Wednesday, 14 April, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Focus On Research And Development



It is needless to say that a proper application of science and technology can lead society to the path of development. In this age of science and technology, no nation can achieve its long-term national development goals without applying the scientific knowledge and modern technology. Many countries across the world have graduated to the status of developed ones and become able to make amazing progress in terms of economic and infrastructural development only through scientific advancements and technological innovations. Those countries have been successful in ensuring their national security and social stability. They have also sustained their economic growth and enhanced efficiency. Developing nations like Nepal can boost their national economy by undertaking many small and medium-scale enterprises with the use of the latest technology. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught a lesson to us that it is necessary for us to make use of technologies in the areas of public health and education to cope with the new situations. Thus, it is the science and technology that assists us in improving the quality of our life.

Bearing the tremendous significance of scientific and technological advancements for the nation’s development in mind, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) has come up with the Strategic Action Plan, 2021 to implement the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, 2020 for intensifying the process of research and development. With this action plan, the ministry intends to ensure that there is an integrated approach and contribution of all the ministries and line agencies to the development sector for achieving expected results. The action plan focuses on promoting a wider application of science and technology to realise the national aspiration of prosperity and happiness. Submitting the document to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday, Minister for Education, Science and Technology Krishna Gopal Shrestha said that each level and sector should contribute in promoting study, research and commercial application of science and technology to meet the sectoral development goals.

The 10-year action plan suggests that necessary equipment should be imported on time. It wants the government to facilitate and incentivise the transfer of technology with the facility of concessional loan and reduction in customs duties. It also envisages making research and development more result-oriented by linking them with entrepreneurship, enhancing scientific awareness, promoting scientific learning in schools and making science education more effective. Besides, the document aims at enhancing the quality of science and technology study, enhancing its access as well as attraction and effectiveness of technological and vocational education, and transforming the scientific and technological innovations through protecting, promoting and commercialising traditional technology.

The action plan is also expected to be helpful for the effective use of science and technology in the development of physical infrastructure, agriculture and food security, reduction of risks of disasters, protection of environment, and contribution to herbs processing and diagnosis of different diseases. Once the action plan is enforced effectively, more opportunities may be created for applying science and technology in the field of constructing tunnels, roads, bridges and developing hydroelectricity projects, water reservoir, minerals, and processing of medicinal herbs. The action plan will focus on developing science infrastructure in additional 25 locations. It incorporates the provision of a National Science Council will act as a coordinating agency to communicate with all the ministries and agencies. It requires about Rs. 258 billion for executing the action plan.