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Senior advocate Badal appointed Attorney General

President Ram Chandra Paudel has appointed senior advocate Ramesh Badal as the Attorney General of Nepal.

President Pau…

PM Oli hands over Chinnalata Award

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has awarded various personalities with the Chinnalata Puraskar (Award) for their notable contributions in Nepali language, literature and art sectors.

On the occasion of 102th birth anniversary of lyricist Ramola Devi Shah 'Chinnalata' here today, PM Oli awarded lyrist Bhusan Kharel, musician Manaraja Nakarmi, singer Shiva Pariyar and youth singer…

PM Oli to seek vote of confidence on July 21

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is seeking a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives on July 21, Sunday. CPN-UML Chief Whip Mahesh Kumar Bartaula said that July 21 has been determined as the date on which Prime Minister Oli will be seeking a vote of confidence in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Federal Parliament. UML Chair KP Sharma Oli was appointed the Prime …

Railway inspection team attacked in Chitwan

Locals have attacked a team who had come to inspect the proposed railway at Bharatpur Metropolitan City-7 in Chitwan on Wednesday. They also set their vehicle (Bagmati Province 01-030 Cha 7190) on fire. The locals, who staged a demonstration saying that the government is constructing the railway in a dense settlement, torched the vehicle today.      

Investment commitments on tourism sector up by 20.81 percent

Investment commitments in the tourism sector have increased by 20.81 percent in fiscal year 2023/24 compared to the previous fiscal year. According to the Department of Industry (DoI), it has received Rs 30.53bn worth of investment commitments from 134 different tourism ventures like hotels and cable car projects in 2023/24. The department had received such commitments worth Rs 25.27bn from 76…

Nepse surges by 54. 04 points on Wednesday

The Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) gained 54.04 points to close at 2,364.63 points on Wednesday. Similarly, the sensitive index surged by 10.25 points to close at 419. 77 points. A total of 32,095,937-unit shares of 306 companies were traded for Rs 12. 05 billion. Meanwhile, Central Finance Co. Ltd. (CFCL) was the top gainer today, with its price surging by 10. 00 percent. At the end of…

Manoj Basnet appointed as GM of AMN

Manoj Basnet has been appointed as the General Manager of Annapurna Media Network. According to the decision of the management of the Annapurna Media Network, Basnet was appointed as the General Manager with effect from July 17. Annapurna Media Network Chairman Captain Rameshwar Thapa, CEO Sanat Neupane and Editor-in-Chief Akhanda Bhandari welcomed the newly appointed General Manager Basnet…

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Opinion

Academia-industry collaboration vital for Nepal

Academia-industry cooperation is the symbiotic relationship between academic institutions (academia) and the industrial sector (industry) through collaborative efforts and partnerships. The shared knowledge and expertise accessed through such cooperation can bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge acquired in academic settings and the practical applications of industries. Together, academic institutions and industries can co-create solutions to overcome pressing challenges by fostering partnerships and embracing best practices. Academia-industry collaboration holds immense potential for driving innovation, economic growth and sustainable development. Industries continue to resort to private consulting firms that charge hefty amounts for advice or services in specialized areas. The collaboration between academia and industry would facilitate a mutual relationship, wherein industries seek consultation from experts in academia to leverage their knowledge and skills. Consequently, academic institutions and industries can co-create solutions to address the country’s pressing socio-economic and environmental challenges by overcoming challenges, fostering partnerships, and embracing best practices. Simultaneously, it eliminates the necessity for students to seek employment abroad because such collaborations hold the potential to generate employment opportunities domestically. Different models and approaches to foster collaboration between academia and industry have been adopted across the globe. Distinguished companies like General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Siemens and IBM have collaborated with universities for years. Toyota’s research institute collaborates with Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab to advance research in artificial intelligence and automotive safety. Inside the University of Cincinnati Innovation Hub, Procter & Gamble has launched a Digital Accelerator. Beyond simulation, the facility is applied to solve business challenges. Many students have gained full-time employment at P&G following their time working at the Digital Accelerator. Companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google have also ventured into this domain and started collaborating with academic institutions around the world. Industries drive the economy and industrial development drives economic prosperity. With the industrial sector contributing a mere 14.29 percent to GDP, Nepal’s economy is facing major headwinds. The projected growth rate is only 4.1 percent in 2023, down from 5.8 percent last year, the situation is critical. A high unemployment rate (19 percent) and a staggering student outflow (21.6 percent) paint a grim picture. Capital outflow worth Rs 47.35bn owing to Nepali students going abroad to pursue foreign education has already been recorded in the first five months of the current fiscal (2023-24). This exodus of students seeking education abroad is largely driven by the fear of limited job opportunities back home. Nepal needs a collaborative effort to address these interconnected issues to create a larger labor market. Only through such collaborative efforts can Nepal hope to navigate its current economic challenges. Despite the potential benefits, academia-industry collaboration in Nepal faces challenges that hinder effective partnership-building and knowledge exchange. Kathmandu University has pioneered this initiative with the motto of taking knowledge and skills “from the campus to the community” by establishing the “Academia Industry Cooperation” at Kathmandu University (AICKU) under the esteemed office of the Vice-chancellor to bridge the gap between university and industry. AICKU identifies potential industry partners and establishes strategies for collaborations through joint research projects, conferences, and meetings. It also facilitates the mechanism for technology transfer, licensing and commercialization of research output.  Recently, AICKU successfully conducted “Academia Industry Meet 2023” where stakeholders from academia, industry and government sectors came under the same roof and discussed current challenges followed by possible solutions. Additionally, Kathmandu University has started a KU Employment Promotion Program to provide job opportunities to 80 top graduates per year and equip them with skills to compete in the global market. AICKU has also signed agreements with different industries to provide internships and job opportunities to students of the university. Recently, it facilitated the different research centers and labs of KU for the following projects. “Pilot Scale Green Ammonia Production in Nepal for Contribution to Domestic Economy and Better Utilization of Hydropower Electricity” with the Nepal Electricity Authority. “Feasibility Study of Green Urea Plant in Nepal” with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. “Condition Monitoring of Hydropower Plants in Nepal” with Nepal Electricity Authority. Looking ahead, AICKU plans to establish mechanisms for technology transfer, licensing, and commercialization of research outputs. Collaboration with the Business Incubation Center for the promotion of entrepreneurial ideas of students, faculties and researchers is well underway. With its long-term goal to foster a seamless transition from academia to the workforce, AICKU is emerging as a beacon of collaboration, laying the foundation for mutually beneficial relationships between academia and industry to shape a prosperous future for Nepal. Despite these efforts of KU, a joint effort through other universities as well as stakeholders is needed to achieve the aim of enhanced synergy. There are many hurdles in the path such as limited research funding for the university, regulatory and administrative issues due to complex bureaucratic procedures and outdated regulations, differences in priorities, timelines, and expectations between involved stakeholders, limited technical expertise, infrastructures and research facilities, and institutional barriers. A new initiation is essential to combat the difficulties and fulfill the objectives of academia-industry collaborations. At first, policy reforms are essential from the government level to promote academia-industry collaboration, innovation, and technology commercialization. Through collaborative efforts, Nepal can not only harness its full potential to build a prosperous and resilient future for its people, but also solve the problems of youth retention and unemployment. Views are personal

A powerful tool for sustainable development

“Every good citizen adds to the strength of a nation.” - Gordon B Hinckley “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead Numerous citizen science initiatives have already proven to have the ability to promote sustainable development. Thousands of volunteers participate in the UK’s annual Big Butterfly Count to track butterfly numbers. This information has proven crucial in formulating conservation measures and evaluating the state of the environment. Similar to this, volunteers are recruited by the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST) in the United States to track marine bird populations and beach litter. Understanding and reducing the effects of marine pollution and climate change on coastal ecosystems has been made possible, thanks in large part to the information collected thus. Often working in tandem with professional scientists, citizen science involves the general population in scientific research and data collection. As it involves communities in the management and observation of environmental resources, raises awareness and participates in policy formation, it can be extremely important for sustainable development. The goal of Citizen Scientific is to break through the conventional silos of ‘public’ and ‘science’. Therefore, consideration is given to both the ‘public understanding of science’ and the ‘scientific understanding of the public’.  Technology and science have a significant role in our daily lives. They aid in organizing our interpersonal and professional interactions. They present fresh opportunities as well as fresh risks. The concept and roots of the term ‘citizen science’ are not the same. In the mid-1990s, Rick Bonney from the United States and Alan Irwin from the United Kingdom independently described it for the first time. “Developing concepts of scientific citizenship which foregrounds the necessity of opening up science and science policy processes to the public” is how British sociologist Alan Irwin describes citizen science. Irwin aimed to recapture two aspects of the citizen-science relationship: 1) Science should be receptive to public wants and concerns, and 2) Citizens themselves should be able to generate credible scientific information. Citizen science has proliferated in the last decade, becoming a critical form of public engagement in science and an increasingly important research tool for the study of large-scale patterns in nature.  Although citizen science is already interdisciplinary, it has untapped potential to build capacity for transformative research on coupled human and natural systems. They draw a conclusion as new tools have begun to collect paired ecological and social data from the same individual; this allows for detailed examination of feedback at the level of individuals and potentially provides much-needed data for agent-based modeling. Anne Toomey concludes in an 2011 article titled ‘How citizen science will save the planet’: “If we look deeper into the meanings of science and citizenship, we realize that encouraging non-experts to participate in the building of knowledge about how our world works may have profound implications for the way we, as a global community, will relate to our natural environment”. But this writer has linked citizen science to overall development in this article, and has tried to explore the involvement of citizen science in sustainable development. Perhaps the slogan ‘Save the Planet’ is also a reflection of sustainable development. Citizen science contributes to sustainable development in several ways, including environmental monitoring, resource management, public awareness and education, disaster response and preparedness, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation and policy influence. Data on local environmental conditions, including biodiversity, air and water quality, and the effects of climate change, can be gathered by citizen scientists. This information supports conservation efforts by tracking changes over time. Natural resource management, including the management of forests, waterways and agricultural land, can involve communities. They can guarantee sustainable use and stop overexploitation by keeping an eye on these resources. Projects involving citizen science increase public knowledge of sustainability and environmental challenges. In order to promote an informed and involved public, participants learn about scientific methodologies and the significance of data in decision-making. By contributing real-time data during natural catastrophes like floods, earthquakes, or wildfires, citizen scientists can support disaster response efforts. Effective response and recovery operations require the knowledge of this information. Monitoring species and habitats is a useful tool for tracking biodiversity and identifying regions that require conservation. Maintaining ecosystems and the services they offer requires doing this. By monitoring changes in local ecosystems, tracking weather trends and taking part in carbon-reduction campaigns, citizen scientists can make significant contributions to the field of climate change research. The greatest achievement of citizen science is policy influence. This is because local, national and international policy can be influenced by the data gathered by citizen scientists. Governments and organizations may prioritize sustainability projects and give evidence for policy changes with the use of dependable, large-scale data sets. By enabling people to actively participate in scientific research and environmental stewardship, citizen science has the potential to make a significant contribution to sustainable development. In the future, citizen research will need to be included into formal scientific frameworks and policy-making procedures. Institutions and governments need to appreciate citizen-generated data and use it in their decision-making procedures. ‘Citizen science’ refers to a broad range of activities where people produce scientific knowledge outside of traditional scientific institutions. From mapping natural phenomena to analyzing scientific data, sharing health information, and making new technologies, citizen science occurs across all the disciplines of science and involves a number of different methods of inquiry, both orthodox and alternative. So we can make a conclusion that citizen science is the practice of conducting scientific research outside of established academic organizations, charting phenomena, analyzing data, disseminating health information, and developing interdisciplinary technology. In conclusion, an effective and inclusive strategy for tackling the many problems associated with sustainable development is citizen science. In the days to come, the government of Nepal, the government of all the seven provinces and 753 local governments will have to implement citizen science in many dimensions of development. If this can be done, the country’s long-term development will be possible. We can say this by analyzing the world environment. By combining the global efforts of people, we can collect the information required to make wise judgments, promote environmental responsibility and eventually build a more sustainable future. Adopting citizen science may prove to be one of our most successful tactics as we tackle the world’s environmental problems. The author is the founder president of Forum of Development Journalists’ (FoDeJ), Nepal

Opinion

Bhanu Jayanti: Nepali, a language of shared identity

Recent elections in neighboring India and results thereof continue to be scrutinized from several perspectives—both within India and elsewhere in the democratic world. The staggering number of eligible voters, 970m, alone was good enough to attract global attention in this five-yearly electoral exercise which began in 1951—almost four years after it ceased to be a British colony. Interest in elections in the South Asia region was obviously higher than other regions, mainly because of  geographical proximity. Those sharing borders with India, including China and Pakistan, closely monitored the process with main focus on its outcome. For other neighbors, the process too was equally important. Cultural affinity also played its role as was palpable in Nepal. That the political party with commitment to Hindu nationalism continued to dominate other forces across India was bound to generate additional curiosity in a Hindu-majority Nepal. The keenness was natural. Cultural affinity has a linguistic dimension as well. And that was in full view through media outlets, particularly during the oath-taking ceremony held for newly-elected parliament (Lok Sabha) members. As was visible, two of the lawmakers took oaths in Nepali language: Indra Hang Subba from Sikkim and Raju Bista from Darjeeling (West Bengal). Subba (35) belongs to Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and was first elected in 2019. Bista (38), a member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is re-elected this year. Although they had different political affiliations, both Subba and Bista took pride in taking oath in Nepali. Incidentally, what can be the decisive feature identifying a person of Nepali ethnicity in a throng of 543 men and women in a spacious chamber? It is neither food nor attire. It is the language—the Nepali language—which helps to single out who is who. A ‘Topee’(cap) may occasionally offer a clue, but is not a reliable substitute for the language.#  Realistic recognition Nepali is one of the 22 languages recognized by the Constitution of India. But the recognition was not easily acquired; It came by only after a concerted campaign and struggle the Nepali-speaking Gorkhas conducted for decades. Nepali language was included in the eighth schedule of the constitution in 1992.  According to India’s census of 2011, 2.9m people in India have identified Nepali as their mother tongue. Apart from Sikkim and West Bengal, Nepali speakers are to be met in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, among other places. For example, Raju Bista, who represents Darjeeling, has his origins in Manipur. On the Western flank, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are the two main states with sizable Nepali-speaking populations. Delhi is also listed as a place where a significant number of Nepali speakers are said to be residing.        In Sikkim, Nepali has traditionally been a lingua franca–i.e. it is understood and spoken by all other communities of the state, and beyond. Prominent Indian diplomat Harsh Vardhan Shringla is one of those high-ranking individuals having their lineage in Sikkim, and therefore speak Nepali flawlessly. When Sikkim’s university bestowed an honor on him, he chose to address the audience in Nepali. Shringla once visited Nepal as India’s foreign secretary, and was seen to be enjoying conversation in Nepali. One of his predecessors, who happened to be India’s first female foreign secretary, Chokila (Tshering) Iyer, was also conversant in Nepali; Darjeeling was her birthplace.  For the people of Darjeeling-Sikkim region, July 13 is a special day when they pay tribute to the late Nepali poet Bhanubhakta Acharya. In 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee attended the function held at Chowrasta, marking Acharya’s 202nd birth anniversary. “We would like to strengthen this unique relationship amongst us,” Mukherjee said, referring to India’s ties with Nepal.  In nearby Bhutan, Nepali remains one of the three main languages despite a mass eviction, in the 1990s, of Nepali-speaking Bhutanis. As a reporter, I have recollections of some occasions when visiting Bhutan ministers preferred to issue statements in Nepali. To further east, trouble-torn Myanmar (Burma) is another country where a significant segment of its population speaks Nepali.      Knee-jerk reaction Back to the oath-taking ceremony in the Indian parliament last month. Marking the occasion, this writer offered a comment on X (Twitter), in Nepali, essentially saying the obvious: That thousands of people had contributed to the campaign that led to the recognition of Nepali language in early 1990s. My observation generated some instant reactions and responses.While most of the X users cheered the news, some appeared rather inquisitive. The question was if India has constitutionally recognized Nepali, why can’t Nepal reciprocate in kind? In other words, a sort of imperative call to include Hindi in Nepal’s constitution. Ostensibly, this  is an innocuous query posed with a concomitant suggestion. My brief reply to the concerned readers contained the following points: 1) Nepal’s system runs in accordance with Nepal’s constitution; India’s governance is conducted on the basis of their statute. 2) India’s territory is large, and so is India’s population. How is it possible to have equality between the two in every respect?  3) Unlike Nepali, which is Nepal’s lingua franca, Hindi is yet to gain that status inasmuch as it is not accepted in India’s southern states where English continues to be the official language.  Here I want to add a point which I did not insert in my quick response to X users: What all of us inside Nepal and intelligentsia across the southern border need to acknowledge and understand is the fact that Nepali language was included in the Indian constitution to expressly address the grievances of their own important constituency—of Gorkhas. No one in post-independent India can afford to underestimate their bravery, and the professional soldering the Gorkhas have rendered for the safety and security of India. Those who think Nepali language has been recognized by the Indian constitution merely to appease Nepalis of Nepal are living in a great illusion.     Knee-jerk reactions, which surfaced through social media platforms like the X, are bound to be based on superficial understanding of the issue at hand. It is a pity that the emerging crowd of digital users tend to pay scant attention to the history and social background of the very country they belong to. Barring exceptions, grownup boys and girls of this ‘postmodern world’ seem to find ample time for socializing and recreation, but can spare little for serious study or research. Westernized lifestyles have made them self-centered, often at the expense of collective well-being. Views are personal

Opinion

Revitalizing Nepal’s agriculture and food systems

Nepal’s farm sector needs a shot or two in the arm in view of changing weather patterns amid a deepening climate crisis and forgotten yet effective traditional agricultural practices.  For revitalization of this sector, every farmer needs to know what crops (traditional, modern, cash crops, etc) can grow well in their land. It is the duty of every local government to make sure that the farmers know this.    Who among these farmers want to opt for subsistence farming? Who wants to go for commercial farming and who prefers surplus farming? Relevant authorities should take a call on this because the needs of these separate groups of farmers are quite different.     Subsistence farmers need nothing, surplus farmers need guaranteed markets at their doorsteps whereas commercial farmers need guaranteed connections of national markets and knowledge to preserve their productions in a variety of ways.  It is the duty of Palikas (rural municipalities) to lease the parcels of land to the poor people interested in farming or sell it to them by accepting payment in installments.   Farmers also need to bear in mind that our ancestors switched to new crops in keeping with changing climatic conditions, including the availability of water. They need to realize that food patterns have been changing over generations and time has perhaps come yet again to change our food habits in keeping with a changing climate.   In this regard, we can take a leaf from Vedic ancestors, who taught us to blend science and intellect and sustain it culturally.  For example, they taught us how to tap into the cosmic energy to rejuvenate ourselves. Planting Tulasi, Pipal and Sami was their way of ensuring a steady supply of pure oxygen and antioxidants. Let us learn about sustainable development goals (SDGs) from our religious texts and cultural practices, and unlearn from the past efforts of government as well as non-government organizations (GOs/NGOs), if we are to indeed give sustainable development a boost in our soil.  Commission-oriented practices of politicians and businesspersons, in particular, have led to soaring imports of substandard foodstuffs of inferior quality, making the Nepali farmers reluctant to cultivate crops. So, we must make it loud and clear to our neighbors that these food imports have made our people lazy, and increased health hazards. Our import-oriented economy throws ample light on the country’s crop production scenario. Politicians least bothered about crop yields, a labor-intensive farming system, unethical business and trade practices, and consumption-oriented mindsets are responsible for inviting this situation.  To overcome this scenario, let us make a matrix of our food demands, our production, the gaps, crops that we must grow, and local governments that can grow these crops.  This matrix will help to move ahead with crop production plans.   Commitment requires continuity—in saying and doing—something, which can be done by developing all political parties’ consensual intent, programs, funding mechanisms and an accountable implementing agency, which will remain there regardless of who comes to power. But none of the rulers and potential rulers are heading in that direction, pointing at the absence of their commitment to the cause.  Summing up, the Nepalis possess a number of indigenous skills to fill up their stomachs.   Ignoring this heritage, we followed westernization in the name of modernization in the farm sector as well. So, let’s first learn to differentiate between the two and go for modernization of what we have. Secondly, our developmentalists adapted the deficiency thesis. Let’s follow an efficiency thesis to enable poor people for a self-sustaining economy.  Thirdly, let us encourage industrialists and businesspersons to establish organic industries.  Fourth, we exhausted our land by using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, sidelined the local and indigenous wisdom, and replaced indigenous crops. Let’s move ahead by learning lessons from these mistakes. Fifth, we became consumers and inhuman businesspersons to feed long grain rice and poisonous vegetables, poultries and pigs laced with chemicals. Let’s reflect on this moniya culture (money is supreme) and work for human and nature- friendly productions.

Opinion

A new era for the UK?

From the land of Sagarmatha, the highest peak in the world, I congratulate Keir Starmer on being elected the prime minister of the United Kingdom. The 2024 UK general election was held on Thursday, July 4, to elect 650 members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons, the lower house of the UK Parliament. The governing Conservative Party under Rishi Sunak was defeated in a landslide by the opposition Labor Party under Starmer. The arrival of the new Prime Minister has ushered in a wave of changes. With a message to the world—‘We’re back’—Starmer envisions Britain taking a more prominent role on the global stage, following years of strained relations with Europe over Brexit and internal political turmoil. In the hours following his inauguration, Starmer engaged in a series of calls with world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen, and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Starmer assumes office amid multiple crises, including conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. He recently traveled to Washington, DC for NATO’s 75th-anniversary summit, affirming that Britain’s steadfast support for Ukraine will continue. He has also pledged to increase UK military spending to 2.5 percent of GDP. On July 18, Starmer will host European leaders at England’s Blenheim Palace for a meeting of the 47-nation European Political Community. This gathering presents an opportunity to begin repairing ties with the UK's European neighbors, which have deteriorated since the UK left the European Union in 2020. Starmer aims to reduce some of the post-Brexit barriers affecting the movement of people and goods between Britain and the EU. However, he insists that he will not reverse Brexit or seek to rejoin the EU’s single market and customs union. Starmer’s demeanor, gestures and body language all signal that the UK is ready to reassert itself. He will need to navigate the rising influence of France and Germany within NATO by backing up US decisions, as well as the dominance of the US in the West. In developed countries, foreign policy and international relations typically remain stable despite changes in government. However, with the arrival of a new government following a significant election result in the UK, the Labor leader has the potential to positively impact the UK’s international relations, foreign policy, economy and peace efforts. His leadership appears intelligent and bold, promising to steer the country effectively on multiple fronts. Let’s hope the new government addresses all the gaps left by the previous administration. In his first speech as British PM, Keir Starmer promised to ‘rebuild’ a country that voted en masse for a change in direction amid widespread public anger over deteriorating public services and a faltering economy. The new government faces significant challenges, including boosting economic growth, reforming the social care system and securing new funding for local authorities. In just a few days on the job, six key issues have emerged as immediate priorities for Prime Minister Starmer: immigration, NHS strikes, the prisons crisis, planning reforms, relations with nations and regions, and EU relations. These priorities demonstrate that he is focused on addressing both national, regional and global issues. A nation’s power is not solely determined by its wealth, military strength, population, or territory; the leadership and diplomatic skills of its leader are also crucial. Effective leadership can harness these resources to navigate challenges, inspire progress and foster a cohesive and resilient society. Given a landslide victory, Starmer is well-positioned to lead effectively. With a strong mandate from the electorate, he has the political capital to implement his vision and address the pressing issues facing the country. This overwhelming support can enable him to drive substantial changes and navigate the complexities of governance with greater confidence and authority. The author is a member of the Supreme Court Bar and has been practicing corporate law for around three decades

Opinion

Forging stability: The Oli-Deuba partnership

Having grown tired of Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s power politics and the constant maneuvering for a ‘magic’ number in parliamentary politics, the chiefs of the two major parties in the country, KP Sharma Oli and Sher Bahadur Deuba, have sketched a new roadmap aimed at ensuring political stability at least until the next general election. In a rare display of parliamentary partnership, the two largest parties in the Parliament have agreed to form a government, though the formal agreement is yet to be made public officially.  According to the agreement, the two parties will alternate leadership of the government between Oli and Deuba over a three-year period. Oli will serve as Prime Minister for the initial half of the tenure, while Deuba will lead for the remaining period until the next general election. Ministries in the federal government will be equally divided, and the positions of chief ministers in the provinces will also be equally shared. Both the parties have also agreed to amend the constitution, especially on the electoral system though it is not an easy job.   As per the agreement, the Nepali Congress has given a vote of confidence to the Chief Minister of Madhes Province from the CK Raut-led Janamat Party has joined the government there. In other provinces, UML ministers have resigned to facilitate the formation of new governments. Following the power-sharing agreement in the federal government, both the parties have endorsed the deal in their respective central meetings. Leaders of both parties are committed to implementing the agreement sincerely, despite facing various conspiracies and pressures from different quarters. This time, people have given both the parties the benefit of the doubt, overlooking the past.   On July 12, Prime Minister Dahal is set to seek a vote of confidence in the parliament, though odds are stacked against him. Despite this, Dahal’s decision to face the parliament should be respected as a constitutional right of any Prime Minister. If Dahal had morality, he should have resigned immediately after the CPN-UML withdrew support to him. Shocked and traumatized by the Oli-Deuba alliance formed to sideline him, Dahal will again present himself as a ‘revolutionary’ and ‘progressive’ leader in revenge and might call movements from different fronts. This has been a hallmark of Dahal, who has made compromises with all parties and foreign powers to save his government. Whenever he quits government, he appears as a rebel, but such politics doesn’t work these days. While his next steps remain uncertain, he is likely to be relegated to a weaker position as the opposition leader, marking a turning point in the Maoist party’s decline. Dahal’s failure to garner a trust vote means UML Chair Oli will become the Prime Minister of Nepal under Article 76 (2) of the Constitution. Some argue that Oli cannot be appointed Prime Minister under the same article again, but the Supreme Court has clearly ruled that the same article can be invoked multiple times if there is a possibility of government formation. Ultimately, it depends on the President under which article he calls upon the parties to form the next government.  Let the law take its own course. The major concerns now are political stability and the continuation of developmental works initiated during Oli’s second premiership from 15 Feb 2018 to 13 May 2021. As Oli prepares to become PM for the third time, a sense of hope has spread across the nation. Among Nepal’s contemporary politicians, Oli stands out as a leader with a vision and conviction, having earned the trust of the people. Therefore, the agreement between the two major parties to share power and have Oli lead the government has been seen as a beacon of hope as Nepali people are fed up with deceptive politics. In the last parliamentary election, no party secured a majority to form the government, leading the third party to control the power dynamics with the so-called magic number. The leader of the third party, Dahal, alternately and deceptively led the government with support from the first and the second largest parties. However, his political maneuvering has come to an end, and he has now returned to the sidelines as a frail leader. Reflecting on this, his former colleague and now leader of a fringe party, Baburam Bhattarai, expressed his satisfaction thus: “You can’t fool all the people all the time.” Some have speculated that external powers, particularly Western ones, played a role in uniting the two major parties, but these claims are unfounded and baseless. Certain intellectuals often suspect external interference in significant domestic developments, but this is merely a form of self-satisfaction. Neither neighboring countries nor Western nations such as the US contributed to bringing the two parties together. It was Oli and Deuba, who decided to sideline Dahal’s messy and opportunistic politics from within the domestic political landscape. Foreign interference in Nepal’s internal affairs has significantly diminished compared to the past. Ambassadors from neighboring countries in Kathmandu have maintained diplomatic decorum, engaging with all stakeholders equally. However, political inconsistencies have negatively impacted diplomatic relations. With Oli likely to become the next PM, this temporary strain on diplomatic relations is expected to end. The government formed by the two major parties will be stronger and more stable, fostering harmonious relations with both neighboring and powerful countries while prioritizing Nepal’s national interests. The new government will address the genuine concerns of India and China, but will also firmly warn them against any interference in Nepal’s domestic affairs. Oli’s administration will maintain a balanced foreign policy, ensuring that Nepal’s sovereignty and national interests remain paramount. Strengthening ties with both India and China, the government will work towards mutual cooperation, economic development and regional stability. Additionally, Oli’s leadership is anticipated to bring renewed focus to developmental projects and economic initiatives initiated during his previous terms. This will not only help boost domestic growth but also enhance Nepal’s strategic partnerships with neighboring countries and international allies. But, this power alliance of Nepali Congress and CPN UML should not be limited only in form but in substance too. Cornering the CPN (Maoist Center) or Dahal shouldn’t be the sole goal of the alliance, it should inject hope and that should be seen in action, for action speaks louder than words.   Views are personal

politics

PM Oli pledges to deliver good governance, curb corruption

A day after assuming the high office, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said his government will work to bring positive results in all walks of nation…

Challenges before new foreign minister

Arzu Rana Deuba, a Central Working Committee member of the Nepali Congress, has been appointed the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the KP Sharma Oli-l…

Indian ambassador Srivastava calls on DPM Singh

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava paid a courtesy call on Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Urban Development Prakash Man Singh in Si…

Pakistan PM Sharif congratulates PM Oli

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has congratulated and extended hearty best wishes to KP Sharma Oli for being appointed as the Prime Mi…

apEx pioneers

Harry Bhandari: An inspiring tale of Nepali immigrant in the US

Quick facts Born on 1 Oct 1977 in Parbat Went to Tribhuvan Secondary School, Parbat Graduated in PN Campus, Pokhara; post-grad in English literature from Tribhuvan University First elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2018 and has been a member of the House since Jan 2019 PhD from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Husband to Sangita Baruwal Father to Ronix Bhandari and Salona Bhandari I began my early education at a public school establishe…

Baburam Bhattarai: An analysis on Nepal’s underdevelopment

Quick facts Born on 18 June 1954 in Gorkha Went to Amarjyoti Janata High School, Gorkha Graduated from Punjab University, Chandigarh, Post-grad from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi PhD in Regional development planning from Jawaharlal Nehru University Published doctoral thesis ‘The Nature of Underdevelopment and Regional Structure of Nepal: A Marxist Analysis’ in 2003 Husband of Hisila Yami Father to Manushi Yami Bhattarai I went to India in…

Sunil Babu Pant: A guardian of LGBTIQA+ community

Quick facts Born on June 1972 in Gorkha  Went to Laxmi Secondary School, Gorkha  Graduated in Computer Science from Ukraine and Belarus  Became the member of first constituent assembly in 2008  Partner to Peter Neil  I saw the oppression of gay men during my time in Minsk, Belarus, where I was studying for my master’s degree in computer science. The queer bashing, the poster…

Usha Nepal: An inspiration to every working woman

Quick facts Born in Mahottari, Nepal Went to Balika Secondary School, Biratnagar Received a Bachelor’s in Arts from Banaras Hindu University, India Received a Master’s degree through Colombo Plan Scholarship in Patna, India  Studies Law from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu Became the first female CDO in 1989 Being the first female Chief District Officer (CDO), whi…

Anupama Khunjeli: A trailblazer banker

Quick facts Born on 14 Nov 1970 in Kathmandu  Went to St Mary’s High School, Lalitpur  Graduated from Shanker Dev Campus; post-grad from Ace Institute of Management  Joined banking sector in 1991 as a teller  Wife of Dr Rabindra Khunjeli  Mother to Swastika Khunjeli  I have always had a competitive streak in me. I was into sports from a young age and I wanted to be an ath…

Capt Siddartha Jang Gurung: Aviation rescue specialist

Quick facts Born on 20 April 1975 in Lalitpur  Went to Alperton High School, London, UK Completed flight course from Florida Flight Academy, US Started rescue flights from 1995  Husband of Sraddha Gurung Father to Devanshi Gurung and Shlok Jung Gurung  I have been flying helicopters for 27 years now, and have a long experience of flying in the mountainous terrain of Nepal…

Bhuwan Chand: Born to perform

Quick facts Born on 14 June 1949, Kathmandu Went to Ratna Rajyalaxmi Campus, Pradashani Marg, Kathmandu  Took a leading role in the first Nepali feature film ‘Aama’ in 1964 Wife to Michael Chand Mother to Sheela Chand, Sheetal Chand, and Shirush Chand  I started my career in acting when I was merely four-five years old. Back then, we had no such thing as film acting. Nepal s…

editorial

working together is no longer optional-it is a matter of compulsion

Annapurna Media Network has announced the Unity for Sustainability campaign which comes into force from January 1, 2022. The main aim of this campaign is to 'lead the climate change dialogue' working closely with all the stakeholders on sustainable development mode, particulary focusing on climate-change issues.