Education ministry prepares draft of first-ever 'Science and Technology Bill'

Published On: June 16, 2024 02:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal


KATHMANDU, June 16: Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has prepared a draft of the first-ever 'Science and Technology Bill' to promote research and innovation.

The draft made public through the website of the ministry recently seeks suggestions from stakeholders, general public and people's representatives within 15 days of the issuance. 

The draft bill proposes formation of a science, technology and innovation council presided by the Prime Minister to provide guidance to this from a high level.

At present, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) has been leading the innovation, research in the science and technology sector in the country.

The draft includes other issues such as formulation of master plan, research, coordination between the government and non-government sector for development and good-governance, ownership, use, management, survey, promotion of innovation and commercialization of research among others.

The annual policy and programs of the government for the upcoming fiscal year 2024/25 mentions that the universities, schools, researchers and scientists would be mobilized to implement the programs related to scientific research and innovation. 

Non-resident Nepalis will also be appealed to participate and contribute towards this cause. 

Furthermore, the curriculum of the university will be revised ensuring that the course of study include curriculum related to science, communication and information technology. 

The government has adopted the policy to facilitate registration of patent of the products and knowledge developed by research and innovation.

Indu Bikram Joshi, Joint-Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, said that once the bill is put in place, there would be clarity so as to set up a fund for development of science and technology. 

Also, investment will increase while the modality of spending for the research and innovation related works would be clear.

The draft mandates that at least one percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) should be allocated for research and innovation. At present, the budget allocation for this sector is 0.30 percent of the GDP. 

There were estimated 120 institutions and over 90,000 human resources in the field of the science and technology sector when the policy was issued. The ministry, however, does not have any exact statistics on it at present.


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