Govt to launch IT Decade beginning from 2024

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Kathmandu, May 15: The government plans to mark the upcoming decade as the ‘Information Technology Decade’ from the new fiscal year (2024/25).  Presenting the government’s Policy and Programme at the joint session of the federal parliament on Tuesday, President Ramchandra Paudel announced the plan to launch Information Technology Decade beginning from 2081 to 2091 B.S. 

President Paudel outlined plans to develop Nepal as a global information technology hub, with the information technology industry being a major area for job creation and service export.

Key initiatives include creating 5,000 jobs through the operation of information technology workstations in appropriate locations across Kathmandu Valley and each province. The government also plans to establish legal and institutional frameworks for secure and effective use of communication and information technology, as well as to revamp the Digital Nepal Framework to make service delivery more effective.

President Paudel highlighted the need for continuous implementation of pre-existing infrastructure for public service operation related to communication and information technology, and for studying the feasibility of utilising national artificial intelligence policies. 

He said, “Internet and data exchange platform will be built to maintain inter-adaptability between electronic systems and formation of data exchange platforms.” Additionally, the government plans to establish citizen service centres in cooperation with local bodies to provide all public services from a single location.

The government’s Policy and Programme also includes expanding broadband internet services and initiating internet services based on satellite technology in remote and difficult areas. The government aims to enhance cyber security through research, countermeasures, and public awareness campaigns, as well as to expand digital literacy to reach women, minorities, marginalized groups, regions, and communities. 

It is mentioned in the Programme that broadband internet will be expanded to make broadband service qualitative, accessible and safe. It is stated that the expansion of high-capacity optical fiber will be accelerated to provide high-speed internet service to all local level and wards, and satellite-based internet services would be started in remote areas.

The government plans to make institutional arrangements to make cyber security research, countermeasures and public awareness raising effective and to expand access to information technology for women, minorities and backward classes, regions and communities by expanding digital literacy.

It is mentioned in the Programme that the work of establishing Nepal’s own satellite will be carried out and standards related to the construction and operation of the data centre would be prepared. The government plans to advance the process of establishing the Information Technology National Knowledge Park.

It is also that information technology systems used by public bodies would be determined and made safe and reliable, technical testing of information technology systems used in public bodies, including hardware, software, network, cyber security, etc. The government is going to adopt a policy of building 

systems and software used in public bodies from the government sector and giving preference to domestically developed software.

The government plans to arrange state-of-the-art, high-quality and competitive printing for security printing such as excise stickers, postage stamps, driver’s licenses, passports and to restructure the postal service and make it agile, efficient and information technology-friendly and link it with e-commerce.

“Policy, legal and structural reforms will be made for the professional development of the mass media sector. The use of social media will be moderated and managed. A media literacy campaign will be conducted. Rural journalism based on mother tongue will be promoted,” the President read out. 

A policy will be taken to build and operate communication villages in all provinces. In collaboration with Lumbini Province, preparatory work would be started for the establishment of Krishnasen Communication Village in Dang. Television, F.M. and internet service providers will be encouraged to go for mergers, rights transfer and relocation.

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