung have crossed Rs 3.5 million in one month.

            Executive Director of Pathibhara Area Development Committee, Prajin Hangbang said that such offerings amounted to Rs 3 million and 529 thousand in the month of Poush (December 17, 2023 to January 14, 2024) alone.

            This amount has been deposited in the Committee’s bank account at Nepal Bank Limited, the Sanima Bank and NMB Bank.

            The monetary offerings made to Pathibhara have reached Rs 87 million 52 thousand and 548 so far, including the offerings for the month of Push, it is stated.

Dr Malla appointed Executive Director of Gangalal hospital

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: The government has appointed Dr Rabi Malla as the Executive Director of Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center.

            Likewise, Ramesh Chandra Neupane has been appointed as the chairperson of Nardevi Ayurveda Hospital Development Committee by the Council of Ministers meeting held today at Singh Durbar.

            Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Government Spokesperson Rekha Sharma shared that the meeting appointed Parbat Kumar Karki as the Executive Director of Citizens’ Investment Fund and Kiran Babu Pun of Sanibheri Rural Municipality-6 in Rukumpaschim as the General Manager of Sanskritik Sansthan.

            The cabinet also decided to recommend to the President to issue the Ordinance (2080) designed to amend the Economic Procedures and Financial Liability Act, 2076. The meeting gave approval to submit the bill to amend the Political Parties Act, 2073 before the Federal Parliament.

Man arrested for violating the privacy of Gaushala-26   

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: The Cyber Bureau of Nepal Police has arrested a man on the charge of violating the privacy of Gaushala-26.

            Based on a complaint filed by Gaushala-26, the police arrested 32-year-old Kesharman Rai of Sankhuwasabha on the charge of violation of privacy. Rai was arrested today with the help of the Sankhuwasabha Police and brought to Kathmandu, said Chief of the Bureau SSP Navinda Aryal. He has been remanded to judicial custody by the Kathmandu district court.

            Gaushala-26 had filed a complaint at the Bureau demanding action against those involved in making her identity including a photo public in the social media. National cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane was convicted of raping Gaushala-26.

            The Kathmandu District Court sentenced Lamichhanne to eight years in prison along with a fine of Rs 500,000 to be paid as compensation to the rape survivor.

Minister Saud for finding solutions to global, regional problems

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narayan Prakash Saud, has underscored that deeper cooperation is essential for finding solutions to global or regional problems the world is facing. 

            Addressing the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) taking place at Kampala of Uganda today, Foreign Minister Saud said, “We are facing a multitude of crises and challenges. They include the persistent impact of COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, conflicts, soaring food and energy prices, inflation, debt burdens. So it is necessary to find out global and regional cooperation for the same.”

            He laid emphasis on the need that NAM must assert its collective voice to create an inclusive global order where all countries can prosper together, sharing global affluence equitably.  “NAM, as a strong block with 120 countries representing around 60 per cent of the world’s population, holds both majority and moral strengths to devise solutions to global problems that we face today- from conflicts to climate change, economic injustice to social inequality, the digital divide to debt distress, and hunger to disease”, mentioned the Foreign Minister.

            He pointed out that NAM must play a pivotal role in promoting multilateralism, defending the UN Charter and international law, finding peaceful solutions to disputes, reforming the global financial architectures, creating a just global economic order for shared affluence.  Furthermore, NAM should focus on the achievement of SDGs and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals, including the Paris Agreement in the spirit of leaving no one behind, embracing the power of technology to drive progress for all, and ensuring climate justice for vulnerable countries and regions.

            Reiterating Nepal’s commitment to NAM’s objectives and principles, he shared that the Constitution of Nepal itself has embraced the principles of NAM as a basis of her foreign policy.  “We always conduct independent, objective, balanced, and nonaligned foreign policy. We are effortful to graduate from LDC status and achieve our aspiration of development and prosperity”, he explained.

            The Foreign Minister underscored, “As Chair of the LDCs, we anticipate a robust cooperation framework and renewed partnership with all our development partners and fellow members of NAM, for investment, resources, capacity building, and technologies in the true spirit of North-South, South-South, and Triangular Cooperation.”   Nepal is committed to taking up its role to make the world peaceful, prosperous, and more sustainable for us as well as the generations to come, he stressed. 

            The 19th NAM Summit is taking place at Kampala of Uganda from January 19-20. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is leaving for Uganda tomorrow leading the Nepali delegation to attend the Summit. The two-day ministerial meeting began from preceding the Summit.

            Foreign Affairs Minister Saud had left for Uganda on January 15 to participate in the ministerial meeting.

National films not getting priority is worrying: Cine artist Shah

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Cine artist and director Neer Shah has expressed worry over the national films not getting prioritized.

            During a press meet organized on Wednesday to impart information on upcoming ‘Nepal International Film Festival’, director Shah viewed if the films produced in the country are ignored it would cast down film producers. So, atmosphere must be created for easy screening of Nepali films.

            “There are no film halls to show our films, and it seems halls are for foreign films. Then how can our industry thrive,” he wondered, adding that even the banks and financial institutions are not ready to invest in film making. He further viewed at a time when Nepal has arrived at this stage since making of film, Satya Harish Chandra, we should have developed our capacity for financial management. “The most worrying is the fact that film is limited only as an art work not an industry,” Shah rued.

            According to him, there are no cinema halls in 33 districts of the country. Even the perspective toward films is narrow, he observed.

            On the occasion, Chair of the Film Development Board, Bhuvan KC, admitted that he could not work up to the mark despite a plan. The introduction of Film Policy also did not help intensify activities. “I’ve understood well the problems at Board. We’re now trying to bring in foreign investment to make Nepali films competitive.”

Govt signs agreement to receives ADB loan

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: The government has signed an agreement with Asian Development Bank (ADB) on receiving concessional loan of some Rs 21 billion and grants of some Rs 700 million.

            For the implementation of ‘urban resilience and livelihood improvement project’, Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Puskar and Country Director of ADB, Arnaud Cauchois in Nepal, signed the agreement in the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

            The project would be implemented in Pokhara metropolitan city, Janakpurdham sub-metropolitan city, Lumbini cultural municipality, Devdaha municipality, Sainamaina municipality, Siddhartha Nagar municipality, and Tilottama municipality.

            Following signing ceremony, Finance Secretary Puskar said the local levels to get the project will get positive impacts on finance and entire ecosystem.

            It would also contribute to socioeconomic status of the women and marginalized communities and help foster internship, skill and local art.

            Similarly, Country Director Cauchois said the project is expected to beneficial for the concerned municipalities on their infrastructure development, tourism recovery and reform. Even the economic activities are expected to thrive, thereby contributing to revenue increase, digital transformation and capacity building.

Collaboration should be strong between Nepal and India for prosperity: VP Yadav

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Vice-President Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav has said as close neighbours the past, present and future of Nepal and India are interconnected.

            During a meeting with Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Naveen Srivastava, who called him at the latter’s official residence in Lainchour on Wednesday, Vice-President Yadav stressed that friendship and collaboration should be further strengthened for progress and prosperity of the people of both countries.  “India is an important development partner of Nepal. We have been receiving remarkable support from India in different sectors including financial and technical support”, he mentioned.

            The Vice-President said that Nepal-India collaboration in aviation, road and railway, petroleum pipeline, hydropower, development of transmission line, establishment of integrated check post  and human resources development sector is significant. Exchange of high-level visits between the two countries have been playing significant role in further strengthening bilateral relations. 

            On the occasion, the Indian Ambassador stressed that India has always supported Nepal’s development endeavours and it would continue in coming days, according to the office of the Vice-President.

DIG Dhakal new spokesperson of Nepal Police

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Deputy Inspector General Bhim Prasad Dhakal has been designated as the new Spokesperson of Nepal Police.

            DIG Dhakal has been appointed as Nepal Police Central Spokesperson with effect from today to communicate the activities of Nepal Police to the media in, said the Nepal Police Headquarters. Spokesperson DIG Dhakal can be contacted at 9851-292111 and by email at spokesperson@nepalpolice.gov.np.

Tilganga conducting Orbital Fracture Repair Workshop 

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: The Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology (TIO) is conducting Orbital Fracture Repair Workshop on Thursday.

            Around 90 medical professionals including Oculoplastic surgeons, Ophthalmologists and Maxillofacial surgeons are expected to attend the live demonstration, gaining invaluable insights into the intricacies of orbital fracture repair.

            The surgery of three patients with orbital fracture would be conducted on Thursday, the first day of the workshop.

            At a news conference organised here on Wednesday, Head of Department of Oculoplasty, Orbit and Ocular Oncology, TIO, Dr Purnima Rajkarnkar Sthapit, said renowned Oculofacial Surgeon Dr Gangadhara Sundar is conducting Pioneering orbital Fracture Repair Workshop at TIO along with her, Dr Alok ansd Dr Rohit Saiju.

            Dr Gangadhara Sundar, head and Senior Consultant at the Department of Ophthalmology, National University Health System, Singapore, is set to lead a groundbreaking two-day event at TIO.

            The TIO would broadcast live the surgical workshop to be conducted from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Thursday. Dr Purnima said the surgical workshop would help add new dimension in fracture repair in Nepal.

            Following the surgical workshop, a Continuing Medical Education (CME) session on challenging cases in orbital trauma would be held on the same day where surgeons are going to present the difficult case scenarios for discussion regarding the best possible management. “We will be conducting another CME on Challenging Cases in Thyriod Eye Disease, which is another emerging eye disease due to increased number of people with thyroid problems.” Dr Purnima said

            Every year around 500 patients visit TIO for treatment of trauma to the eye. Among them, some are managed conservatively while more than 50 per cent needs surgery.

Discussion on collaboration for Lumbini development

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Vice Chair of Lumbini Development Trust, Dr Lhyarkal Lama, held a discussion with Vice Chairman of Chinese International Buddhist Association, Yun Syungwich, on Wednesday.

            Vice Chair Lama and the Chinese leader discussed measures of collaboration for Lumbini development and efforts to bring in Buddhist tourists to Nepal. Lama said he was ready to welcome Chinese tourists at Lumbini.

            In response, the Chinese leader expressed happiness over being here, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. There are some 40 monks together with Vice Chair Yun.

Nominations announced  for Pulsar Sports Awards

            Kathmandu, Jan 17: Nominations for the People’s Choice Award under the NSJF-Pulsar Sports Award 2079 have been announced on Wednesday. The award is presented every year by the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF),

            The nominees for the 20th edition of the awards to be held on February 11 are footballer Anant Tamang, karate player Biplavlal Shrestha, volleyball player Niruta Thagunna, table tennis player Sikka Suwal Shrestha and body builder Rajni Shrestha.

            Athletes are nominated in this category based on their success and popularity in the field of sports, said Durganath Subedi, the president of the forum. The winner of this category will be based on popular vote, Forum Members’ Vote, Social Media (NSJF Pulsar Sports Awards Official Facebook Page and Pulsar Nepal Official Page) vote and vote by Head Coaches of 27 different Sports.

             Other categories of Pulsar Sports Awards 2079 include Best Male Athlete of the Year, Best Female Athlete of the Year, Best Coach of the Year, Best Young Player and Para-Athlete Award, Special Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Asian Sports Journalist Award. The nominations for the remaining categories will be announced gradually, according to NSJF.

Madhes Province observes Madhesh dignity day

            Janakpurdham, Jan 17: The Madhesh Province government has observed the ‘Madhes Dignity Day’ for the first time on the occasion of the day Madhesh Province got its capital and name based on identity.

            A special programme was organized by the Home Affairs, Communications and Law Ministry at Mahendra Narayan Nidhi Memorial Culture Centre on Wednesday.

            The speakers at the programme said it was a matter of dignity and pride that only Madhes Province was able to name its province capital based on identity.

            Chairman of the Janata Samajbadi Party, Upendra Yadav, reminded that the provinces were named based on identity as per recommendation of political parties and high level state restructuring commission. It was a matter of pride for all, he said, arguing that time had come to fight for equal rights, equal opportunities and justice.

            “We’ve been able to name province and its capital based on idienty. The federalism has also the bases on sacrifices in Madhes.

            On the occasion, Chief Minister Saroj Kumar Yadav said the federalism and identity have well reflected spirit of Madhes Province. However, it was worrying that federalism and province governments were being weakened, he viewed.

            Former chief minister of Madhes Province government, Lal Babu Raut, reminded that his party had taken together all parties and been able to name the province as Madhes Province.

            Leaders from various parties, including Nepali Congress, CPN (Unified Socialist) addressed the programme.

            The Madhes province and its capital ‘Janakpurdham’ were named on Magh 3, 2078BS.

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