1. HLCIT : At Work ICT has been the lifeline for the people who were
2. National IT privileged to get access and afford it. Most of the people
in rural area have not even heard of this technological
Standardization Training revolution. In our kind of economy, when somebody talks
3. Nepali Bhasha in IT about digital divide, first we have to think of “analog
4. International IT Meets to divide”. Before putting the computer, there should be
Boost Technology classroom and students first, at least roof which does
5. Nepal no Longer a Heaven not leak. When we are able to reduce this type of analog
divide, then having computers in classroom will be
for Hackers helpful to reduce the “digital divide”. High Level
6. Implementation of E- Commission for Information Technology is here exactly
government System for these purposes. How the people in rural areas could
7. Search Feature for Data get the information and knowledge to better them? How
Retrieval ICT will help to reduce the poverty? How services and
information of Government be delivered in rural areas?
8. Nepal Telecom to Hook Up These mind bugging questions do not have simple
via India answer in the circumstances of current mindset of
9. ICT – A Myth or Reality bureaucracy, financial resources, availability of
for Nepal infrastructure and violence around the kingdom. The
10.Visit change has to come, even to survive and when change
comes with ICT as a tool for creating information society,
11.Upcoming Events transparent and efficient government, multiple
communication infrastructure availability with connectivity
options and content in our language to our information
needs, transformation becomes smoother and
♦ Published by: HLCIT, Singhadurbar
Nepal ♦ Patron: Honorable Sharad
In a bid to disseminate our activities, to share
Chandra Shaha (Vice-Chairman)
lessons learnt and also to promote ICT we have taken
♦ Advisor: Atmaram Ghimire (Member
this step to bring this newsletter to you. We have realized
Secretary) ♦ Dambar Bahadur Khadga
the importance of your feedback and any related
(Full Time Member)
information will be appreciated. At the same time we
♦ Chief Editor: JIwan Prakash Sitaula
would like to appreciate the efforts our team to bring
♦ Tech. Editor: Er. Jayendra Pathak
this out and also expect it to make it in local language
♦ Layout Design: Laxmi Gurung
His Majesty’s Government of Nepal
High Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT)
Singhadurbar, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Tel: 977-1-4242843, 4244820, Fax: 4244073
HLCIT: At Work
Description of the Work
1. Construction and Development of IT City
With a view of establishing Banepa, Dhulikhel and Paunati Municipality as the IT city, a committee is formed
under the chairmanship of Honorable minister of physical planning and development.Another sub committee
was formed under the convenorship of Hon. Vice-chairmen, HLCIT to develop a detail plan for the construction
of IT city.
2. Completion of Strategic Business Plan for IT Park, Kavre.
For the operation of the IT Park in Kavre, a strategic business plan has been developed.
3. Information Technology Management System.
A Desk and Field research in ICT resources of the country was made in order to strengthen and support
Information Technology Management System and its program.
4. Establishment of Telecenters
To make the Information communication technology available to everyone, His Majesty’s Government of
Nepal in its fifth year action plan has committed to establish 1500 telecenters in different part of Nepal so that
the general people can get information in the field of agriculture, education, health, environment conservation
and disaster mitigation. Last year, 4 telecenters in Makwanpur, Udayapur, Kavre and Mustang were established.
This year, telecenters will be established in Solukhumbu in association with the private sectors.
5. IT Certification
One of the most important limitations in all ICT based program and services in Nepal is the lack of skilled ICT
personnel. Although consultants are made available for technical capacity building, full knowledge transfer
and skills development are not possible given the limited technical manpower capacity. HLCIT has made a
step ahead, making an interaction with SITF and NICC, Singapore, chaired by V. Chairman, HLCIT.
Hon. Vice chairman HLCIT had meeting with His Excellency, ambassador of Japan to explore opportunities for
Nepalese IT experts in Japan.
6. Standardization on Information Technology
In order to apply the ICT in governance, standardization acts as the key step in implementing the technology.
So, in order to realize this vision, NITC which is the secretariat of the HLCIT, is working on the issue of the
standardization with the inputs from the different stakeholders of the country.
7. MOU with Asian Institute of Technology
For the research and human resource related development trainings in ICT sector, this commission has signed
MOU last year with Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Under this, it has been decided to send students
to AIT in this year. For this a cooperation program has been signed this year. This commission is planning to
send some students in AIT for the Master program in ICT who fulfill the minimum criteria as per the MOU
between AIT and HLCIT.
8. National Events
o Participation and contribution in ICT/NITC e-Business forum on SME’s held in Kathmandu November
o Organized an interaction programs with experts of ITPF (Information Technology Professional Forum)
on Dec 3, 2003.
o Organized a workshop on Implementation and Suggestion on IT Policy on Jan 28, 2004.
o Participated in CAN INFOTECH 2004.
o Organized an interaction program on Implementation of IT Policy with the international donor agencies
on 8 July 2004.
O Organized National standardization Training,, Bhasha Workshop and different interaction programs
that are related to the localization and the standardization of the Nepali language in Information
9. Electronic Transaction Act
Electronic Transaction Ordinance has been promulgated .Rules and regulations for this ordinance are in the
process of the approval.
10. IT Park Project
In this fiscal year the physical construction of the IT Park has been completed. One business house, one
administrative building and four residential blocks have been constructed. 2
National IT Standardization Training
Hon. Minister of Science & Technology Balaram
Gharti Magar inaugurated a two-day National
Information Technology Standardization
Training organized by Nepali Language in
Information Technology Steering Committee of
High Level Commission for Information
Technology, with the support from Center of
the International Cooperation for
Computerization, Japan, from 17-18 September
2004. traning photo
The specific training aimed to put forward the
various issues related with standardization of
IT in Nepal and to target participation of IT
policy makers, IT Managers, Senior
Developers, Sr. System Analysts etc.
Other objective of this training was to highlight
the importance of standardization, to learn from
different experiences and to identify and unify
different IT standardization efforts by different
organizations under a single umbrella.
Vice Chairman of High Level Commission for
Information Technology, Sharad Chandra Shaha
spoke about the importance of Nepal playing an important role in the field of standardization of IT and
also being able to harmonize National IT standards with International standards and how such topical
training would help in this process. Japanese Ambassador to Nepal, His Excellency Zenji Kaminaga
reiterated the commitment of the Japanese Government to assist Nepal in its development of IT.
Mr. Takayuki K. Sato, Chief Researcher, Research & Development Division of International Information
Technology Lab CICC-Japan, provided the training. Mr.Sato has been a chief researcher at CICC in
an area of standardization for the past six years.
Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Member Secretary of the Steering Committee briefed about the Steering
committee, its objective, how this training would fulfill its objective of creating such standards to
make it easier for the user community. Chairman of the Steering Committee, Dambar Bahadur Khadga
also spoke about how such trainings will assist the government in being able to create National
Standards in IT.
The objective of the Steering Committee is to strengthen the research & development, adoption,
promotion, usage, training and education of the Nepali language in IT. One of the issues that the
Steering Committee is currently actively pursuing is to pave way for local language computing, including
standardization of character sets, keyboard layouts, fonts, technical words glossary, dictionary etc.
Nepali Bhasha in IT
Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Balaram Gharti Magar inaugurated a two-day Bhasha
workshop organized by Nepali Language in Information Technology (NLIT), Steering Committee, and
High Level Commission for Information
Technology with the support of Microsoft
Corporation, USA that was held from October
30-31, 2004. IT Personnel from government
and non-government agencies, software
developers and students from Universities
participated in this workshop. Dambar
Bahadur Khadga chairman of NLIT chaired
bhasha workshop photo
the inauguration session of the Bhasha
Workshop which aimed to create a pool of
skilled developers ready for creating localized
software applications in Nepali Language and
also create awareness of localization. 3
Microsoft has introduced Project Bhasha, a movement to spread the use of local Languages in
development. To provide thorough knowledge on development in local languages using Microsoft
technologies, NLIT is running a series of Workshops called Bhasha Workshops.
Speaking at the function, state minister of Science and Technology, Honble Prativa Rana said that
the digital signature Act that has been promulgated through the ordinance recently will go a long way
in promoting the use of ICT in Nepal.
Vice Chairman of HLCIT, Honble Sharad Chandra Shaha, highlighted in his keynote address, how
localization can help in distance education, e-governance and bridging the digital divide of the Nation.
Member Secretary of NLIT Allen Tuladhar in his welcome address said that such workshops would
help in revolutionizing the usage of IT in rural Nepal.
The main resource person of this workshop was Bangalore based Dr. Pavanaja, a widely
acclaimed evangelist of Microsoft technologies for localization. Besides Dr Pavanaja, other
eminent speakers and endorsers of local language computing made their presence felt at this two
International IT Meet to Boost Technology
In an attempt to advance technology and find ways and means to adopt latest information technologies,
various institutions held the second international conference on information technology, entitled Asian
A p p l i e d Computing Conference (AACC
2004) from, October 29,2004 at Soaltee
H o t e l , Kathmandu. According to
organizers, namely Nepal Engineering
On the second day of Ministry of Science and
Te c h n o l o g y , conference, Member Kathmandu Engineering College
(KEC), World link Secretary of HLCIT Communications Pvt Ltd (wlink)
and Nepal College of Information Technology (NCIT),
the exhibition is
Mr. Atma Ram Ghimire second of its kind in Nepal,
participated in by presented a paper on senior international and national
IT experts on a Nepal’s ICT policy and three-day long conference.
Speaking to press, Dr Suresh Manandhar,
coordinator of the
HLCIT program. conference said that the
conference was a platform to advance research on
IT-related subjects and helps to exploit the
existing potentials we have for further IT development. Dr. Manandhar who is also associated with the
University of UK says there is an urgent need to explore the untapped IT potential in Asian economies.
At the same function, Dr. Rajendra Adhikari, principal of Nepal College of Information Technology
(NCIT) said that the IT conference would be a milestone in applying new IT technologies in Asian
countries for its effective development. The organizers also said that the focus of Asian Applied
Computing Conference is primarily to bring
researchers in computer science closer to
practical applications. The conference turned
out to be useful for immediate, practical
benefits for a country like Nepal, according
to organizers. Organizers had received 148
papers on various subjects. However, the
review committee of the conference
accepted 41 papers on various IT issues,
which were presented during the conference.
The participating countries were Nepal,
India, Germany, Taiwan, Denmark, Australia,
UK, Japan, Mexico, China, Spain,
Bangladesh, Brazil, among others. The
issues such as systems and architectures,
soft computing, mobile and ubiquitous
computing, man machine interfaces and
innovative applications for the developing
world were discussed.
Nepal no Longer a Heaven for Hackers
J ust a couple of months ago, Nepal used to be a safe heaven for cyber criminals. As a result,
website hacking and other online trespassing were a common malpractice in the country. However,
with the recent enactment of the Cyber Law, the perpetrators of online crime can no longer ignore
legal repercussions with chutzpah.
Information security experts believe that cyber crimes would be considerably reduced in the country
with the incorporation of Cyber Law in the recently introduced Electronic Transaction Act (ETA).
However, some have opposite argument: The law is not adequate enough for the holistic depiction
of cyber-related crimes and is not tough to act as a deterrent for online perpetrators.
According to Vivek Rana, general secretary of Computer Association of Nepal (CAN), the newly
enacted Cyber Law, vis-à-vis similar laws in other countries, is a corrective rather than a preventive
one. “Though the incorporation of cyber law in the ETA is a good beginning, I believe this is a
preliminary Act, as many provisions on IT related security are missing,” said Rana.
As per the provision of the ETA, online perpetrators, depending upon the severity of the crime, can
be imprisoned for a the maximum period of three years or fined Rs 200,000.. Moreover, experts
said that government should introduce other supporting policies and acts to strengthen the existing
Rajiv Subba, First Vice President of the CAN also reiterated that though the incorporation of
cyber law in the ETA is a welcome step, cyber law, as an entity, should be elaborated to incorporate
other pressing issues. “The current cyber law mainly addresses issues related to electronic
transactions, so it needs to be broaden to incorporate other relevant issues,” added Subba.
Rana also added that other relevant act related to data protection and policies regarding information
auditing need to be introduced to make cyber law more effective.
However, Rana acknowledged that tracking of online crimes is an expensive task and organizations
are reluctant to commit huge investment in security related provisions. “The awareness of investing
in information security is still in nascent stage in the country, and it will take time before we can
see full-fledged secure system,” said Rana.
Implementation of E-government System
The project of applying e-government system on passport and citizenship is under the process of
preparing the requirement analysis, which is going to be implemented in near future .The main
purpose of this project is to apply the e-governance system, which can act as important role in G2G
(Government to Government) and G2C (Government to Customer) service.
This project can definitely help directly or indirectly in the overall system of the ministries as well as
in their departments. This study will investigate and recommend the most cost effective and efficient
mechanisms for implementing the e-governance system for the passport and citizenship system
.The main theme of this project is applying the e-governance system to functioning smoothly, eliminate
the irritation and reduce the unnecessary works in the ministries and their departments.
The current situation of citizen holders is near about 12 million and passport holders are 2.5 million
in which the valid passports are half million approximately in the context of Nepal. Among the 75
districts the huge volume of citizenships and passports are issued in Katmandu district, the kingdom
of Nepal but the situation and condition of computerized system is less than other districts.
Search Feature for Data Retrieval
Bimal P Shah
Few Web services require as much computation per request as search engines specially the one’s
designed for the National Data Bank. On an average, a single query on the databank search can read
hundred of bytes of data and consumes tens of thousands of CPU cycles. The query could come
from citizens, businesses, government, and foreign organizations. Supporting a request stream of
that size requires an infrastructure comparable in size to that of a large super computer, which can
cost millions of rupees.
Therefore solution would be combining more number of PCS with fault tolerant software to create a
solution that is more cost effective than a comparable system built out of a small number of very high
end severs or super computers.
Most important factor influencing successful implementation of National Data Bank is data retrieval
efficiency and price performance ratio. Data retrieval efficiency is the key component for success of
the National Data Bank if HMG government is to create one.
The search application needs to afford easy parallelization: different queries should run on different
processors, and overall index should be portioned so that a single query can use multiple processors.
Main focus of the SEACRH feature will be DEVELOPMENT of reliable software to minimize
dependency on hardware.
Nepal Telecom to Hook Up via India
Are you bugged by excruciatingly slow Internet speed, poor connectivity, poor service quality, or
horrible reception while making long distance or international telephone calls? All those hassles
Tens of thousands of Nepal Telecom consumers could reap more benefits once India agrees to
double the existing telecom circuits between the two countries. And, most importantly, agrees to rent
out its bandwidth to Nepal.
These items figured prominently at the Nepal-India Secretary Level Telecommunication Coordination
Meeting, which concluded in the Indian capital. The secretary level meeting was last held in 2000.
High on the Nepali agenda were issues like: doubling the circuits between the two countries to 840
from the existing 420; getting on lease the 8 Mb (megabyte) Indian bandwidth spanning Bihar and
Chennai in South India; and implementing the second phase of optical fiber project.
Doubling the existing number of circuits between the two countries would help Nepal Telecom make
ISD calls in the South Asian region “much cheaper” and the “quality much better”. And, hopping on to
the 8 Mb Indian bandwidth would provide access to other regions – like the Asia Pacific, the Americas,
Europe and Australia – via India. Nepal is currently relying on a 4 Mb bandwidth, and it continues to
use decade’s old satellite up linking technology. Precisely, the Satellite Earth Station at Balambu on
the outskirts of the capital city.
However, to literally run on the information superhighway – and do business with the rest of the world
— Nepal needs enhanced bandwidth and better infrastructure: like more optical fiber backbones all
over the country from the high mountains to the mid-hills and the plains. In another recent development,
Nepal entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China, to lay optical fiber from Tibet.
Under ‘Phase II’, optical fiber will be laid from Lamahi to Mahendranagar in the far-west and several
north-south corridors like Surkhet-Nepalgunj, Narayanghat-Pokhara-Palpa-Bhairahawa and so on,
according to Goel. Nirpendra Misra, chairman of Telecom Commission of India, led the Indian team.
ICT – A Myth or Reality for Nepal
There has been much written and spoken on the application of ICT for
- By: Atma Ram Ghimire
development of Nepal. All global/national stakeholders Government,
Private sector and donor countries and international agencies have Member Secretary, HLCIT
time and again emphasized use of ICT in different grounds, be it for
efficient delivery of services, transparency, reducing digital divide, equality and rural access or many
others. Yet much has not happened in last twenty three years since Computers came in Nepal.
What is it lacking? What are real hindrances for its development? Is it policy? Is it institutional
capability to transform plans into actions?
With my more than two decades of experience in private sector, International Organizations and now
in Government I have found different reasons in different time frame.80’s was dominated by the
“License Raj”, 55 percent of the important value much for the license, 50 percent customs duty and
lack of skilled manpower. This was alright in the beginning. The decade 1990 to 99 had some
improvement mainly through private sector initiation, establishment of CAN and annual ICT conference
and exhibition, starting email and internet, concept of ICT park, realization on the need of IT policy,
availability of hardware products, liberalization of economy all helped ICT to expand. But it was not
enough from all sector to really see the impact of ICT for transforming the life of the people or the
change the shape of the economy. 2000-2004 brought IT policy, communication policy, institutional
arrangement but not again the required transformation in terms of building information society by
providing access of technology to citizens, ICT applications for delivering information, knowledge 6
and delivery of government services nor really promoting ICT industry and business. Besides what
already has been said one of the major problems has been the mindset of the people, it was in 80’s
and it is now.
IT park concept was developed and a report was delivered to Planning Commission in 1994, by then
High level committee for informatics development in Nepal. It took seven years for government to start
this project. At that time told that this is a national priority project. But the budget was never allocated
as per contract amount? Construction was made as per budget provision and it has taken 3 years for
this stage and it is not known how many years it has to wait for operation, as the project is in short
of Rs 7 crore Additional budget.
Recently Nepal Rastra Bank published the report that government expenditure in first two months of
this fiscal year has not been able to meet as targeted. There has been a saving of 208 crore Rupees.
But the completed projects do not get funds for payment to contractor and to get the equipment for
operation which is less than 5 % of saved amount of two months.
ICT projects/ seminars/trainings:
The ownership of the ICT projects and participation in ICT training/seminars do not have a rationale,
unless this trend in Training in applications of ICT in Agriculture will be attended by officer in mines
department, GIS application in City mapping will be attended by officer in agriculture ministry and so
on. There is no ICT capability mapping and planning in the government. HLCIT should be entrusted
Communication policy was announced in 1999 and has new policy in 2004. This policy was supported
by act, but IT policy in 2000 came with action plan and act. It had little impact in the growth of ICT in
Nepal. In 2004 August IT Policy 2004 with action plan was prepared but it has not been approved for
There are seven organizations, Government and Government owned in ICT. Ministry of Information
and communication, ministry of Science and Technology, High Level Commission for Information
Technology, National Information Technology Center, Nepal Telecom Authority and Nepal Telecom.
This is redundant, ineffective, duplication of resources and visionless institutional set up. But when an
institution is established it should be authorized with powers backed by act so that it can perform its
International organizations and donor agencies have been providing assistance in Nepal. They also
emphasize ICT. But Nepal has not received any assistance for core ICT projects in Nepal except
700,000 US $ pilot project for telecenters from UNDP, which basically failed. There has been support
for ICT components of different sector project but core ICT funding has not happened. HLCIT organized
interaction program with this community, good interaction but with minimal or no results. When we
talk about ICT / or e-Nepal ICT as enabling tool helps health and education primary focus for donors.
Private Sector Syndrome
Private sector always says government has not done anything. When asked what exactly do they
need then there is a silence. Policy was framed on their advice, IT Park is being constructed on their
advice but real investment from private sector is very much less in ICT sector. If you take out couple
of ISP then investment in IT sector by private sector is negligible. Being in ICT Industry, using ICT their
export account is not transparent.
First Aid to the Sector:
1. Institutional: These three for ICT in Government
Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST)
HLCIT/ (IT Authority) N. Telecom Authority
2. HLCIT to become HMG ICT focal point for International organizations/governments until ministry is
formed. All ICT education, training/seminar to be allocated to relevant work ministry/departments
based on ICT government, ICT mapping, Capability development plan.
3. Allocate the required budget to IT Park and get it operational by year 2061 at least from marketing
4. Complete one action cycle e.g. electronics transaction act, for rules and regulations, one year, for
certification authority , the whole purpose of having act is fortified.
HLCIT, made a recent delegation to International Trade Center
Sponsored Training/consultation meeting on e-Payments
(Payment Gateway and E-Rupee Initiative) from 30th September
to 10th October 2004.
Member Secretary, HLCIT, Mr. Atma Ram Ghimire lead the
delegation along with Mr. Rajib Subba, first Vice President of
Computer\Association of Nepal. Mr. Nikolai Simon, Chief, Trade
Promotion Division, ITC, and Geneva hosted the Friday Initial
luncheon meeting. The meeting set the agenda for meeting in
Tunisia and Italy for the e-rupee initiative and e-payment system.
The Outcome of the Participation
1. Country ICT marketing, requirement presentation and Institutional strength for the project
2. With the Cyber law announced national certification agency and payment gateway must be
established for realization of benefits of law for e-business development in general and
development of some access to cyber marketplaces around the world.
3. A good presentation in terms of Tunisian case for supporting e-rupee initiative has been
started. Need more diplomatic channel to negotiate politically for assistance
4. Identification of national needs, in terms of dynamic agency, basic infrastructures etc.
Completed Events Up Coming Event
1. Interaction Program with Asian
Institution of Technology 1. CAN Info Tech 2005
Advisory Panel in 9th December, from Jan 26-27,
2. National Roundtable on E-
Payment and E-Money
Mechanisms in 12th December 8
Participation in 3rd Asian Forum
for IT (AFIT)
Mr. Dambar Bahadur Khadga
full- time Member (HLCIT),
Chairman, Steering Committee,
Nepali Language in IT (NLIT),
participated in the AFIT meeting.
The meeting was held from 5 to
7 October in Thailand. The
meeting focused on better
coordination with the regional
community on Language issues,
better understanding of Nepal’s
status amongst 17 countries in
terms of IT indexes and
measurements. The meeting
also discussed on the National
and International Standardization
Mr. Khadga also took part in
the AIT Consultative Meeting.
The main objective of the
meeting was the follow-up to the MOU between AIT, MOST and HLCIT. An understanding to push
more effort from Nepal side should be made to nominate more candidates for 2005 Academic Session.
It could be finalized at the time of AIT Advisory Boards Meeting scheduled in Nepal in December.
ASOCIO ICT Summit 2004
A high Level delegation lead by the Hon. Ministry of Information and Communication, Mohammad
Mohsin along with, Vice chairman of the High level Commission for Information Technology, Sharad
Chandra Shaha, Mahesh Singh Kathayat, Executive Director National information technology council,
under secretary Ministry of Information and Communication Ramesh Kumar Adhikari, Managing Director
Nepal telecommunication Limited, Sugat Ratna Kansakar and President, Computer Association of
Nepal Biplaw man Singh attended the ASOCIO ICT Summit 2004 that was held in Colombo, Srilanka
from 1-5 Dec 2004. The Conference at ASOCIO ICT Summit 2004 included an exciting mix of Business
Forums, Workshops and an International ICT Conference. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of
ASOCIO (Asian Oceanian Computing Industry Organization). The ASOCIO ICT Summit at Colombo
focused on issues relating to e-government, the global sourcing model and implications for Asia, the
technology landscape, Success strategies for SMEs and Convergence of telecom technologies. The
Conference featured keynote speakers and leading panelists who discussed, debated and provided
an interactive platform for discussion with conference delegates.
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