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					                Report
                  on
            Establishment
                  of
National Space Technology Center
           (NASTEC)




             Prepared by

            The Task Force
  Ministry of Science and Technology
             August, 2000




                 For
His Majesty’s Government of Nepal
  Ministry of Science and Technology
        Singhdurbar, Kathmandu




                       1
   1. TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                            Page No.



1. Executive Summary                                           1

2. Introduction                                                3

3. Background                                                  3

4. Review of Current Status                                    4

5. Issues and Suggested Remedies                               7

6. Institutional Setup                                         9

  6.1. Objectives                                              9

  6.2. Structure                                               10

  6.3. Functions and Activities                                10

7. Human Resource and Physical Infrastructure                  13

8. Financial Proposition                                       14

9. Implementation Strategies                                   15

10. Action Plan and Programme                                  15

11. Conclusions and Recommendations                            17




ANNEX- I           List of Task Force Members

ANNEX- II Proposed detailed tentative Action Plan for the Fiscal Yr.
          057/058.



                                        2
1. Executive Summary

Since the launching of the first man-made satellite, the Sputnik, in 1957, space
technology has taken great strides. Its applications have been widening and extending
to different areas of economic and social sectors. Communication satellites have now
turned the world into a global village. Even from a remote isolated area, it is now
possible to have access to the global information networks. Meteorological satellites are
similarly helping to make more accurate weather forecasting. Satellites based Global
Positioning System (GPS) has made the process of geodetic positioning and survey
relatively easy and simple as well as the satellite based navigation has become a
feasible proposition. Remote sensing satellites with multi-spectral scanning facilities
now provide real time data and information on land surface features as well as
resources therein. They have enabled to evaluate and monitor environment on a
continuous basis and also to help in disaster warning and management. They are now
being widely used to assess and monitor agricultural production and productivity as
well as other natural resources like forest, water, minerals, etc. The use of remote
sensing (RS), Geographic Information System (GIS) and GPS now enables decision
makers to monitor and analyze the changing resource base of specific ecosystems in
order to make informed choices for sustainable development.

In Nepal, where the physical topography is rugged and population is spread in remote
and isolated areas, applications of space technology have added advantage and hence
are highly significant and important. At a time, when regional and international
cooperation in the fields of space technology is extending and expanding, Nepal needs
to make consorted efforts to best utilize space technology for sustainable development
of the nation.

Applications of space technology in different disciplines were initiated about two
decades back by establishing in 1981, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC)
through the joint cooperation between HMG and USAID. But the centre was merged in
1989 with the Forest Survey and Statistics Division of the Forest Research and Survey
Centre and its works are now solely confined to forest resource inventory and land-use
changes. Meanwhile, National Telecommunication Corporation introduced satellite
communication in 1982 by establishing the Sagarmatha Receiving Station to link the
Intelsat system. The station was upgraded to standard A in 1994. Besides, a number of
VSATs are also operating now to cater the growing needs of the public and the private
sectors. Likewise, different organizations, including the Department of Survey, are
making use of the GPS satellites for ground positioning and geodetic purposes. The
Department of Hydrology and Meteorology is using meteorological satellites,
belonging to NOAA and Japan, for its weather forecasting activities. While the
Department of Mines and Geology is actively involved in the use of remote sensing for
geological mapping and also for the identification of potential mineral resources,
several other government departments, agencies as well as private sectors are applying
remote sensing for various project works and studies relating to forest mapping, land
resource assessment and planning, water resource assessment, watershed management,
etc. In the Nepalese context, space technology has thus been used mainly for
communication, global positioning, weather forecasting and earth resource observation.
There is no provision of education and training in this field except in the ones in the
telecommunication and some other short-term training on GIS. Almost all the


                                           3
manpower currently working in the country in these fields have been trained abroad on
the various programmes. Regarding data and physical facilities, satellite imagery are
procured either in hardcopy form or digital formats. Software for processing the digital
date on the digital computers are available with a number of institutions involved in the
application of space technology in their respective fields.

There is little interaction between institutions or projects that are making use of satellite
data on natural resources. Among them, there are overlaps and duplication of efforts.
As a result, scarce resources have not been fully utilized. There are scopes to share
among them, such as the costly space data, etc, and thus save scarce resource for other
better usage. Moreover, due to lack of proper awareness, vital sectors including
agriculture have not been able to make best use available space technology potentials
for their benefit.

For the promotion of space technology application extensively for sustainable
development and for the advancement of space technology in the country, a number of
issues have been identified, such as:

   lack of coordination and integration
   lack of data sharing policies
   lack of quality standards
   lack of recognized national level institute to improve access, sharing, integration
    and use of space data to support decision-making at various levels
   lack of a platform for overall development of space science in the country.

In consideration of the noted issues and the various suggestions put forth during a
recently held workshop organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology on the
subject, and in order to strengthen space policies and programmes in the context of
national needs and priorities, technological trends and industrial opportunities, it is
recommended to establish a National Space Technology Center (NASTEC) under the
aegis of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The proposed objectives, structure,
functions and activities of the NASTEC are briefly presented in page [9 & 10]. It is also
proposed to constitute a high level National Committee on Space Science (NASSCOM)
to provide policy guidelines on space science and to facilitate the promotion of the
comprehensive use of space technology application for rapid and sustainable socio-
economic development. A Technical Committee, composed of representatives from
various concerned institutions, is also proposed for providing necessary technical
guidance and support to the NASTEC.

It is envisaged that NASTEC will play a pivotal role in establishing an active network
among all the concerned institutions and organizations. It will promote data-sharing and
better utilization of available resources as well as creation of new facilities. It will act to
enhance national space technology capacities and capabilities by establishing, in the
long run, suitable ground receiving stations as well as by arranging for proper use of the
space slots allocated to the country by the international community. Similarly it will
play an active role for the human resource development as well as for the retention of
the trained manpower. An Action Plan and Programme for immediate action to begin
with is presented (ANNEX – II).




                                              4
Introduction

Ever since the launching of man-made satellites, applications of space technology have
been widening and extending to different areas of economic and social sectors. Space
technology now possesses tremendous potential in achieving sustainable development.
For a developing country like ours, with rugged topographic terrain and with the
population dispersed in the isolated remote areas, space technology has added
advantage and importance.

The regional and international organizations are already launching several cooperation
programmes in the field of space science. The ESCAP, for example, has completed its
Regional Space Application Program for Asia and Pacific RESAP – I and is continuing
it as RESAP – II. With well chartered national plans and programmes on space
technology applications, the nation can be benefited much more by actively
participating in such activities and programmes.

In view of the relevance and importance of space application, a five member Task
Force (ANNEX-I) was formed under the aegis of the Ministry of Science and
Technology in order to identify the outstanding issues regarding the promotion of space
technology application in the country for sustainable development and to come up with
necessary recommendations and also necessary proposal towards the establishment of
a suitable institutional mechanism for the same.

The present report, prepared by the Task Force deals with the review of the current
status and also the objectively identified and analysed outstanding issues. The report
also includes the overall outcome of the recently concluded workshop on „Space
technology Application for sustainable development in the country for New
Millennium‟ organized by the Task force on 30th Baishak, 2057 at the Ministry of
Science and Technology. Based on such critical observations and analysis as well as the
various suggestions made during the workshop, propositions for the necessary
institutional setup as well as the required inputs for the effective and efficient operation
of the setup are then presented. Immediate and long-term implementation strategies as
well as the Action Plans and Programmes are presented. It is envisaged that an early
implementation of the recommendations will help to move forward in the promotion of
space technology application in a coordinated manner for the sustainable development
of the nation.



3. Background

The later part of the twentieth century witnessed an unprecedented scientific
advancement with a significant progress achieved in the field of space technology. The
technology is gaining an ever-increasing significance in everyday life and is playing
greater role, not only for developed countries, but also for the developing world, in


                                             5
promoting environmentally sound and sustainable development. Yet the question
remains as to how space technology application can be integrated into national
development efforts and thereby create a impact on the lives and conditions of people
and societies, particularly of the poor communities in remote, isolated rural and
inaccessible mountain areas like ours, where such applications are in particular of
added significance.

Application of space technology having been going on in Nepal since last two decades
in different disciplines. As a multi-disciplinary project, National Remote Sensing
Center (NRSC) was established in 1981 through the joint cooperation between HMG
and USAID with an aim of bringing together multidisciplinary scientists to work on
remotely sensed data to generate useful information for national development. It was
the first such institution set up in the country on a national basis to apply the technology
in all round development work. In 1989, however, the Center was merged with the then
Forest Survey and Statistics Division of the department of Forest Research and Survey
and renamed the Remote Sensing Section, which now focuses its work only on forest
resource inventory and monitoring of land-use changes.

Despite the widespread use of space technology in today‟s world, its use in Nepal has
been somewhat limited due to (a) lack of awareness regarding the benefits of the
technology among many potential users and (b) lack of adequate networking
mechanism among various institutions within the country. We are facing a brain-drain
problem due to lack of suitable opportunities in Nepal. The situation has been
aggravated also due to difficulties in obtaining necessary funding, reluctance to release
and/or share information across multiple users and unavailability of user-oriented
products. It has been felt that the Ministry of Science and Technology should play a
lead role to boost the application of space science in the country and to get the full
benefit of the technology by establishing a suitable institution.



4. Review of Current Status

Reliable global communication through satellites, accurate weather forecasts through
meteorological satellites, radio, television broadcasts, distance education, remote
sensing of earth‟s resources, satellite navigation, satellite geodesy and satellite based
disaster warning systems are some of the immediate applications that can play a crucial
role in enhancing our daily life. The space efforts in Nepal are at present mainly
focused on satellite communication and the use of remote sensing and Geographical
Information System (GIS) for environmental surveying, resource management and
disaster monitoring. Sustainable development involves greater and conflicting demands
on available resources mainly due to the rapidly growing populations and a dwindling
resource base. Modern technologies, such as GIS, RS and GPS can facilitate the
decision-maker‟s need to monitor and analyze the changing resource bases of specific
ecosystems in order to make informed choices. These technologies allow planners to
process large volumes of data from multiple sources and can be integrated to produce
maps, monitor the changes and model the impact of management decisions.




                                             6
In the Nepalese context, the technology has been used mainly in four different sectors
such as Communication, Global positioning, and Weather forecasting and Earth
resource observation. The recent Workshop and the Status survey report revealed that
the space technology application programmes are being implemented in a fragmented
manner by various organizations in the country to meet their various needs.

Communication satellites are basically geo-stationary and its movement is
synchronous to the earth motion. Due to the dense traffic in the space, the International
Telecommunication Union (ITU) has passed a resolution allocating specific orbital
slot/slots for all the member countries. However, Nepal has not been able to utilize it so
far for the country‟s benefit. Regarding the status of Satellite Communication, Nepal
Telecommunication Corporation is responsible in the country, which acts as the
operating agency for the International Telecommunication Satellite Organization
(Intelsat) System. Its major function is to operate domestic and international telephone,
telex and fax services and leased data circuits and provide television transmission
services. The Corporation established its own receiving station (Sagarmatha) in 1982
and upgraded to Standard A in 1994 and is getting easy access worldwide. Mobile
telephone system has also been introduced and gaining popularity in the business
sector. Nepal Television is going to use satellite based broadcasting system very soon.
Communication satellites for Internet access and data downloading are being utilized
through Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) by a number of private sector Internet
service providers (ISP‟s). Their use may possibly extend in near future to distance
education also.

Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites are used for ground positioning to find
out the ground coordinates and elevation of a particular point with the help of a
receiver. In Nepal, different organizations have used different types of GPS receiver in
locating the ground coordinates. Apparently, the Leica 300 high precision GPS receiver
is being used in the Department of Survey to find out the geodetic control points. The
Department has been using its six SR 200 GPS receivers for cadastral surveys,
geodetic surveys and topographic mapping. Many other organization and individual
researcher are also using handy GPS receiver for locating the geographical position
during their field data collections.

Meteorological satellites currently operating in the space are of different types.
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of United States
and Geostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS) of Japan series of meteorological
satellites are widely used in getting the cloud information and other meteorological
data. The weather forecasting division of the Department of Hydrology and
Meteorology is utilizing NOAA picture and GMS data in daily weather forecasting.
The division obtains pictorial information in Tele-print form from New Delhi. The
Department provides services in the form of climatological, agro-meteorological
weather forecasting and hydrological data collections. The forecasting division issue
routine weather forecasts for general public and specialized forecasts for aviation and
mountaineering expeditions. An Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT) receiving station
for meteorological satellites has been functioning at the Tribhuvan International Airport
since 1975. It receives visible and infra-red images from NOAA satellites regularly and
occasionally from other Meteorological satellites. It was upgraded in 1990 to receive
hourly images from GMS satellites. Measures are also being taken to set up an INSAT
Ground receiving station for receiving Meteorological data and imageries.


                                            7
Earth Resource Observation Satellites or Remote sensing satellites are being used in
identifying and monitoring the renewable and non-renewable natural resources. There
are number of remote sensing satellites, such as Landsat (USA), SPOT (France), ERS
(European Space Agency), JERS (Japan), MOS (Japan), ADEOS (Japan), IRS (INDIA)
etc. operating in the space and those satellite data are being used in multidisciplinary
applications. The data obtained are in digital format and can be integrated readily into a
GIS environment. Developing countries like ours have technically an equal opportunity
in terms of access to such information and can help to speed up or enhance
development by use of remote sensing technology.

At present, several government departments, agencies and universities as well as
NGO‟s and INGO‟s in the country are applying remote sensing and GIS in a limited
scale for various projects and studies relating to forest mapping, geological mapping,
mining, agriculture, land-cover and land-use classification, land resource assessment
and planning, water resource assessment, watershed management etc. Government
planning requires an information base and the various departments require different
information for the purpose. The Department of Mines and Geology have for instance a
mandate to map the nation‟s geology and identify potential mineral resources. The
Department at present is mainly involved in the processing and interpretation of
Landsat TM and IRS data plus their integration into a GIS. Ministry of Agriculture is
concerned with soils, climate water availability in order to optimise production. The
Ministry also requires information on the movement or spread of the particular crop
disease or insect infestation or the likely yield of an important crop. However, it is yet
to make any use of satellite imageries. The Department of Forest Research and Survey
is responsible to prepare national forest inventory as well as to provide necessary
information for forest management. Currently it obtains satellite data from the Indian
Remote Sensing Center at Hyderabad and Landsat TM data. Other agencies of the
Government are also using satellite data for various purposes.

In reviewing the current status, it was found that the many organizations in the country
have used the space data using different methods for acquiring, storing, processing and
analysing data on natural resources. Individual handling of space data by the line
agencies has not been very efficient nor effective. Map production are on varying
scales and have different coordinate system, making it difficult to make overlays and to
integrate them. Metadata are not properly documented, rendering them unavailable for
future use. There are no clear mandate regarding the standards and quality of the space
data. There are little or no interaction between the institutions or projects and often
their mandates, authorities, responsibilities and functions overlap. From limited
perspectives and without long-term planning, the current resources of space data are not
being optimally utilized and efforts are duplicated. The time has come to realise, at the
higher executives and decision making levels, the need for a sound policy on space
science and its application. It is necessary that efforts be made to formulate a strategy
for the development and application of space science at national level in order to
benefit maximally from the currently available opportunities.




                                            8
5. Issues and Suggested Remedies

The general issues in the advancement of space technology in the country are:

–   lack of coordination and integration in multidisciplinary activities
–   lack of quality standards
–   lack of data sharing policies
–   lack of recognized national level coordinating institute to improve access, sharing,
    integration and use of space data
–   lack of support at different levels for providing a platform to develop the overall
    space science in the country.

The recently concluded workshop on “ Space Technology Applications for Sustainable
Development in the Country for New Millenium” and the concurrent questionnaire
survey on its status in the country have indicated the following major issues:

–   lack of awareness on the benefits of the technology among many potential users
–   reluctance to release and / or share information across multiple users and discipline
–   continued loss of expertise in the technology due to a lack of opportunity in Nepal
–   lack of readily available user-oriented products
–   difficulties amongst the users in obtaining funding for the acquisition of data
–   lack of a national level organization on space science consisting of a multi-
    disciplinary team and with the responsibility of coordinating, networking and
    operating in this field

As sustainable and equitable development has to be based on reliable and accurate
information / data, hence application of space technology is becoming more and more
important. Decisions are influenced by complex environmental and socio-economic
factors, including overpopulation, human resource development, communication
infrastructure, environmental degradation and pollution, natural resource depletion,
natural disaster etc. The primary relevance of space technology is that it is an enabling
tool to help in addressing such factors. Hence we need to focus on raising awareness
and convince fully to comprehend and promote the application of space technology.
Obviously, the technology will have to be applied in all sectors at the decision-making
as well as implementation levels. For greater political commitment from planners and
decision- makers, their awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of space
technology, particularly in sustainable development planning need to be enhanced
further.

There exists considerable overlap in the application of space technology between
different disciplines and their various spheres of operations. The data and information
could be shared or interchanged between the multiple users and disciplines, as
exchanging and sharing as well as integrating the data from various sources would be
more cost effective and efficient. It will greatly help to save the scarce national
resource. Generally the users at present often lack the knowledge of other users of the
same data within the government as well as other parallely running projects, resulting


                                            9
in the duplication of efforts and wastage of scarce resource. At the same time,
information on geodetic references and topographic information are restricted in the
country as a result of the conservative data release policies. Policy makers, users and
producers of space data need to become more aware of the benefits of data sharing.

Policies need to be formulated to facilitate such information exchange. There are no
such formal networks for national or regional data sharing policies in the country. Data
are provided to the user by the particular organization which holds the data as per
request on an ad hoc basis The process often requires many administrative procedures
which are different in different organizations and for different users. Hence, a proper
data dissemination system is of utmost importance in our context. It is essential to
develop an appropriate mechanism for healthy cooperation among different sectors in
implementing effective data acquisition policies and activities. In view of wide ranging
applications spanning almost all scientific disciplines, a coordinated approach towards
the acquisition and use of space data as well as making available the information
derived from such data are the prerequisites in order to optimise space technology
application efforts in Nepal at all levels and in all sectors.

Many of the trained Nepalese professionals in space science are leaving the country for
abroad due to the limited professional opportunities and relatively low fiscal incentives.
Hopefully, the existing brain drain problem could be resolved by establishing a national
level organization on space science in Nepal, thus providing a scientific forum with
opportunities for professional development and capacity building. Likewise, promotion
of space industry in the private sector would further help to check such brain drains.
An active and competitive private sector would ultimately be the best means for
attracting Nepalese professional back to the country and hence, alleviate brain drain
problem.

The user-oriented products are not readily available in the country. Space data that are
collected according to a logical systems become more useful to a larger user group, if
certain standards are maintained. The standards include methods of referring to objects
and of describing data content and quality, data model and data transfer formats. There
is no national level organization on space science which is as such, responsible for
coordinating and networking and is operating with a inter-disciplinary team. The user-
oriented product / data could be made available from an authorized national level
organization by making it responsible for the task.

The difficulties in obtaining funding for the acquisition of space data amongst the users
is a common issue of the developing countries. Much of the development works that
has been carried out so far in the country has been possible through the funding of
International Donor Agencies. Some of the government departments owe the
establishment of remote sensing sections to specific work programmes funded by such
means. A broad range of data is naturally required to provide adequate information base
for making reliable and systematic decisions. It is in the government‟s and therefore
national interest to ensure that the data required for them are available as and when
necessary. Hence, the key to the problem of funding is a political commitment from the
government to integrate space development application into sustainable development
planning.




                                            10
The need of a national level organization on space technology in the country was thus
strongly felt by the multi-disciplinary scientific community in the recently held
workshop. It should be noted that the benefits of space technology in most of the
cases are intangible and perceptible only in the long term and are difficult to quantify.
Concerted attempts would be required to appropriately integrate space- based inputs
with development planning. The establishment of a national level organization in space
technology in the public sector would go a long way in networking the existing
institution and activities as well as in providing further activities in the gap areas for
promoting sustainable development in the country.



6. Institutional Setup

The establishment of a suitable national level institution for the overall development
of space technology in the country was overwhelmingly emphasized by the scientific
community during the recently concluded National Workshop on „Space Technology
Application for sustainable development in the country for New Millennium‟.
Furthermore, a study of current status and prevailing issues also highlighted the need
of such an institution.

6.1 Objectives
The establishment of a National Space Technology Center (NASTEC), has been
proposed to strengthen the space policies and programmes in the context of national
needs and priorities, technological trends and industrial opportunities.

NASTEC will have the following primary objectives:

   to facilitate the space technology applications in the country for contributing
    towards the national development on a sustainable basis.

   to make recommendations to HMG-N through National Committee on Space
    Science for the formulation of national policies, strategies and help to establish the
    necessary legislative framework for the promotion, extension and development of
    space technology in the country.

   to promote national capacity-building and human resource development in space
    science.

   to enhance inter-ministerial coordination, monitoring and evaluation.

   to establish national and international relationship and cooperation in the fields of
    space science and space technology.




                                            11
6.2 Structure

Proposed Organizational Structure of the NASTEC will be as shown in Fig.1.



                                                                        Cabinet




                          Ministry of Science and Technology

                                                                       National
                                                                      Committee
                                                                          on
                                                                     Space Science

    Technical            National Space Technology Center
    Committee                       (NASTEC)


    Information System     Data Processing            Coordination       Planning,
            and                  and                      and          Administration,
        User Service          Analysis                 Follow up        Procurement
                                                                        and Account



                                             Fig.1.



6.3 Functions and Activities
NASTEC will be a national level organization, executing its regular programme on the
space technology development in the country through its various divisions. In order to
enable the NASTEC function effectively, it will be governed by the high level
„National Committee on Space Science‟ and guided by the technical consensus of the
Technical Committee.

NASTEC will carry out the following functions:

   Identify the need of different sectors and agencies for space technology inputs and
    receive their feed back plus consensus of the Technical Committee.



                                             12
   Acquisition of required space data and information and exchange with various
    organizations within the country.
   Enhance the data standardization, quality control, information management and
    services.

   Promote coordination among the information/data units of various ministries and
    departments so as to avoid duplication and inconsistencies.

   Prepare regularly an accurate picture of existing capacity to use space technology as
    well as future opportunities and requirements in the country.

   Make recommendations on necessary national policy, strategy and legislative
    mechanism through the National Committee on Space Science for approval and
    necessary action by the Cabinet.

   Formulate and implement the perspective plan, periodic plans and regular
    programs.

   Coordinate the multilateral partnership between the governments, private sectors,
    academic institutions in the country. and develop the Networking mechanism with
    all the related organizations including NGO‟s and INGO‟s, in the matter of space
    technology applications.

   Function as a promoter, facilitator, awareness creator and to invite and encourage
    national, regional, multinational companies, donor organizations, United Nations
    Agencies, academic institutions etc. to invest, to aid and support and to start their
    activities for the promotion of space technology application in the country.

   Establishment of necessary Ground Receiving Station for receiving, archiving,
    marketing and disseminating the satellite-based data.

   Promote space utilization activities for national development.

   Represent in National and International Forums and Bodies as a National Focal
    point of the country.

   Arrange the national / international training, workshop and seminars.




Ministry of Science and Technology will be a Secretariat for the NASTEC as a link
Ministry for immediate execution.


Divisions are the working units of NASTEC and are responsible for executing the
regular programme. The division may expand depending upon its future needs and the
detailed job assignments will be spelled out later on.




                                            13
National Committee on Space Science will be a high level committee, constituted by
the Cabinet in order to facilitate the comprehensive use of a wide spectrum of space
technology application and to address the needs for environmentally sound and
sustainable development planning process. The committee looks after policy matter,
national and international coordination and strive for the development of Space Science
in the country. It provides necessary guidance to NASTEC and helps to formulate
national policies and strategies and provides appropriate legislative authority.


The National Committee on Space Science having following members will be
constituted by the Cabinet.

Hon‟ble Minister for Science and Technology                        Chairman
Hon‟ble Member, National Planning Commission                       Vice Chairman
(Science and Technology)
Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology                      Member
Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies             Member
Secretary, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation                Member
Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives                Member
Secretary, Ministry of Defence                                     Member
Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication               Member
Secretary, Ministry of Population and Environment                  Member
Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports                        Member
Vice- chancellor, Tribhuvan University                             Member
Technical Expert on Space Science and Technology                   Member
Technical Expert on Remote Sensing, GIS and GPS                    Member
Technical Expert on Satellite Communications                       Member
Technical Expert on Satellite Meteorology and Global Climate       Member
Technical Expert on Geo-Science and Natural Hazard                 Member
Executive Director, National Space Technology Center               Member-Secretary


National Committee on Space Science will have the following primary functions:

   The Committee will meet at least twice a year and make decisions on matters
    related to policy, plan and programme and promote the national and international
    coordination.

   Formulate and approve the necessary rules, regulations and by-laws for the
    promotion of space science in the country on the recommendation of NASTEC
    through the Cabinet.




                                          14
Technical Committee with representation from various related organizations will be
constituted by „National Committee on Space Science‟. It will provide technical
guidance to NASTEC.


The Technical Committee will consist of the representatives from the following
organizations:

National Planning Commission                                         Member
Ministry of Science and Technology                                   Member
Ministry of Agriculture                                              Member
Ministry of Defence                                                  Member
Ministry of Population and Environment                               Member
Ministry of Information and Communication                            Member
NASTEC                                                               Member
Department of Forest Research and Survey                             Member
Department of Mines and Geology                                      Member
Department of Hydrology and Meteorology                              Member
Department of Survey                                                 Member
Department of Roads                                                  Member
Department of Housing and Urban Development                          Member
Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management             Member
Nepal Telecommunication Center                                       Member
Technical Expert, Tribhuvan University                               Member
ICIMOD                                                               Member
From Private Sectors                                                 Member
From NGO‟s                                                           Member


   The Technical Committee will meet at least three times a year in order to review the
    activities and progress of NASTEC and to provide necessary technical guidance.

   Technical committee itself will select its Chairman for a period of one year and the
    individual could be reelected.

   Executive Director of NASTEC will nominate one NASTEC staff to serve as
    Secretary of Technical Committee for a period of one year and could also be re-
    nominated for subsequent years.



7. Human Resource and Physical Infrastructure

In reviewing the available human resources, the activities carried out so far in the
country demonstrates that the sizable number of technical expertise exist in the country.
Most of the government department have dedicated researchers and scientists who are
well exposed to space technology though their specialization differ. The employees
who are already trained in space technology from abroad or local organizations are well
qualified to carry out their specific duties. But for various reasons, some tend to seek


                                           15
employment overseas. Thus the country is not gaining the maximum benefit from its
own technical and professional man-power. However, given a healthy and expanding
space technology user base in Nepal and the opportunity for the space science to
develop, such expertise would remain in Nepal to enhance further the country‟s
development. A few academic and research institutions in the country offer training
programmes in space technology application and it can not be denied that much
creative and development work is being done. Ultimately, the output from these
institutions would result in promoting operational technology and commercial products
and services. Government should therefore invest more in human resource development
as well as research and development in order to upgrade human resource capacity to
engage in space activities at a more comprehensive scale. The country‟s brain drain
problem, in which experts trained abroad remains abroad because of better
opportunities, must also be controlled by providing better opportunity in the country
itself.

Regarding the available physical infrastructure such as Software and Hardware, within
the country, it is apparent that the available resources are to some extent adequate for
the time being. But there has to be provisions for additional infrastructure development
in course of time. To fully utilize the space technology in the development process,
available resources need to be used effectively and efficiently. The earlier National
Remote Sensing Center under the Department of Forest Research and Survey had a
laboratory, equipped with necessary instruments/equipment to tailor the need for the
resource data collection and conducting training programmes. The laboratory and
equipment/instruments still exist, but they are either under-utilized or unutilized.
Hence, it is proposed that they should be handed-over to the proposed NASTEC, so
that after necessary repair and maintenance, they could again be made fully functional
and serve as central facility for all those concerned. Those would be useful asset for the
proposed Center in the beginning for immediate execution of its activities.



8. Financial Proposition

The nature of space data are different from that of economic commodities and its
pricing is even more complicated as there are so far no guiding policies in the country
in this regard. The establishment of full-fledge NASTEC ultimately with its receiving
facilities as well as its own satellite would certainly be a capital intensive proposition.
Hence for it, other resources including the foreign donations as well as loans will have
to be mobilised. The development budget for the Fiscal yr. 057/058 allocated for this
sector through the Ministry of Science and Technology will only support the NASTEC
to begin with a limited man power and phase-wise implementation strategy. One can
not depend upon only the government funds, and hence it will be necessary to
welcome short / long-term foreign donors for its full fledge function and operation.
Regarding the possible difficulties in continuing the activities when donor support is
not available, an appropriate pricing policies for the sell of its product and services will
have to be formulated right from the beginning of the establishment of such capital
intensive facilities.. In the long run, collaborations with the regional and international
organizations and institutions would be a major strategy for both the technical as well
as financial support in successful implementation of various space programmes.


                                             16
NASTEC in the beginning will have to focus on the activities on space data generation
and sharing. Cost recovery mechanism as such would not be viable to ensure
sustainability in the beginning. But in a long run, after establishing a Ground Receiving
Station in the country and depending upon their level of capacity building and
activities, the Center would be eventually self sustainable by selling their quality
products and efficient services within and outside the country. It may take at least five
years to reach the level of data acquisition from its own Ground Receiving Station.
Simultaneously the vision for launching appropriate satellite may be exercised by
NASTEC so that in due course of time, it will be able to promote space utilization
activities in the country.



9. Implementation Strategies

The initial efforts towards the establishment of NASTEC will be the setting up of
necessary minimum physical facilities as well as its legal authorization and recognition.
To begin with, in the establishment phase, the Center should start with a limited but
high level manpower, well versed in the application of space science and capable of
activating and mobilizing the different related units of national and international
sectors. Immediately after its establishment, NASTEC will have to focus on preparing
detailed Action Plan and Programme with necessary policies and phase-wise
Immediate, Mid-term and Long-term strategies.

During the establishment phase, the Center will have to emphasize on strengthening the
coordination and networking mechanism with the institution and agencies already
involved in space technology in the country. At the same time, it should also focus on
preparation of Mid -term work plan including human resource development and
resource mobilization for soliciting financial / technical assistance from donor countries
for the advancement of the NASTEC. During the Mid-term phase, the Center will
implement the agreed plan along with its monitoring and evaluation. In addition,
necessary measures should also be taken towards the establishment of Ground
Receiving Station and the utilization of the space slots, internationally allocated to the
nation, for its full benefits. A vision for optimum utilization of space technology for
sustainable development should guide the preparation of Long-term plan.



10. Action Plan and Programme

The following phase-wise Action Plan and Program are proposed for the establishment
and systematic advancement of the NASTEC.

Immediate / establishment term :

   Establishment of „National Space Technology Center‟ (NASTEC).


                                            17
    –   constitution of the „ National Committee on Space Science‟ through the Cabinet
    –   formation of „Technical Committee‟ through „National Committee on Space
        Science'
    –   appointment of Executive Director and recruitment of other NASTEC officials
    –   identification and procurement of necessary hardware, software and its
        peripherals

   Establish linkages and promote working relationship with the institutions and
    agencies involved in space technology within the country.

    –   establish contacts with institutions and agencies
    –   built collaborative programmes with institutions and agencies
    –   concerted efforts to mobilize human resources and physical facilities

   Establishment of NASTEC network and linkages in interested participating
    countries.

    –   establish contacts with concerned institutions and organizations
    –   formalization of network
    –   development and implementation of collaborative projects and activities

   Preparation of a national medium-term work plan on space technology application
    for sustainable development including human resource development and invite
    specific proposals from Government organizations, academic institutions, NGO‟s,
    private sectors etc.

   Revision of the medium-term work plan in the light of proposals received from the
    various agencies.

   Preparation of project documents for soliciting financial / technical assistance from
    donor countries, UN agencies, banking institutions, NGO‟s etc.

Mid-term:

   Implementation of agreed Mid-term plan.

   Monitoring and evaluation.

   Preparation for the establishment of the Ground Receiving Station in the country.

   Vision for launching of satellite to promote the space utilization activities.

Long-term:

   Development of national capacity and capabilities to become self reliant for
    optimum utilization of space technology for sustainable development in a long run.

At the end of the each year performance evaluation will be carried out. The detailed
tentative Action Plan and Programme for the establishment phase for the Fiscal year
057/058 are proposed in ANNEX- II.


                                             18
11. Conclusions and Recommendations

Space technology now possess tremendous potential in achieving a sustainable and
equitable development. For a country likes ours with rugged topographic terrain and
dispersed population in the isolated remote areas, space technology has added
advantage and importance. However, our efforts in the application of space technology
have been limited and sporadic.

Due to lack of proper linkages and coordination, scarce resources are not being fully
utilized. There are considerable overlaps as well as certain duplication of efforts.
Maintaining continuity in such programmes is also becoming a problem. Standards and
quality control of data and services are missing.

To overcome the existing deficiencies and the difficulties and to promote the
application of space technology in the country for a just sustainable and equitable
development, following recommendations are made for establishing a consolidated and
coordinated national efforts in the field of space technology.

   A National Space Technology Center should be established immediately to
    strengthen the space policies and programmes in the context of national needs and
    priorities, technological trends and industrial opportunities.

   A high level National Committee on Space Science should be constituted to
    formulate strategies and to provide necessary policy guidelines for the development
    and application of space science and technology in the country.

   A Technical committee with representation from different organization should be
    formulated by NASTEC to seek the technical guidance.

   To begin with, in the establishment phase, NASTEC should start with a limited but
    high level manpower, well versed in the application of space science and capable of
    activating and mobilizing the different related units of national sectors and
    international agencies.

   As immediate steps, NASTEC should take measures to ascertain their current
    capacity, possible scope as well as the future opportunities in each of the individual
    socio-economic sectors, to make use of space technology for a equitable rapid
    socio-economic development that is also sustainable on the long run.

   Resource mobilizations, including the foreign donations as well as loans should be
    explored for the full-fledge operation and advancement of NASTEC.

   Measures should be taken to create necessary infrastructure and facilities, while
    avoiding unnecessary duplications, to fulfill the needs and aspiration of the
    identified sectors.




                                            19
   Human resource development should be given due priority by developing necessary
    education and training facilities in the country as well as making best use of all
    available opportunities abroad.

   A well planned mechanism of best acquisition, optimum usage and proper storage
    of all relevant space data and information should be instituted with necessary
    archival facilities.

   An appropriate Data dissemination Policy for national, regional and international
    level should be formulated by NASTEC.

   To be self-reliant, all necessary measures should be taken for the establishment, in
    the near future, of suitable Ground Receiving Stations for catering the needs of the
    various sectors.

   All necessary measures should also be taken towards the utilization of the space
    slots, internationally allocated to the nation, for its full benefits.

   NASTEC would necessarily consist of staff members from multi-disciplinary areas.
    With the present system of Group (Samuha) and Service (Sewa) according to the
    Civil Service Act, it will be hard for NASTEC to maintain a core of
    multidisciplinary experts team. So it is essential to process officially for creating a
    suitable Sewa / Samuha for such people so as to provide them with better carrier
    development opportunities as well as to reduce the brain-drain.




                                             20
ANNEX - I



List of Task Force Members




Prof. Dr. Kedar Lal Shrestha                     Coordinator
Coordinator,
Scientific Advisory Committee
Ministry of Science and Technology

Rajendra Bahadur Joshi                           Member
Joint Secretary,
Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation
and
Former Director General,
Department of Forest Research and Survey

Shreeharsha Koirala                              Member
Executive Director,
B.P.Koirala Memorial Planetarium & Observatory
and Science Museum Development Board

Ganga Bahadur Tuladhar                           Member
Head, Remote Sensing Section
Department of Mines and Geology

Dilli Raj Aryal                                  Member-Secretary
Statistical Officer,
Ministry of Science and Technology




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  ANNEX- II.           Proposed detailed tentative Action Plan for the Fiscal yr. 057 /058



S.No.                Activity                      Objective          Responsibility      Time Frame

  1.      Establishment of NASTEC,             Promotion of Space      Ministry of         Shrawan to
            National Committee and                 Science and         Science and        Aswin, 2057.
             Technical Committee.                  Technology          Technology.
  2.      Appointment of Executive              For full operation     Ministry of       Aswin to Kartik,
          Director and recruitment of            of the NASTEC         Science and           2057.
             officials for NASTEC.                                     Technology.
  3.     Establishment of Networking            Promotion of the        NASTEC           Kartik to Marga,
        and Linkages within and outside        Space Technology                               2057.
                   the country.                   Application.

  4.     Make a survey on existing man           Preparation of        NASTEC and        Marga to Magh,
         power, physical infrastructure        objective planning.    related organiza       2057.
         and software/hardware within                                       tions.
                  the country.
  5.    Preparation of a draft Mid-term        In identifying the        NASTEC          Marga to Magh,
                     plan.                          scope and                                2057.
                                                  opportunities.
  6.      Circulation of draft plan and         In identifying the    NASTEC and            Magh to
         seek proposals within and out               financial            related         Chaitra, 2057.
                side the country.                   provisions.       organizations.
  7.     Preparation of working policy         To develop healthy       NASTEC,          Within Falgun,
        and plans and submit to National             working             National            2057.
         Committee for approval by the            environment.        Committee and
                    Cabinet.                                             partner
                                                                      organizations.
  8.    Development of the satellite data        To enhance data      NASTEC and          Chaitra, 2057
         procurement and distribution          availability in time       related          onwards.
                  system.                       and cost effective    organizations.
                                                      way.
  9.    Preparation of project documents            Resource          NASTEC and         Chaitra, 2057 to
        for soliciting financial / technical      mobilization.          partner          Asad, 2058.
        assistance from donor countries /                             organizations.
              UN agencies/ Banking
             institutions / INGO's etc.
 10.        Finalize the proposals for         Implementation of       NASTEC and        Chaitra, 2057 to
          implementation including the            proposals.              related          Asad,2058.
        budgeting provisions for the next                              organizations
                     fiscal year.




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