The planes that fly over our sky have passed their utility 10 years ago. The public buses that run in our cities eject smoke that cannot be penetrated by the brightest of light and for a moment we feel like a sudden burst of a solar eclipse has engulfed our environment.
On the one hand, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Nijgadh International Airport has not been prepared while on the other its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is ready. Why and how was the EIA of a project possible without a DPR?
Russia is challenging the NATO, US, nd the entire EU because of its technological strength and national power capability. North Korea is bullying the US because of its advanced missile and defense technology. The US and China are intimidating each other because of their tech capabilities. All these are eventually posing threats to humanity.
Although a small country geographically, Nepal is extremely rich in terms of ecology, biodiversity, cultural diversity, arts and culture, and production, consumption and distribution patterns. Nepal’s unique location between two giant economies — India and China — which have been achieving robust economic growths over the past few decades, provides it a golden opportunity to achieve prosperity. This article tries to highlight nine ways the government bodies and other stakeholders concerned can pursue to chart Nepal’s path to economic development.
Nepal has been called an agricultural country for the past several centuries. However, this seems to be limited only to slogans. The overall agriculture sector in Nepal has not received priority even as this sector can create a wave of development in Nepal. About 65 percent of Nepali people are currently involved in agriculture. The development index is still negative even as nearly two-thirds of the country's total population is involved in this sector.
The greatest achievement of federalism is peace. There is peace throughout the country. We can simply compare the situation of terror during the conflict period and the situation now. If there were no peace in the country, then perhaps nothing would make sense.
We need a strong public sector able to provide quality education, a good environment for personal growth and the positive values that shape a person’s character for the entire life. It is a huge responsibility, if you think about it.
Women’s agency and dignity is not a matter of women only. It is our collective issue. A woman makes and shapes a family and a community. Her role is decisive for the health and wellbeing of any household. So is the role of a man. Women’s rights and equality is not a war against men. Men are already on board in this. We need to raise our sons right to make it happen for everyone.
Every person reading this piece knows why and where the majority of Nepali talents land after finishing school or completing undergraduation. They serve Amercians or Europeans or the rest of the globe, but not Nepal. It's because Nepali institutions don't care about the talents, unless you are ‘our man (hamro manche)’ rather than ‘the man (ramro manche)’.
Now, Nepal's diplomatic capability should be proven to convince the USA to review some controversial provisions in the MCC and then we can pass the agreement from the federal parliament which will be a win-win situation not only for Nepal and the USA but also for the USA and China.
An insightful strategist knows how to juggle between ends, means, and ways. The outcome of Nepal's unification campaign demonstrates that King Prithvi Narayan Shah was a seasoned military leader and a veteran strategist. He had a clear 'end' in his mind, and, more importantly, the King had the necessary acumen to use the available means to achieve well-defined political goals through various ways, depending on the situation.
Nepal’s landlockedness should be viewed from an agathokakological sense, not just as an ill-fate. Nepal can just give a damn over several ‘economic headaches’ as we are proudly landlocked. The terrorism risk index turns bleak for Nepal, as we are landlocked.
In July 2021, I suddenly heard Sandhya committed suicide in her house in Pokhara. She was only 21 years old. I was shocked. I was told she underwent an attempted rape by her paying guest landlord who was married and had his own children.
There are a host of issues before the election commission and the state to address as a challenge in order to strengthen and defend the electoral democracy, fostering more inclusive and participatory elections.
In a situation where we seek enhanced international investment, a big question that also arises is - is it in our favor to lose the USD 500 million grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to upgrade our power grid? I feel, it is not.
Despite all odds, there are also wonderful things that happened this year, some big and small, and remarkable factors contributing to making our world better, and we must acknowledge that. As 2021 is coming to an end, I am contemplating on valuable learning happening in the development sector, and came up with seven points as follows:
From boccia to table tennis to swimming to taekwondo to cricket, powerlifting to wheelchair basketball to mention just a few, there are a multitude of sports disciplines where adaptive athletes have been active for many years.
The World Soil Day (#WorldSoilDay) is held annually on 5th December to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate a sustainable management of soil resources. This year, with the slogan “Halt soil salinization, boost soil productivity,” which aims to raise awareness on the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being by addressing the growing challenges in soil management, fighting soil salinization, increasing soil awareness, and encouraging societies to improve soil health.
It would be a litmus test for Nepal to maintain and continue its age-old non-aligned foreign policy in case any emerging regional super power presses her and forces her to oblige them with a strategic partnership. Tilting against the other with a security alliance would be a blunder for its survival. There could possibly be a Himalayan Triangle, a formation of three nations China, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, rather than a Himalayan Quadrangle with the inclusion of Nepal.
Nepal’s lifeline tariff should be restructured in a manner that affordable electricity service is extended to the economically-disadvantaged population and incentivize them to switch from the existing biomass cooking to cleaner electrical cooking.
A high alert during the entire process of data collection under the census is of paramount importance to ensure the quality and reliability of the outcome of the census. The results need to be acceptable to different stakeholders ethnically, culturally, religiously, and geographically with clarity of identity of each segment of society as their fundamental right.
The UN peacekeeping mission is a powerful platform for creating and maintaining soft power for Nepal. However, while soft power may seem less risky than economic and military power, it is difficult to use and easily lost without preservation. It requires time and effort to restore after being lost.
China now heads four of the UN’s 15 Specialized Agencies including the Food and Agriculture Organization, International Telecommunication Union, United Nations Industrial Development, and International Civil Aviation Organization. As the US suspended funding to the WHO in 2020, China promised $2 billion to fight the pandemic. The Economist writes “any retreat by America from global leadership is an opportunity for China.”
In order to build a community with a shared future for mankind, we need to build an open and inclusive world of common prosperity. Similarly, we need to build a world in which we share weal and woe together. And that is possible only in a fair and just world.
Now we will have to ensure that new digital innovations can help unblock the status quo while at the same time it is paramount to better understand how new technological devices can enhance the learning of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
In Nepal, the majority of people affected by climate change are women who are disproportionality at risk, whether from floods, in which more women drown than men or through working in agriculture, where women carry out most of the additional labor required to cope with the lack of water and the new diseases that climate change will bring.
We expect Roger Federer, Virat Kohli, Lebron James, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo etc to play 10 months out of a year and entertain us at the height of their capabilities and if we are not satisfied then we ostracize them. If we demand that these athletes win every match while entertaining us, then we need to re-evaluate our own mental health.
Coffee consumption, overfishing, plastic pollution, and groundwater overuse are some of the examples of the “tragedy of the commons.” Humans drink over two billion cups of coffee every day contributing to habitat loss that has endangered 60 percent of plant species. Similarly, overhunting and overfishing will likely push many species to extinction.
The agencies concerned can enlist help from the Community Forestry Executive Committee to facilitate the smooth delivery of health support to the needy population. The district-level FECOFUN can also coordinate and cooperate with district-level health centers for medical rescue of the infected people.
MCC must come with some amendments and the clauses must be written more clearly, respecting the sovereignty and voices of Nepal or else, the US must keep its popularity by engaging in other philanthropic activities that it has been doing for many decades. Since the US is the global center for democratic values, questions arising over the US are also the questions arising over free speech, independence and democracy that Nepalis strongly believe in.
Technology has eased human lives but not defeated geography. The case of repeated casualties from lightning and thunderstorm in the Siwalik/Churia range and fewer cases of such casualties in the mountainous region is an example of how despite the emergence of 21st century technology, it has not defeated geography.
Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has announced an assessment of the country's total assets. He has said that he will launch a campaign to assess the country's wealth and will not back down from it. In Nepal, for the first time in 2067 BS, an attempt was made to start a program to assess the country's wealth. Although the then finance minister announced the program, it did not start.
The ecologically based pest management (EBPM) strategy is an effective, safe and economically acceptable alternative for sustainable pest management. Indeed, this approach manages the whole farm and keeps the pests population at acceptable bounds rather than totally eliminating them by using many complementary strategies. This also helps in sustainable ecosystem conservation and restoration.
Nowadays, some sections of the public go as far as to charge treason against those who argue the MCC project is needed for Nepal’s development. Some adamant opponents do not even want to listen to or read other arguments when it comes to the MCC project. This is an utterly wrong and worrisome situation. Are the people who are in favor of the project treasonous? I would contend, absolutely not.
Even if such a move won’t go far, it is a gamble worth taking because it would give a strong message to the entire nation: at times of crisis, when the leadership of political parties falls short, then other options can be made available.