Information and Communication Technology Scenario of Nepal: Assessing Policy Environment and Challenges

Authors

  • Manohar Kumar Bhattarai Former Vice-Chair, High Level Commission for Information Technology, Government of Nepal

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/nppr.v1i1.43443

Keywords:

IT Policy, transformative technologies, policy challenges, policy gap

Abstract

Advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) offer great opportunities for developing countries to stimulate economic growth. However, Nepal has not been able to harness the full potential of the ICTs and benefit from them to the extent possible because of the general absence of underlying fundamentals including policies and strategies aligned with the technological dynamism of the sector, to address ever evolving needs and fully capitalize on opportunities offered ICTs and digital technologies. To rise to the ICT challenge facing the country requires a thorough review of structural impediments to the transformative potential of ICTs and digital technologies, establishment of the policy environment that promotes innovative harnessing of these technologies by all actors, including the private sector, and a strategic orientation that factors in fast evolving technology landscape, where artificial intelligence, blockchain, analytics and Industry 4.0 are set to play defining roles going forward.

Author Biography

Manohar Kumar Bhattarai, Former Vice-Chair, High Level Commission for Information Technology, Government of Nepal

Mr. Bhattarai is a leading ICT and information economy expert from Nepal. Until a few years back, he was serving as the Vice-Chair of High Level Commission for Information Technology, an apex level ICT policy and strategy outfit Chaired by the Prime Minister of Nepal

Mr. Bhattarai played a lead role in drafting Nepal’s first IT Policy in the year 2000 as part of a team formed by the National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal. In addition to a number of policy formulation initiatives in the ICT and digital technologies space that he has been involved in over the years including revised ICT Policy in the year 2014, Mr. Bhattarai's has also contributed in the formulation of National Broadband Policy and National Broadband Masterplan for the Government of Nepal in the year 2015.

Mr. Bhattarai played a key, leadership role in efforts leading to the formulation of eGovernment Masterplan of the Government of Nepal which has since culminated in a comprehensive eGovernment project being executed by the Government of Nepal. Among others, the project envisages to leverage information and communication technologies to promote good governance and improve delivery of public services. Mr. Bhattarai is also credited with the achievement of having provided leadership on delivering on one of the key, foundational components of eGovernment initiative namely the development of Government Enterprise Architecture/ Government interoperability framework. His recent engagement involves helping develop the Digital Nepal framework aimed at securing Nepal's transition to Digital Economy. Mr. Bhattarai maintains deep engagements with academia and civil society in exploring strategies for effectively leveraging technologies to achieve favourable policy outcomes as well as to stimulate economic growth.

References

NTA (2019). NTA Annual Report 2076/77. Nepal Telecommunication Authority https://nta. gov.np/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/NTA-Annual-Report-2076077.pdf

NTA (2021). MIS Report - June 2021, Nepal Telecommunication Authority. nta.gov.np/ mis-report

ITU, (2020). Measuring digital development Facts and figures 2020, International Telecommunication Union. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Documents/facts/FactsFigures2020. pdf

Additional Files

Published

2021-09-18

How to Cite

Bhattarai, M. K. (2021). Information and Communication Technology Scenario of Nepal: Assessing Policy Environment and Challenges. Nepal Public Policy Review, 1, 201–211. https://doi.org/10.3126/nppr.v1i1.43443

Issue

Section

Policy Commentaries