KATHMANDU, Oct 22: Painting a dismal picture of the government's priority to the promotion of science and technology, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun has called upon the government to rethink its investment in this sector.
"For Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), the government has set aside only 0.25 % of its annual budget allocated to the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology in the current Fiscal Year 2019/20. This money maybe sufficient for just the staff salaries," Pun said, adding that carrying out research and studies is a real challenge with such little budget.
Pun was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the International Youth Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation 2019 in Kathmandu on Monday. The 3-day conference which started Monday, themed 'research and innovation for prosperity', is jointly organized by the NAST, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and National Youth Council.
"If the government pins its hope on science and technology, it has to invest in it," he said, drawing the attention of the government to sufficiently increase its investment if it wants to promote science and technology in the country. "We are rich in our traditional knowledge and skills. A fusion of the knowledge of science and technology with our traditional knowledge is the need of the day," he said.
Vice President Pun also said that it was up to the scientific community to ascertain the type of technology and knowledge needed to meet the demands of a country like Nepal that is so geographically diverse.