Despite the political instability which has resulted in frequent government changes, there has been a remarkable development in Nepal’s defense and security sector, according to a report prepared by the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers.
The annual progress report of the government outlines significant achievements and initiatives undertaken by various government branches, bolstering Nepal’s commitment to ensuring safety and well-being of its citizens and safeguarding its borders.
One of the key highlights is the progress made in the establishment of the National Defense University to be operated by the Nepali Army (NA). The detailed project report (DPR) of the institution has been reviewed by the National Defense University Infrastructure Development Committee, bringing the NA one step closer to setting up the proposed university.
The report also states that in a bid to strengthen border security, Nepal added three new border outposts (BOPs) along its border with India and one along the Nepal-China border during the fiscal year 2021/22. With this expansion, the total number of BOPs has reached 228.
Likewise, for ensuring the safety of its citizens and enhancing surveillance capabilities, the government installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems at 42 strategic locations across 12 Tarai districts.
The control rooms for these CCTV systems have been established at the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force (APF) headquarters.
The NA also undertook several modernization initiatives in the fiscal year 2021/22. It successfully trained 10 personnel for the Payload Drop Quadcopter Project and developed a prototype quadcopter, the report says.
Additionally, the NA partnered with the National Innovation Center to convert one of its fossil fuel cars into an electric vehicle as a pilot program. If the project succeeds, the Army plans to implement it on a broader scale.
Striving for self-reliance in military hardware, the NA also commenced the local production of 5.56 mm ammunition, a significant step toward reducing dependence on foreign imports. The Army also increased its capacity to manufacture explosives required for military and construction purposes.
Similarly, the NA’s air operations played a vital role throughout the year, with a total of 832 flights conducted from its central and western air bases. These flights encompassed a range of activities, including operations, training exercises, rescue missions, charter services, and support for government events. Additionally, the Army built 140 structures, improving facilities for its personnel, as part of its ‘from bunker to barracks’ program.
The Nepal Police also made commendable progress in enhancing its capabilities. The Cyber Bureau received significant upgrades, bolstering its ability to counter digital threats. To further enhance security in Kathmandu, 145 CCTV systems were installed.
The police force also procured two kennel-fitted vehicles to ensure smooth movement of police dogs for law enforcement purposes. To streamline data management and investigation techniques, the police acquired the National Crime Information Center software and trained 445 personnel to operate the software.
Likewise, an additional 111 personnel received specialized technical investigation and analysis training. The police force also expanded its automated fingerprint enrolment stations to 45 units for collection of fingerprints from crime suspects.
The Armed Police Force (APF) also contributed significantly to anti-narcotics efforts, seizing three tons of marijuana, 35 kg of hashish, 371 grams of brown sugar, and various other narcotics during the review period.
The APF has stationed rescue squads with 56 trained divers, boats and relief materials in all seven provinces and Kathmandu Valley to respond effectively to monsoon-related disasters.
The Department of Immigration has also started preparations to digitize its system in line with technological advancements. It has prepared a concept paper to implement e-gates, an automatic biometrics identification system, and enrolment system. Furthermore, preparations are underway to introduce an e-Visa system.