Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Bitter Childhood

Posted in My life by Shekhar on April 17, 2014

(Note: My mother died of cancer in 2012 April 10. I wrote this article during 2010. I realized I have include some of my feeling about my late mom)

Arguments are the outcome of deepest emotions, and the louder we speak the harder it is to hear, It’s not always easy but the quieter we speak the closer one has to listen and only love can shine through. Life is like a jigsaw first the outer edges are formed before the middle is complete, so if we all come together like a jigsaw and did the outer edges first then the middle comes together slowly but surely, life is not always easy.

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Climate change and Farmer’s adaptation in Nepal

Posted in assignment by Shekhar on August 19, 2013

Abstract

 

This study gives a clear picture of how Nepalese farmers are adapting to the climate change and how their adaptation strategies differ by geographical location. This report is based on the primacy data collected through the focus group discussion conducted with the farmers of hilly and terai district of Nepal. In addition this study suggests that adaptation strategies of Nepalese farmers are short term currently but such strategies need to be long term one if Nepalese agriculture sector is to cope properly with the climate change.

Keywords: Climate Change, Adaptation, Hill, Terai, Agriculture, Nepal

Introduction

Climate Change

Climate change is a globally accepted and experienced phenomenon. Various studies shows that its impact is more concentrated on developing and under developed countries where majority of poor people are dependent on subsistence agriculture. Nepal carries a very special case because with in very short distance, there is huge altitudinal diversity and simultaneous diverse climate change impacts can be found (Manandhar, Vogt, Perret, & Kazama, 2011).

Adaptation

In Nepal, NAPA and LAPA are some of the policy level initiatives undertaken by governmental and non-governmental agencies to enhance adaptation capacity of Nepalese farmers (Tiwari, Balla, & Pokharel, 2012). These scholarly attempts suggest that subsistence farmers are at the most vulnerable group to Climate change (IPCC, 2007).

Though Nepal’s share in Climate is negligibly small, the impact is relatively clear and high due to altitudinal diversity of Nepal’s topography. The population of Nepal is less than 0.4% of the world population and anthropogenic activity produce greenhouse gas emissions that account to just 0.025% of total greenhouse emissions.

Governmental reports rank Nepal as one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world (GON, 2011) though The Nepal’s share in CC is negligibly small. The population of Nepal is less than 0.4% of the world population and is responsible for only about 0.025% of annual greenhouse gas emissions (NAPA\MOE, 2010).

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Climate Change Impact

The impacts of Climate change are diverse and often debatable because they are coming from different sources and under different research framework. National Adaptation Programme of Action ( NAPA)- Nepal (2010) has points out six major areas of CC impact namely Agriculture and Food security, Water resources, Climate induced disaster, Forest and biodiversity, Public health and Urban settlement and infrastructure (Tiwari, Balla, & Pokharel, 2012).

The concerned stakeholders and institutions in CC sector are monitoring the Climate data and observing more intense, highly variable, longer gaps of no rain and delayed monsoon. In addition, growing number of glacier lakes and their growing size have high chance of cracking through terminal moraines and cause catastrophic floods. These CC consequences are anticipated to disturb irrigation and drinking water supply as well as hydroelectric production (WECS, 2011). In addition there are several anomalies predicted that includes biodiversity loss, desertification, glacier melting, and fresh water availability are often interlinked in complex system (Regmi et al., 2009). Global CC will also likely shift monsoon precipitation patterns in ways that will threaten particularly agricultural production in developing countries like Nepal (Tiwari, Balla, & Pokharel, 2012).

The vulnerability level can be also assessed from the food security perspective. Nearly 21 percent of the crop area is irrigated in Nepal (Panta, 2009). A slight change in the climatic variability has high chance of inducing of large changes in agricultural production. Scholars opine that Extreme weather conditions such as flood, drought, frost, hailstone and heat and cold waves are direct hazards to the agriculture production. For example Local consultation in Myagdi district revealed Ecoline shift in Myagdi district which might be due to increased temperature.

A recent example of shift of organize production region reflects the impact of CC in Nepal’s mountain region. In general, orange production takes place at 1200 to 1600 m. But at present it is observed that orange is found at the 1700 m altitude, Gauva also grow in high altitude (Tiwari, Balla, & Pokharel, 2012). Similar shift is observed in human habitation too. It is reported that inhabitants of Surkhang VDC in the Mustang district has migrated from that place due to drying up of water sources.

CC study in Nepal

CC study in Nepal is more focused on finding how Nepal is coping the CC impact. The researches analyses the mode and accuracy of farmers perception of climate change phenomena. Scientists carry out study to discover the new adaptation measures for farmers and people who are vulnerable to CC in Nepal’s mountainous area (Manandhar, Vogt, Perret, & Kazama, 2011).

CC study in Nepal acknowledges the role of different institutions in driving the CC discourse ahead. It confirms the climate change perception acutely and find how farmers respond to it appropriately. Nepalese farmers have their own indigenous knowledge and experiences to deal with the climatic changes around them while they are found adopting various agricultural and non-agricultural adaption measures at an individual level.

Climate Change and Geographical diversity

Farmer’s adaptation in Terai

There is changing trends among farmers behavior as a response to CC impact in agriculture sector in terai. Farmer in terai districts is found to shift from rice planting to fish farming. They prefer to farm crop that requires less water, mature early and has high tolerance to flood and other extreme climatic events. Terai farmers have started off farm activities like brick factories, driving rickshaws, porters etc, adopting zero tillage and surface seeding as strategies to adapt to particular CC impacts in their region.

On the basis of Focus group discussion and survey, the experience of the farmers of Sindhuli district would be relevant to understand the issue.

Two Case studies of Sindhuli districts

 

Untimely rainfall and decreased production in Jalkanya VDC

Poor farmers of Jalkanya VDC complain about increased temperature and decreased rainfall regarding the climate change. Farmer complains about the secondary impact of climate change for example they feel like there is increased deficiency of rainfall and subsequent drying of water sources in the village. Such unexpected phenomenon had resulted in soil hardening (difficult to break) and growing of shrubs more frequently in the paddy field. That increased the amount of labor to maintain the same level of production.

When asked about the climate information of the village in the 2 or 3 decade period, farmers especially depended on subsistent farming, which often had land on hill side with no possibility of irrigation canal to reach and soil of very bad quality, do feel that untimely and decreased rainfall had been the major problem in their agriculture. In one way it had decreased their production and stopped their regular farming cycle while in other hand such changes in climate like amount of rainfall and change in temperature had increased their cost of production. For example if the more amount of wild grass are seen in the paddy field, it need more labor to wipe them. If untimely rainfall occurs or rainfall doesn’t come as per the prediction of the farmer and their preparation of the rice plant, then their preparation cost goes to vain.

Regarding the farmer’s capacity to adapt to the climate change, most of the farmers were seen to be quite unknown about the need to adapt the farming mode. They were more worried about cursing the low rainfall and criticizing the VDC and government for not being able to manage irrigation for their land. Being unable to adapt to climate change and its negative impact on their production, farmer were moving towards foreign job employment opportunities for their younger generations in one side and on other side they were losing young labor to work on their field. Especially India and Malaysia were their target foreign country.

2 decades back, most of the farmers who are above 40 years now were young and they do feel that the summer temperature had apparently increased but their perception over winter temperature remained mixed and unclear. They shared that partly it may be due to their old age factor that in cold winter also they feel as colder as they used to 2 decade back. While this experience contradict with the local people of relatively young age who shared that winter are less cold than that of their grandfather’s time. Also, all villagers do agree with one another experience of dry summer than past.

Rainfall had become rare and shorter in the VDC. Some shared that rain fall comes at once and vanish in shorter period even before the soil gets completely moist or wet.

Farmers especially that of Tamang community (Janajati) responded that climate change had made their living harder. Decrease in the production of the maize and paddy, the poor farmers have no other options than to enter local forest and earn livelihood through fodder collection and firewood selling. Higher caste people in the village often interpret this situation of poor farmers especially dalit and Tamang that they don’t have energy to work on field, and jus waste their time by drinking alcohol and illegally degrade local community forest. A kind of conflict exists in local dialect according to local people.

Some farmers, relatively well off, shared very interesting experience regarding the impact of climate change. They do feel that increase in temperature of summer during last 2-3 decade has benefitted them like new appropriate environment for cauliflower vegetable farming. Also simultaneously new kind of diseases, which were not common some decades ago were seen to be attacking the vegetables and plants were found in the village.

The drought had become relatively longer and harmful in compare to earlier one. The stopping of wheat is one of the consequences of that drought during winter.

There were similar hardships faced by the farmers of Raanichuri VDC of Sindhuli Districts.

CC impact both positive and negative in Raanichuri VDC

The geographical location of this VDC is relatively remote and settlements are widely scattered among 8-10 hilltop such that no or very rare agricultural land seems to have reach of nearby water resources or stream for irrigation. Poor farmers shared that the rainfall has visibly decreased in 2 decades but oppositely the increase in temperature has made them feel comfort. Warm winters have relived the older farmers for whom working in winter during their young age was very difficult task.

Overall, the poor farmers have experienced both positive and negative impact of climate change however it is often negative most of time.

Farmer’s adaptation in Mountain

The trend of farmer’s adaption in mountain is different form terai. Farmers are more attracted to new kind of tourism business while previously they were surviving by traditional agricultural practices. They have adopted diversification of crops that includes farming of cucumber, bean, tomato, pumpkin and chili. These diverse crop are farmed both in open and green house. Local development partners have followed kitchen waste water harvesting technologies to fight water shortage. Recently farmers of apple farms have stared promoting apple farming to new election and region. Despite all this new trend of farmers adaption, mountain people still followed non-agricultural adaptation measure to conduct their agricultural and other activities like consulting traditional Lamas.

Climate change experience of hilly districts like Kavre of Nepal would be relevant to understand the aforementioned impact.

Two case studies of Kavre districts

More impact on Farmer’s livelihood in Kusadevi VDC

Kusadevi VDC is spread over 40 settlements while the climate change information has been collected from 6 settlements spread over different wards of the VDC. The VDV exist in average 65000 feet from the sea level. The area has ‘samasitosna pradesiya’ climate. The average temperate is 15-30 degree Celsius. The area is dry in the winter while in summer, it receives average rainfall. The agricultural practices differ according to the availability of the irrigational facilities and the technical knowledge of the farmers.

According to farmers of Kusadevi village, climate change has been experienced through increased temperature and subsequent opening of vegetables especially cauliflower and other cash crop, which was not possible some decades ago due to relatively lower temperature.

Climate change has also led to drying of water resources and its bad impact on poor farmers’ livelihood who are heavily dependent on farming.

Increased use of fertilizer has become necessary to main production- this had also been understood by farmers as the impact of climate change.

According to farmer, it’s difficult to predict rainfall and the drought are relative longer and than that of 2-3 decade back. But interestingly, farmers in Kusadevi VDC were found adapting to climate change through different technique like orange farming, extensive farming, off season vegetable farming and rotational farming and greenhouse mode of farming.

Farmers are happy regarding increase in temperature of the location in compare to 2 decade back as they have irrigation facilities to conduct acceptable and cash crop farming.

Similar experiences were shared by the farmers of Dhungkharka VDC of Kavre district of Nepal.

 

Farmers enjoying the benefit of CC in Dhungkharka VDC

Dhungkharka lies at 23 km south of Dhulikhel, the headquarter of Kavre district of Nepal. There are 23 settlements in the area spread over mainly two type of land structure including high land and low land. The VDC extends from 1300 m to 3018 m from the sea level having different kind of agricultural production. In the low land, rice, maize, wheat and vegetable farming is common while maize farming is the main agricultural activity along with milk selling and livestock raising. As 2001 VDC profile of the VDC, majority of residents are engaged in agriculture, 30% in studies and unemployed activities, 5% in daily wage labor, 0.5% in industry and 2% in business. Only 74% male and 62% female are literature. Among the entire household, 155 household were categories under extreme poverty which include Dalit and Tamang populations.

There were diverse experiences of farmers especially poor farmers regarding the impact of climate change in their agricultural practices. Some farmers feel that shorter and heavy rainfall which used to be seen some 20 years ago was missing in the present time. They complain about frequent occurrence of drought for longer time in compare to past.

Most of the farmers were dependent on sky rainfall and low rainfall or drought had been main obstacle in continuing their farming. They think that if they had irrigation facilities, they would have combat with any climate change problem like decreased rainfall or increased temperature.

Among some farmers, zero production of Rice is the main reason behind low or untimely rainfall and absence of irrigation facilities.

Subsistence farmers shared that snow fall was common before 1 or more decades back and that was acting as the natural killer of the disease but the absence of snow fall since some decades is allowing the same disease in potato to grow and destroy the crop.

Climate change is not followed by only negative consequences among poor farmers of Dhungkharka. Positive impact of climate change includes appropriate environment for cash crop especially vegetable (cabbage) which had no possibility of growing 15-20 years back. Similarly less cold environment during winter has created appropriate environment for the growing of new kind vegetable and cash crops. Simultaneously

In Dhungkharka there is increased use of fertilizer for maize cultivation. That was in response to the decreased productivity of maize due to low soil quality.

Most of the farmers shared that they were not adapting to the climate in their farming mode. However among few farmers who were able to adapt to the climate change, were following interesting technique to increase their agricultural productivity. One of them were ‘Dyang’ in local language that refers to the making soil mass in farm or agriculture land. That is expected to decrease the amount of seed to be shown with same amount of productivity.

Farmers’ adaptation in Terai Vs Mountain

Two case studies have been carried out to mark the trend in climate change scenarios and farmer’s adaption pattern between lowland Terai and upper land mountain of Nepal (Manandhar, Vogt, Perret, & Kazama, 2011).

Farmer’s adaption in Nepal is characterized by their variation in their responses in two different geographical regions namely Lowland terai and upper land mountain.

Terai observes relatively less climatic variation in compare to upper land mountain because altitude different is sharp and high in mountain region. Generally terai farmers are found to be suffering of the CC impact like flood and drought while that of Mountain have benefitted from CC in one way or the other. There are different factors that are acting either facilitator or barrier to combat CC impacts in Nepal.

The dissemination and adoption of new technologies, agricultural inputs, information and innovations are observed faster and easier in terai region in compare to upper land mountain which is dominantly covered with rugged mountains. In Mustang district of Nepal, an example of upper land mountain region of Nepal, Lamas, the traditional fortune teller do weather forecasting and suggest appropriate time schedule for local farmers to start plantation. That hints, enough information and technologies to have access to CC information is not available in Mountain region.

The planners and farmers stress on different mechanism to fight with CC change in Nepal. There is of strong irrigation channel and drainage systems in terai while crop diversification is highly practices in upper mountain region.

Conclusion

The literature review and the focus group discussion with local farmers suggest that the adaptation capacity seems fragile and short term and hence scholars recommend for long term coping mechanisms. Similarly the local and indigenous method of coping with CC change practiced for generations in mountain area can’t be underestimated. In addition, rather than generalizing the coping mechanisms of other places, Nepal should develop location specific adaptation strategies and encourage sustainable farm management practices and dissemination low cost technologies.

References

Grothmann, T., & Patt, A. (2005). Adaptive capacity and human cognition: The process of individual adaptation to climate change. Global Environmental Change , 15 (3), 199-213.

Gum, W., Singh, P. M., & Emmett, B. (2009). CLIMATE CHANGE, POVERTY AND ADAPTATION IN NEPAL. (W. Gum, Ed.) Lalitpur, Nepal: Oxfam International.

Howden, M. S. (2007). Adapting agriculture to climate change. National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America .

Manandhar, S., Kazama, F., Dietrich, S., & Sylvain, P. (2011). Adapting Cropping systems to Climate Change in Nepal: a cross-regional study of farmer’s perception and practices. Regional Environmental change , 348.

Manandhar, S., Vogt, D. S., Perret, S. R., & Kazama, F. (2011). Adapting cropping systems to climate change in Nepal: a cross-regional study of farmers perception and practices. Reg Environ Change , 335-348.

Tiwari, K., Balla, M., & Pokharel, R. R. (2012). Climate Change Impact, Adaptation Practices and Policy in Nepal Himalaya. UNU-WIDER. Helsinki: United Nations University.

पत्रिकामा नैतिक्ताको चरम अभाव

Posted in My life by Shekhar on May 22, 2014

 

गल्ती गर्ने भनेकै काम गर्ने मान्छेले हो ? हरे ! दिलशोभाले प्रकृया पुराइनन् रे
६ महिना डेट सकिएको लेदोले भरिएको जुस, विस्कुट र चाउचाउ र चामललाई चाह्ँि अदालतले पुष्टि गर्न सक्दैन, किनभने छानविनकै व्रmममा मिडिया, सरकार, व्यापारी र अभियुक्तले प्रवृmया मिलाइहाल्छन् ।
हरे, पैसा र पावरले सबैकुरा पुष्टि गर्न सकिदो रहेछ, प्रकृया पनि पुग्दो रहेछ ।
जिम्मेवारी लिने, बाध्यमै नै किन नहोस् तर काम गर्ने मान्छेको प्रकृया कहिल्यै पुग्दो रहेनछ ।

नागरीक पूर्ण नाफा कमाउने उदेश्यले जम्मेको मिडिया संस्था हो भने बालगृह र दिलशोभा समाज सेवा । अब कलियुगमा परोपकार निस्वार्थ समाज सेवाको भावना दिलशोभामा थियो त म ग्यारेन्टी गर्न सक्दिन तर नागरीकले आफ्नो पाठक बढाउने, ब्रयान्ड फैलाउने लोभमा बुझ पचाएर यो गलत कदम उठाएको हो जस्तो लाग्छ । नैतिकताको चरम अभाव खड्किएको यो पत्रिकाले नागरीक विशेषको चरित्रहत्या गर्ने प्रयासलाई सामान्यरुपमा लिन सकिन्न ।
एकदम सही कुरा गर्नु भयो, गलत कामको आलोचना त गर्नैै पर्छ, यदी आलोचाना गर्न पाइदैन कसैले भन्छ भने त्यो त तानाशाह भइहाल्यो नि, पूर्व राजा ज्ञानेन्द्रको जस्तो । आलोचनाले सुधार्छ, त्यो समाजको लागी राम्रो कुरो हो । नागरीक जस्तो प्रतिष्ठित माध्यमले जुनहिसाबले आफ्नो पहुँचको दुरुपयोग गर्यो, आलोचनाको दायराभन्दा धेरै गुनाले दिलशोभाले मूल्य चुकाउनुपरेको थियो भन्ने मेरो विचार छ ।
ऋालोचना गर्न पाइन्छ । यदी समाचारमा फोहोर खाना, नराम्रो व्यवस्था, आर्थिक हिनामिना भएको कुराहरुमात्र थियो भने ती पाच्य छन्, ती गरीबी देशमा सामान्य कुरा हुन्, त्यही अनुसारको सजाय पनि दिनुपर्दथ्यो, सबैले मान्नै पर्छ । तर चरित्र हत्या, व्यक्तिविशेषलाई टार्गेट गरेको कुरा एकदम गलत थियो, नागरीकले त्यसको मूल्य चुकाएन, कत्ति चित्त बुझेको छैन ।
हम्रो जस्तो साघुरो समाजमा, गरीबीले बाँच्न सकिन्छ तर कसैको बलात्कार गरेको, कसैलाई अपहरण गरेको, वा कसैलाई यौन धन्दामा लगाएको जस्ता आरोपको ट्याग बोकेर बाच्न गारो पर्छ । नागरीकले त छाप्यो, माफी माग्यो, सक्यो तर त्यसबाट पिडित पक्षको जिम्मेवारी कसले लिने ।
ग्रेट पावर कम्स विथ ग्रेट रेस्पोन्सीविलिटी भनेझैं हाम्रा मिडियाहरुले गतिलो पाठ सिक्नुपर्ने देखिन्छ । सूचनाको सम्प्रेषण गर्नु अगाडी दोहोराएर सच्याउनुपर्ने कुरा सबैमाझ पुगोस् भन्ने मेरो ध्यय हो ।

Good and Bad: Communication and Diplomacy

Posted in Bachelor in Media Studies, Prem Luitel, Blogging, My life by Shekhar on March 28, 2013

By: Shekhar KC, MDEVS

Abstract: This text[1] illustrates the two of my real-life experiences that involves the role of communication in maintaining diplomacy[2] with my senior professor.

Communication and diplomacy

Communication is to diplomacy as blood is to the human body (Jonsson & Hall, 2002). As the saying implies, it’s impossible to underestimate the decisive role of communication in maintaining relation between two or more parties and the fulfillment of their respective diplomacy. Good and bad communication directly leads to favorable or disaster consequences. Scholars acknowledge that Diplomacy still rests on the creative combination of verbal and non-verbal communication (Jonsson & Hall, 2002). In addition to that cultural understanding is very important while communicating with the partners, especially they happen to be a new one  (Slavik, 2004).

Caroline (2011) writes that diplomats don’t only talk with other diplomats but also engage wide pool of stakeholder in the relationship building process. To give example media publish news not only on the basis of the press release issue by the embassies after the diplomatic visits but also on the basis of the nonverbal traits of two parties. In other words, if diplomacy is understood in one way as the proper mechanism to building positive relationship so as to reap benefit and fulfill the objective of the interaction, then it’s crucial to communication properly.

There are various examples of good and bad communication leading to diverse nature of diplomatic consequences in the international scenario but here I would like to talk about my own student and professional life experiences to demonstrate how good or bad communication leads to good or bad incidents especially when it involves cultural perception of relationship between communicating parties.

Case 1: Good Diplomacy

Getting paid from the Boss

Global Foundation (name changed) is a non-for profit governmental organization working in research sector since 2008. I was involved in one research project for 3 month as a Research Assistant on contract basis. The research director Mr X was the PhD supervisor of Mr Y and Mr Y was my thesis supervisor. That is to say, Mr X was not only related to me as a professional colleague but a senior academician that involves some cultural obligations that includes proper greetings and humble communication from my side and more importantly no direct or harsh statement.

My objective of interaction with the organization was to get paid in time through and maintain my professional and academic relationship with the Mr X, the director of research.

My communication strategies

-          Since I can’t talk explicitly with the Research director about my payment, I had to talk to someone else who is near to hi. As the research director was far senior than me and he rarely know how important it was to for me to get paid, I had to talk to someone who can convey the message regarding how important money was for me at that particular time. So talk with Mr Y, who was my supervisor as well as the student of the research director Mr X. hence I was able to retain my image of a student with Mr Y and Mr X. Similarly I got money in time. Everyone was happy.

-          Another problem I faced was delay in my payment because I was just a student, aggressively working but not being acknowledged financially. Every staff who were senior and already established within the organization were paid but except me because I couldn’t assert my share to them as it was first time for me to claim money. I couldn’t take help of Mr Y this time because it would sound too dependable, something against my self reliance. So what I did was remain absent in home making some emergencies excuses. The impact was directly on the research project because the deadline was arriving and my portion of work was yet to be done (which I knew I could do it in 3 days and it was 17 days remaining for deadline). After 4-5 days, the research director called me and asked about my emergencies. I tactically said that I needed some money and I was busy with collecting money from some of my relative whom I have lent some months back. Through that call, he was convinced about my financial need. On the other hand, I had already done enough work to receive some 10 thousand rupees. The next day he ordered his accountant to give some amount to me. The way I was asked was also very tactical. The accountant telephoned me and said my check had already arrived some days back.

I understood this is the way payment system works in NGOs of Nepal where money matter is always diplomatic.

Hence this combination of verbal and non-verbal communication I was able to get money and there was no damage to our relationship.

Summary: Remaining diplomatic to the research direction was very important because maintaining relationship with him was as important as getting paid. Also I knew I had future opportunities to work with him and I wasn’t going to miss that at any cost. He was a renowned researcher and media personality, everyone like me would like to work with him.

 

Case 2: Bad diplomacy

Kathmandu University SWC and administration

KUSWC (Kathmandu University School Welfare Council) is a student body of Kathmandu University whose president is also a senate member of KU, so it can be considered an influential decision making body. Currently it is defunct as it was unable to convince the KU administration as the constructive body to lead student issues in proper manner. The relationship between KUSWC and KU Administration was never a good one. They communicated very badly with each other. More than that KUSWC which was relatively far weaker than KU should have dealt diplomatically so as to sustain its existence but failed to do so.

Some of the wild activities of KUSWC that convey bad communication were

-          portray its students representatives as being affiliated to some powerful mainstream parties

-          stick the press release in a very cynical manner throwing direct criticism to KU administration

-          Use handwritten instead of typed words in the press release.

-          Be loyal to Non-KU stakeholders like mainstream political parties than to KU students.

Above activities convey very bad message that pose threat to the student friendly environment. KU SWC was unable to fulfill objectives of leading KU students and extracurricular activities like sports week and Annual KU Festival. It was the loss of students and the SWC due to bad communication. It didn’t consider the cultural perception of students and other KU stakeholders if SWC tried to inject political elements inside a private university. It can be considered as an example of a bad diplomacy because cultural perception was missing there (Slavik, 2004).

Inorder to maintain the relationship, KUSWC should have

-          convinced that they were loyal to KU students

-          organize student interaction activities

-          invite KU administrative officers in different student related programs

-          exchange of good will and commitment to work for the mission and vision of KU

Summary: the weaker party has to present itself as humble and non-aggressive party, not necessarily inferior, if it is to negotiate with stronger party. The general scenario of mixing politics in education scenario is not perceived positively because the culture of politics in Nepal is not good. So, cultural elements should be considered while design communication strategies.

Conclusion

It is so obvious that diplomacy directly relates to good and bad communication but it again depends upon cultural understanding of the particular issues. Whether it is relationship building or power sharing, it is necessary for communicating parties to communicate with cultural consideration so that relationship is balanced. Otherwise everyone knows -Good communication lead to benefits while bad leads to disaster.

References

Carolin. (2011, January 11). Diplomacy Revised. Retrieved March 29, 2013, from The New Diplomacy A: http://thenewdiplomacya.blogspot.com/search/label/new%20vs%20old%20diplomacy

Jonsson, C., & Hall, M. (2002). Communication: An Essential Aspect of Diplomacy. Department of political science, Lund University. LA: 43rd Annual ISA Convention.

Slavik, H. (2004). Intercultural Communication and Diplomacy. DiploFoundation.


[1] This text was the part of the assignment submitted to Dr Mahesh Banskota for the subject ‘India and China diplomacy with Nepal’ under Masters in Development Studies

[2] The question to be answered as the part of the assignment was – “Communication is the essence of diplomacy. There has never been a good diplomat who was a bad communicator.” Stearns, (cited in Jönsson and Hall, 2005 p. 67). Give one example each of two situations of good and bad communicators and give reasons for your selection.

Binod Chaudhary: Always Expanding and Growing

Posted in My life by Shekhar on March 12, 2013

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(Note: The following text was submitted to Dr Sagar Raj Sharma as part of the assignment of subject Entrepreneurship, he is currently (2013 february-August) teaching to students of Development studies of Kathmandu University)

Binod Chaudhary believes – ‘Nothing succeeds like success’.

Mr Chaudhary, who has recently secured his name in the world richest man list of Forbes Magazine, has always dream of growing and expanding beyond his normal capacity. He was never satisfied with his achievements – that triggered him to dream more and more in the world of business. Lack of preparation, education and experience was never an excuse for him to stop from moving ahead. A strong will and high optimism are central traits of an entrepreneur.

He dreams, he works hard and he achieves- and Now He had proved himself to be a successful entrepreneur.

From a retailer shop to CG global brand

His journey of entrepreneurship from the small Arun Emporium, a retailer shop in Newroad Kathmandu founded by his late father Mr. Lun Karan Das Chaudhary, has globally expanded to diverse sectors including fast moving consumer goods to hospitality and power companies across. Today he is the richest man in the Nepal and the first Nepali Billionaire to be recognized globally. He is the owner of Cinnovation/Chaudhary Groups of Industries, owner of Nabil bank and has investment in Hospitality business across the world.

It is not necessary that every entrepreneurs start from zero and becomes a billionaire. Mr. Chaudhary took the responsibility of Arun Emporium, found by his father and expanded his linkages with international business community to expand his investment and business sectors. The foundation of the his family business was installed two generation back by his grandfather Mr. Bhuramal Chaudhary who was invited by Rana Prime minister Bir Shumsher from India came to Nepal and initiate the culture of business. He admits that much of his business instinct and strategies were derived from his grandfather and father’s involvement in business.

Diverse Interests

It’s very interesting to note the diverse interests of Mr. Chaudhary. He had deep interest in singing, music and movies. He even came up with his first song album titled ‘Nepalese Modern songs’. However, he invested his maximum energy and time in what he was best since childhood- Business. In due course of his business expansion, he maintained his links with high profile personalities ranging from Indian film superstars to Prime ministers of India and America. He was equally good at showing sympathy and support, celebration and negotiation depending upon time and situation. He highly valued his personality and confidence to be what he has shown to this world- the first billionaire from Nepal.

Business Expansion and Growth

Probably, the worldwide expansion of WaiWai Noodles can be the ground breaking point for Chaudhary Group of Industries to establish itself as the global brand. It is very to interesting to know Mr Chaudhary’s entrepreneurship skills when one goes through how he traveled to Bangkok according to one of his colleagues to observe Noodles industry and negotiate with the owners of Noodles Industries of Thailand to reestablish WaiWai Noodles in Nepal. More than that his market instinct is impressive- he took great risk by establishing Noodles plant in Kathmandu despite ‘don’t go ahead’ hint by Thai market experts who came to Nepal to observe market for Noodles industry. Mr Chaudhary saw enough market opportunities in the changing Nepalese settings despite disagreement from many of his contemporaries. In near future WaiWai Noodles is expanding to 35 countries and it has already captured 70 percent market share in Nepal.

Had Mr. Chaudhary satisfied with what he had achieved with noodles industries, he wouldn’t have invested in Electronic equipment, hydropower companies, and hotels of Maldives, Srilanka and Hotel Taaj of India. Beside high ambition to expand and fulfill the dream of being a global entrepreneur, Mr. Chaudhary highly valued his relationship with Royal families, Political leaders, contemporary businessmen, Indian leaders and International business communities of Thailand, Maldives, India, Singapore, Malaysia, America etc.

Being highly committed for growth and expansion, Mr. Chaudhary utilized his instinct, experiences, money and power to meet his objective. His previous objective when he had just entered the business sector was- to take full responsibility of his family business founded by his father but slowly with his growing interest and insight, he continuously directed himself towards global expansion and growth of CG brand and its products.

Failure Vs Success

Failure has always strengthened Mr. Chaudhary to succeed. The journey was never an easy one as it seems now. He fought with every controversies and scuffles that came ahead of his target. Sometimes his business deals were hindered by political scuffles, Maoist war hindered his industrial production in different places of Nepal, many business competitors attempted to nullify the WaiWai Noodles brand and many such series of backbiting and unhealthy lobbying appeared before him. The interesting part to know is how he dealt with the difficulties. He developed an institutional mechanism to combat the technical problems for instance hiring Chartered Accountant and experts in his company was his decisive step. He used his business and political linkages to expand investment in diverse sectors whenever initially plan fails. He also developed his leadership skills by involving in different umbrella organizations like CIN, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) and other financial policy level institutions. Getting in power centers helped him overcome controversies and baseless accusations.

Entrepreneurial traits of Mr. Chaudhary

  • A high ambition always keeps a businessman to dream and work hard to achieve it through continuous dedication and hard work.
  • To deal with business problem, the culture of institutional mechanism (for instance hiring experts) is necessary to achieve expertise control over the area.
  • Doing business is more than being a Market analyst. Mr. Chaudhary avoid being dependent upon theory and followed the knowledge provided by practice and lively experience.
  • Inorder to secure market of product, an entrepreneur created Demand and earns profit.
  • Besides being optimism, an entrepreneurs has to do tough brainstorming in the consequence of his decision, his critical thinking plays vital role in providing safe direction.
  • An entrepreneur should always minimize management and other cost and invests more money and time in enhancing market efficiency for the product.
  • An entrepreneur is also leader, he/she should have bright, moral and discipline personality.
  • Beside updating own selves about the changing demand of the customer, an entrepreneur regularly get informed about whets going in the world and identify the possible space where he/she can expand.

In sum, Mr. Chaudhary suggests any entrepreneur to be dissatisfied with what he/she has achieved and move for more. Optimism obviously motivates one to enter the business but for growth and expansion, one should be dissatisfied and ambitious. In addition, an entrepreneur should always take responsibility more than his/her normal capacity.

Reference

Chaudhary, B. (2013). Binod Chaudhary an Autobiography by Binod Chaudhary. Kathmandu, Nepal: Nepa-laya.

Nangi and Migration: Impact and Implications

Posted in My life by Shekhar on March 8, 2013

Ananda Raj Devkota

Basudev Poudel

Kamal Prasad Khanal

Shekhar KC

General

Trend of migration has been an inherent feature of Nangi village. While the families of persons employed in foreign military services widely migrated to urban areas in the past to meet their living standards, in recent times, engagement in foreign employment has been the prominent feature of migration. Most of the households have sent their members to work as wage laborers in countries of the Gulf and Malaysia.

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Limited agricultural productivity and scarcity of employment opportunities in the village have prompted migration of people in search of foreign employment. In general, migration can be said to have beneficial impacts in the lives of the people at Nangi and have been found to secure food security, financial security, employment security, household security and education and health for the villagers. Had the migration been limited, most of the households would have faced insecurity of livelihoods.

Food Security

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People’s migration has resulted in shortage of labor as well the amount of land is being barren in the village that has adverse impact on the productivity and increased dependency on the remittance income to buy other food items from the nearby market of Beni and Pokhara. Remitted income coming in the family has resulted in different consumption pattern among villagers. To give example Ex-British or ex-Indian army were found to be indulging in alcohol consumption and have less concern towards investment in local agricultural production while gulf-countries migrants were more spending in food and education. However the migration has both positive and negative impact on the people’s livelihood including food security aspect.

Education and health

Migration seems to have positive iImageImagempact on the education level of the villagers in many ways. First the contribution of ex-migrants for founding the base of education in the village and then secondly the villagers are spending the remitted income to educate their children either in village (greater in number) and or in nearby cities like Pokhara and Beni (very few). The absence of husbands or sons in the family tends to have effect on the performance and health of the children too.

The health of the migrants was not found to be good neither their family members in the village were having motivations to visit the health posts frequently. The process of migration has however encourage the households to consume nutritious food items and incase they face some big health emergencies, they were found to be able to cope with that only with the remitted income.

Financial security

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Most of the migrants’ families had access to credit through informal sectors like local self-help groups, relatives and rich neighbors while few have access to banks (only ex-Gurkhas and ex-Indian army families). All Migrants were perceiving some degree of financial security but depending upon which countries they had gone. Ex-Indian or British Military officers were enjoying handsome income, savings and expanding their properties even outside Nangi village in nearby cities while migrants of gulf countries were more focused on income generating activities and were found to have relatively less income. In general, income level of migrants were responsible for access to banks and cooperatives

Employment Security

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Besides agriculture, foreign employment has been serving as the major economic backbone of the village and remittance has played a significant role in securing basic needs of the villagers. It can be inferred that migration (foreign employment) is a crucial factor for providing employment as well as income opportunities for households of the village. Never-the-less many issues still concern foreign employment as a long term option for securing employment opportunities for the village population. Lack of education and skills is the major concern for those people perusing employment abroad. While most are working as unskilled wage laborers abroad, they earn less and have fewer opportunities for saving and investment as most of their income is spent on covering household expenses, repaying loans and education of children. Further, there are no opportunities to exercise their learned skills and implement them on local enterprises. Lack of entrepreneurial skills further drive them towards vicious circle of searching for employment abroad. Thus programs are needed to enhance skills of workers who opt for foreign employment. Similarly, conducive environment must be created to generate local jobs, impart entrepreneurial skills, and provision of credit facilities.

Household Security

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Further, migration have helped secure household condition of the village primarily through improved financial status, access to health and education and increased participation of women in social activities. Never-the-less, prolonged absence of family members could result in family tensions and break up in the long run. However, heterogeneous community comprised of closely related kins and social relations has provided a safety net for family integrity and social cohesion.

(Note: The detail portion of this report can be asked from kushekharkc@gmail.com)

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

The most memorable part of the 2 week rural internship was the painstaking hardship we faced during data collection throughout the day and the sharing of our experience in pleasant manner in the evening when we all used to gather in a camp-fire site and enjoy our achievements on the day. I personally felt the growth in my patience and the adaptation capacity to the changing environment. I realized how much important is it to know the basic environment and way of local life of the village or study area when a researcher or any student is visiting with academic purpose. This experience and opportunity has equipped me with skills and knowledge to conduct such internship for my coming generations. 

Shekhar KC, Migration and Financial security, Roll no: 9, MDEVS -2012 Batch

My internship stay in Nangi carried fully an academic purpose but I got to widen my horizon of understanding towards general people in many ways. During interviewing and focus group discussion, I was well informed about their high dependency on remittance and their desire to live a luxurious life in coming days. That made me realize how vulnerable the village people were in long term. I saw the sustainability of remittance economy as the potential sector to conduct research in coming days.

- Kamal Prasad Khanal, Migration and Health + Migration and Education, Roll no: 10, MDEVS -2012 Batch

Study for the internship at Nangi was a new experience for me and has provided me an opportunity to learn on qualitative research and on quick assessment of rural livelihoods. One of the achievements of this internship was that within short time and limited resource persons, we were able to collect all necessary data required for preparing this report.

Under the thematic topic of migration, I made special emphasis on general migration trend of the village, and impact of migration on employment and household security. Similar to the national migration pattern, Nangi village was also seeing migration of significant number of youths for foreign employment. Such migration has definitely helped ease the pressure on agriculture and increasing unemployment in the village and provided income opportunities to the households. Remitted income in the one hand has helped gain household security through increased access to food, education and health, and on the other hand been a cause for family dispute and straining of relations. Providing skills trainings and encouraging entrepreneurial activities in the village would provide better employment opportunities abroad and in the village.

Ananda Raj Devkota

General Migration Trend + Employment Security

+ Household Security

MDevS 2012

 Appendix 1: FGD Questions

FGD and Key informant questionnaire / checklist

  1. 1.      Migration information

1.1.   During certain times of the year, do any people in this community temporarily leave to look for work elsewhere?  

1.2.   At which time of the year do they normally migrate?

1.3.   Where do most of them go?

1.4.   What age group of the people who find seasonal work outside the community?

1.5.   What type of work do they look for during these times of the year?

1.6.   Since, 2006 have more people moved into your community, or have there been more people that moved away?

1.7.   What would be the trend of migration in future years?

1.8.   What do people do on return from abroad? Or is doing (if someone has already returned)? (This question may answer the skill transfer theory of migration)

1.9.   How has remittance affected food security and nutrition status of households?.

1.10.                    Why do you think people spend remitted amount in real estate or other unproductive assets?

1.11.                    Are additional laborers hired for agriculture purpose?

1.12.                    Why are they hired?

1.13.                    From where do the laborers come from?

1.14.                    What kind of agriculture are they hired for?

1.15.                    Has they brought any changes in pattern of agriculture?

  1. 2.      Migration and Food security

2.1.   How much money they invest for food?

2.2.   How has migration affected household and political, security?

2.3.   How far they have to go to buy food items?

2.4.   Storage facilities for food

2.5.   Subsidized food items through governmental or any other institutional arrangements? (e.g. Nepal food corporations)

2.6.   How much do you skip you mean per week?

2.7.    How much land do you have for cultivation?

2.8.   – Food sufficiency level before and after migration of family member

2.9.   – change in nutrition level (malnutrition, lower weight)

2.10.                    – Labor sufficiency in agricultural farm. Are the members of family are enough for agriculture

2.11.                    Do you hire? How do you fund extra labor? What is the problem that made hire additional labor? Is there any impact of hiring extra labor on productivity?

2.12.                     Has the fooding habit changed due to migration or increased remittance?

2.13.                     How far is the food market? Does market sufficiently supplies food market?

2.14.                     Have people left to work in field due to remittance?

  1. 3.      Migration and Financial Security

Family income and its major sources

3.1.   Expenditure patterns

3.1.1.      food

3.1.2.      Non-food expenses

  1. Income Sources

4.1.   Agricultural

4.2.   Non Agricultural

4.3.   Remittances

4.4.   What are the income sources

4.4.1.      Agriculture

4.4.2.      Non-agricultural sector

4.4.3.      Remittances

4.6 How much income do you earn from farming?

      Rice _______ Maize______ Wheat Vegetable _______ Fruit________

4.5.   Does the family have access to cooperatives or banks or any financial group or institutions?

4.6.   Do any of your family members have returns on savings or investments?

4.7.   Do any of your family members have life insurance?

4.8.   Do any of you family member receive pensions or any government payments? How much per year (Rs/year)

4.9.   Do you have debt? For how many year? How much?

4.9.1.      years——–

4.9.2.      amount———-

4.10.                    Have you experiences any financial crunch or shock in past five year? How many times?

4.11.                    Do you have remittances as a source of income ?

4.12.                    What is the status of remittance remitted by migrants?

4.13.                    What is remitted amount usually used for?

4.14.                    Has the food consumption habit changed before and after migration? Increased consumption of Nutritious food (Change in fooding habit/ what do they consume now and what they used to consume earlier?)

4.15.                    Do people invest remittance in agriculture improvement or businesses investment?

4.16.                    Do people save remitted income?

4.16.1.1.        (If yes) On what type of business do people invested remitted income in?

  1. 5.      Education

5.1.   Effect of education in migration

5.1.1.      Has education played role in migration of people?

5.1.2.      Where do educated youths migrate most and for what reason?

5.1.3.      What kind of job they do abroad? Relate this with the education level of migrants.

5.2.   Effect of Migration in Education

5.2.1.      Is household income sufficient to fund education of children/member of the household? Has migration/remittance contributed as a source to fund education expenses? Increased access/financing education

5.2.2.      Have the performance of the students changed in the school (relate with the marks)?

5.2.3.      Has the school attendance changed in last five years? How? What about the attendance of the children from migrant’s family?

5.2.4.      Is there any role of migration in affecting the literacy rate of women? How?

5.2.5.      Has the attitude of male towards female in the family changed with the migration (relate with education)?

5.2.6.      Where do the migrant send their children for study? In village school or outside? Why?

5.2.7.      If children are sent to other places for study purpose (financed by the remittance), what are the chances of them settling there? What is the existing scenario?

5.2.8.      What is the impact of pursuing education outside on the village?

  1. 6.       Health

6.1.    What is the role of migration in improving the health of local people?

6.2.   Is household income sufficient to fund education of children/member of the household? Has migration/remittance contributed as a source to fund education expenses? Increased access/financing better health services

6.3.   Do the migrant provide financial support to local health post/centers (How has been those support utilized?)

6.4.   Has the child/ maternal mortality reduced in migrants’ family? Is there any role of migration? Have the birth weights of infants in migrant’s family improved? How?

6.5.   Increased sexually transmittable diseases (if migrant carrying from outside)

6.6.   Disseminating health related knowledge acquired from host country/place by the migrant

6.7.   Do you have latrine facilities? What type of latrine? When was it build? How did you fund?

6.8.   Has the frequency of diarrhea, fever, stomachache before and after the migration changed? If yes, what do you think are the reason? What do you do to treat that disease?

6.9.   What kind of other diseases have the family suffered from in past one year? What has been done to cure? How are those expenses funded?

 

  1. 7.      Employment security

7.1.   Do you think you have employment opportunities in the village?

7.2.   What are the various factors that you think is important to ensure you employment?

7.3.   Has migration resulted in lesser economic activity and ultimately affecting local employment opportunities?

7.4.   Have the migrants been engaged in long term employment opportunities or prefer seasonal migration for employment?

7.5.   Do people who return from abroad try to implement their skills and experiences in creation of employment and business??

7.6.   What could be done to encourage returnees to invest their skills locally?

7.7.   Would creation of local employment opportunities reverse the migration trend?

  1. 8.      Household security

8.1.   How has family structure been affected by migration?

8.2.   What are the affects of increased migration of male members to:
– women
– children
– elderly

8.3.   Has the increased migration of youth affected overall security of community?

8.4.   Do elderly feel insecure and dejected due to prolonged absence of their children?

8.5.   Has threats of theft increased with increasing remittance and migration?

8.6.   During the post-peace period since 2006 has the community life been normalized?

8.7.   How has migration affected social relationships and community bond?

Appendix 2: Research Participants

FGD 1:

Date: January 20, 2012

Location: Mandali, Nangi

Participants

Respondents

Gender

Age

Address

Migrants relation

Destination

Type of work

Tiki Maya Tiluja

Female

47

Nangi-1

Son

Korea since 8 month

Wielding

Khim Maya Sherpanja

Female

38

Nangi-1

Husband

Saudi Arab since 2 years

Wielding

Kesh Maya Gorbuja

Female

38

Nangi-2

Husband

Dubai

Labor

Dil Maya Tiluza

Female

50

Nangi-2

Husband and son

 

Labor

Aimati Pun

Female

52

Nangi-1

2 sons

Honkong (since 4 years) and Saudi Arab (since 2 years)

Labor

Dil Bahadur Tiliza, Former ward Chairman, Ex-Indian army

Male

50

Nangi-1

Son

Japan since 3 year

Student in self-financed

FGD 2

Date: January 20, 2013

Location: HSHS computer lab, Nangi

FGD Participants

Respondents

Gender

Age

Address

Migrants relation

Destination

Type of work

Ram Maya Pun, community lodge committee members

Female

36 years

Nangi-1

Husband of under sic

Dubai since 2 years

Store keeper

Sukh Maya Pun, ban samiti, yak committee

Female

38

Nangi-2

Husband

Malaysia since 11 years

 

Amar Bahadur Pun, former ward chair, school management committee

male

67

Nangi-2

4 sons, Indian army, France as a student visa study French language

France

Labor

Maya Purja

Female

29

Nangi-2

Husband since  years

Qatar, Malaysia, Dubai

construction

Om Kumari Pun

Female

Thirty two

Nangi-1

Husband

Qatar since 2 years

Labor

Mr Kisan Pun, teacher

male

40

Nangi-1

Brothers, sisters, mother

UK

 

FGD 3

Date: January 24, 2013

Location: Ramche, Deurali lower Secondary School (DLSS), Myagdi

FGD Participants

1. Abir Pun, 31 years, Ramche-8, Kafaldada, (DLSS) English teacher since 2059 BS, Married: 9847702319

2. Neelam Purja, 21 years, Ramche-3, (DLSS) Teaching all subjects since last 2 years, Single: 9846381982

3. Devi Garbuja, 33 years, Ramche-3, (DLSS)Teaching all subjects since last 8 years, Single: 9847642462

4. Mr Umesh Garbuja, 23 years, Ramche-4, (DLSS) Teaching all kind of subjects since last 4 years, Single: 9847723663

 

INTERVIEW LIST

1)      Mrs Ram Maya Pun, 36, Community health worker,

2)      Mrs Dilmaya Pun, Community Health Worker, Ramche (9847758193)

3)      Ms Ganga Purja, Home stay owner, Ramche

4)      Mr Vyas Khas Bahadur Gorbuja, Chairman of School running committee

5)      Laxman Pun, 37 years, Poultry Farm owner, Nangi ( taken on January 24, 2013)

6)      Budhimaya Khoraja, 45 yrs, Ramche-1, (taken on January 24, 2013)

7)      Mr Mati Bahadur Pun,  (Nursery Baaje)

8)      Mr Kisan Pun, 40, English teacher, HSHS, Nangi

9)      Mr Om Prasad Pun, 60, ex-Indian Army officer, Bhanda, Nangi

10)  Mr Raman Pun, Principal, HSHS, Nangi, (taken on January 19, 2013)

11)  Mr Kisan Pun, English Teacher at HSHS, Nangi,(taken on January 19, 2013

12)  Mr Jhaman Thapa, Nangi, (taken on January 19, 2013

MIGRATION AND FINANCIAL SECURITY

Posted in My life by Shekhar on March 3, 2013

 Migration for foreign employment has been the most reliable source of financial security for households of Nangi village however instead of investing the remitted income from migrants into the local income generating activities; it has been invested further in migration of youth and consumption behavior. The source of credit or loans still remains the informal sector i.e. relatives and neighbors or retirees or ex-Indian and ex-British army who have handsome income from pension and their access to banks is still a far cry.    

– Shekhar KC, kushekharkc@gmail.com, Nepal

 

Migration for foreign employment and the considerable increase in the remitted income have diverse impact on the financial security of the household in Nangi Village of Myagdi District. Financial security here has been understood as the household capacity to have access to credits, enhance savings and investments along with capacity to spend for basic needs including education and health facilities.

In Nepal, Only 26 percent of households have a bank account, and 45 percent of these households prefer to save at home—while 53 percent prefer to borrow from the informal sector. About 38 percent of Nepalese households already have loan from the informal sector, 16 percent from both the informal and formal sector, and 15 percent from only the formal sector (that is, a bank, finance company, financial NGO or cooperative, or microfinance or rural regional development bank).

Access to credit and Repayment

Villagers were found to have access to banks, local cooperatives and self-help groups, close neighbors and relatives for credits depending upon which country their family members have migrated in past or present. Migrants of British and Indian security forces were found to have handsome savings, access to bank in nearby cities like Pokhara and Beni while migrants of gulf countries like Baharain, Dubai, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia were though found to have good remitted income but their access to limited to informal sector like close relatives or neighbors and local cooperatives.

Some villagers shared their Past history of taking loan and paying in time. A local woman Maya Purja, 29 took loan to send her husband abroad for foreign labor and was able to repay within in a year. She also saves her local income as well as remitted income monthly in a local cooperative.  A local woman Dil Kumari Purja took loan from her neighbor who had income source from pension.

Source of money for villagers are forest committee, VDC (for toilet construction), Aama samuha and Baa Samuha. Till now migrants family have no need to take loan from formal sector like bank and cooperatives as they were receiving sufficient remittance to fulfill their basic consumption. However according to one local women of Nangi Kesh Maya Garbujha, she had to apply for loan the local cooperative in low interest and start her local shop.

Most of them have history of loan in the past where they paid in time. Most of the migrant’s families were not having any experience of not being able to pay loan in time. And they didn’t have to sell or mortgage their land to issue or repay loan. Most of the migrant’s families who took loan to send their husband and children abroad took nearly 1 year to repay the loan.

Investment and Savings

Migration has given safe way-out to sustain the livelihood for women, break the financial dependency over the husband’s income to live in the family and start their own local income generating business through savings and investment.  After working in gulf countries for more than 8 years and through handsome savings, Budhimaya Khoraja, 45 of Nangi feels her life secured though she is living as a single woman. Budhimaya Khoraja who had been left by her husband and her subsequent married life were rough, denies marrying any man. She says, “I’m now independent, empowered and I’ll not marry again, not even the residence permit holder British army serviceman.”[1] This suggests that financial security triumphs all other shortcomings of life and migration or foreign employment has become a central factor in this case.

Migration for foreign employment and the savings from remitted income has enhanced people’s entrepreneurial skills at local level. Laxman Pun, 37 of Nangi who used to earn Rs 200 through local labor works (constructing houses, making mud mortar, working in stone quarry etc) before going to Malaysia in search of employment has raised his financial status to relatively higher level. Currently, Laxman Pun has his own Poultry farm which now holds 1200 chicken, four horses and produces 28 crates of eggs daily. This suggests that financial security has become the major objective of migration for some in the Nangi. People even receive interest from their savings. A local health volunteer of Nangi, Ram Maya Pun saves her money in local agriculture saving and cooperative, and similarly she prefer to invest in local income generating group (Aya arjan samuha). Some have even saved in Banks of Pokhara but that again depends upon the destination countries of their husbands or sons.

Villagers have their savings deposited in different places depending upon their access and their capability. The countries their husband or son has migrated play a very key role.

Financial Assets

In the form of assets, people own their house, lands, pension, savings in the local cooperative and self-help groups as well as investment in local business. These assets depend upon the destination countries where they or their family members had migrated. Migrants in foreign security forces like British and Indian army have handsome savings, enjoy good health facilities and can invest in other income generating activities while households of migrants from gulf countries enjoy relatively low savings and low investment because the remitted income are sufficient to hold daily consumption items and education fees of their children.

Due to migration, some were even able to expand their property outside the village as well. Amar Bahadur Pun of Nangi has invested his pension and remittance income on land in Pokhara. Similarly, Ram Maya Pun of Nangi has invested remittance in her own shop, and holds a bank savings with low rate of interest.

Income and Expenditure

Foreign employment is perceived as the most reliable income sources for the households. Those remitted income are necessary to meet household expenses, children education and even do business at local or regional level. The same money is used to send other people abroad for foreign employment. So one’s income for abroad employment is benefitting other.

Expenditure pattern differ according to migrants. Ex-British or Indian migrants enjoy luxurious life and sit idle while migrants of gulf countries are proactive in local income generating activities. This different rest on the income and savings these migrants family have. Retirees of British and Indian security forces were found to have handsome savings, so they were indifferent towards hardworking and more inclined towards drinking habit (Local Jhoikhatte).

The culture and tradition of the local people and their approach to sustain the agricultural production in the village was found spectacular. The tradition of Parma can be seen as the safe way out for villagers who might not have money to spent on agriculture labor but can invest their labor in others field in exchange of their labor. That has controlled monetary flow but enhanced productivity in the village that benefits all. That is partly attributed to social bonds, kingship and community feelings.

Remitted Income is seen higher among migrants who are in Indian or British security forces or retired from such services and enjoying pension. Migrants in gulf countries like Malaysia and

Most of the remitted income is spent on household consumption and most households don’t have any savings. All migrants’ families were dependent on remittance and there were no other sources of income. Employment in foreign security forces is seen to provide financial security for the old age people through provision of pension. Many women in the village considered pension as the reliable source of income and those who didn’t have any such sources regret for not having their family members access to pension.

One local villager and ex-Indian Army Amar Bahadur Pun, 67 feels financially secured after sending his son to Japan in two ways. First his pension provision has facilities him to show bank balance and send his son safely to abroad.

Secondly his son is sustaining himself in abroad due to which Amar Bahadur doesn’t have to take financial burden of his son’s education. Otherwise his friends in the village whose sons are studying in the village are finding hard to fulfill education cost which Amar Bahadur doesn’t have to.

Appendix: Questions

  1. 1.      Migration and Financial Security

Family income and its major sources

1.1.   Expenditure patterns

1.1.1.      food

1.1.2.      Non-food expenses

  1. Income Sources

2.1.   Agricultural

2.2.   Non Agricultural

2.3.   Remittances

2.4.   What are the income sources

2.4.1.      Agriculture

2.4.2.      Non-agricultural sector

2.4.3.      Remittances

4.6 How much income do you earn from farming?

Rice _______ Maize______ Wheat Vegetable _______ Fruit________

2.5.   Does the family have access to cooperatives or banks or any financial group or institutions?

2.6.   Do any of your family members have returns on savings or investments?

2.7.   Do any of your family members have life insurance?

2.8.   Do any of you family member receive pensions or any government payments? How much per year (Rs/year)

2.9.   Do you have debt? For how many year? How much?

2.9.1.      years——–

2.9.2.      amount———-

2.10.                    Have you experiences any financial crunch or shock in past five year? How many times?

2.11.                    Do you have remittances as a source of income ?

2.12.                    What is the status of remittance remitted by migrants?

2.13.                    What is remitted amount usually used for?

2.14.                    Has the food consumption habit changed before and after migration? Increased consumption of Nutritious food (Change in fooding habit/ what do they consume now and what they used to consume earlier?)

2.15.                    Do people invest remittance in agriculture improvement or businesses investment?

2.16.                    Do people save remitted income?

2.16.1.1.        (If yes) On what type of business do people invested remitted income in?

Appendix 2: Research Participants

FGD 1:

Date: January 20, 2012

Location: Mandali, Nangi

Participants

Respondents

Gender

Age

Address

Migrants relation

Destination

Type of work

Tiki Maya Tiluja

Female

47

Nangi-1

Son

Korea since 8 month

Wielding

Khim Maya Sherpanja

Female

38

Nangi-1

Husband

Saudi Arab since 2 years

Wielding

Kesh Maya Gorbuja

Female

38

Nangi-2

Husband

Dubai

Labor

Dil Maya Tiluza

Female

50

Nangi-2

Husband and son

Labor

Aimati Pun

Female

52

Nangi-1

2 sons

Honkong (since 4 years) and Saudi Arab (since 2 years)

Labor

Dil Bahadur Tiliza, Former ward Chairman, Ex-Indian army

Male

50

Nangi-1

Son

Japan since 3 year

Student in self-financed

FGD 2

Date: January 20, 2013

Location: HSHS computer lab, Nangi

FGD Participants

Respondents

Gender

Age

Address

Migrants relation

Destination

Type of work

Ram Maya Pun, community lodge committee members

Female

36 years

Nangi-1

Husband of under sic

Dubai since 2 years

Store keeper

Sukh Maya Pun, ban samiti, yak committee

Female

38

Nangi-2

Husband

Malaysia since 11 years

Amar Bahadur Pun, former ward chair, school management committee

male

67

Nangi-2

4 sons, Indian army, France as a student visa study French language

France

Labor

Maya Purja

Female

29

Nangi-2

Husband since  years

Qatar, Malaysia, Dubai

construction

Om Kumari Pun

Female

Thirty two

Nangi-1

Husband

Qatar since 2 years

Labor

Mr Kisan Pun, teacher

male

40

Nangi-1

Brothers, sisters, mother

UK

FGD 3

Date: January 24, 2013

Location: Ramche, Deurali lower Secondary School (DLSS), Myagdi

FGD Participants

1. Abir Pun, 31 years, Ramche-8, Kafaldada, (DLSS) English teacher since 2059 BS, Married: 9847702319

2. Neelam Purja, 21 years, Ramche-3, (DLSS) Teaching all subjects since last 2 years, Single: 9846381982

3. Devi Garbuja, 33 years, Ramche-3, (DLSS)Teaching all subjects since last 8 years, Single: 9847642462

4. Mr Umesh Garbuja, 23 years, Ramche-4, (DLSS) Teaching all kind of subjects since last 4 years, Single: 9847723663

 

INTERVIEW LIST

1)      Mrs Ram Maya Pun, 36, Community health worker,

2)      Mrs Dilmaya Pun, Community Health Worker, Ramche (9847758193)

3)      Ms Ganga Purja, Home stay owner, Ramche

4)      Mr Vyas Khas Bahadur Gorbuja, Chairman of School running committee

5)      Laxman Pun, 37 years, Poultry Farm owner, Nangi ( taken on January 24, 2013)

6)      Budhimaya Khoraja, 45 yrs, Ramche-1, (taken on January 24, 2013)

7)      Mr Mati Bahadur Pun,  (Nursery Baaje)

8)      Mr Kisan Pun, 40, English teacher, HSHS, Nangi

9)      Mr Om Prasad Pun, 60, ex-Indian Army officer, Bhanda, Nangi

10)  Mr Raman Pun, Principal, HSHS, Nangi, (taken on January 19, 2013)

11)  Mr Kisan Pun, English Teacher at HSHS, Nangi,(taken on January 19, 2013

12)  Mr Jhaman Thapa, Nangi, (taken on January 19, 2013


[1] Based on the interview with Mati Bahadur Pun (Nursery Baaje) on January 24, 2013 in Nangi.

Development of India and China: Why?

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 28, 2013

“Whoever say whatever, I think India and China have attained the present development status due to the instinct of their visionary leaders to adapt to the changing world” – Shekhar KC, MDEVS

It is highly opined and hard to reject that India and China are emerging superpowers in the world. Within in few decades they are believed to be leading the world economy but it’s even more interesting to identify the factors that led to their current potential to grow into leading economy of the world after US.

My view regarding why India and China are developing so fast might be influenced by my being the citizen of the poor country Nepal which is sand-witched between these two leading economies. As being Nepali and my country not being able to grab the development speed even near to these countries and also the only two neighbors India and China, my analysis might smell frustration of being poor citizen and jealousy of the development speed of these countries. My analysis of why India and China developed might address by the answers of why Nepal didn’t develop?

I believe that the huge land, water, coal, mineral and human resources available in these two big countries are the major driving forces of development. The available huge resources were channelized into productive output and that could be sold everywhere in the world through strong trade relations. These cheaply available manpower could be mobilized to run the industries and produce product in mass number. And I think India and China somehow did the same and attained a considerable amount of economic growth. And not to forget, these both countries got sea ports through which trade anything to earn income for national and sustain livelihood of citizens. These all factors might have helped these two countries to expand their market, properly use available resources and raise income of the nation.

Along with the aforementioned factors, I think development of any country is also the outcome of the circumstances it passed through in past. Only the use of available resources and converting them into money is not sufficient to develop at the level China and India has shown to the world. Their historical hardships are to be considered seriously. China when it went through Cultural Revolution in 1965 had to sacrifice millions of lives. The national unity and motivations might have installed in Chinese people at the cost of those millions of lives. But that happened only under the leadership of visionary leaders and China was lucky to have that. The origin of that strong nationalism backed up by the huge potential human and natural resources in China led to the present China- the leading economy of the world.

India also shares a heart throbbing historical encounters against colonization of British Empire. Indian people through their fighting with British emperor got in contact with the technology and way to develop their cultural and economy. I think most of the infrastructures existing in India today were installed by Britain and it would be hard to imagine present India if the Britain hadn’t colonized India at that time. I think India learned majority of things to develop from Britain and has added less to what India has in current time.

So, development of India and China can be attributed to their existing political stability, leadership of visionary leaders, economic relations with the other nations and peace sustaining within their national boundaries. I think it’s the India and China’s pro-activeness to adapt to new development policies in line with changing context and that had enabled them to reap maximum benefits. And now they are emerging as the two super power economies of the world.

 (submitted as a assignment to Trailokya Aryal, MDEVS lecturer of International Relation)

Impact of Local Governance and Dalit participation in Nepal

Posted in My life by Shekhar on December 18, 2012

Shekhar KC

 

Abstract

The central theme of the article revolves around locating the discourse of dalit inclusion and participation in the development policies, programs and practices existing in Nepal. In other words, this text reviews the existing constitutional, legal and policy provisions for Dalit participation in local governance sector of Nepal. Starting with the historical development of local governance and dalit scenarios, this essay identifies key issues of justice, marginality and equity in defining major development policies and programs at local governance level. Taking the case study of major local governance projects and programs implemented under the framework of local self-governance act 1999 and regulation 2000, this text analyses the strength and loopholes of local governance development partners and initiatives in properly addressing the Dalit issues and ensuring their participation in local development. After acknowledging the contribution of various NGOs, CBOs and grass root level organizations in the upliftment of Dalit people, this essay attempts to locate the issue of inclusion in the overall discourse of local governance and federalist model that the new Nepal is going to adopt inner future. Avoiding the taken-for-granted culture of scholars for the particular policy of local governance, these essays also puts light on some of the critical issues of local governance issues and suggests paths for improvement. In addition, the text also intends to provide policy implications and impact of local governance in Dalit participation at grass root level.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Local Governance

Local governance is the widely accepted democratic system of governing people and addressing their local-specific need through participatory and inclusive development plans and policies, actions and programs. Local governance follows the decentralized principle of development with emphasis on the devolution of power from central authority to regional/local/sub-national level authority so as to address the problems and voice of target beneficiaries and ensure their participation in the development planning and implementation process through good governance.

Good governance incorporates budget ceilings, rights based development at the local level, notice boards, social/public audits, use of print and electronic media to ensure transparency in programs and budgets, monitoring & evaluation, and results based development. These functions are implemented by local government units. Scholars defines (Lamichane, 2011) Local government as the closest tier and unit of government to the citizen at the lowest level. According to them, local government institution like municipality, Village development committees and district development committees (in case of Nepal) are also the first entry point for people to gain access of and influence decision-making process in government.

 

 Dalits in Nepal

Dalits are defined as “historically and traditionally, socially discriminated so called “lower caste” or “untouchable” according to Hindi caste division system. Among the marginalized groups in Nepal, Dalit population which counts to 2,201,781, or 11.91 per cent of the total population (census 2001) are kept in priorities by government as well as national and international agencies in their development plans and programs.

Among various social groups in Nepal, Dalits have been the most vulnerable and victimized one whether it is access to basic needs like education, employment and safe drinking water or political participation for basic human rights. Various development indicators also reveals that they have infact been excluded from the main development plans and policies as well as social gatherings and meetings. Despite various international and national commitments for Dalit inclusion, constitutional, legal and policy arrangements for Dalit provisions and various grass root level Dalit campaign in Nepal, Dalit stills continue to suffer from social exclusion and discrimination.

Daily media reports, agency reports and scholar’s views suggest that Dalits in Nepal are suffering from exclusion ranging from socio-cultural and religious and economic space. Their image building is still related with the tradition forms of occupation they were forced to do including blacksmith work, tailoring, leatherwork, goldsmith work, copper/bronze work, earth-digging, sweeping and cleaning, ploughing, musical instrument playing, human waste disposal and carcass disposal (Kharel, 2010).

They are denied to free access to water sources, rejected socially, kept out of discussion and debate, physical assault especially women and many other forms of abuse in various social settings including funeral or birth rites, wedding ceremonies, community feasts or Cultural programs, community meetings and training, non-formal educational classes and income-generating activities etc.

Various development indicators suggests that they have the lowest annual per capita income, expenditure, savings and investment. The magnitude of exclusion of Dalits is reflected by all indicators, including the Human Development Index, which is the lowest for Dalits among all listed groups.

Local governance and Dalit

Local governance can be seen as a very important step in Nepal to ensure the participation of marginalized section of society in development plans and programs of Nepal. Among the marginalized groups in Nepal, Dalit population which counts to 2,201,781, or 11.91 per cent of the total population (census 2001) are kept in priorities by government as well as national and international agencies in their development plans and programs. However, the introduction of Local Self-governance act in 1999 and subsequent Regulation in Nepal can been seen as the milestone legal effort to uplift Dalit in real sense.

The country report of International Labor office Nepal reveals the least political participation of Dalit at various levels. Its sample survey in 11 districts found out that as opposed to dominating groups of Bahuns and Chhetris, (ILO, 2005) an overwhelming majority of Dalits (86.56%) are not members of any political organizations. In the 1997 election for VDC chairpersons, Bahuns/Chhetris (54.42%) and Janajatis (39.86%) constituted the majority, whereas Dalits constituted a mere 1.63 per cent of the 735 VDC chairpersons. Such pessimistic scenarios of Dalit are similar in leadership positions in civil society organizations and political parties, as well as in trade, industry, science and technology. There was not even a single Dalit among the chief district officers and secretaries in ministries until 1959 and so is the case in 1999.

 

Various facts and figures suggests that Dalit needs special attention in the plans and policies of the government. (ILO, 2005) The Tenth Plan (2002-2007)/PRSP[1] specifically incorporates the Dalit issues and accordingly specifies strategies, policies and programmes. It puts thrust on the alleviation of deprivation among Dalits. The last three budgets, for FY2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05, have categorically laid emphasis on the uplift of Dalits and have allocated about NRs 7 million, Rs11.50 million and Rs12.50 million respectively to the National Dalit Commission (NDC). However, the use of the fund for proper mission is still under questions.

Besides, line ministries such as those concerned with agriculture and cooperatives, industry, labour, forestry, education contain programs for their uplift. In addition, the Poverty Alleviation Fund also puts emphasis on disadvantaged groups, including Dalits. INGOs are also providing assistance for the general as well as DNGOs (Dalit NGOs) for the development of Dalits.

However, of the around NRs 521.40 million foreign aid received for the Dalit issues during the past nine years or so, only about Rs12.70 million has been spent, implying a very low (2.4%) absorptive capacity. Also, coordinated and effective implementation of activities of DNGOs is quite essential for the development of Dalits.

However, it should be noted that the implementation and enforcement part of these domestic and international legal provisions, as well as government policies and plans, is very weak. As a result, these have not been able to substantively reduce labor discrimination in Nepal.

 

 

 

Local Governance Community Development Program (LGCDP): A case study

LGCDP can be taken as a representative local governance project to assess the impact of local governance on the participation of Dalit in local development planning and implementation processes. This project was implemented from 2008 to 2012 under Ministry of Local development through local bodies including Municipalities, VDCs and DDCs. Its efforts at local level can be pointed out to assess the impact on Dalits.

Various mechanisms can be noticed that suggest the efforts towards enhancing participation of local people in local governance sector. The formation of Local Peace Committees (LPC) at 29 districts (intends to spread over 75 districts) ensures the participation of disadvantages and backward communities including Dalits through their involvement in local planning and funds flow process of the DDCs (MDL, 2010).

The project facilitates the formation of Interim Local Bodies at district, municipalities and village level whose main functions are directed towards the upliftment of socially and economically backward classes including Dalit trough their involvement in revenue mobilization and budge allocation process. These provisions were made under the constitutional arrangement of Interim constitution of Nepal 2007.

The Three Year Interim Plan (2007-10) has explicitly adopted the principle of decentralization as a means to enhance people’s participation in local governance process. Inorder to materials it mission of people’s participation, special focuses are laid upon the demand driven, targeted and community focused and specific goal-oriented schemes which will increase the access of people from disadvantaged groups including dalit. Commitments are continuously made to mobilize and share local revenue between local authorities for the development of socially and economically backward people.

The project also implemented the local level employment opportunities for Dalit as a part of positive discrimination policy. Under the Disadvantaged Group empowerment and community development components of the projects, Dalits along with other backward groups are targeted as a major beneficiary of development programs like Poverty Alleviation for Karnali region (One Family One Employment). It acknowledged the supplementary and complementary roles of NGOs, private and government sector in enhancing the participation of backward and disadvantaged socially and economically oppressed group like Dalit in local level Planning process and implementation.

LGCDP after its project completion period came up with outcome, though not satisfactory but certainly encouraging for future efforts in local governance sector. It enhanced the capacities of socially and economically backward communities including Dalit to articulate and assert their demand and voice against government and advocate against caste discrimination in education, employment and various sectors. Their interactions with the local governments units like VDCs and municipalities, their space for decision making in local development planning and implementation process, budgetary allocation and empowerment. The project indentified ‘social mobilization’ as the major strategy embedded in local governance processes and oriented towards helping communities and community organizations to interface with local governments and other service delivery agencies (e.g. health centres, NGOs, etc.) at the local level.

 

Development partner in local governance and Dalit advocacy

We can see the mushrooming number of NGOs, CBOs[2], cooperatives groups and self-help groups working for the upliftment of Dalits at grass root level with the support from multilateral and bilateral donor agencies and INGOs. Around 600 Dalit NGOs are estimated to be operating in Nepal (Dahal, Social Movements in Nepal, 2004). However only handful of them has been able to meet the objectives and inspires the scenario. Nevertheless these Initiatives from INGOs, NGOs and multilateral and bilateral donor agencies INGOs, NGOs and multilateral and bilateral donor agencies have been widely acknowledge for their supportive role in the Dalit upliftment sector. Because of the activism of these organizations, Dalit issues have received increased national and even international attention.

 

Several agencies are seen working to ensure the participation and empowerment of dalit on multiple sectors. Action Aid, Save the Children-USA, Save the Children-UK, Save the Children-Norway, Lutherans World Federation, MS-Nepal and Helvetas are some of the INGOs involved in Dalit support activities. Among multilateral agencies, the UNDP and the ILO have begun their cooperation with Dalit organizations. Among bilateral agencies, Danida, through its Human Rights and Good Governance Advisory Unit (HUGOU), has been a pioneering agency in working directly with three national-level DNGOs with the explicit objective of alleviating caste discrimination. This support activity has been ongoing for the past two years. Danida/HUGOU supports the DNF. The Dalit Welfare Organization (DWO) and the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) are the other organizations that receive financial and technical support from Danida/HUGOU (Gaventa & Valderrama, 1999).

 

Critical Scenario: failure of LSG and Politicizing Dalit issues

Initiatives at local governance sector for Dalit upliftment and advocacy is not always appreciative as it intends to be in theory. In Nepal local bodies like VDCs and municipalities suffer from acute resources needed to address the Dalit section of the society. Whatsoever NGOs and CBOs are seen in the Dalit empowering activities are often seen with suspects for their ‘dollar farming’ characteristics and politicizing the Dalit issues for switching to power.

Often the data and facts related to Dalits are manipulated. For instances, a study shows that 65% Dalit students in schools enjoy scholarship which is positive in one way but the social reality that only the elite or privileged section of Dalit groups are grabbing the opportunity is often missing and not disseminated among general citizen by so called development partners and agencies. That means, Dalits issues and their positive indicators are often used for fulfilling the organizational and political interest.

Various efforts can be seen to uplift Dalit and incorporate them in mainstream governance system through capacity development initiative at international scenario (PRC, 2011). Nepal is not the exception as Nepalese governmental as well as private institutions follow reservation/quota policies to increase the presence of Dalit and other excluded group in power and bureaucratic structure and positions. Efforts are also being reinforced towards enhancing the leadership qualities so as to empower them and enable them to fight their rights and justice against discrimination. Through the capacity development of local institutions like municipality and village development committees, local Dalit people can assert their voice and participate in the local development planning and implementation process. They can put forward their optimum demand and negotiate with the local governmental authorities for proportionate participation in the governance activities.

Dalit empowerment through local governance in Nepal ranges from educational enrollment of Dalit to dalit employment and income generating initiatives. Sufficient resource have been allocated for enriching their advocacy and leadership skills so as to enable them to break the restrictions against them upon the economic, cultural and social aspects of daily life.

Despite these positive outcomes and scenario, the development plans and policies of Neplease governments and private institutions are criticized as ‘welfare oriented’ without intervening in the overall structure of the policy formation and beauracracy. This scenario suggests a comprehensive inclusive model to be implemented at grass root level to address the Dalit issues and ensure their participation in local governance.

 

Failure of Local governance and voices for federalism

Scholar often traces back the history of local governance of Nepal in relation to the discussion and debate of federalism in Nepal or decentralized system of government. The interim constitution of Nepal 2007 has declared Nepal as a ‘Federal Republic of Nepal’ and that is the strongest evidence that local governance issues in Nepal is as important as any democratic principles and practices but the problem is that till the date, Nepal has not been able to come up with appropriate model of federalism. The debate over the models of federalism was at high during the fourth extended deadline of constitution drafting process in Jestha 14, 2069 and When Constituent Assembly got dismissed, the debate over the federalism went down. The government of Dr Babu Ram Bhattarai declared the new election date and everyone’s attention was directed over how country is going to see the new election being held is such political crisis.

Though the debate over federalism has been not as prominent as it was before Jestha 14, 2069, I believe that even after the country become able to form the new CA or revive old CA, the political leaders ultimately have to form consensus over which model of federalism to implement for Nepal. Since there has been around 14 models of federalism proposed by political parties, individual experts

The issue of federalism got momentum in main stream politics only after the April uprising of Terai in 2007. The demand was basically that of regional autonomy of Madhesi people i.e. declare the lower southern belt of Nepal extending 1000 km east to west till Chure region as ‘Madhesi State’. That demand was aimed at ending more than century long domination from central regime and hill caste Hindu caste people over Madhesi people. Madhesi people are often characterized as the terai people who have historical background of immigration from India and their demand of ‘One Madhes One state’ is often suspected as ‘secessionist’[3] movement (Aalen & Hattebakki, 2008, p 4).

Before Madhesi uprising of 2007, the comprehensive peace accord between Maoist and the then Seven party alliance in Novemebr 2006 legitimize the need of state restructuring for Nepal.

Before CPA, during 2004, Maoists when they were still a insurgent group formed different autonomous regional government focusing on ethnic identity and autonomy to gain the military support of different ethnic groups and support the sentiment of marginalized ethnic groups.

Before 2004, the 1990 constitutions can be considered as the major turning point in given space for demands like ethnic autonomy through institutional agents. Such voices of autonomy for ensuring identity of marginalized and victimized ethnicities and backwards communities were put forwarded and socially mobilized by the ethnic based institution like NEFIN.  Only The establishment of multiparty democracy in 1990 gave space for the proliferation of ethnic based organization like NEFIN which represents hill Janajatis or ethnic groups (Aalen & Hattebakki, 2008). Their ethnic agendas were centered on secularism, inclusion, multilingualism, proportional representation, reservation system etc.

Before 1990, such demand of ethnic rights and autonomy echoed from ethno-regional political party like Nepal Sadhbhavan party and hill-based ethnic parties but they failed to influence the public option (Khanal, 2009).

The starting point for aforementioned movement of demand for autonomous region was for the first time put forwarded by Terai Congress Party in 1959 election but it only garnered 2% vote. B.P Koirala led Nepali Congress party won with majority in the 1959 election.

Hence we see the ‘Federalism’ which we understand today was put forwarded in the form of ‘Terai autonomous province’ by Terai Congress Party in 1959 and it was legitimized as ‘Federalism’ in 2007 Interim Constitution after the success of Terai uprising in 2006 April.

Despite these fluctuating political agendas, Local governance can be the solid base to address the chaos as from either side the devolution of power to the local authorizes should ensure the participation of marginalized and unprivileged group in the local development.

 

 

Context of Local Governance in Nepal: Present and Past

The interim constitution of Nepal 2006 explicitly stated that after state restructuring process the country would adopt federalistic model of democracy. Though intense debates are on-going regarding which model of federalism is suitable for the multiethnic multi-lingual and multi-religious (Hindu dominance) country like Nepal, there should be no denying in the fact that whichever federalistic model Nepal will adopt, it will be solely founded on the principle of decentralization and devolution of power among local bodies (DDCs, municipalities and VDCs). Unfortunately major political parties and concerned stakeholders are investing their more energy and time on ‘less’ important issues like nomenclature and number of states instead of power structure and resources mobilization mechanism between central and regional or local sub-national governments.

The concept of decentralization and participatory development has a long history in Nepal. A significant process of decentralization was initiated with the enactment of the Decentralization Act in 1982 and the adoption of relevant regulations in 1984. These legal frameworks forwarded the process of de-concentration of functional responsibilities to the district level of governance. Formally, decentralization was inscribed in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal-1990 as a fundamental element of democracy. Three separate Acts — The District Development Committee (DDC) Act, the Village Development Committee (VDC) Act, and the Municipality Act — were enacted in 1992 (Dahal, Uprety, & Subba, Good Governance and Decentralisation in Nepal, 2001).

Based on the recommendation of a High Level Decentralization Coordination Committee formed under the Chairpersonship of the Prime Minister in 1996, the Local Self-Governance Act (LSGA) was enacted in 1999 to consolidate the three separate acts of 1992. The Act laid the foundation for a local self-governance system in the country. It has statutorily recognized the role of local self-governance and devolution to make Local bodies more responsive and accountable to their populace.

Full commitment for local self governance through constitutional and legal provision echoed at global level only after the decade of 1990s (Sapkota 2007, p. 7). Local self governance booklet series 4 published by Center for constitutional dialogue states that – ‘In April 2007, the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme approved Guidelines on Decentralization and Strengthening of Local Authorities as a key instrument to promote good governance at all levels and to strengthen local authorities. The Guidelines were endorsed by the UN General Assembly’ (p. 8).

In Nepal, the policy of local self-government didn’t see its solid legal foundation until 1999 AD when LSGA 1999 was enacted along with LSG Rules and regulation 2000. The constitution of 1962 promulgated during the Panchayat system[4] tried to establish the system based on the principle of decentralization. That can be confirmed from the formation of local bodies at village, city, district and zonal levels during the direct rule of King Mahendra.

Similar development policies were mentioned under the ‘Directive Principles of the State’ of 1990 Constitution but without any constitutional guarantee of ‘local Self-governance’. The objective of 1990 constitution was to ensure people’s participation without clearly defined laws however local bodies were established only after 1991 legislation made by the then multiparty democratic government led by Krishna Prasad Bhattarai of Nepali Congress.

The existing legal base which guarantees the development policy of local self-governance is LSGA 1999 and subsequent LSG Rules and Regulations 2000 which replaced the previous VDC Act, Municipality Act and DDC Act.

The constitutional guarantee of local self-governance was given by The Interim Constitution of 2007 in its separate section of LSG Part 17, Art 139. It includes “Election shall be held to set up local self governance bodies on the basis of principles of decentralization and devolution of power by creating a congenial Local Self Governance”. Also the Art 140 stresses the strengthening of local bodies with their maximum access to resources however the constraints can be sensed through another statement -“there shall be sharing of accountabilities and revenues between the Government of Nepal and local self governance bodies according to the provisions in the law.” (LSG booklet series, p. 5)

The institutional development of the LSG policy in Nepal is found through formation of local bodies without legal base at during 1960s to the legal act of LSG in 1999 and constitutional guarantee of 2007 Interim constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

We see that the inclusion of Dalit is highly underscored in the development plans and policies of the government but the implications of those policies still are not free from financial and bureaucratic hassles. It is a widely accepted thought that the inclusion of dalit in the new constitution to be drafted is very necessary not only from the dalit upliftment perspective but also for the constitutional declaration of the Interim constitution of Nepal 2007 which explicitly states that the new Nepal will be inclusive, participatory and gender sensitive. These sentiments are reflected in various local governance based projects including LGCDP and their particular focus on dalit upliftment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Bhatta, N. (2012). CITIZENSHIPAND CAST BASED DISCRIMINATION. Department of Social Services. Diak South: Diaconia University Applied Sciences.

Bishwokarma, P. (2004). The Situation Analysis for Dalit. Raising Dalit Participation in Governance (p. 9). Lalitpur: Center for Economic and Technical Studies.

Dahal, D. R. (2004). Social Movements in Nepal. Research Essay, Kathmandu.

Dahal, D. R., Uprety, H., & Subba, P. (2001). Good Governance and Decentralisation in Nepal. Kathmandu, Nepal: CENTER FOR GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES.

Gaventa, J., & Valderrama, C. (1999). Participation, Citizenship and Local Governance. Background note for workshop, Institute for Development Studies.

GON, G. o. (2012). LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (LGCDP). Ministry of Local Development. Kathmandu: MLD.

Kharel, S. (2010). THE DIALECTICS OF IDENTITY AND RESISTANCE AMONG DALITS IN NEPAL. Graduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh.

MLD. (2004). Decentralisation in Nepal. Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.

MLD. (2010). LOCAL GOVERNANCE & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (LGCDP). Ministry of Local Development. Government of Nepal.

MLD. (2012). Public Expenditure & Financial Accountability and Fiduciary Risk Reduction Action Plan. Planning and Foreign Aid Coordination Division. Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.

MLD. (2006). SWASHASAN- The Journal of Self-governance & Rural Development (Vol. 11). LALIITPUR, Nepal: Government of Nepal.

Poudyal, L. P. (2008). Local Capacity Development Investment for MDG Localisation in Nepal. Kathmandu: UNDP & SNV.

Pratchett, L. (2004). Local Autonomy, Local Democracy and the ‘New Localism’. Political Studies , 52 (1), 358-375.

PRIA. (2011). Democratic Accountability in Local Government Institutions Experience from South Asia. New Delhi: PRIA Global Partnership.

UNICEF. (2007). DALITS IN INDIA AND NEPAL: POLICY OPTION FOR IMPROVING SOCIAL INCLUSION IN EDUCATION. DIVISION OF POLICY AND PLANNING. KATHMANDU: UNICEF.

 


[1] Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

[2] Community based organizations

[3] a belief or policy in favor of withdrawal from a nation, state, organization, or alliance

 

[4] However, the same concept of the system of local governance was attempted to be utilized by Panchayat regime as a vehicle to enforce central control and mostly to track and suppress the political opponents (Dhakal 2007, p. 6)

Leasehold Forestry in Nepal and Inclusion of Dalit : A critical review

Posted in My life by Shekhar on December 17, 2012

 

Shekhar KC

kushekharkc@gmail.com

Abstract

The central argument of this paper is that leasehold forestry program in Nepal can be taken as an effective forestry strategy to include socially and economically marginalized section of the society including dalit community and address the limitation of community forestry program which has failed to enhance livelihood options of poor people. Starting with the conceptual note on leasehold forestry, this article puts light on various loopholes of community forestry management policies and practices through scholar’s analysis and case studies and explains how leasehold forestry has been acknowledged by scholars as the effective strategy to combat twin purpose of forestry regeneration and poverty alleviation of of poorer groups including dalit community.

Remaining within the discourse of natural resource management, this essay gives insight to different Inside the box(ITB) theories including Himalayan Degradation Theory of 1970s and theory of common property regime and their linkages to emergence of leasehold forestry in Nepal. Alongside, the scholarly attempt has been made to link leasehold forestry with the diverse ‘outside the box’ (OTB) developmental thinking in Nepal including top-down and bottom-up approach to development, changing role of state from developmentalist state to neoliberal agenda of development where role of state is minimized and the market is emphasized. through those OTB and ITB linkages to development and environment discourses, this essay attempts to locate and emphasize the contribution and need of leasehold forestry in the natural resource management sector of Nepal by addressing the poorer community including Dalit.

 Finally, this essay concludes that dalit inclusion in forestry management serve the twin purpose of sustainable natural resource management and simultaneously opens the livelihood options for poorer and marginalized communities by securing their legal access to the land and forestry resources.

Introduction to Leasehold Forestry in Nepal

Leasehold forestry is a community forestry management program which involves the set of policies, programs and laws that guides the management of forest by targeting poorer and socially excluded section of the society. The program intends to enhance the livelihood strength of the backward and underprivileged people though social inclusion and pro-poor projects and programs. Leasehold forestry legalizes the access of socially marginalized and poor people to the degraded land[1] and forestry resources and hence guarantees the exclusive property right to target poorest household.

Figure 1: Conceptual development from Community forestry to leasehold Forestry in Nepal

 

Failure of Community Forestry Programme

The initiation of Community Forestry Programme can be traced back to 1978 and has been acknowledged as a successful strategy in giving communities access to forest resources and improving forest management. However its over concerns for revenue collection through selling timber product has resulted in the ignorance to the protection and utilization of non-timber forest resources, especially forage and has not considered much about enhancing the access of poor and disadvantaged groups to such resources (Pande, 2009).

Community forestry programs though has got considerable positive comments however has been criticized on various grounds. Particularly its unfair criteria to facilitate access of rich and elite, landlords to the forestry product in one way and simultaneously block Poor, especially the landless dalit[2] to be included in the Community Forestry Unser Group member are such grounds.

Slide4

And hence to cover the loopholes of CFP, Leasehold Forestry program was proposed in 1993 under forestry Act 1993 and subsequent regulation of 1993 with the objectives of stopping forest degrading and address the poorer section of the society, particularly those who don’t have private property around the forest. (Sharma, The Welfare Impacts of Leasehold Forestry in Nepal, 2011). LHF is a kind of contractual private property right on land intended for environmental regeneration with the final ownership to the state.

The LHF possesses twin characteristic: firstly, it is a land redistribution (land reform) programme that provides the poor with property right on land to work with and; two, it is a special environmental programme aimed at regenerating degraded and ecologically fragile lands (Sharma, A Proposal Submitted to SANDEE for Fall 2006 Research Competition, 2006).

The basic idea is to enhance non-timber forest regeneration while also making it possible for LHF land to meet basic livelihood needs of socially marginalized and landless groups of society. The program expects LHF households to enhance their income in a sustainable manner from both livestock, due to improved fodder availability, and timber and non-timber forest products (Sharma, 2011).

Slide8 

Dalit inclusion through leasehold forestry

About 20 percent of the total land in Nepal is suitable for cultivation with agriculture and forestry is the major economic activity engaging about 65 percent of the total population (Sharma, 2011).

Jayaswal and Oli (2003) claims that the poor and the disadvantaged are marginalized from the use rights they had been practicing since generations. Saxena (2002) has pointed out that the pro-poor property right regime in the management of the degraded land was missing in the community forest management policy and thus LHF programme was undertaken to fulfill the missing component (as cited in Sharma, 2011).

Slide8

Similarly, Malla (2001) has explicitly underscored the crucial role of active participation of poor, women and disadvantaged groups in building their decision-making capacity. This is expected to bring effective management of the community forest and result in equitable benefit distribution among the users. Since Poorer households, especially those without land, cannot use fodder, leaf litter, and other agricultural inputs from Community Forest, LHF is expected to address the problem and end the decade-long monopoly of better-off households belong to elites and landlord over the use of forestry resources.

It is also to be pointed out that timber is mostly purchased and used by better-off households since the poor households do not have the need or ability to pay for timber. Since The poorest households do not benefit from the harvesting due to the lack of a legal provision to sell unused products, Community forestry receives wide criticisms for its lack of addressing the poorer households and landless citizens (as cited in Kanel & Kandel, 2004).

Slide7

Baginski and Blaike (2007) have identified two major interest groups in community forestry sector. One is the powerful members of the CFUG who have hidden interest to control the management of the forest while other is the powerless poor people who have open interest to utilize forest for making their living (as cited in BK 2009, p. 6). Leasehold forestry can be seen as the outcome of the struggle of these two powers centers and solve the problem of inequitable resource distribution by securing the legal rights of poor people to utilize the forest for their living.

 

Origin of LHF in Nepal

Leasehold forestry came into existence under the Forest Act 1993 and subsequent regulation 1993. Its major objectives were to stop forest degradation and address poorer section of the society by enhancing livelihood options. It came into existence because partly as a supplementary policy for community forestry management where Community Forestry User Groups were being dominated by the elite and higher caste members of the society. Leasehold forestry programs more focuses on equity composition of the forestry user groups.

Kavre and Makawanapur which lies in the central middle hills of the Nepal were the first two districts where LHF program was implemented in 1993. The program spread to 26 districts in 2004. Data suggests that 1,775 LFUGs are already established involving 12,433 households. There is a provision for the land lease of 40 years (Bhattarai 2005, p. 20). Under a LHF programme, a poor household with less than 0.5 hectare land are eligible for holding the leaseland (Sharma, 2006).

The root of LHF can be traced back to the pilot project entitled the Hills Leasehold Forestry and Forage Development Project (HLFFDP) financed under loan by International Fund for Agriculture development (IFAD), but later on government undertook and merged it under the national forest programme. The LHF was designed for the poor specifically aimed at raising the incomes of the families below poverty line through sustainable harvesting of forest based products and to improve the ecological conditions of the hills.

The major agents of leasehold forestry including Department of Forest (DoF), Department of livestock services (DLS), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) and Agricultural Development Bank were more focused on three major objectives.

a)                  organize LFUGs and transfer forest resource tenure (mainly degraded land) to resource poor households,

b)                  provide training on skill development to the members of LFUGs, and

c)                  Provide small-scale credits to income generation activities, mainly livestock.

International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD, 1990) clearly states provision for leasehold household and the land ownership. Only those families are given degraded land for the lease whose income fall below NRs 3,035 per capita income and own less than 0.5 hectre of land. While transferring the use right of a forest, community forestry has got higher priority over leasehold forestry. By law if there is no claim for community forest, then only leasehold forestry provisions are applicable (Bhattarai 2005, p. 20).

Gregorio (2004) has identified rural poor as the one with the weakest property rights and hence facilitating their access and rights to land, water, trees etc were essential to alleviate poverty. Parik (1998) and Angelson and Wunder (2003) reminds that legalizing the property rights and enhancing the collective actions in natural resource conservation as well as combating poverty issues has been widely followed during the past two decades. According to them, the poor are both the victims as well as the potential agents of resource degradation, sustainable environmental protection requires that the poor themselves are made to act as agents of environmental resource regeneration (as cited in Sharma, 2006).

One such paradigm with the poor as the main agent of forest regeneration was the “Leasehold Forestry” (LHF) that was institutionalized in Nepal in the 1990s (Ohler, 2000). The particular policy of leasehold forestry is said to be driven in part by the struggle between donors to get credit for addressing the issue of Himalayan degradation in Nepal.

 

Understanding Dalit exclusion in Forestry Management

It is interesting to note how Dalits are excluded from the Structure and process dimension of the forestry management sector.

Slide7

BK (2009) has modeled the exclusion of Dalit in forestry through two different categories i.e. Structure (memberships) and Process (decision implications). Dalit inclusion in the forestry management has been underscored by scholars and the government not only for the poverty alleviation of the poor dalit, who often don’t have land and are deprived of property rights but also to enhance the sustainability of the forestry management committee and concerned institutions. This is expected to serve the twin purposes of addressing poverty and regenerating forests.

Figure 2: Framework of Dalit exclusion in natural resource management sector.

There are both optimistic and pessimistic scenarios of dalit participation in the forestry management institution.

One data shows that representation of Dalits in FUG committees has increased from 2% in 1996 to 7% in 2003. Similarly, another data set from training programs organized in Okhaldhunga district from 1996-2002, however, shows that out of 2,504 participants, only 20 were from Dalit castes. Dalits, who are already suffering from the untouchability issue from the higher caste people, are excluded from the forestry management and access to their vital livelihood options or forestry products.

Figure 3 Table showing that Dalits are highly excluded from the community resource management structure

Scholars have identified several reasons behind exclusion of Dalits in forestry management. BK (2009) claims that Dalits are excluded due to lack of information and investment (p. 4). He justifies the claim by giving the instances of a case study of a CFUG where they have tradition to select dalit women just to fulfill the criteria of both women and dalits representation in CFUGC. The hidden interest of ‘discursive power accumulation understood as an attempt to show that participation of women has increased but this helps them to create post for other. (BK, 2009, p. 5)

As CFUGs are major structure and forest is major source of livelihoods strategy in rural area, exclusion causes to bear huge cost for individual and society in rural areas particularly for the poorest and marginalized society (BK, 2009, p. 5). There is cost bearing to the household, community and sustainability of the institution (p. 6).

The case study shows how decision of committee marginalized forest dependent people who are actual beneficiaries of the timber (BK, 2009, p. 6).

Auction Vs Equitable distribution

A CFUG has huge mass of timber that can be used to improve the livelihoods strategy of the poor CFUG member. The poor CFUG members have aspiration to utilize the timber for making furniture for income generation activities while CFUGC want to increase its fund by selling it outside. (BK, 2009, p. 6) generation activities while CFUGC want to increase its fund by selling it outside. CFUGC favored auction system of timber sale while poor CFUG members favored equitable distribution system with price included in operational plan. Ultimately, in one case of that time, CFUGC decided to sale timber product by auction. They fixed minimum price 4000 NRs. BK, 2009, p. 6) and meeting of 24 CFUGs in the district in 2005. The evidence shows that women and dalits proposed very few agenda in decision‐making forum (BK, 2009, p. 7).

Exclusion from the Process of CFUG

Karna Bahadur Nepali, a member from dalit community cannot sit together with higher caste CFUGC member. He cannot submit proposal and oppose decision taken by the higher caste. If he opposes the decision, he has fear, he cannot get wage work.

Similarly the case study of Thamarjung CFUG of Tilhar VDC of Parbat district shows that the conflict between CFUG committee (often dominated by elites and powerful) and CFUG members (poorer groups) has resulted due to their conflict of interest. CFUG committee want to increase the fund of the committee by selling the timber outside while CFUG members who are poorer than others want to use forestry timber for making furniture and sell them to increase their livelihood option. The auction system of CFUG committee to sell the product has marginalized the access of poorer people who don’t have capacity to buy the product. The benefits are directed towards rich and elite while poorer are being restricted interms of making their living by using forestry product.

.

There are well established literatures suggesting that the Community forestry programme was conservation and protection oriented during its inception in the country. BK (2009) claims that this protection oriented strategy of the programme has marginalized the livelihoods of the more people who dependent upon the livestock management as there were prohibition of the grazing inside the community forest. As a result it has reduced the number of livestock of the rural people as it required stall feeding (p. 8).Similarly, of the total households, largest dalit populations are excluded from good and very good forest. All caste households are excluded from good forest condition (p. 8).

 

Leasehold forestry (Outside the box)

Slide6

Figure 4: Picture showing theoretical location of Leasehold Forestry practices in references to different developmental thinking.

It is very important to understand the how the developmental discourse outside the environmental sector influence the policy and practices in the environmental sector. Bhattarai (2005) has elaborated the presence of various discourse and ideologies to locate the concept of leasehold forestry and its particular emergence in the context of Nepal (p. 18).

The emergence of Leasehold forestry in Nepal has been elaborated in narrative manner by Bhattarai. According to him, popularization of Himalayan Degradation theory in 1970s opened the way for western donor to implement massive afforestation project in Nepal through local capacity building strategy. Community Forestry became widely accepted management strategy during 1990s with particular interest on inclusion of marginalized and poorer sections of the society. According to Eckholm (1976), motive behind focusing on exclusion issues was to grasp credit among the competing donors in Nepal who were all working for common objective of forestry regeneration and among the same land area (as cited in Bhattarai 2005, p. 18).

According to Gibson (2000), Agrawal (2001) and Dolsak and Ostrom (2003) Leasehold forestry is influenced by ‘The theory of common property’ which assumes that only the resource user can best preserve and utilize the resources and enhance its sustainability. This theory basically argue if it is proper to hand over power to user groups to shape the rule regarding use of forest or intervene centrally through state mechanism or donor supported actions to manage the resource. Leasehold forestry was initiated under the assumption that only the state enforced policies through donor support can direct the forestry management in proper direction (as cited in Bhattarai 2005, p. 19).

Bhattarai has also linked the four stages of developmental thinking in Nepal and the role of state with the emergence of Leasehold forestry in Nepal. He states that during the period between post-war and 1970s, states were stronger and the main agency of development characterized by authoritarian and oppressive regime. This thinking had resulted in the widening gap between state and the poor citizens who were majority in number. Later during early 1980s, environmental sectors became potential area for western donor to invest and promote development. During mid-1980s, Nepal got caught by Neo-libral policies in forestry sector resulting in market oriented strategy of forestry institution and ignoring livelihood options of poorer section of the society. During 1990s, people started questioning over the methodologies, assumption and kitty-gritty aspects of forestry policies and gave emphasis on local issues and cultural identity. Bhattarai concludes that Leasehold forestry carries the diverse agenda of sustainable development and neo-liberal agenda.

Also, the need of Leasehold forestry can be understood from trend of development practices changing over the time in Nepal. When top-down approaches received wide criticism for not being able to enhance participation of all section of the society, participatory notion of development became widely accepted principle agenda of development. Chambers (1996) put forwarded the concept of ‘communicative rationality’ which emphasizes that citizens must be freed from the manipulative and deliberative process of policy making and simultaneously the public opinion formed through open debate and discussion in non-institutionalized setting of public sphere of citizens should be incorporated while drafting policies (as cited in Bhattarai 2005, p. 19).

Leasehold forestry (Inside the box)

Slide5

Figure 5: Development of different stages of environmental thinking and its impact on forestry policy of Nepal

Ostrom (2000) and Gregorio (2004) has put forwarded the notion of “Property rights” as the most determining factor for optimal and sustainable management in the discourses of natural resource management (as cited in Sharma, 2006). According to Heltberg (2001) Property right is the claim over future income stream from an asset.

During 1970s and 1980s, property right regime saw a major turning point in its management strategy. Local people were considered the true and the only reliable agents of natural resource conservation at the policy level in the developing countries. According to Dasgupta (1997), the cost and the revenue incurred through the forest provide incentives to the concerned community and hence people were trusted source of protection and promotion of the forest (as cited in Sharma, 2006).

Scholars (Bhattarai et al, 2005) have underlined the theoretical understanding of leasehold forestry in Nepal. According to Bhattarai (2005) the access to forest has close correlation with the poverty alleviation impact because securing right to use forest means securing land right which safeguard the property right of the user. Without these legal rights to forest and land, landless people including poor Dalits are obliged to adopt survival strategies with high level of vulnerability and low resilience towards their daily life threats and basic needs. Hardin (1968) anticipates such scenario to result in frequent degradation of the forestry product and often burgeoning conflict among the resource owners and landless people

The policy of Leasehold forestry and community forestry indicates their common space of conflict while the programs are being implemented in daily life of the users. Since forest has been the major source of income and livelihood for many people living around the forest, conflict occurs regarding the ownership and consumption of the forestry product. Leasehold forestry has defined the criteria for the effective management and use of the forestry product by giving the use right to the general people living within certain boundary of the respective forest. But such provisions are often criticized for its lack of vision[3] to address the local problem of ownership.

 

Conclusion

Slide10

It can be inferred that dalit inclusion in forestry management sector is significant not only from the environment protection and sustainable management perspective but also enhancing the livelihood options for poorest sections of the society. This shift in policy changes and thinking is not only the impact of policy at local level interms of different development indicators including poverty index but also their intricate linkages with the changing shift in the development practices and trend over the time.

References

Bhattarai, B., & Dhungana, S. P. (2005). How Can Forests Better Serve the Poor? A Review of Documented Knowledge on Leasehold and Community Forestry in Nepal. Kathmandu: ForestAction Nepal.

Bhattarai, B., Ojha, H., & Yadav, H. (2005). Is Leasehold Forestry Really a Pro-poor Innovation? Evidences From Kavre District Nepal. Journal of Forest and livelihood , 4 (2), 17-30.

BK, N. K., & Gywali, N. R. (2009). Ethno Political Ecology of Social Exclusion: A discourse in Community Forestry of Nepal. Policy recommendation report, DFID Dhankuta and NPC Kathmandu, Kathmandu.

Darnal, S. (2009). Securing Dalit Rights: The case of Affirmative Action in New Nepal. Kathmandu, Nepal.

Kanel, K. R., & Kandel, B. R. (2004). Community Forestry in Nepal: Achievements and Challenges. Journal of Forest and Livelihood , 4 (1), 55-63.

KC, R. (2007, August 31). How can forest be managed sustainably after Sanghiya Sasan in Nepal? p. 2.

Pande, R. S. (2009). Pro-poor community forage production programme in the Nepal Australia Community Resource Management and Livelihoods Project, Nepal.

Sharma, B. P. (2006). Poverty Alleviation through Forest Resource Management: An Analysis of Leasehold Forestry Practice in Nepal. 32. Nepal.

Sharma, B. P. (2011). The Welfare Impacts of Leasehold Forestry in Nepal. Patan Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University. Kathmandu: SANDEE.

Singh, B., & Chapagain, D. (2005). Community and leasehold forestry for the poor: Nepal case study. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Uprety, B. R. (2000). Social transformation through community forestry: Experiences and lessons from Nepal. Kathmandu: Nepal Swiss Community Forest Project/SDC Nepal.

 Slide2


[1] Literature suggests that approximately 11 percent of the total land area of Nepal, which is often denoted as degraded one, is considered appropriate for conversion into LHF land.

[2] The arrangement is such that to be member of a CFUG, one has to be a resident of that locality. On this ground, Dalit, who don’t have land, are excluded from being a CFUG member. And hence it excludes dalit from multiple benefits including decision making to consumptions and livelihood (Kanel & Kandel, 2004).

[3] Joshi et al. (2000) have reported from the study of the LFUGs through the case study of Kavre that only the rich and elites are being benefitted and eligible for land ownership from Leaeshold forestry program. He has found out in his study that the average distance to the forest of excluded households is 0.35 km and average distance to the forest of the included households is 0.70 km from their settlements. That means the criteria set to include or exclude households from being the user of the leaseholds, not on the basis of who are needy and more local and poor, but on the basis of whose house is located within the area of that particular VDC where forest is located (as cited in Bhattarai 2005, p. 22).

Federalism in Nepal- A potential area for research

Posted in My life by Shekhar on December 10, 2012

Nice written

Inclusion in Nepal Army

Posted in My life by Shekhar on December 10, 2012

Note: This short text is the summary of the discussion program held at Martin Chautari, a research and public forum for discussion based in Kathmandu Nepal, on October 7, 2012 AD. The title was ‘Inclusion in Nepal Army’ (tentative) and based on research fellowship provided by SNV to Rajesh Chamling, who is working as a researcher in SIRF (Social Inclusion Research Fund). The readers are requested not to depend on this text for authentic view on the topic dealt here. This is just an attempt to introduce the topic through my blog www.visitskc.wordpress.com. Further queries can be quenched by asking Mr Chamling himself through email chamlingrj@gmail.com.

The subject matter of this research i.e. Nepal Army is a main security institution of Nepal and is often considered a sensitive issue to dealt with because this is often related to national security and most of the information related to such sensitive institutions are considered to be ‘confidential’ so as to avoid any kind of violent consequences. The issue of inclusion has been raised in Nepal Army by Rajesh Chamling through his focus on the Ethnic background of the army officials from lower to upper level in both infantry and technical sections. His research found out that among the total army officials, 19% Janajatis prevails among which majority of them are from Newar community (5% of total Army officials) and the least number of army officials hails from Madhes region. Rajesh Chamling, revealed that both in infantry and technical section of the Nepal Army, Newar community dominated the majority of the positions. According to him, higher HDI and other socio-economic status of the different ethnicities might be the reason behind such gap.

Mr Chamling gave a brief historical background of existence of security institutions based on ethnic identity. He reminded us of Shiekh regiment and Punjab regiment of India and simultaneously Gorkhali regiment of Nepal based on their respective ethnic identities. Gorkhali regiment of Nepal who were sent to British Army during Second world war were dominated by Magar community and according to Mr Chamling Britain later recognized two groups in their regiment for Nepali soldiers coming from East and West based on their ethnicities (for details we have to read the research article).

Mr Chamling gave an account of Prithivi Narayan Shah’s mission of unification and expansion of Nepal where he pointed out that Khas Chhetris were endowed to command the force and that led to the exclusion of other ethnic groups. He pronounced the term like ‘Kali Bahadur Gana’ (Gana means regiment in Nepali language), Bhairav Gana and Ripumardini Gana and these naming of different regiments are based on ethnic identities whose presence has been visible in Nepal Army since modern Nepal.

In the discussion, Mr Chamling pointed out different faulty actions of Nepal Army prevailing at leadership level responsible for exclusion of some ethnicities and heavy dominance of particular ethnic community like Newar. To give examples, in 2016 BS, the minimum qualification for recruitment was leveled to SLC level from Intermediate level because in those time Intermediate graduates were very hard to find and for the convenience of Army officials handling the upper position, they changed their policy simply to recruit people of their own ethnicities or hailing from their own home town. For example one renowned army official (……Shumsher Rana) who is originally from Sindhupalchownk district had promised to recruit one son from each family of Sindhupalchonk districts who were closer to him or his home location. Such arbitrary selection and recruitment of the army officials created heavy dominance of one and exclusion of other ethnic people in Nepal, as said by Mr Chamling. Similar anomalies prevail in the issue of age requirements also.

According to Chamling, the inclusion in Nepal Army should be taken seriously unless it harms the capability of the institution. He asserted that the leadership level of NA army should be inclusive enough to spread the wave of inclusion on the whole institution and they should stick to consistent policies of recruitment and promotion instead of arbitrary policies based on conveniences and nepotism.

My feedback to him:

You findings showed that in Nepal Army, Newar community’s dominance is there and Madhesis were far excluded. You have given reasons like Higher HDI and other historical reasons behind such exclusion but I believe that HDI doesn’t explain the whole scenario. HDI just consider the economic, education and life expectancy aspect of population while to explain why Madhesis were excluded, your analysis should considered the role of Madhes movement of 2006 and it positive/negative/neutral role in strengthening the existence of Madhes in Nepal Army. How does political representation (which is not explained by HDI indicator) affect the presence of some particular ethnic people in Nepal Army or any other institutions?

(I wasn’t sure whether my question was valid !!!)

P.S: Discussion summary by Shekhar KC can be reached at kushekharkc@gmail.com

 

 

 

Changing Face of the Ramhity Squatter: A Case Study

Posted in My life by Shekhar on September 25, 2012

Shekhar KC

APA reference of this text:

K.C, S. (2012, September 15). Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog. Retrieved September 15, 2012, from Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog: http://visitskc.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/changing-face-of-the-ramhity-squatter-a-case-study/

 

Synopsis

This paper presents the case study of 3 household of Ramhity squatter settlement situated in Kathmandu and elaborates the various positive/negative impacts of poverty intervention projects of national governmental organizations like Lumanti and Action Aid Nepal in the lives of the households residing there. The case study was prepared by filling the [1]questionnaire which includes the detailed information of the household regarding various indicators like improved livelihood, health facilities, access to finance, social mobility, improved women status etc.

Their say……

-          “In these 25 years, every night we are afraid of being removed from our house. Some Politically motivated people force us to take part in rally and pressurize government but nobody hears us. Thanks to Lumanti who is helping us to secure our home. ”

- Bishnu Kumari lama, 44, female, religious gadget producer

 

-          “I came to reside her some 30 years back when my children was severely sick. We lived in hell at that time but now everything has changed. We know the importance of education but inflation has been a headache for us. I get involved with different organization who are involved to develop Ramhity”

- Hari Prasad Adhikary, 60, male, shop keeper, Hindu

-          “Nothing has been gained in these whole years because we earn Rs 1000 rupees more in next month but the price of the food stuffs would increase by Rs 3000. We can borrow Rs 10,000 to 1.5 lakh from the local micro finance managed by Lumanti. We can invest in land, educate our children and open a shop but we must return it in time”.

- Alag Bahadur Lama, 70, Male, ex-government officer, Hindu

Lumanti’s Intervention in Ramhity

Like Alag Bahadur, Bishnu and Hari Prasad, there are 127 households in the squatter settlements who some decades ago had nothing to own, and now are fighting with the government for the landownership and their rights. They have become sensitive towards the power of education. Unlike in the past, their socially mobility has increased and the neighboring settlement or municipalities wards idolize them as force of change, leadership and unity. Bimala Lama, the president of the Nepal Squatter Federation, who lives in the same squatter visualizes the changing aspect of the squatter- ‘we had not even a proper road in their settlement when we had migrated from different districts 20-30 years ago while today every households are touched by a black pitched road where public transport circulates regularly.’ As the days pass by, these people had grown a strong sense of unity among them despite the difference in their religious and ethnic background. Lumanti’s initiatives bind these unfortunate people to live a fortunate life. Though most of the household are Buddhist, a minority of people are Hindu and Christian.

These visible changes are expected to be outcomes of the proactive interventions of different organizations like Lumanti, Action Aid Nepal, Bal Bikas Santhan and Tewa. Since these people have access to employment, health, education and transport facilities, they have become the agent of change and subsequently a role model for neighboring municipality wards. There developmental initiatives are regularly given space in print and broadcast media.

LUMANTI: An introduction

LUMANTI established in 1993 is an NGO which has been supporting the urban poor people residing in different squatter settlement of Kathmandu. Its origin dates back to workshop entitled ‘The Issues of Squatter Settlements’ in 1990 led by Dr. Ramesh Manandhar (well respected and accomplished architect and planner). With the aim of securing the shelter of the poor people in the urban vicinity, LUMANTI was established which literally means “memory” in the Newari dialect.

 

 Lumanti Support for Shelter

Different studies have identified 45 squatter settlements in Nepal and 40 of them exist in Kathmandu Valley. These people have per-capita income US$ 1 per day and are vulnerable to disease and crimes. Search of Employment has been the major force behind their migration and these migrants are known as ‘low paid workers’ in Kathmandu valley. Increasing trend in the number of the squatter settlements is one of the key issues related to uncontrolled urban growth in Kathmandu Valley (17 squatter in 1985 rose to 40 in 2008). 81% of these settlements are found along the riverbank of Bagmati River and its tributaries. Government has been ignoring the squatter issues while the local efforts of different NGOs, INGOs, government agencies and civil society organizations are proved insufficient to prevent the ever burgeoning problems. So far, The Slogan ‘Squatter Free Kathmandu Valley’ has been limited to posters and public discussions only Among them, 42% had completed their secondary level of education while 28% completed their higher education and remaining 30 percent have just completed their primary level of education..

High Powered Bagmati Integrated Development committee (HPBCIDC) and Urban Development through local development UDLE/GTZ with the support from Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj, Lumanti Support for Shelter is one of the exemplary efforts to address the squatter issue of Nepal. Bagmiti Sabhaya Ekikrit Bikash Samihi has also been working to conserve Bagmati River through addressing squatter issues. In addition, CIUD has prepared a brief report on ‘Mapping the poor and their accessibility to NWSC Water Supply in Kathmandu Valley- 2005’ under the guidance of NGO forum. These efforts are centered on improving slums and squatter communities making proper arrangement of alternatives with tenure security.

It is an accepted opinion that these people were forced to squat not by choice but by compulsion as they like every human want to live a better and secure life.

Findings: Impacts on Indicators after Interventions

Different indicators were explored regarding the lives of the squatter households and their perceptions about the changes brought by the intervention programs of Lumanti and other institutions. These indicators include improved livelihood, Social mobility, and access to finance, income growth and health facilities. These changes on these indicators represent how these squatter households perceive their own lives and the subsequent changes.

Improved Livelihood

Bishnu Kumari Lama, 44 is residing in Ramhity Squatter settlement since 35 years. She is accompanied by her husband who owns a furniture shop and her 3 children- 2 daughters and a son who are pursuing Bachelor level study in a nearby college under sponsorship of Lumanti, a national government organization. Her main source of livelihood rests on the limited (often faced by unexpected loss) earnings from her husband’s furniture shop. Additionally, she herself is engaged in making religious gadget used by Buddhist people- that is the self-employment through which she supports the daily bread of her family.

Hari Prasad describes how they livelihood has improved after settling in the squatter. He has been able to educate his 5 children and they are working as Army officer, religious Pandit and student. His daughter is safe and living happily with her husband. Besides sitting idle in his small shop, he also adds to the family income as a local land broker. People respect and come to him for his active role as information disseminator in the squatter.

Alag Bahadur has different experience of the changes occurring in his family. His family some years back had to cook food in stove and firewood but now they can afford a gas stove, fridge and television. Through television, they regularly get updated with the news broadcasted through different Nepalese television channel.

Access to Finance

Hari Prasad, a father of 5 sons borrowed 2 lakh rupees from the local micro finance (Nawadeep Jyoti Mahila Utthan Saving & Credit Cooperatives, Chabahil,) and invested in educating his children and buying a piece of land as a saving for future use. He aims to build a cemented house in near future and get rid of changing thatched roof of his present mud-stone-made house.

Ramhity squatter settlement has its own active micro finance group, a joint venture of squatter households and Lumanti from which needy resident of the squatter can borrow credit amounting to Rs 1000 to Rs 1,50,000. This facility though exists as major source of access to finance is often tangled by different hassles like lack of literacy and time management. Today Ramhity households have access to emergency fund in case some dies in the family or some disaster occur in the squatter. Through their access to money, parents can send their children abroad as a labor migrant, as with the case of Hari Prasad Adhakari.

Social Mobility

Bishnu identifies herself as a very active member of the micro finance group and due to her decade long involvement in the Local Finance Group; she has realized a tangent increase in her speaking and leadership skills. She finds herself socially assimilated in communal dinner and ethnic festivals like Buddhist Loshar which in return has made her feel ‘clever’ than ever. Like Bishnu, Hari Prasad and Alag Bahadur, most of the households in the squatter have developed a strong ownership towards the place they have been living through legally they don’t own the place. In fact these people have been fighting for legal claim and are often stressed by the government’s effort to remove squatter from places around Bagmati River and its tributaries.

Income growth

Due to the poverty intervention activities of different NGOs like Lumanti and Action Aid Nepal, Bishnu accepts the fact that due to the economic opportunities provided by local credit facilities, her income has grown visibly. But still due to the decreasing purchasing capacity of the money raged by high inflation prevalent in the country, her living standard has not improved if compared to past. Like Bishnu, most of the households are well aware about the growing population followed by different negative consequences like tight competition in a limited market and other criminal activities as a threat to security of the squatter.


Health

Building of toilet for each household, a proper drainage management system for the squatter and a common water pump drinking system under the initiative of Lumanti and Action Aid Nepal has been accepted and acknowledged as a major source of maintaining proper health and sanitation for the local household. Households have access to health clinic at minimum expense and for major health problems, the nearby Attarkhel Medical College. Bishnu feels very happy to share that each MBBS student of that medical colleges are assigned to take the medical report of individual household of the squatter and in case of major survey or treatment, people from squatter don’t have to pay bed charges. Besides that, different medical colleges organize Health camp in the settlement at a regular interval.

Security system

Though there is no any police station in the squatter but the nearby by police station arrives instantly in case they are informed about any kind of criminal activities in the squatter. Bimala Lama, the president of Squatter Federation of Nepal shares that the security management has become efficient among the squatter household because there is strict prohibition of drinking alcohol in the area after 8 pm in the evening. ‘We are ourselves the police of this area’- she proudly speaks. She remembers the devastated security condition of the squatter some decades back when most of the criminals used to take shelter and the entire squatter household had to take the responsibility.

 

 

Improved women status

Bishnu Kumari faintly smiles when she remembers the days when even going out of the house was a big challenge for her. Today she regularly attends the squatter household meeting and informs other people about the local micro finance group. She has no problem taking with any male in the squatter. ‘We have become clever than ever’- She whispers. For a husband like Hari and Alag Bahadur, to join hands of the whole family was a challenging task some years back. thanks to gradual increase in the speaking ability of their wives due to the interventions of women friendly organizations like Lumanti that had led them to support their family in adding income to the family.

 Conclusion

This paper gives a brief overview of how an organization’s initiative to support the poorest of the poor in the urban area can help people break the vicious cycle of poverty. Ramhity households perceives the help of Lumanti and other organization’s initiative to build the toilets, mobilize women unity through a local saving and cooperatives, sponsor the educational cost of children and organize different self-employment trainings- very positively. More interestingly, these poor households without land of their own have realized the central role of education in bringing drastic changes in their lives and they have grown enough strength to uplift their voice against government to secure their rights.

[1] See Appendix 1 at the last page of this paper

Annex 1:

Poverty Intervention Survey Questionnaire

  1. Name of the Household:

Age:                 Sex:                  Occupation:                 Education:

House hold members Sex Age years of Schooling Occupation

Note: Occupation include Agriculture, wage labor, trading, collecting & gathering, housewife, Livestock raising, working outside

  1. What is your
    1. main source of livelihood:
    2. supplementary source of income:
    3. What increased in compare to past after Project Intervention?
      1. Higher income/saving
      2. higher productivity
      3. access to finance
      4. social mobility
      5. other specify
      6. Please explain the types of impacts the project created to your household and rant them as per significance
        1. Improved livelihood
        2. Diversified livelihood
        3. Increased Income
        4. Increased food security and nutrition
        5. Information about Project
        6. Confidence and empowerment
        7. Improved women status
        8. other specify……………………………….
        9. Do you think Project Intervention have increased below indicators in your household?
Areas of increment Strongly Agree Agree No Change Disagree Strongly disagree
Income
Education
Health
Food security & nutrition
Employment condition
Housing Condition
Water Sanitation
Productive assets
intra-household gender relationship
free from debt
Other specify
  1. Do you see any impact of this PIA at Community level such as participation, leadership, community decision making?

9Submitted as a Final Term Paper Assignment -2012 June to Prof Dr Mahesh Banskota, Dean of Kathmandu University under the subject Development Concepts)

Kathmandu University

Book Review of ‘From Exclusion to inclusion, sociopolitical agenda for Nepal’

Posted in My life by Shekhar on September 9, 2012

Author: late Dr. Harka Gurung

Review: Shekhar KC

Reference:

Gurung, H. (2005). Bahiskaran dekhi samabeshikaran samma Nepal ka lagi samajik rajnitik agenda (trans. From Exclusion to inclusion, socio-political agenda for Nepal). Kathmandu: Social Inclusion Research Fund (SIRF).

Background

The following text is the summary of the research booklet entitled ‘Bahiskarandekhi samabeshikaran samma Nepal ka lagi samajik rajnitik agenda’ prepared by late Dr. Harka Gurung for Social Inclusion Research Fund (SIRF) in 2008. The book I read is the Nepali translated version of English text (I acknowledge Amol Acharya for providing that book to me) which was already published in 2005. In this following summary I have literately tried to put the main arguments and analytical points of Dr Harka Gurung (2005) regarding the social exclusion/inclusion issue of Nepal which is targeted to help those who might not have time to go through the detailed report thoroughly. Besides that, I myself had to understand the text and putting it in words was the only way to confirm that I have at least understood something about this very serious issue. Some of the words are translated into English without consulting the English version of this book; such mistakes are expected to be considered with liberal hearts. While going through this text, the analysis and data might sounds outdated or not updated because it doesn’t carry the sentiments of Interim constitution of Nepal 2008 – the only constitutions that is far better inclusion sensitive than any other previous constitutions.

Key words: Human Development Index or HDI, Human Poverty Index or HPI, Local diversity, caste and class, exclusion, inequity, socio-economic deprivation, primordialist Vs instrumentalist, Essentialist Vs modernism

Discussions

The book comprise of 5 chapters which are dealt shortly yet comprehensively with supporting facts and opinions backed by historical and current narratives. These chapters are Ch1- Manab Bikash (Human Development, p.1), Ch2- Esthanik bibidhata (Local Diversity, p.5), Ch3- Barga samandhi rajya ko sidhanta (State policy on Class, p.15), Ch4- Bahiskaran ko Prabhav (Impact of Exclusion, p.20) and Ch5- Samabeshikaran ko bato ma (Road to the social inclusion, p.37).

The first chapter gives short background of different development paradigms that explains, in simple sentence, how to achieve economic prosperity and development in society and nation. The discourse starts with Adam Smith who took human beings as the social asset and the core means to development. Classical economist believed that enhancing human capability lead to the economic prosperity and overall development. The examples of war-destructed nations are listed whose development strategy to achieve high rate of economic growth was to focus on human resource development, despite having low potential to develop from natural resources. The development sector saw the concept of ‘Human Capital’ in 1960 and Human resource development became the core means to implement the concept effectively. In 1990 UNDP modified the concept and came up with the concept of Human Resource Development. HRD focused on expanding human capacity, prioritizing citizen welfare, ensuring socio-economic freedom etc. similarly 1993 saw the wave of ‘citizen participation’ influencing the discourse followed by ‘Poverty Alleviation’ in 1997, ‘Inclusive Democracy’ in 2000, ‘Saghan Democracy’ in 2002 and the recent one ‘Cultural freedom’ in 2004 (p.2).

Dr Gurung argues that the main population problems faced by Nepal are high growth rate and subsequent low living standard. The increase in population means the increase in low skilled and illiterate + unproductive manpower because Nepal doesn’t have that administrative capacity to enhance the human development of its citizen in proportion with growing population (p.3). So illiteracy, unemployment etc posed serious threat to Human Capital development of Nepal. Various HPI and HDI data also verified that Nepal is having serious problem in health, education and household income disparity. From 1975 to 2000, Nepal had progressed by 69% interms of increment in HDI, the social reality is that sufferings seem to find no way-out (p.4).

The second chapter put forward the regional discrimination and social exclusion as the main two causes behind Nepal’s backwardness. Unequal access to Natural resources and the one-way regional administrative strategy of the nation are accompanying causes (p.5). Dr Gurung argues that social exclusion in Nepal is the cultural construct or output.

Dr Gurung suggested two bases for regional division of Nepal. 1) Natural resources. 2) geographical regional. He argues that the equal access over the natural resources by the people irrespective of the geographical location will address the big gap between high development of Kathmandu and pity marginalization of Bajhang (p.6). He has analyzed the pattern of per-capita Income, HDI on geographical basis and proposed his own model of administrative units which will minimize the current hardship Nepal is facing interms of regional discrimination (p.8)

The third chapter i.e. ‘State principles on Class’ gives the historical account of exclusionary policies adopted by Nepal that dates back to 18th century and its impact is prolonging hitherto. He explains why Hinduisation was adopted in Nepal. There was fear of the Mugal Empire of neighboring India engulfing Nepal’s cultural identity. To strengthen the nationalism based on single religion i.e. Hindu, Nepal adopted the process of Hinduisation (p.15).  Later Nepal saw how British Empire destructed Mugals of India with their Christianity and as the preventive strategy; Nepal reacted with strengthening Brahman cultural rites and rituals. Nepal categorized Hindu-based casted on hierarchical basis and marginalized the remaining caste, ethnicity as they were considered so important to unify the national interms of strong political and cultural unit. Nepal came up with Muluki Ain 1910, that only favor hight caste Brahnin and Chhetris while devalue other Dalits, ethnicities and nationalities (p.17).

Dr Gurung clarifies the concept of Caste (jaat), Ethnicity (Jati or Jana jaati) and Dalit. Caste refers to that Hindu social group which comprise of internal high-low hierarchies. Ethnicity refers to the people who have their own mother tongue, historically quoted place for habitation and religious tradition. For example Brahmin and Chhetris are caste but Newars are ethnic people. Dalit are social group within Hindu but labeled by state in inferior through their profession (p.18).

Dr Gurung explains the theoretical model of Core-periphery division applied in the categorization of the social group in the Muluki Ain (p.18). He states that Hindu people are at ‘core’ while Non-Hindu is at ‘periphery’. Similarly core-periphery distinction is visible between Parbate Hindu and ethnic people including Newar Hindu. Also parbate Hindu are at ‘core’, Newar Hindu are at ‘sub core’, Parbate janajaati are at ‘periphery’ and Bhote, Tharu etc are at post-periphery (p.18).

It shows that Kirat, Bhote, terai ethnic people (except Tharu) were excluded in the past because they were not considered important for national building and that’s why they were not incorporated in the process of Hinduisation. These state-backed Hinduisation or say a form of marginalization is the main reason behind political, cultural and economic disparity we see today (p.19).

The fourth chapter elaborates the impacts of exclusion. Two causes are put forward by Dr Gurung behind disparity. One is Geographical diversity and second is State mismanagement. Gurung states that through geographical diversity provide space for grooming cultural and environmental diversity but in case of Nepal due to unequal access to resources between urban and rural, the scale of inequalities became broader and broader. So, geographical diversity had to be taken as one of the main hurdles to the development of Nepal (p.21). Secondly, State mismanagement became the instrumental to advocate the particular religion, language or social group like Hindu based higher caste Brahmin or Chhetris while directly marginalizing the various Nepalese of different ethnicities and languages.

Dr Gurung answers who get stock in the vicious cycle of poverty in Nepal. for example a Buddhis monk of Himal region has neither access to resources or opportunities due to his geographical location far from the center nor his religion is given similar status to as that of Hindu. That means he is two times discriminated that a Parbate Dalit (p.20).  The 3 main impacts are

a)                  Political inequalities: Since the root of our present constitution and legal mechanism is Muluki Ain, no matter how many times it is amended, Parbate Hindu or high caste Brahmin or Chhetris will always have superior position in compare to other Dalit and excluded ethinic people. Those 212 law makers of Muluki Ain comprised of 95.1% higher caste background (p.23), which makes it clear the level of biasness the law carried with it and spreading the conflict till today. Dr Gurung elucidates the % share of various social group in governmental service, legislation and civil society which shows that power structure of Nepal is dominantly captured by privileged group like higher caste Brahmin and chhetris(p.23). Hence Dr Gurung advocates for strong affirmative action to upgrade the status of those historically marginalized social group to incorporate them in national legal and social development mechanisms.

b)                   Economic Deprivation: Nepal Living Stand Survey shows that Newars have highest per capita income with High HDI while Hilly Ethnic + Dalit + Muslim has the lowest per capita with low HDI. This shows that income is such a central measure of human development. Dr Gurung answers why Brahmin and Newar have high HDI? It’s because Newar are indulged in Market/ Business profession while Brahmin have ‘cerebral preoccupation’ (p.26) to compete in higher government position. That is to say the occupation directly leads to higher income and high human development.

c)                  Educational inequality: It is another impact where similar disparity is seen between state-backed social group and marginalized ethinic, dalit people.

The last chapter entitled ‘Road to Inclusion’ provides the accounts of possible steps towards end the present chaos which has been lingering since 18th century (p.37). Dr Gurung asserts that ending social exclusion through Pluralistic Democracy should be main agenda of national building in Nepal (p.37). He listed some of the possible actions to address the problems as suggested by HD report of UNDP

-                      Secularism

-                      Identifying endangered languages

-                      legitimating traditional rights

-                      positive discrimination for disadvantaged group

-                      proportional representation

-                      asymmetric federalism for power sharing

Dr Gurung points out that delay in identifying social exclusion as the main cause of Nepal’s backwardness is the main problem (p.38). According to him, following interventions are necessary to address the problem of social exclusion

1)                  State management: since Nepal’s constitutions and laws doesn’t carry the true sentiment of social inclusion and ha always advocated particular religion like Hindu or language like Nepali by devaluating and marginalizing other social group, Dr Gurung suggest following four steps (p.39)

  1. Amendment of Constitution
  2. National value to all mother tongue and languages without prioritizing particular language like Nepali as such
  3. Proportional representation system instead of majority-based democracy
  4. Local autonomy

2. Policy

Our past governmental practices to address the problem shows that state has tried to established different institution mechanism like Dalit Ayog (Dalit commission) and Mahila Ayog (Women Commission) but with no clear cut vision and implementation plan and outputs. Ninth and Tenth development Plan addressed the social exclusion issues by incorporation the problems of nationalities, ethnicities and other marginalized Dalit community (p.42).

Dr Gurung criticized that the aforementioned actions and plan had no measure basis to evaluate whether the results or outputs were effective or not.

Dr Gurung provides list the main issues of different ethnic ethnicities, social group, madhesis and Dalit separately and suggested the respective way-out for their particular cultural, economic, political, social problems (p.42). For example the political problems of Janajati are low representation and anarchist rule over Janajati and they are supposed to be addressed through proportional representation and Ethnic autonomy respectively (p.43). Similarly, The economic problems are Dalit are low literacy, unemployment, homelessness and their suggestive way-out are free education, reservation system and alternative livelihood mechanisms respectively. The problems of Janajati, Madhesi and Dalit are categorically put there and death with affirmative actions according to Dr Gurung (2008, p.43).

Conclusion

Hence Dr Gurung characterized the structural problem of Nepal as the state-backed exclusionary policies. He further stresses why social inclusion is necessary for Nepal through following arguments.

a)                  Since Dalit and Janajaati have almost 50% share in Nepal’s total population, their exclusion is the national problem and hence enhancing their development lead to national development and economic prosperity (p.45).

b)                  If poverty alleviation development projects and plans target these excluded groups, the outcome will be visible and measurable because these people are really poor in compare to dominant high caste Brahmin and Chhetris.

c)                  Ending the monopoly of a mono-cultural dominance is necessary precondition to establish pluralistic democracy (p.45).

 

[Thank You. Date: September 08, 2012, Lalitpur]

Sanskritisation: Concepts and linkages with a reference to Nepal

Posted in My life by Shekhar on September 7, 2012

Shekhar KC

 kushekharkc@gmail.com

This essay is intended to articulate the concept of Sanskritisation, trace back its origin, its contemporary development, criticisms and the conceptual linkages to various related terms, which otherwise would be confusing to a naïve reader to encounter at first. The literatures available were very limited and old (before 1980s), so the updated version of the concepts on Sanskritization is not reflected in this paper.

What is Sanskritisation?

Sanskritisation has no any of its etymological origin as such but nevertheless it has gained some, if not sufficient scholarly attention in explaining social process of change. The concept was originally modeled to study the change of religion, culture and languages of Indian villages during 1950s. The classical definition of Sanskritisation as given by Srinivas in 1952 refers to the ‘positional change of a low Hindu caste or tribal or other group (including customs, ritual, ideology and way of life etc) in the direction of high’ (as cited in Srivastava 1969, p.695). The ‘high’ caste or group in the definition refers to ‘political and economical’ power (Caroll, 1977, p.350).  Scholar (Jones, 1976) have listed examples of different lower caste in different villages of India who have been successful at some level upgrade their social status as the result of sanskritisation. The Noniyas of Uttar Pradesh were untouchables at first and later ranked among the top ten within 25 castes in Senapur village. Similarly the Holeru caste ‘untouchable’ in a village in Mysore attempted to raise their status by imitating the eating habits similar to that of higher caste (p.63).

The definition of Sanskritization as proposed by Srinivas has been linked with Robert Redfeld’s notion of ‘Great tradition’ and ‘little tradition’ of India (Stall, 1963, p.263). As per that, Sanskritization is the process of spread of great tradition (Brahminical tradition of All Indian Sanskritic Hinduism) to little tradition (low or subordinate caste). Stall further clarifies that such understanding has its root in Milton Singer’s distinction between textual and contextual approach. Textual studies are focused on texts, art and architecture while contextual studies focus on culture and practices of certain local communities or tribal group. Like here, Sanskritic Hinduism of India had theoretical analogy with great tradition. Stall writes –

The local forms of Hinduism can be considered little traditions, and Sanskritization becomes the process by which the great tradition spreads to little traditions and absorbs them (p.263).

Sarukkai (1995) simplifies the process of sanskritisation occurring in the social life of people. He states that in such upward mobile process, lower caste people who perceive themselves ‘inferior’ to higher caste take initiatives to construct an image for themselves. Such image though ‘not exactly equal’ will be leveled as similar to those of dominant higher caste people. (p.3357). Sarukkai has used sanskritisation as a metaphor to explain the ‘different’ kind of change occurring in humanities discourses, which he coined– ‘mathematisation’. By mathematisation, he refers to use of charts, graphs and prediction methods to draw the knowledge about the ‘truth’ in the discourses (p.3357).

Sanskritic and Non-Sanskritic elements/materials

There are certain elements to be considered so as to have broader understanding of the term Sanskritisation. It has very less to do with ‘Sanskrit’ – the orthodox language of Hindu Brahmin and most of the times refer to contrary process. In an attempt to clarify the dilemma Stall (1963) writes- ‘In some instances Sanskritisation actually amounts to a decrease of Sanskritic material and a decreased influence of Sanskrit’ (p.265). By Sanskritic material, it originally referred to (Srivastava, 1969) Brahminic values, ideology, beliefs systems, sacred rituals, higher economic status, relatively better sanitary and cleanliness concerns etc (p.695). These values might include vegetarianism, teetotalism and acceptance of Sanskritic deities. As Stall (1963) reminds that these elements are dominantly expressed in Hindu based literatures including Upanishad, the Vedanta, the Bhagvad Gita etc (p.262).

Aforementioned definitions hint that Sanskritisation is used in the literature to explain the process of change in the society. This process as per Caroll (1977) refers to the first- ‘social, cultural and ritual emulation of Brahmins’. In other words, the so called high caste Brahmin influence the low caste group in the society and set path for them to upgrade themselves by imitating the Sanskritic elements- lifestyles, rituals, customs, ideologies, beliefs etc. In this context, Caroll suggests the term ‘Brahminization’ instead of Sanskritisation to denote the upward mobility of low caste group in the social hierarchy. This leads to the downfall of non-Sanskritic or non-Brahminic elements as being flowed by low caste group. Secondly, Sanskritization finds its relevance in explaining the upward social/cultural change to the value of ‘Great tradition of ALL India Sanskritic Hindu’ (p.358).

 

Modifications on definitions

Later considering the limitations of the dominant caste model, Srinivas modified his own definition of Sanskritisation as the process referring to – ‘a two-way process though the local cultures seem to have received more than they have given’ or ‘influence of Sanskritic Hinduism upon the local culture and vice-versa’(as cited in Caroll, 1977, p.358). Srinivas also confessed that one should discard his concept of Sanskritisation ‘quickly and without regret’ if a better model or concept is found (as cited in Stall, 1963, p.275)

 

 Criticisms

It is to be noted that M.N Srinivas, an Indian anthropologist conceptualize the term ‘Sanskritisation’ in his ethnographic research entitled ‘Religion and Society among Coorgs of South India’ in 1952. The term partly got popular later when Indian Dalit leader Ambedker[1] followed the process of sanskritisation and asked his Dalit Indian citizen to discard their traditions and imitate that of higher castes (BK, 2008, p.2).

Later, Srinivas’s explanation for theorizing the social change in the life of Coorgs of south India has received criticisms (Srivastava 1969, Stall 1963 et al). Some has criticized the original concept as ‘ethnocentric’ view while others as ‘arbitrary and untenable’ (Srivastava 1969, p. 698). For example Srivastava proposed ‘progressive family model’[2] to study the social mobility of the people of Asalpur and Barrigaon, two villages of India lying 1000 km apart instead of ‘dominant caste model’ as theorized by Srinivas in 1952. That means people tend to imitate the ‘progressive families’ existing in the society rather than ‘dominant caste group’ as proposed by Srinivas in 1952.

Though Stall (1963) acknowledges the model of Sanskritisation as a useful ‘heuristic’ concept but comes embedded with some misleading explanations. First the conceptual relation to Sanskrit is complex and not clearly explained and secondly it was used in the context of cultural change where the Sankritic language or any Sanskritic elements has very less to do with (p.275). In addition, the model doesn’t provide details for explaining the social change of society where dominant Brahmins are absent or where people are directly upgrading to western and modern lifestyle without being sanskritized or adopting any sanskritized elements.

Srivastava (1969) argues through his ethnographic findings that lower caste or any tribal group in the society are influenced by the modern and innovatory aspect of life style rather than sanskritic elements as explained by Srinivas (p.698). Similarly Singer (1992) points out that the old model of Sanskritisation ignored the linguistic and literary aspect of the process of change of people’s life and simultaneously its popularity seems to decline at the backdrop of popularity of secularization (p.149). To note, today scholar rarely take sanskritisation as a method or research tool to study the social change in its original form.

According to Caroll (1977), Sanskritization model of Srinivas has following three weaknesses-

1)      the factor of dominant caste

2)      too much emphasize on Brahminical model

3)      led to coining of sect or caste specific terms like ‘rajputaization’ and ‘tribalization’ (p.358).

But conceptual distinction can be found between Sanskritization and Brahmanization. The adoption of Brahminical values which are privilege of Brahmin only like engaging in ritual activity by any other non-Brahminical group was referred to Brahminization while Sanskritization might occur among any other group of Kshetriyes or Vaisha caste, no matter the speed of change might be slow (Stall, 1963, p.262).

 

Sanskritisation in Nepal

There is almost no or very less literature regarding the study of the change of social life of Nepalese people. There were only three relevant studies[3] (Jones 1976; Russell 2004; B.K 2008) conducted to examine the influence of Sanskritization in Eastern Nepal and Dalits while there are literatures talking about the other related concepts including Nepalisation, Hinduization, Gorkhaisation and so on. Jones (1976) had applied the sanskritisation process occurring in India to explain the social interaction between diverse ethnic groups in Nepal. In his study he calls the process of interaction between Limbu, the original inhabitant of Eastern Nepal with immigrants ‘high caste’ Hindu Brahmin and Chhetris as the form of sanskritisation(p.63).

Similary, A Nepalese Anthropologist (B.K, 2008) through his ethnographic study[4] argues that the sanskritisation has facilitated the Dalits of Nepal to imitate the different elements of their higher caste counterparts. Such imitations are Teetotalism, vegetarianism, temple building and its worship, fasting, reading religious books, discarding carcass, wearing sacred thread etc by Dalits (p.1). Taking out the historical evidences of old hindu society when cow slaughtering a common traditions, Amar Bahadur BK (2008) argues that both the traditions of Dalits and Brahmins should be considered sanskritic and hence ‘equal ‘because according to him, except ‘wearing sacred thread and reading Veda text’ by Brahmin there are no other significant factor to tag Dalit traditions as non-sanskritic and Brahmin traditions as sanskritic (p.5)

 

B.K (2008) argues that the changes that are occurring in the social status and the living standards of Dalits of Nepal should not be understood as sanskritisation but instead these changes exist due to their caste opposition acts, rejection of polluting practices like pig raising, alcoholism, and adoption of modern and western values (p.7). B.K categorized the process of change among Dalits through “reformation and assertion”[5].

 

Conclusion

The concept of Sanskritization which was founded by Srinivas in 1952 has already gone through series of changes in its definition and applications. The literatures on Sanskritization are relatively not much and the concept is often found being replaced and understood by the other terms like westernization and modernization but its significance lies in its treatment as the root of most of the burgeoning issues of the contemporary world including hinduization, inclusion, ethnicization and so on. This leaves a vast space for interested social science researcher to ponder upon the changing face of this classic concept at intellectual level. To add, it would be injustice to draw any kind of conclusion over the future prospects of this classic concept without applying to other societies other than Indian villages and Nepal.

Note: The above text was submitted to Dr Uddhab Pyakurel of Kathmandu University, School of Arts as a part of the assignment of Subject entitled Social mobilization, inclusion and gender development.

 

References

B.K, Amar Bahadur. (2008). Sanskritization and Caste Opposition: A Shift from Ritual to Politico-economic Power. Himalayan Journal of Sociology and Anthropology,  Vol.III, 1-10

Carroll, L. (1977). “Sanskritization,” “Westernization,” and “Social Mobility”: A Reappraisal of the Relevance of. Journal of Anthropological Research , 33 (4), 355-371.

Hutt, M. (1986). Diversity and Change in the Languages of Highland Nepal. Contributions to Nepalese Studies (CNAS) , 14 (1), 1-24.

Jaffrelot, C. (2000). Sanskritization vs. Ethnicization in India: Changing Indentities and Caste Politics before. Asian Survey , 40 (5), 756-766.

Jones, R.L. 1976. Sanskritization in Eastern Nepal. Ethnology 15, 63-75.

Russell, A. J. (2004) ‘Traditions in transition : Sanskritization and Yakkhafication in East Nepal.’, History and anthropology., 15 (3). pp. 251-261

Sarukkai, S. (1995). Mathematisation of Human Sciences: Epistemological Sanskritisation? Economic and Political Weekly , 30 (52), 3357-3360.

Singer, M. (1992). The Cohesive Role of Sanskritization and Other Essays by M. N. Srinivas. Journal of the American Oriental Society , 112 (1), 149-150.

Srivastava, S. L. (1969). The Concept of Sanskritisation: A Re-evaluation. Economic and Political Weekly , 4 (16), 695, 697-698.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Later Ambedkar himself discarded the idea of imitating and he himself campaign against hinduisation.

[2] By progressive families, we mean those families which are considered by other members of the village community as comparatively more advanced culturally, morally and materially than other family of same caste (Srivastava, 1969, p.695)

[3] These two studies were 1) Jones, R.L. 1976. Sanskritization in Eastern Nepal. Ethnology  and 2) Russell, A. J. (2004) ‘Traditions in transition : Sanskritization and Yakkhafication in East Nepal.’, History and anthropology. But the researcher had no access to the document, so couldn’t elaborate what they contained.

[4] The paper has been prepared the researcher on the basis of a field work in four Dalit settlements in Pokhara for four months.

[5] These phenomenon referred to adoption of certain practices which belonged to the higher castes earlier such as fasting, daily worship, performing Bratabandha, acting as astrologer etc and rejection of the practices which they thought were non-Sanskritic. Temple entrance and worship, writing thar as surname, wearing janai etc are also common practice among Nepalese Dalits according to B.K.

 

Hind Swaraj – Learning to Rule Self

Posted in My life by Shekhar on September 7, 2012

Author- MK Gandhi

Review: Shekhar KC

Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule is the second book of Gandhi ji, I read so far. Earlier was the Autobiography in Nepali translated version which I read some 3 years back in 2009 while I was studying Bachelor. I found this book, Hind Swaraj more influencing; though provoking than Gandhi ji’s thorough description of his experiment with truth in his autobiography. Hind Swaraj or ‘Indian Home Rule’ was published in 1938 and its contents revolve around the Gandhi ji’s quest to convince what Hind Swaraj truly mean for Indian and all.

Gandhi ji’s answers in this book is very difficult to decode in its original form by a lay readers or anyone who have very little encounters with spiritual knowledge or essence of universal religious doctrines. The whole book is the subsequent questioning and answering by reader and Gandhi ji respectively in quest to remove all the confusions and establish clarity over the real essence of Hind Swaraj and how it can be achieved with regards to the role of each and every one concerned directly or indirectly.

The roles of Machines, railways, doctors, lawyers are neutrally condemned by Gandhi ji in its deserving form, without allowing to create a single penny of hatred for any of the group or nationality. Gandhi ji sticks firmly to his doctrine of non-violence and patience, Dharma and self-dependent at the cost of one’s life and starve. He believed that India can only liberate from the clutch of British Raj or prevent further from the affliction of modern civilization if each and everyone walks on the path to the liberation of soul. In other words, India can gain its original form not by driving away the British or destructing any existing infrastructures and institutions but rather not allowing the British rule and those aspects of modern civilization to strengthen their root further. India will attain the Home rule if each and every India know how to get self ruled, attain the knowledge to get mastery over owns mind, body and soul.

Why Gandhi ji doesn’t want machines to flourish and multiply further? He believes that these machines were intended to satisfy the unlimited needs and greeds of limited elite money-minded people while  he assert that those machines and tools are to be used at the level and quantity existing which only serve the primary needs of human beings other than luxury.

The issue of Nationalism is dealt very sophisticatedly. In the book, Gandhi ji goes on defending British figures against Indian aversion for them. Gandhi ji acknowledges the role British contribution for founding the root of Home Rule for India while the ‘extremist’ political groups in India were aggressive in their objective to drive, kill and retaliate British with gun and violent means. Gandhi ji, remind them that even if India attained it own own army, its own government by killing and driving away British, then Hind Swaraj will not be achieved but India will achieve the same as the British archived by using their brute force in most of their colonies.

In the middle of the book, it seems like Gandhi ji looses his focus and become unsure about the true nature of Hind Swaraj. Some Indian wants British to be driven away from India while Gandhi ji believes that their presence and contribution was utmost to achieve Swaraj in India.

In the book, Gandhi ji, argues that the modern civilization is the root cause behind England degradation and it is slowly afflicting India. This civilization due to its very nature of satisfying greeds of limited people should be rejected in India. Only those product and mechanism should be accepted that satisfy human primary needs. Gandhi ji throws some of the must-spell sarcasms on the nature and preconception of civilization that are often retrieved from book written by day-dreamer- the one who defends modern civilization without giving full-sided justice to the topic dealt. According to him, Modern civilization lacks morality and true religious sentiment; it just serves the bodily happiness of millionaires by sucking the blood of poor and unprivileged ones.

Gandhi ji answers why it will take time for India to attain Hind Swaraj. Indian Home rule and modern civilization was made analogy with goodness and evil. According to Gandhi ji, Goodness travels at snails speed but with true sentiment while evil have wings, they propagate at speed or rapidity. Gandhi ji justified who India despite having two hostile religions Hindu and Muslims which share historical enmity, can live in harmony and peace with each other without the interference or judgment of their party.

I learnt from this book that Hind Swaraj or Indian Home rule is ‘learning to rule own-self’. Unless one has inclination towards spiritual insights and knowledge, its very difficult to know the real essence of ‘self-rule’.

The End of Poverty Jeffrey D. Sachs: A book review by Shekhar

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

 

 

The End of Poverty

Author: Jeffrey D. Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs, in his book ‘The end of Poverty’ has provided his global road-map to end the extreme poverty by 2025. He repeats – such road-maps are ‘operational’ ways to address the poorest of the poor.It sounds like the author has several genuine reasons to be optimistic about the equal and broad-based economic growth across the globe despite the disparity that is visible since past two centuries. This book brings some the heart striking insights and experiences of Jeffery Sachs- that aspires us to rethink the status of poor countries marching towards prosperity and happiness.

Every time he describes the disparity seen in the development pattern of the global south and north, he asks- Why 1/6 of the total humanity enjoys the higher living standard with all sorts of needs being satisfied while there remain ‘the bottom billion’ humanity still fighting to meet the minimum requirements to live a deserving human life?

Why Africa fell in the trap of poverty? How India and China are shaping the global economy and politics? Can Millennium Development Goals be achieved? Why such a vast amount of foreign aid is not working effectively to alleviate the poorest of the poor? How some of the poverty stricken countries were able to escape the trap of poverty and step in the ladder of economic growth and sustainability? How can we end the extreme poverty by 2025? These questions are some of glimpses of Jeffrey’s quest for truth in this highly crowded and differentiated world.

 Growth in past TWO Centuries

What went wrong and right in past two centuries? According to Jeffery, 900 million populations in 1800 AD increased to 6.1 billion in 2000. In these two centuries world average per capita income increased by nine times but still we find such a high income gap between Africa and Europe or Asia and USA. The statistics suggest that due to countries-specific technological innovation, wave of industrialization, urbanization, smooth international trade, favorable political and social environment, those gaps in income has been increasing despite several efforts to end the poverty

Jeffery identifies the dissimilar rate economic growth in different section of the world map. He acknowledges the ‘consistency’  of 1.7 annual growth that US maintained due to which American per capita income increased by 25 fold while sub-Saharan Africa and east Asia fell in the trap of extreme poverty. He

Major economic events and Actors

According to Jeffery, various macroeconomic events like the two world wars, the great depression of 1930s, Oil boom in Middle East gulf countries, the spread of colonialism by powerful countries and the fall of European led globalization has major stake in determining the world views towards the economic scenario of the present world. He explains how the saving and capital accumulation, specialization in trade, technological advancement and social as well as structural adjustment in the overall economic policies had led to the economic boom of different development countries. At the same time, he claims that only self-sustaining economic growth can take the hold of growth rather making people rich by applying discriminatory economic policies.

Sachs, at one point, brings an important statistic of September 11 terrorist attach of World trade Center. At the tragic event, three thousand American died at the terrorist attack. At other side, 10,000 die every day in Africa due to AIDS, TB and malaria. Sachs argues that those ‘10000’ can be saved by diverting economic energy in Africa instead of spending huge budget in military resources to achieve victory over Iraqis and Afghani terrorists.

He acknowledges the role of multilateral agencies like United Nation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund in fighting with poverty that has trapped Asia, Africa and Latin American. He doesn’t not lag behind to doubt over their effectiveness and efficiency in distributing funds and resources to reach the poorest of the poor. According to him, Millenuim Development Goals is not only fight against income disparity but also vulnerability to disease, exclusion from education, chronic hunger, environmental degradation and uniform global economic growth.

Lessons from India and China

Jeffery presents India and China as one of the two ‘most watched’ growing economies in the world that are going to shape the global economy and politics. First he identifies what went wrong in those two countries that led them to lag behind USA and Europe in economic time line. Later the historical background was followed by the policy level intervention in escalating their economy in the global scenario.

 According to Sachs, China was unable to tick the ladder of economic growth due to various defaults in trade policy constrained by political changes led by Maoist-influenced Chinese leadership. He wonders how china, which 25 years ago was still emerging from the chaos of Cultural war, has become one for the most important trading powers of the world. Since 1978 China has been the world most successful economy- 8% per capita per year. Difficult to imagine but 64% poverty line was reduced to 17%. Chinese technological innovation, open to trade and democratic principles has led china to the present position in global economy as stated in the book.

At the same time, He talks about the India caught in various cultural hierarchies and the British Raj of East India Company which led to deceleration in development path. The book explains clearly how poverty stricken 1978 India under the economic leadership of great development economist like Man Mohan Singh overcome the major hurdles and established the country as the center for Information technology. Today India is recognized for export of textiles, apparel electronic, pharmaceutical, automobiles component and religious tourist hub and these factors are leading to the 6% annual growth in Indian economy. Through such explanation, Sachs wants to remove the west dominance in shaping the global economy and politics. The one way is the return of China and India.

Lessons for Nepal

‘Nepal is a poor country’- this is the social reality. The country which has always been recognized as the ‘country of Mount Everest’ and ‘Birth place of Gautam Buddha’ in fact has not been able to escape from the poverty cycle. Why Nepal despite innumerable political changes, vast amount of natural resources and potential in the tourism sector is not escalating in the development ladder? This question, I guess is the hardest one for Nepalese policy makers and development actors because how hard they might try to convince through the development theories and case studies, the bitter reality is that ‘Nepal is poor’.

Sachs brings some of the intriguing issues under consideration that might be ‘mantra’ for landlocked poor country like Nepal. International fund flowing in the nation if used efficiently, according to Sachs, a country can break the vicious cycle of poverty and escalate the ladder to progress. Sachs implicitly talks about various obstacles to the landlocked country like Nepal – the country despite having such vast amount of resources and geo-political opportunities (India and China being the neighbor) has been trapped in civil war, political turmoil and unemployment. Sachs suggest that the high transport cost, government failure to promote peace and safety so as to create appropriate environment for investment, cultural barriers like gender discrimination and exclusion and Geo-political barriers like Indian monopoly in Nepal’s market might be the major reason behind such low development trends. While Sachs underscore the inefficiencies of multilateral and bilateral fund in not being able to reach poor due to high operational cost ruined by corruption.

Taking Chinese economy as the example, Sachs appreciates the role Chinese Economist Society, a group of young Chinese economist most education in West in providing China a sustainable direction towards economy boom. In Nepal, KathmanduUniversity- arguable the best university has that potential to produce excellent graduates who will provide efficient pathways to development in today’s critical hour of contribution drafting process. Similarly, Nepal can learn lesson from the India’s poverty intervention programs like ‘The Green Revolution of Asia’, ‘agricultural revolution’ and ‘Spread of Family planning’. India’s economic policy to end the most crippling bureaucratic restriction on international trade and investment can be the ideal strategy to follow for Nepalese policy maker. The contribution of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), whose graduates are hired in UN, World Bank and IMF- Kathmandu University (KU) can stand at their position to meet the need of such manpower.

Hence, Sachs’ -the end of poverty has certainly raised the hope for poor people but his experiences and insights will be proved genuine only if poor countries are able to escape from the vicious cycle of poverty by 2025- and that is the greatest challenge of our generation as said by Sachs.

Shekhar KC (08)

MDEVS First year

Book Review Assignment 2

The Bottom Billion : Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

 

 

The Bottom Billion

Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it

Author: Paul Collier

 

 

Paul Collier’s concern for the group of poorest people- ‘the bottom billion’ in this book is reflected through his insights and statistics- which not only explains why those ‘left behind’ poor people fell in the trap but also gives way outs to break those cycle of traps and hold the ladder to sustained development path. Collier quotes-‘The bottom billion has missed the economic boat’- and to make ‘turnaround’, he provides three ways to escape out of poverty trap.

Four traps

The author identifies recurring civil wars as the first trap- a situation which enable imbalance between ethnic groups with one tending to outnumber others. Also, there might be the supply of natural resources like diamonds or oil, which simultaneously encourage and help to finance rebels and terrorist.The second trap is ‘resource curse’ or ‘Dutch Disease’- that creates hostile environment for the ownership of natural resources like diamond and oil reserves. To free such curse- one can learn from the Norway’s policy of limiting rent-seeking and forced resources revenues. The third trap is Geography or level of productivity existing among neighbouring countries- which allows the host country to catch up the development opportunities of neighbouring countries. Collier gives the example of developed landlocked country Switzerland having neighbouring countries like Germany, France and Italy. The fourth trap is the bad governance or type of political system existing in the country.

 

Three Way-out

Collier has felt the need of military intervention (for at least 10 years or more) in poor countries especially located in Sub-Saharan Africa to break the cycle of poverty and civil war, Also he finds the implementation of laws, statutes and charter resulting in controlled corruption, flourishing of democracy, budget transparency and good investment environment. Unrestricted access to the market of high income countries for labour intensive exports goods of The bottom billion is another way-out to break the poverty trap, according to Collier because by only removing tariff barrier and diversifying quotes for exports, these ‘58’ trapped countries can compete in the global market and increase their trade profits.

 

Will three way-outs for four traps work out?

Collier’s solution to the problems of the 58 trapped countries nourishing nearly a poorest group of 980 million were derived from his 30 years of experience in development sector and some of his important findings. Those finding states that among the bottom billion countries, 73% were trapped in recurring Civil War and violence, 29% were suffering from the scarcity of natural resources, 30% countries were landlocked with unproductive neighbours and 76% states had bad governance and ineffective economic policies. Aforementioned findings speaks that those bottom billion characterizes themselves with different obstacles and Collier’s attempt to overcome those obstacles theoretically are yet to be seen in reality. But his intentions are true.

Another point to be noted about this book is about Collier’s concern for Africa where 70% of the bottom billion survives, so Collier argues that the foreign aid flow should make sure that these 70% bottom billion residing in Africa are not deprived of the services they are supposed to be provided by different multilateral and bilateral agencies. Also, Collier has serious doubt over the effective distribution of the foreign aid in addressing the poorest of the poor. As according to him, foreign aid should reach the 1/6 of total humanity in reality as the remaining 5/6 are either richest or belongs to Asian driven economy- already holding the ladder to development path (China and India). He derives a statistical conclusion – ‘US $ 75 billion a year of foreign aid can save Africa and help it escape out of poverty trap’.

The Bottom Billion: Relevance for Nepal

How do we compare inflicted and starved Malawi with politically inflicted Nepal? Collier’s book tempt us to think ourselves suffering inside the poorly equipped health post in a small village of Malwai or being one of the 10 orphan nourished by a only-remaining grandmother in the family- the tragic result of HIV. For Nepal, this book provides a future outlook and signs of warning. These warnings can guide and motivate Nepalese policy makers and development thinkers to act strategically and honestly if Nepal is to avoid being another ‘Malawi’ or ‘Congo’.

The four traps discussed by Collier are truly applicable for Nepalese context because Nepal though is included in the list of ‘developing country’ but in reality characterizes the starved and inflicted Sub Saharan countries like Malawi. The centralized infrastructural development and state planning has resulted in vast income disparity between rural and urban citizen often giving rise to relative and absolute poverty.

Collier’s 3 ways to escape the poverty trap can be very useful for Nepalese policy makers if they are implemented successfully. For instance unrestricted access to the market of high Income countries is very important for land locked countries like whose trade business in highly depended on labour intensive product like textiles and garment. Since the number of export quotas for Nepal in US and Britain are falling due to various quality and competitive factors, Nepal’s trade deficits are likely to prolong in coming years. 

Also, Collier’s concern for geo-political factors in determining a host country’s progress can be explained by looking at the China and India- the two neighbour of Nepal likely to reshape the global politics and economy. But due to India’s monopoly on Nepalese market and Nepal’s passive trade relation with China, these two neighbours have been proved unproductive for Nepal.

Conflict trap as hypothesized by Collier is reflected in Nepal’s decade long Maoist insurgency and the rise of armed group in Terai belt of Nepal after Maoist’s arrival to peace politic. These conflicts are showing its negative influence even in constitution writing process – the phenomenon which is lingering since 2008. Natural resource trap is another such example. Despite having vast potential, Nepal has not been able to produce output from them and such issues have been frequently repeated issues in Nepalese media. Similarly, Nepal has been suffering from bad governance and has not been able to escape from corruption, trade union turmoil, restricted bureaucracy, and anarchy existing in political parties.

Hence, Collier’s hope of re-visualizing ‘the bottom billion’ as equal to that of US and European citizen sounds possible and hence this hope must inspire Nepal to follow Collier’s pathways to prosperity- otherwise Nepal will again miss the boat once ‘turned around’.

Shekhar KC (08)

MDEVS First year

Book Review Assignment -1

import-substitution industrialization (ISI)

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

Structuralist theorist were interested to develop an appropriate development model (unlike global capitalistic model of economic policy) to uplift Latin America from underdevelopment in 1947 after the establishment of National Economic commission for Latin America (ECLA). In 1940 ISI policy was already practiced by Brazil and other countries to increase its domestic exports and reduce imports with the objective of increasing manufactured goods and securing its domestic market. The characteristic of ISI policy matches the objective of structuralist theorist to challenge the claim of Euro-centric theorist that the free trade system based on liberal economy policy would only improve the economy level of the countries. Eventually, This lead Structuralist theorist to adopt ISI as a key policy of their development model.

Structuralist theorist underlines the need of state intervention in national economy so as to protect its ‘infants industries’ from the efficient foreign companies. That would secure their domestic market and increase manufactured goods but later they saw some of the obstacles to the continued growth of economy like the process of production remained complex over the time because there were no entrance of efficient machinery and technological devices. Later people experienced some of those negative impacts of ISI and were reluctant to make slight changes in it (for example applying the policy of export oriented industrialization).

However, it is to be noted that the development policy of structuralism is based on the historical experiences of Latin American countries during mid-twentieth century. The formation of National Economic commission for Latin America (ECLA) in 1947 is considered crucial in the discourse of structuralism because the rhetoric behind the establishment of ECLA is reflected in its economic policy of opposing the global free trade system and implementing the development policies like Import Substitution Industrialization (ISI) and land reforms.

Question: Why was import-substitution industrialization a key policy for structuralist theorists? (from chapter 3, question no 3)

Submitted by: Shekhar KC (08)

Submitted to: Prof Dr Mahesh Banskota

Date: February 12, 2012

Effect of Remittance in the Economy of Nepal – Shekhar KC

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

 

Till 2011, Nepal stands as the fifth largest country in the world map interms of the contribution of the remittance to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The most visible effect of remittance flow in the country is manifested through its 23% share in GDP as stated by “Migration and Remittance Factbook 2011″ of World Bank and it is expected to increase with the increasing labor migration (14.5% each year, Nepal Central Bank, 2011/12) particularly in middle east gulf countries like Saudi Arabia which stands as the second largest sources for remittance after US.

 

 

The other side of GDP

The direct impact of remittance to nation’s GDP would be only one side of the whole story, as the other side would clarify how this global phenomenon has indirectly resulted in poverty reduction, employment generation, increasing house hold income and capital formation in the nation. As Mankiw states in his book that real variables like GDP doesn’t always explain the economic activities and their consequences in real world and hence there is need of attention to other macroeconomic variables like employment and income (Mankiw, 2003, p.107).

Revenues for Government and Private Sector

Today, remittance has become an important source of revenue for government through tax and fees. These fees include fees paid by manpower companies, passport fees, value added tax and other non-tax revenues. Similarly, remittance has become an important source of revenue for private sector as well. Various recruitment agencies, agents, medical institute, orientation institute, training institute, advertisement, photograph shop, air-ticketing, local transport, hotels, restaurants etc has been collecting significant amount of revenue – Rs 107 million per day, since the foreign labor migration has become a common phenomenon.

Employment Opportunities

 Through 26 commercial banks, 2 finance companies and 45 money transferring agencies which are endowed with the responsibility of transferring foreign currency in the domestic financial market, vacancies for different senior and junior post are not a new phenomenon in different media. Expansion of airlines network and training institutes are increasing in proportion with increase labor migration. It is roughly estimated that about 0.34 million jobs are created all over the country by the phenomenon of labor migration – Foreign employment, remittance and its contribution to the economy of Nepal. These employment opportunities are to be understood in term of hotel accommodation, transport, recruitment agencies and money transfer agencies etc.

 

Poverty Reduction

 Nepal Living Standard Survey  III states that due to remittance and migration driven economy,  poverty of Nepal reduced from 42% (1995-96) to 25.16%(2011). A report by Dr Jagannath Adhikary and Dr Ganesh Gurung states that if there was no remittance inflow in the country then we wouldn’t have experienced the reduction of poverty by 10.9% in 2006, instead it would drop by only 4.8%.  Such reduction in poverty has helped in diversification in livelihoods, greater ownership and acquirement of assets and capitals. From the macroeconomic point of view, the remittance is the Major source of income for the 56% household in the nation.  Household income increased by just 22.4% in1995-96 while remittance has caused 70% increased during 2008. So, the household income’s contribution in increased financial capital, education of the children, social capital, and migration-specific knowledge can’t be ignored. The retuned migrant were found to have developed values like punctuality, work-ethics, gender sensitivity and productive capability.

 

Where is Remittance going?

The two most reported uses of remittances received are daily consumption ( 79% ) and repayment of  loans (7%). Other uses are – to acquire household property and only a small percentage of the remittances (2 percent) is used for capital formation. To be noted, such high level of consumption is met through imports causing sever trade deficit in the context when the country has a very little domestic production. Trade deficit as a percentage of GDP was 9.14 in 2000, which increased to 14.9 in 2005, and 21.1 in 2009 (Panday & Shrestha, 2011). Researchers anticipate that the situation will worsen if current situation persist.

 

Problems

Beside, positive role of remittance, the phenomenon of labor migration has not been free from many intricate problems that need to be addressed immediately. The problem starts from the migration process in the home country and doesn’t end in destination countries. Labors have complaints of getting cheated by agents, reluctant to work without work permit, not getting salary in time and no recreational facilities. Since most of migrants were from illiterate and rural background, they had very little power to resist the exploitation and deprivation from basic facilities like medical services and insurance.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Hence, in the context when all the government, private and public sector has acknowledged the contribution of remittance in the economy, it is high time to mainstream the foreign labor migration in government planning process. By reducing the transaction cost associated with the process, diversifying the destination countries and making it a reliable and affordable medium of earning money, government can address the problem appropriately. Also, there has been massive leakage in actual remittance inflow because most of the labor prefers to send their earning through informal channels – almost 40-50% of total remittance. So, government should plans to encourage the migrants to follow the formal channels to send their earnings. An equal attention should be given to secure the female labor whose share in total remittance is 11%.

 

 

References

Adhikary, J & Gurung, G. (2011). Foreign Employment, Remittance and Its contribution to economy of Nepal. Government of Nepal and International Organization of Migration

Current Macro economic situation of Nepal, 2012, Nepal Rastra Bank. Retrieved 2012-05-05 <http://www.nrb.org.np/ofg/recent_macroeconomic/Recent_Macroeconomic_Situation_(English)–2069-01_Text_(Based_on_Eight_Month_Data_of_2068-69)-New.pdf>

Mankiw, N.G. (2003). Money and Inflation. worth Publishers; Newyork

Nepal Living Standard Survey. 2011. Central Bureau of Statistics; Kathmandu

Panday, A & Shrestha, PK. (2012). Parasitical State: Economic Consequence of Remittance. Nepalnews.com

Liberating the Widow of India- A film review of Water

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

Liberating the Widow of India-

A film review of Water

 

The movie- Water isan genuine effort to uncover the social, economic and cultural deprivation faced by the widows of Pre-independent India of 1938 – the historic time when Mahatma Gandhi’s peace revolution for the Independence of India was on rise. The movie highlights how the few religious people had controlled the interpretation of the text of Vedas and used them in such a manner that favors only male or few elites and exploit the helpless like widows. The movie suggests that until there is external interference of Laws over religious rules, few people will always take negative advantages of weak and poor like women and old.

In the movie death and marriage rituals are ironically presented and practiced so as to favor only male and ruin the life of women. In the name of wrongly interpreted religious text, husband death would be followed by the isolation and deprivation of widows from the normal life and opportunities. Throughout the running time, Strong oppositional voices also echo from the widows for example through the words of Chuiya, but that would be suppressed and underestimated. People’s beliefs are rooted deeply in falsely interpreted religious texts such that even questioning over the injustice and inequality would be considered sinful act.

 

 

Deprivation in 1938 India

Though all widow characters are living the kind of life they shouldn’t be, they symbolize different aspect of the lifestyle and the kind of thinking prevalent in 1938 India. Chuiya, the 7 year old child widow though small age wise, the voice emerging out of her anger and childish innocence symbolizes the appeal for justice and fairness. Chuiya’s inability to count 108 times symbolizes the deprivation of women from education while Kalyani’s secret visit to rich Brahmin Landlords tells how widows are treated as prostitutes. Madhumati, the old widow who has major control in the widow house, symbolizes the ignorant woman who due to her ignorance couldn’t appeal for remarriage of herself and when her chances were gone, she prefer to ruin the life of all other widows. Her habit of smoking Mariwana and trading Kalyani’s flesh for money with landlords symbolized the cruelty prevalent within widows. The love story between Narayan and the young widow also speaks against the old and unfair traditional practices of keeping widow in extreme deprivation and directly supports remarriage of widows.

The kind of pets kept by those characters also suggest their evil and goodness for instance the small dog-Kaalu of Kalyani is free and nourished with love all the time while the parrot-Mithu of Madhumati-is subjected inside cage.

 

Fighting Against the deprivation

Hence, the story celebrates the superiority of human consciences over the religious beliefs. Gandhi’s acceptance of ‘truth as the god’ instead of ‘god as the truth’ in the movie clearly inspires the audience to go for ‘change’ rather than stick to old religious beliefs that has always kept poor and illiterate people like most of the widows as reflect in the movie. <Note that this book review was originally produced by Shekhar KC, kushekharkc@gmail.com>The movie has that potential to break the asymmetrical hierarchical relationship between men and women in the society that is deeply rooted in orthodox religious text- those texts that are controlled by few selfish people. The movie advocate for fairness, truth and equality in general and liberation of Indian widows from hardship and deprivation in particular. In addition, the movie asks for the interference of laws-that are changeable according to context rather than dominance of outdated religious practices.

Sociocultural Implication of International Migration

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

 

  1. 1.                  Assumptions

Labor migrants of Nepal shares a majority of their dream in the destination countries where they, along meeting new economic opportunities foster immunity towards new social and cultural changes. Since the massive labor immigration of Nepalese in the middle east gulf countries, researches shows that remittances shares one tenth share of the Nepal’s Gross Domestic Product but economists, who dominates the discourse of migration and remittance, often fail to address the socio-cultural changes seen in the home countries. In the present global context, when most of the developmental theories which explain the developmental process interms of economic variables are argued to be incomplete without the inclusion of social and cultural context, a small analytical addition to the discourse from socio-cultural perspective is expected to complement the rationale of the discourse in long-term basis, nevertheless the development discourse always evolve and gets reproduced throughout the time line.

  1. 2.                  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to dig up the socio-cultural issues generated due to the global immigration after their exit and entry to their home country. Being specific, this paper outlines major impacts of the labor immigration of Nepal in social and cultural level. This paper is aimed at bringing out the realities of Nepalese families, often belonging to socially excluded and rural communities, before and after their family members were reluctant to land in foreign cities in search of better earnings and livelihood.

  1. 3.                  Concepts

The key concepts of this paper is the “changes”- those seen or to-be-seen in the Nepalese society after one or two of the family members leave the country for better economic opportunities and return to their home town after finishing their labor period in abroad. The family upbringing, the societal perception of the family, the economic and the intellectual growth gained from the migration and sometimes the disruptive consequences inevitable due to the immigration are some of the areas that this paper focuses on.

Inferences:

I think, the discourse on socio-cultural impact of returned immigrants will help the developing countries like Nepal to formulate the appropriate policies to support its citizen and prevent the future crisis. One of the 10 poorest countries in the world, Nepal whose budget comprises a major share of remittances from those labor, should respond to its contributor with accountability and helping eyes rather than sidelining the issue and invite the unseen crisis of returned immigrants on the context when it is just treading along the transition period. There might so much social issues unexplored in this globalized context when every act of us has direct or indirect share in the socio-cultural transformation. These unexplored issues which are different than economic variables should be accessed at macro and micro level so as to come up with the genuine sense out of the mess.

  1. 4.                  Information

Research on the subject area shows that the disruptive consequences are bore by the families whose member even after returning with monetary capital face challenges in integrating and adjusting with his/her own family and society. Feminization of migrants workers is said to have promoted equity in decision making process in the family while the subsequent desecrate in the population of the home country due to delayed fertility is another field of enquiry. For example, among the south Asian countries, Sri Lanka experiences the steepest decline in the fertility due to feminization of the international labor market.

Also, there are senior citizens who have become the major victims of the immigration process and their abandonment has created emotional tensions among psychological discourse. Other triggered issues are family breakdown, fragmentation of social networks and psychosocial stress- The feelings of rejection followed by many suicide cases and criminal involvement.

 

  1. 5.                  Questions

How does the society changes in the global context of labor migration? What are the pros and cons interms of socio-cultural values at macro and micro level? Will the process of remittances flow and its potential to enlarge GDP size compensate the lethal social consequences that might took generations to recover? Doesn’t the nation have accountability towards the international migrants whose money has considerable share in the country’s capital? How will the social adjustments and family integrations issues are addressed by the nation when the nation itself is in the political crisis? How to bring preferences over the social impact of international labor migration through academic research? Who can play effective role in bringing that change? Does any developmental theory has stake in providing meaning explanation to the vulnerability and provide effective guideline to the prosperity and wellness. Will the future Nepal sustain if the present trend of ignorance and isolation towards returned migrants continues?

 

  1. 6.                  Point of View

I disagree with the dominant developmental theories that explain countries economic prosperity interms of monetary values and financial variables. the national sentiments, cultural diversities, ethnic harmony and social values that the country bear carries even greater weight than those economic resources. Economic prosperity doesn’t create the cultural identity of anyone especially in this westernized context where people in the name of being modern are being swept away by the western values and practices.

I want to stress the need of proper study of social impact of labor migration and its proper treatment to address the present as well as future crisis. The socially excluded section that sum up the majority of the migrants should be compensated with additional incentives and arrangements so as to motivate them for national development in coherence with social adjustment and cultural identity.

 

  1. 7.                  Implications and consequences

Ignorance of impact of labor migrants after they returned to their home country can create uncontrollable difficulty to the administration. The conflict and disintegration in the family might transcends into societal conflict and national insurgency. While at the same time, there are views that regard the social adjustment and progress of the returned migrant follow the path of prosperity automatically without any interference from state or society. The point of disagreement is that today’s society is different from the traditional societies where capital flow was restrained within the nation. Today the capital flow takes place interms of labor and that comprise the significant volume of the economic and social capital of the country. People who bring with them money to heir national also bring knowledge and skills which can be mobilized to built the home country. Investment policies of the country if directed towards the social arrangements of the returned migrants then it can facilitate domestic progress cum internationalization of the national assets.

At last but not the least, the social assets brought by the migrants to the home country equally, if not more measure the long-term real development potentialities than economic variables that sum up the national budgets.

 

  1. 8.                  Inferences and Interpretations

There are many American and European stories that tell us about the social impact of international migration and their anticipated hazards under unfavorable context like that of during World War I and II. But Nepal, a poor developing country whose economic fluctuation doesn’t have significant impact in South Asian market, can be well assessed interms of social variables to explain its contribution to international labor market. Hence, thus the developmental process we understand earlier interms of economic variable now can get additional social framework to logically explain the role and impact of migration in and out of the national boundaries.

Perfectly Competitive and Monopolistic Market

Posted in assignment, perfect competitive by Shekhar on June 7, 2012

Dominick Salvotore (1992, p 203) characterize a perfectly competitive market with four features as given below

i)                    There are great number of seller and buyers of the commodity such that the actions or decisions of the single buyers or sellers don’t affect the price of the commodity. To say more, the change in the output of a single firm will not perceptibly affect the market price of the commodity (p.213)

ii)                  The product of all the firms in the market are homogenous, identical and perfectly standardized. As a result the buyer can’t distinguish between the output of one firm and that of another and there are no preferences to the output of any specific firms. The environment is another determining factors in which purchase is made to characterize a monopolistic market (p. 213).

iii)                There is perfect mobility of the resources. That means worker and inputs in the production process can easily move from one job to another can catch up the possible monetary incentives at such decisions. In long run, firms can enter or leave the industry without much difficulty without worrying much about trademarks and patents or copy rights provisions (p. 213).

 

iv)                Consumers, resource owners and firms in the market have perfect knowledge of present and future prices and costs. For example consumer won’t pay higher prices than necessary to the commodity (p. 214).

Dominick Salvotore (1992, p 241) outlines four features of a monopolistic market as given below

i)                    There is a single firm selling th commodity

ii)                  There are no substitutes for the commodity

iii)                Entry to the industry is very difficult or impossible

iv)                Monopolist has perfect knowledge of present and future prices and costs

Do you agree that universal human right is valid for all? Why and how?

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 26, 2012

Since independent scholars and development thinkers including Amartya Sen has widely discussed on different aspect of the validity of the universal human rights so for start I would not agree with the claim that universal human rights are valid for all. However, I insist that there are some minimum standard of values including civil and political liberties, non-violence, equality and right to live that everybody should have respect.

The debate over the validity of universal human rights echoes from the two different corners of this world, western countries including USA and eastern countries including Singapore and China. United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Austria, the Vienna Declaration states – “All human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and interrelated”. Not agreeing totally, In the same conference, the foreign minister of Singapore warned gave his statement-‘universal recognition of the ideal of human rights can be harmful if universalism is used to deny or mask the reality of diversity’ (Sen, 2000, p.149). This debate, recognized as Lee’s Thesis, argues over the incompatibility of western-imposed human rights with the diversified and heterogeneous eastern societies where “values do not regard freedom to be important in the way that it is regarded in the West”(Sen, 1997). China’s statement in the Human Right conference “Individuals must put the states’ rights before their own.” There are hardcore criticism against human rights which understand the spreading of human rights as the imposition of political ideology from western into other parts and hence with it comes the rest of the liberal packages (Treanor, 2004).

Some criticizes the acceptance of Human Rights as the outcome of “Self-Orientalism ” (Chin-Dahler, 2010) which refers to the taken-for-granted follow of Human rights imposed by Western to the eastern world. Such debate over the validity of universal rights gave rise to the theory of Cultural relativism, which keeps the local cultural traditions (religious, political and legal practices) in center to determine the scope of civil and political rights.

The western accents in the UDHR document itself reflects from the article 4 which states that -No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. Without disagreeing with its objective, the inclusion of slavery system reminds us the cultural practices prevalent during the context of the European colonialism or that of ancient western societies. That tempts us to question over the few democrats or the initiator of UDHR, grounding such provision on western practices. Because In eastern society, slavery never became an issue to revolt for.

Hence, universal human right are just the standards to follow but cannot be imposed on the whole world because some of the provision of UDHR might not be applicable in some countries whose cultural practices might not have been considered while drafting such documents.

 References

 

Adhikary, J. (2005). Nepalima Gareebeko esthiti: etihasik bibechana. In Bhaskar Gautam, Jaganath Adhikary, Purna basnet (eds.). Nepal ma gareebi ko bahas. Kathmandu; Martin Chautari, pp.49-67

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). 2009 H1N1 Flu (“Swine Flu”) and You. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Chin-Dahler, Patrick (2010). Universal human rights, cultural relativism and the Asian values debate. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/09/universal-human-rights-cultural-relativism-and-the-asian-values-debate/&gt;

Diana Ayton-Shenker, (1995).The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1627e.htm&gt;

Sen, A .(1997).”Human Rights and Asian Values,” (February 25, 2012) retrieved from < http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/sen.htm&gt;

Sen, A. (2000). Development as Freedom. New Delhi; Oxford University Press

Shakya, S. (2009). Unleashing Nepal past, present and future of the economy. New Delhi; Penguin Group

Treanor, P. (2004).Why human rights are wrong. (February 25, 2012) Retrieved from http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/human-rights.html

READING MATERIAL ….

Do you have to be rich before you can provide universal education and health care?

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 26, 2012

Theoretically, being rich should not be a precondition to have access to universal education and health care facilities because the provision of universal education and health care system has been included in the Article 25 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Also, The broadening horizon of democratic governments and their flexibility towards welcoming international donor agencies has facilitated the access of universal education and health care system irrespective of whether one have money or not. Nepal is a vigilant example.

If I was citizen of Nordic countries including Spain, Italy, UK, German then I can have access to health care facilities through the legal mechanism enforced by the government in the form of different insurance act irrespective of whether I am rich or not. Similarly, universal primary education and maternal care are one of the main goals of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and different international donor agencies like World Bank and UNDP are working together to materialize such goals which favors the ‘poor’ citizen of poor Asian countries like Nepal and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The existing reality is that in general Nepalese people have to pay high cost to have access to health and education because we are not being able to separate the concept of ” basic health  and education’ and running for costly high standard of health facilities as well as strictly disciplined education at Boarding schools. In Afghanistan within the period of 7 years from 2001 to 2008, the number of girls attending schools jumped from 15,000 to 2.2 million as the consequence of joint venture of World Bank and International Department Association (IDA). Though the data and facts might be deceptive and might not cover all factor behind the progress but one have sufficient point to agree that with the inflow of donor driven development projects  like MDGs, people access to health and education has increased irrespective of whether they had money or not.

So, one shouldn’t need money to have access for such basic needs because the prevalent happenings shows that such accesses are facilitated either by government alone like that of Nordic countries whose income strengths are very high or international donor agencies like World Banka and UNDP in poor countries whose government and people can’t afford.

 

References

Adhikary, J. (2005). Nepalima Gareebeko esthiti: etihasik bibechana. In Bhaskar Gautam, Jaganath Adhikary, Purna basnet (eds.). Nepal ma gareebi ko bahas. Kathmandu; Martin Chautari, pp.49-67

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). 2009 H1N1 Flu (“Swine Flu”) and You. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Chin-Dahler, Patrick (2010). Universal human rights, cultural relativism and the Asian values debate. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/09/universal-human-rights-cultural-relativism-and-the-asian-values-debate/&gt;

Diana Ayton-Shenker, (1995).The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1627e.htm&gt;

Sen, A .(1997).”Human Rights and Asian Values,” (February 25, 2012) retrieved from < http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/sen.htm&gt;

Sen, A. (2000). Development as Freedom. New Delhi; Oxford University Press

Shakya, S. (2009). Unleashing Nepal past, present and future of the economy. New Delhi; Penguin Group

Treanor, P. (2004).Why human rights are wrong. (February 25, 2012) Retrieved from http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/human-rights.html

 

Has democracy been helpful to reduce poverty in Nepal?

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 26, 2012

If one observe the post 1990s poverty indicator issued by World Bank then its crystal clear that Nepal’s poverty increased to 44.4% (1995-96) from 41.4% (1984-85) and 33% (1976-97). To be noted, post 1990s political history of Nepal marks the radical shift from traditional ‘isolationism and protectionism’ (Shakya, 2009, p.173) economic policies imposed by Royal autocratic actors to ‘free and autonomous liberal market’ economic policies advocated by neo-liberal democratic forces. The aforementioned facts and background directly questions over the restoration of democracy and its positive consequences over the poverty reduction.

 

However if one analyses the nature of poverty that has grasped Nepal then it is evident from the available literature that generally two kinds of poverty exist in Nepal. First, one is urban poverty, which covers the minor section of major cities of Nepal having low-income strength and relatively lower standard of living despite having access to wide opportunities created by liberal democratic environment in city area. The second one is the Rural poverty which covers the major bulk of populations of villages of Nepal which have little or no access to opportunities given by free democratic change. To be precise, urban poverty decreased to 17.8% (1995-96) from 19.2% (1984-85) and 22% (1976-77) while rural poverty (which is dominant in Nepal) increased to 46.6% (1995-96) from 43.1% (1984) and 33% (1976-77). these changes in poverty indicators and increasing free market policy based on democratic principles suggest that the democracy Nepal restored in 1990 though opened up global market, issued foreign investment policy, prepared and implemented various five year development plans couldn’t distribute those basic opportunities uniformly to all Nepalese. The urban population, which were already rich and had strong hold in market, grabbed the opportunities leaving the major section of rural population, which were still finding hard to sustain their daily life. This tragic phenomenon finds its relevance in Amartya Sen’s assertion that Democracy can flourish only if it guarantees equality and equal shares of benefit and losses (Sen, 2000, p.187), which is quite contrary in Nepalese context. Sen’s conceptual framework of democracy and freedom might have failed to decrease Nepal’s poverty because Nepalese government took the face value of democracy and failed to materialize equal access of those freedoms and accompanying opportunities to all the people of Nepal.

However, the donor-driven programs and projects related to poverty alleviation  including Millennium Development Goals are also the outcome of democracy in one or the other way. That has been taken as somehow effective to reduce poverty because the major section of Nepalese population living in rural areas are experiencing their basic human and economic needs including primary health care, primary education, minimizing child mortality and access to employment opportunities through donor-driven programs in post 1990s though previous autocratic government system failed to address the issue of poverty even after starting to receive aid during 1950s and 1960s.

Hence, it can be agreed that democracy in Nepal has created free market and environment for exercising various political rights including voting rights but then since democracy, in Sen’s term, failed to remove those unfreedom from the marginalized and isolated section of rural area, as it was during Panchayat regime and Rana regime, democracy hasn’t been so much effective in reducing poverty.

 

References

Adhikary, J. (2005). Nepalima Gareebeko esthiti: etihasik bibechana. In Bhaskar Gautam, Jaganath Adhikary, Purna basnet (eds.). Nepal ma gareebi ko bahas. Kathmandu; Martin Chautari, pp.49-67

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). 2009 H1N1 Flu (“Swine Flu”) and You. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/qa.htm

Chin-Dahler, Patrick (2010). Universal human rights, cultural relativism and the Asian values debate. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/10/09/universal-human-rights-cultural-relativism-and-the-asian-values-debate/&gt;

Diana Ayton-Shenker, (1995).The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity. (February 25, 2012) <Retrieved from http://www.un.org/rights/dpi1627e.htm&gt;

Sen, A .(1997).”Human Rights and Asian Values,” (February 25, 2012) retrieved from < http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/sen.htm&gt;

Sen, A. (2000). Development as Freedom. New Delhi; Oxford University Press

Shakya, S. (2009). Unleashing Nepal past, present and future of the economy. New Delhi; Penguin Group

Treanor, P. (2004).Why human rights are wrong. (February 25, 2012) Retrieved from http://web.inter.nl.net/users/Paul.Treanor/human-rights.html

 

Ethics in Communication

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 23, 2012

 


Communication according to Eunson (2005) is understood as a ‘the study of transfer of meaning’ (p. 2). Adhikary (2008a, p.3) explains communication as ‘process, human act and discipline of knowledge’ while also suggesting the consideration of ‘context’ to know what dimensions of communication are in current discourse. It is to be noted that communication as a discipline of knowledge or process does not find much relevance in combination with the notion of ethics so the discourse of ethics in communication directly leads to the details of ethical standards maintained by communication practitioners. According to Adhikary (2006), these ethical standards are further based on different ‘principles, religion and culture’ (p.6) which defines what is wrong and right. For example broadcasting the movie American Pie in Jay Nepal Hall may not be unanimously acceptable for Nepalese society because the culture of nudity is not accepted by Nepalese society and hence recognizing such phenomenon as unethical. Similarly, broadcasting the video clips showing someone beheading cow may not be appropriate to be broadcasted in Nepali Televisions because that hurts the Nepali sentiment but that does not mean that it cannot be broadcasted in other countries where people have no problem seeing such clip. The ‘Context’ aforementioned also means to explain that the same act may be ethical in some context but directly rejected somewhere else.

Communication as a profession refers to media practices and simultaneously our dealing with ethics in communication discourse automatically link us to the issues of ethics in those practices. The notion of ethics in ‘communication as a discipline’ comes into light when there is incorporation of ethics as a subject within the curriculum of communication studies (Adhikary, 2008b, p.293).

Ethics in communication as a concept refers to the state of ethical considerations in communication practices. The term ‘ethics’ and ‘communication’ have their diverse meanings and definitions. The dictionary meaning of communication is- ‘the exchange of thoughts, messages or information, as by speech, signals, writing or behavior’ while McQuail defines communication as ‘process of increased commonality or sharing between participants’ (Adhikary, 2008, p.5). Similarly ethics is a system of principle that guides action according to Potter ( Potter, 2006:55 as cited in KC, 2009, p.7) while Adhikary (2006) relates ethics with distinguishing between good and evil in the world, between right and wrong human actions, and between virtuous and non-virtuous characteristics of people (p.1).

Ethics in communication as a concept is a wide discourse among development thinkers and media professionals because media in today’s dynamic age has to deal with many controversial issues during which might create confusions and never-ending debate among practitioners while taking decision regarding what is right and wrong. In such situation, ethics provides guidelines to take appropriate decision. For Nepal, Journalistic code of conduct issued by Press Council Nepal is such an example.

How to decide whether the act or decision made by communication practitioners are moral or not? One may find several approaches to analyze the phenomenon but no one can deny that everybody should follow some universally accepted values like humanity, brotherhood or fraternity and non violence. The central idea is the inquiry towards the morality of the behavior or actions depending upon the standard of values and norms followed in the particular society. These codes of behaviors are further explained by different principles and theories including categorical imperatives, Golden Rule, Stuart Mill’s theory of utilitarianism and social relativism (Wimmer & Dominick, 2011, p. 66). The answers might differ from eastern and western perspectives because they both have their own ethical standards.

There has been literature on ethical practices in media in south Asia by Kshetri (2009, p. 25) where the present condition of media ethics in Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Afghanistan is explored. In context of Nepal, Kshetri has given his critical review over the unethical media practices of the then only state-owned Gorkhapatra Sansthan, which used to publish the content just to portray loyalty to Royal families instead of correctly informing people (p. 31). Similarly, Bhuwan KC (2009) explores the practice of journalistic ethics in Nepal where he states that the practice of ethics in Nepali media was challenging because Nepali journalism has its history of advocating for political cause for a long time (p. 22).

Hence, it is safe to infer from aforementioned examples that ethics in communication practices varies from context as well as different ethical theories and principles that guides the particular society. In addition, this discourse gives space for other thinkers to make necessary ethical enquiry into several dimensions of communication as well.

 

References

Adhikary, N.M. (2006). Studying Mass media Ethics. Kathmandu: Prashanti Pustak Bhandar

Adhikary, N.M. (2008a). Communication, media and journalism An integrated study. Kathmandu: Martine Chautari

Adhikary, N.M. (2008b). Nepalima Media neetisastra adhyaan. In D. Humagai, P. Onta, S. Parajuli, K. Bhatta (Ed.), Media Adhyaan (pp293-305). Kathmandu: Martin Chautari

Bhuwan, K.C. (2009). Practice of journalistic Ethics in Nepal. In. Bhuwan KC (Ed.), MBM methodology of Media Ethics (pp 7-24). Kathmandu: Madan Bhandari Memorial College

Eunson, B. (2005). Communicating in the 21st century. Sydney:John Wiley & Sons Australia ltd.

Kshetri, I.D. (2009). Ethical practices in media in south Asia. In. Bhuwan KC (Ed.), MBM methodology of Media Ethicsi(pp 25-46). Kathmandu: Madan Bhandari Memorial College

Wimmer, Roger D., and Joseph R. Dominick. (2011). Mass Media Research An Introduction. 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2003

 

 

 

 

Legalizing the Prostitution is not ‘pricking the balloon’

Posted in My life by Shekhar on February 21, 2012

A helium-filled balloon if left ‘ignored’ will inevitably burst one day, nevertheless its hazard can be minimized by placing it in proper space or deflating it tactically. Prostitution, which has been widely discussed as ‘too big to fight’ or ‘has always existed from ancient civilization’ issue looks more like a helium balloon left ‘ignored’ which is dormantly nourishing the proliferation of street sex workers, human traffickers and pimps, viruses of STDs and AIDs, women exploiters ( since female prostitutes comprise major shares in sex market), in case of Nepal ,dance bar and massage centers, lodges and hotels near bus parks. The vast literature in this debatable issue has, out of ignorance, understood the use of legal tools to validate and manage prostitution as ‘pricking’. Legalizing the prostitution leads to the respect of labor, economic prosperity and freedom of the prostitutes (male, female and transgender) because legal means are meant for preventing those aforementioned hazards rather than ‘nourishing’.

There are mixed views regarding the legalization of prostitution, which in response has received criticisms and supports from different theoretical schools including feminism as the most prominent one. Prostitution or trade of flesh for money has existed from the ancient time as far as the Mesopotamia civilization (1800 BC) and the discourse of legalizing it echoes from the western theories and principles. Generally, the issue of legalization is grounded on the parody that prostitution is believed to be the ‘oldest ‘ profession and states find almost impossible to curb it (Shrivastava, 2011). Charles Lammam (2005) informs that prostitution existed both in legal (ancient times) and illegal form (modern times) and is expected to exist in coming days. People working for women empowerment asserts that legalizing the prostitution is infact ‘facilitating’ human traffickers and women exploitation (Gupta, 2009).

Proponents of the idea supporting prostitution legalization hold the view that such effort secures the freedom of sex worker to use their body in the way they choose. However, what if ‘choice’ results from the outcome of unequal employment opportunities and capabilities? That gives rise to number of issues to be dealt with including equality, women’s special rights and sex education. To come to point, legalizing the prostitution secure respect for their profession and access to additional health services and facilities because sex worker are relatively more vulnerable to physical and psychological trauma and state should be responsible in addressing their needs.

Obviously, legalizing the ‘oldest profession’ leads to the considerable shares in GDP at macro level and income source for prostitutes at micro level. Research shows that the prostitution industry accounts for 5% of the GDP of the Netherlands, between 1 and 3% of Japanese GDP and in 1998, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that prostitution accounted for between 2 and 14% of the total economic activity in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Apart from stability income source, legalization might have other positive consequences.  It secures the basic health rights to prevent themselves from STDs and own right to knock the door of court for justice in case they are treated secondary to others. Development thinker Martha Nussbaum perceive social stigmatization of the prostitution as the main problem rather than prostitution itself in promoting the ‘subordinate’ image of women ( Nussbaum 1999 as cited in Laure, 2008).
The voice against the legalization generally echoes from the religious group and social activist working for women empowerment and anti-human trafficking. Ruchira Gupta, an Indian women fighting against sex trafficking through a organization Apne Aap Women Worldwide, criticizes the idea of legalizing the sex market because according to her, sex market has always served the powerful group of the society and legalizing it is ‘ sweeping under the rug”. While she also acknowledges the positive impact of prostitution legalization in Sweden, where sex workers have good health facilities and alternative way outs as well as prevented from vulnerability of sex traffickers. Social Activist Gupta’s assertion on disadvantages of legalizing sex market fails to address the fact that the special health facilities and special rights comes along with the process of legalization and not as a separate entity.

The ideas of Legalizing Prostitution are opposed by the group of radical feminism on the ground that that such effort only contributes to the ‘old’ social order of male domination (Laure, 2008). Since major shares of the sex market comprise of women, feminist often link the issue of prostitution with women exploitation and women being subordinate to men. Radical feminist (Bromberg, 2004) holds the view that a prostitute does not act out of free choice but is a victim of coercion in both its most subtle and direct forms. The ‘choice’ here might have pointed to the limited options available for illiterate and minor women who prefer to be prostitution rather die.

We see modern forms of illegal prostitution, though socially accepted, in the form of dance bar, nudity shows and pornography, but it’s time to ask – how long these forms of sex market will thrive and latently increase the violence and inequality and injustice? Therefore, legalization can be one of the most appropriate ways to channel the sex market for the prosperity of the sex workers as well as the nation. Critics repeatedly assert that legalization will facilitate the proliferation of pimps, violent sex activities and sex trafficking but one can argue that the sex traffickers and pimps are the legal responsibilities of the state rather than the villains for legal sex market. People’s desire for sex is inherent and prolongs till death, so legalizing sex trade will provide people to express their sexual desire in a manageable way which otherwise might have manifested in the form of sex crime like rape and abuses. So, better legalize prostitution rather leave it ‘ignored’ like a street dog.

References:

Gupta, Ruchira. (2009). “To let/For Sale?” < http://outlookindia.com/article.aspx?263361 >

Lammam, Charles (2005). “A case of Prostitution”. < http://www.peak.sfu.ca/the-peak/2005-3/issue7/op-prost.html>

Sarah Bromberg. (2004) ” Feminist Issues In Prostitution” <http://www.feministissues.com/issues.pdf&gt;

Shrage, Laurie, (2008) “Feminist Perspectives on Sex Markets”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/feminist-sex-markets/&gt;.

Shrivastava, Richa. (2011). “Why Prostitution should not be legalized?”. http://www.mightylaws.in/545/prostitution-legalized

Media Research Studies

Posted in My life by Shekhar on November 22, 2011

Please download PDF version to read the report Reader Non reader study

Background

 Navyaata is a fashion and a lifestyle magazine focused on the youth. The magazine represents the new and ever growing trends with quality, quantity and organized contents as one of its top priorities. The name, Navyaata, means newness and trend in Sanskrit. The magazine gives importance to the awareness of the deep-rooted culture of Nepal with an attempt on molding the transforming trends with a Nepali touch custom-made for the Nepali audience. International standard met for the national audience with an affordable price is what defines Navyaata in one phrase. The major content of the magazine include various genres including Fashion, styling, life, photo feature, interviews, beauty, Ayurveda, guides and travel. The magazine is published from Uttar Dhoka, Lazimpat of Kathmandu Valley. Its major market is Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts.

The magazine was launched in April, 2010. ( Navyaata. Retrieved December 8, 2010 < http://navyaata.com/aboutus.php>)

    Research Problem

The magazine publication industry though new and still small in Nepal, is witnessing both intra-industry and inter-industry competition. Media Sustainability issues are threatening Media Entrepreneur; the fear of media being used as propaganda tool is harming its credibility and media market is already at the point of saturation. The competition is evident even in specialized areas, the Youth magazine being the concern for this study. Navyaata is lifestyle magazine competing with number of other magazines of similar contents and target audiences like VOW, WAVE and ECS living. It is pertinent, in this background, to identify b other readers and non-readers of the magazine, in order to sustain the present readership and to make strategies for increasing readership. This research presents a study of readers and non-readers of the magazine.

These critical situations surely demand some different approach for any organization to steer their managerial work to combat existing problem and march towards excellence. Media Research, though not perfect, can be the best alternative to start a new venture for any media institution. And there, Navyaata should not be an exception if it is to stand out in the crowd and win its audience trust.

Here by “Reader”, we mean those people who have read Navyaata magazine at least once in his/her lifetime. And by “Non-Reader”, we mean those people who might have heard about the magazine or seen the magazine cover from the distance but never gone through it. This study is intended to figure out the characteristics of those “Readers” and “Non-Readers”. Their interests, general traits and perception about the magazine will certainly help the decision makers of Navyaata to shape their content.


Also read my independent project report Rhetorical study of Prime ministerial Election…

ABSTRACT

The present research report is the rhetorical analysis of editorials of The Rising Nepal (TRN) published during the period of Prime ministerial election of 2010. The main purpose of this rhetorical study is to analyze the various issues relevant to PM election highlighted by TRN and underscore the major intention of CPN- UML implied in the editorials. The present research also gives a critical view on the image of political parties of Nepal, their role during PM election and the various lapses when they failed to resolve the crisis of the country during PM election. Furthermore, this study examines the editorials of TRN to see the rhetorical emphases on different issues during PM election.

This study finds that TRN took stance during PM election-2010 to promote CPN-UML’s political interest like to institutionalize the leadership claim of CPN-UML; to establish “consensus based government” as the only alternative to the futile PM election; to endorse the Positive image of CPN-UML; to shed light on different level of conflict among political parties of Nepal; to Justify the CPN-UML’s stand of remaining neutral in the PM election; to prolong the deadlock so as to increase the tenure of care taker government. I believe this research can be a base for other follow-up studies on various issues of public concern like party conflict, Nepalese Politics, Prime-ministerial election and so forth.

Also read my Final year project report Internationalization of higher education ….

ABSTRACT

This text proposes the dramatist theory or Earnest Bormann’s Fantasy Theme analysis to examine the rhetorical visions emerging from the media coverage of Kathmandu University. According to Thomas, Antoine, Matthew, Althouse and Ball (p.211), fantasy theme analysis is an important critical tool because “it helps us see how stories shape reality” (p.211). Here, the symbolic reality underlining the growing charm of KU is analyzed by identifying various basic and structural elements of Fantasy theme analysis from the media coverage of KU.

This paper explores the published articles of Kathmandu University on various dailies, local or national, from the period (1995) to till the present (2010). The research analyzes how the rhetorical vision emerging from media coverage contributes to the accomplishment of the University’s proclaimed vision i.e. “Quality Education for Leadership”. In other words, this study will evaluate to what extent the rhetorical visions emerging from published work resonate with the officially proclaimed vision of University.

Also read my IMC Plan…IMC Plan for Establishing Corporate Image

    Introduction

Samriddhi Corporation Limited is a public limited company. In Nepal up to 49 investors in a company can be a Private Limited Company. But Samriddhi Corporation will have many public Shareholders. It has a Nirmal Diary milk production factory at Chitwan, Bharatapur-6.

Basically, this Corporation highly emphasizes the rural market potential and caters the rural man power dedicated in the Dairy production to a large market share. The sellers themselves are ideally the investors and owners of the Samriddhi Corporation and our consumer’s satisfaction the real mark of our progress.

Slightly different from other profit-oriented milk product, Samriddhi is dedicated to harness the employer skills and increase their entrepreneurship ventures. We provide veterinary doctors to our sellers. We Support their loan arrangement and promote their saving habit. We offer free salesmanship training in Kathmandu and major cities to boost up the market share and stabilize our production flow.

Also read my Survey Research..SMS Usage Pattern

   Introduction:

The Survey research was conducted to find out the overall SMS usage pattern of students from Kathmandu University. Kathmandu University has established itself as the leading university in Nepal where students from diverse geographical location are studying. Also, the researcher is studying in the same University in Media faculty. The following research was carried out to fulfill the requirement of Survey Assignment of MEDS 301 (Mass Media Research) under the supervision of Assistant Professor Nirmala Mani Adhikary.

List of websites

Posted in My life by Shekhar on July 24, 2011

Talks shows in Nepalese Television

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 24, 2011

Background

This is a short research paper accomplished to meet the partial requirement of the Television journalism course being taught in Bachelor in Media studies of Kathmandu University under the supervision of Mr Prem Luitel who is also a senior editor of Nepal Television. This research report is the output of a small content analysis of online content regarding television talk shows aired from different Nepalese television stations. The areas covered are the popularity of those talk shows and different sustainability factors needed to push such TV talk shows which are accepted by Nepalese society positively. This research provides a starting point for future researchers willing to work on the television research sector of Nepal.

Television stations in Nepal: a short history

The idea of having television in Nepal was sown in 2041 (1984) B.S. Only after 6 months, i.e., on 29 Shrawan, 2042 (1985) B.S. Nepal Television began its test transmission. After 2058 (2001) B.S., the era of government television entered into the age of private ones. Before this, few private companies had bought NTV time and were broadcasting their programs.

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Today, private channels like Kantipur Television, Image Channel, Sagarmatha TV , Avenues Television, ABC TV, Sagarmatha TV, Channel Nepal, Terai Television, News 24 TV, NBEX Mountain Television, Image Metro Channel, are also airing different talk shows along with Nepal Television’s national channel and Metro Channel. Among them, National Television couldn’t sustain.

Talk Shows: Definition and scope

According to Wikipedia.org, A “talk show” also called ‘chat show’ is a television or radio program where one person (or group of people) discuss various topics put forth by a talk show host .Sometimes, talk shows feature a panel of guests, usually consisting of a group of people who are learned or who have great experience in relation to whatever issue is being discussed on the show for that episode. Other times, a single guest discusses their work or area of expertise with a host or co-hosts. A call-in show takes live phone calls from callers listening at home, in their cars, etc. Sometimes, guests are already seated but are often introduced and enter from backstage.

Talk shows cover varieties of topics ranging from politics (dominant in Nepal) to the social, cultural domain. Foreign channels are found inviting comedians, celebrity and sometime experts from particular sector. For example Taiwanese talk shows rely on comedic bantering, musical and talent performances, wildly animated on-screen texts and visuals

History of Talk Shows in global and national scenario

Wikipedia states that Joe Franklin , an American radio and television personality, hosted the first television talk show. The government-run Radio Nepal was established on 1 April 1951while Nepal television was founded in 1985. In Nepal, talk shows started before that in 1968 when the first recording studio was installed inside NTV building with foreign help. Since then, various music, dramas and talk shows existed. The data are difficult to find out regarding when the first tv talk shows emerged in Nepalese televisions for the first time.

There have been sufficient researches conducted on the impact and popularity of different TV talk shows in different corner of the world. Can We Talk? The Power and Influence of Talk Shows (Scott, 1996) explores the talk show genre and how it affects society. Dr. Scott, a noted expert on social issues and a sometime radio talk show host, provides a savvy overview of how and why today’s talk shows and their hosts have become so controversial and compelling. Similarly a book (Stone, 2005) assesses the impact of TV talk shows in our daily life. A thesis (Papadacos, 1997) issued by University of Houston relate TV talk show with the growing concern over sexual content in television. Recent study (Cavett, 2010) shares memories of talk shows experiences of pioneering TV host Dick Cavett and offers his insights into what his career taught him about American culture. Andrew Tolson (2001) put talk shows in academic domain and debates about its multidimensional aspects. Grindstaff (2002) takes the reader behind the scenes of television talk shows. This study (Grindstaff, 2002) draws on interviews with producers and guests and asks what talk shows can tell us about mass media and what they reveal about American culture more generally.

However, in Nepal research conducted on talk shows discourse can be counted in fingers. A research (Kiran, 2008) titled ‘talk shows of Nepalese television’ shows that NTV stands first and KTV stands second interms of popularity of talk shows. An audience survey shows that ‘Dishanirdesh’ presented by Bijaya Pandey, ‘Fireside’ by Bhusan Dahal and ‘Bahas’ by late Indra Lohani were the first, second and third most popular TV talk shows of Nepal. ‘Image Images’ and ‘Kurakani’ of Image television follows those three most liked shows. However research shows that some of the popular pioneer talk shows in Nepalese television were Chintanmanan (Nepal TV), Dishanirdesh (Nepal TV), Bahas (Nepal TV), Fireside (Kantipur TV), Agnipariksha (Channel Nepal), Arajniti (Channel Nepal), Image Images (Image Channel), and Kurakani (Image Channel). They covered both political as well as non-political issues in their broadcast. The non-political domain comprised of social, cultural, personality, environment, health, education and economic dimensions. Some of these prominent TV talk shows still running are dishanirdesh, Fireside and Agnipariksha.

Source: A STUDY OF TELEVISION TALK SHOWS IN NEPALESE CHANNELS (Special Focus on Audience Preferences & Media House Preferences) -2008<www.everestuncensored.org>

The above data shows the various aspects of talk shows aired from Nepalese television in relation to the preferences of Media House as well as their audience. Media Hub Pvt. Ltd, established in September 2001 by eminent media personalities, also contribute to the production of talk shows and sell it to different television station of Nepal, both state-owned and private, Nepal Television, Kantipur TV, Avenues TV, Image Channel, ABA Television etc.

The present situation of Nepali talk shows

In Nepal Television, the largest television station of Nepal, run a popular live talk show ‘Sidha Kura’ where senior political leaders of different parties are invited and discussed about the most recent happening in the political sector of Nepal. Nepal television also runs another recorded version talk show ‘Samaya Sambaad which basically remains under political domain interact with Political leaders to discuss about future of Nepal in relation with transition phase and peace process. ‘Sarthak Pahal too moves ahead in the same direction. Other sectors are too considered in Nepal television when it comes to talk show. Pipalbot, a talk show invites new faces from different sectors like sports and culture to shade light on future direction of sports and cultural stuffs.

Nepalisite.com claims that beside news items, there are some talk shows which are the most popular TV contents of Kantipur television which especially deals with political stuffs. ‘Fire side’ a talk show run by popular media personality Bhusan Dahal, is another center of attraction for viewers of Kantipur television.

ABC television, another private television station, runs a popular talk show titled ‘Outlook’ as its name suggest it gives wider view of political reality by inviting veteran political leaders. ‘ABC watch’ is another such talk show which invites diplomatic communities to talk about bilateral issues and sometimes it enter the political domain as well. Power Talks is an exclusive weekly television talk show by Santosh Shah that features global leaders, personalities from the United Nations and diplomatic missions, international delegations, celebrities and change-makers. The show covers personal and professional commentaries and insights on topics which include global issues, politics, diplomacy, international affairs, development and progress. The show portrays hope and optimism for viewers in Nepal and abroad.

Recommendation: Effort for quality in presentation

Quality of the programs comes ahead as the major hurdle to the sustainability of these talk shows. Most of them includes inappropriate time schedule, copy presentations from foreign channels, not well-researched monotonous subject matters, repeated questions and answers and low quality in presentations. Existing talk show doesn’t include entertainment domain at all. Comedians and drama artist are still not favored in talk shows while glamorous actress are preferred most by most of the television talk shows. Also, Nepalese research on talk shows lack analytical framework and sufficient case studies besides content analysis, which are also not full-fledged. One can easily feel that the trend of launching new TV talk shows and closing them due to different factors pose threat over the credibility of such programs. Besides, Media houses also need to carryout out audience survey to figure out which kind of issues are to be included in their talk shows in order to sustain on long-term basis.

References

Birne-Stone, S. (2005). The impact of television talk shows on therapy: Interviews with therapists.

Grindstaff, L. (2002). The money shot: Trash, class, and the making of TV talk shows. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Ghimire, S. (2009) “Nepal’s English Talk Show Powertalks A Growing Political Forum” Retrieved 24 June 2011 from < http://www.huffingtonpost.com/subhash-ghimire/nepals-english-talk-show_b_201386.html&gt;

Kiran (2008) A STUDY OF TELEVISION TALK SHOWS IN NEPALESE CHANNELS, Special Focus on Audience Preferences & Media House Preferences” Retrieved 24 June 2011 from < http://www.everestuncensored.org/3199/2008/10/03/a-study-of-television-talk-shows-in-nepalese-channels-special-focus-on-audience-preferences-media-house-preferences/&gt;

List of television in Eastern and southern Asia” Retrieved 24 June 2011 from < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_stations_in_Eastern_and_Southern_Asia&gt;

List of Nepali television stations” Retrieved 24 June 2011 from < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nepali_television_stations&gt;

McCraw, S. K. (2006). Late night television talk shows and political comedy programs: A study of young voter’s political experiences.

“Nepal television Video sharing”. Retrieved 24 June 2011 from < http://www.videochautari.com/category/nepal-television&gt;

Papadacos, H. (1997). Television talk shows and sexual content.

“POWER TALKS with Santosh Shah”. Retrieved 24 June 2011 from < http://www.todaysyouthasia.com/television&gt;

Scott, G. G. (2008). The talk show revolution: How TV and radio talk shows have changed America. New York: I Universe.

Scott, G. G. (1996). Can we talk?: The power and influence of talk shows. New York: Insight Books.

Online Journalism

Posted in My life by Shekhar on June 3, 2011

 

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Note: The following text is just a rough draft of class note. Mistakes are not to be taken seriously.

Synonymous word are cyber journalism and digital journalism. using online for journalism is different from using digital media for journalism.

Form changes but the essence remain the same. earlier it was through the print, later broadcast and now internet.

In television, apart from words and audio music, we can use the visuals to present the information. In television we can present the content in multimedia form.

How do you define Online journalism?

Reporting and editing for online outlet is called online journalism.

News operation: Reporting consist of reporting and editing. Reporting is divided into News gathering and News writing.In news gathering, identifying the source is important (issue+information provider+place). Impetus for News gathering comes from ‘Nose for News’. News worthiness comes from two ways. One is instinct and other are training, education or experience. the criteria for identifying Nose for News is News Value.

the approaching the source comes in priority. Accessing the document may be necessary.Getting the information is done through news collection techniques like observation, interview, press release, press conference, media monitoring, documents/reports/events etc.

Information processing means cross-checking, verifying the datas.

Now newswriting is done because we have already gathered required raw material to manufacture news.

Copy: firstly prepared news writing.VDT or Video Display Terminology is

In editing portion, copy editing is done and if required re writing is done. Sub editing is also called subbing. finally proof editing is also done. At last make-up or layout design is done.

Online Media in Nepal: A profile study

Posted in Global Media, Journalism, Media, Online Media by Shekhar on April 30, 2011

Snapshot_20110422_2

By: Shekhar KC

Bachelor in Media Studies, Kathmandu University

Historical Context of Online Media:

World History of Online media

· 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the internet. His invention changed the scenario as the WWW offered greater capacity, flexibility, immediacy, permanence and interactivity.

· Chicago Tribune of USA began its online venture, the Chicago Online, in 1992. This is the considered the first online media.

· On January 19, 1995, the first newspaper to regularly publish on the Web, the Palo Alto Weekly in California, begins twice-weekly postings of its full content.

History of Online media in Nepal:

· Before June 1994 Nepal Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) and Nepal Forum for Environmental Journalists had used email services as trials.

· On July 15, 1995 Mercantile started providing full online access operating via a lease line through Nepal Telecom with its backbone in Singapore

· Himal Media started archiving its publication, Himal South Asia, in its own website himalsouthasia.com in 1997.

· Mercantile established South-Asia.com in 1998 when it archived seven daily and weekly newspapers. 1999, it moved to NepalNews.com paving ways for more newspapers

· http://www.newslookmag.com was established on 4 July 1999 as the first Online journal by Dharma Adhikary which provided link to largest collection of news of nepali events and public affairs. Later in 2005 it was re-established as http://www.nepalmonitor.com. The reason was the ban imposed by Royal Takeover on 2005 on which Fomer King Gyanendra was responsible.

· Kantipur Publications established KantipurOnline.com on April 13, 2000. At initial phase, KantipurOnline.com

· On February 2000 kantipuronline.com was established.

· On 12 September 2001 http://www.nepalipost.com was established.

· On December 15, 2002 Kamana Group of Publications began newsofnepal.com. Lately all broadsheet dailies along with weeklies and smaller media are available online.

· The first ever Blog in Nepal is United We Blog (blog.com.np), was established on October 1, 2004.

· Other popular pioneer websites were samudaya.org (http://www.samudaya.org/) peacejournalism.com (http://www.peacejournalism.com/), NepalinewsUSA.com(http://www.nepalinewsusa.com/) citizen journalism(http://www.cjnepal.org/) Canada Nepal Vision(http://www.canevision.net/) dcnepal.com(http://www.dcnepal.com/) etc

The study corpus of my research are three websites listed as follows:

www.nepalmonitor.com

www.nepalitimes.com

http://www.reuters.com/

Now let me put light on the different aspects of these websites and add some comparative views.

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Websites Foundation:

Nepal Monitor renowned as "Nepal’s first online news magazine “was originally established as http://www.newslookmag.com in 1999 A.D from USA by a student named Dharma Adhikary as a part of his Online Journalism class in the Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia.

Reuters.com is currently owned by Thomson Reuters but before 2008 it was owned by Reuters Group PLC which used to focus its information on Financial Market Data. Originally Reuters was established in October 1851 whose popularity rose later due to its act of publishing scoop news abroad. Today almost every major news outlet in the world now subscribes to Reuters’ services, which operates in over 200 cities in 94 countries in about 20 languages. — In July 1999, TIBCO Software completed an IPO on NASDAQ; Reuters retains a substantial proportion of the shares. Reuters announced, in early 2000, initiatives designed to migrate core business to an internet-based model.

The foundation of online venture of Nepali times dates back to some 10 years ago tentatively in 2001. According to the web master of the nepalitimes.com Rubeena Mahato, the websites contains not only the content of it’s printed version but also it publishes longer and full-fledged form of media content with associated links.

Objective

As stated earlier, Nepal Monitor was established as an individual project to fulfill the credit of online journalism class by a student in Missouri School of Journalism in Colombo. Besides that Dharma Adhikary, the founder of this website shares that the website was founded to make it "one stop center" for all the information regarding public affairs and analytical news-views of Nepal for Nepalese diaspora staying in America. "It was somehow fun-fun task"- whispers Dr Adhikary whose says that those day of starting a website make him feel nostalgic about his student life in USA.

Whatever the objective Nepal Monitor was founded to serves before 2000, Today according to Dr. Adhikary The online journal is aimed at professionals (journalists and media entrepreneurs, academicians, development and cultural workers, lawyers, policymakers, administrators, etc)— people with expertise. It serves as a forum for the sharing of their expert views among themselves and among the wider public.

In near future, Nepal Monitor will be institutionally mobilized as the important information dissemination mechanism of his recently established (2009) organization "Media Foundation" which focuses on media and public affairs and will cover any issues of significance to the public, whether they are governmental, community-related or entrepreneurial. Reuters.com is a multi-national news agency by Thompson Reuter which runs via global network communication.
The primary objective of Nepali times.com is other than just digital archiving of it’s printed version. According to Rubeena Mahato of Nepali times, the media house receives numerious articles with assisting photographs and audio-visual material which is difficult to fit in the paper version so the online outlet has provided the readers with full version of the text with associated links, audio-visual material and added informations which can’t be included in the paper version. Blogs of Nepali Times Staff is another feature of the online venture of the nepali times.

Types of content: News (entertainment, political, social,), advertisement, audio-visual content, features (news and photo), horoscope, currency, movies and events details, flight details

Nepal Monitor publishes annual report of multi-national organization like Asian Development Bank and UNESCO which expresses serious concerns for the current affairs of Nepal. For example recent report published by Committee for protecting Journalist (CPJ‘s) 2010 Impunity Index shows that in Nepal Seven Murders of media personal were unsolved. Similarly it doesn’t publish entertainment news nor do photos like Nepali Times and Reuters. Follow up stories on media controversies or journalistic attack events and timely interviews with media persons are updated in Nepal Monitor. Its contents are more like semi-academic or research based texts which are eligible to get published in journals.

Nepal Monitors provides links to the important ministries, film industries offices, governmental and non-governmental institutions, colleges and universities of Nepal etc. It’s more like a spot from where people access becomes wider and more systematic.

Nepali times published politico-analytical article by hiring experts and columnist throughout the national and international boundaries as well depending on the area covered by the article. Its contents are of more diversified in regard to the feature and photo-stories related to socio-economic, political, international, and national and opinion poll surveys. Also its vacancy spot increases its demand among the readers. The staff writers are allotted with their personal blogging and the editorials have a profound impact on the people as well. Moreover, the paper covers lifestyle, health and environmental issues along with the international relations and public affair. Its outreach has extended up to a page in face book.

Ownership:

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Nepali times is owned by Himal Media Pvt. Limited, a private media institution which publishes Himal, Wave and Himal Khabar Patrika simultaneously. Nepali times.com is

Nepal Monitor is an individual venture by Dr. Dharma Adhikari with the information input from other journalists as well.

Reuters On 15 May 2007, Canada’s The Thomson Corporation merged with Reuters in a deal valued at US $17.2 billion. Thomson now controls about 53 percent of the new company, named Thomson Reuters. The chief of Thomson Reuters is Tom Glocer, the former head of Reuters. TIBCO Software

Sources of revenues

Nepal Monitor.com does not have any external sources of revenue apart from Dr. Dharma Adhikari’s personal contributions for the Annual registration of the site’s domain name which accounts for $10.00 per year. The lack of manpower has created an impediment to the revenue process as there are unable to include the advertisements. Hence, its contributors are freely volunteering in the website.

Nepali Times.com is a sefl-sustained online websites because according to Mahato of Nepali times, the websites receives revenue from advertisement placed there which has nothing to do with placement in the paper version.

Reuters In 1988, Reuters formed a joint-venture with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to build an automated futures trading system named "Globex" at a cost of over USD$100 million

Advertisements and commercials, Financing by donors, Investment from share holders

Legal status

Nepal monitor.com is registered from Los Angeles (LA). Albeit, the domain name is registered from abroad, its web space is embedded in movable type.

Nepali times.com is registered in Nepal. Reuters.com is registered in it’s headquarter city London.

Organogram and staffing-

Nepal Monitor.com has a 6 – member co-editorial team who contribute their analytical and perspective articles irregularly. Articles are published on a rolling basis. The journal is published and edited by Dharma Adhikari. Co-editor is Chiranjibi Kafle. The core team of volunteers includes Krishna Sharma (staff writer), Babu Ram Fyuba (research), Prabhat Kiran (research) and Chhabi Adhikari (IT).
Nepali Times has mobilized a full time staff for uploading content on web apart from other technical stuffs. Rubeena Mahato of Nepali times states that she has been uploading content on web in coordination with other editorial members from paper versions. Online section of Nepali Times receives content via email and then it is uploaded by a online staff.

Mechanism for gate-keeping: filtering, censoring, exaggeration

Nepal Monitor manages its website published content through sequential process. First the topic for writings is suggested to the contributors then it is accessed in terms of viability and then drafted and edited thoroughly. At times articles are rejected when the sufficient facts and figures along with proper citations are missing.

The Nepal Times organizes weekly- board meeting before setting out in print and online. A staff is mobilized full- time for updating the content. The editors of the print version participate in the online- editing process as well.

Reuters.com is an international media house which mobilizes its team members in the various parts of the world along with collaborating with the local media.

Provision for feedback: (Letters to the editor, commentary box, email, telephone; no. of readers and website visitors)

Nepal Monitor has its commentary box for immediate feedback. Also, Dr.Adhikary organizes a weekly discussion program on its published content and serious issues. He often entertains telephone feedback and queries from the readers.

The Nepali times.com has the letter to the editor along with email feedback services. One of the noticeable feedback mechanisms is its filtering process of comments. Nepali times receive comments national and foreign readers from different corners of the world but all comments are not accepted. According to Mahato of Nepali times, the comments which projects racism, individual anger or against nationalism etc are not accepted.

Target audience:

Nepal Monitors targets professionals (journalists and media entrepreneurs, academicians, development and cultural workers, lawyers, policymakers, administrators, etc) — people with expertise. And also the aspiring journalist who want have real craze in this journalism sector.

Reuters: International financial business organizations, citizens, institutions, Foreign market throughout the world.

Nepali times target diplomatic communities, foreign readers, and Nepali diasporas.

Appraisal of the content:

1. Geographical coverage: Nepali Times.com focuses more on the national news then on the international issues. Nepalese living on Diaspora are also highlighted.

Nepal Monitor.com is more specific in terms of its coverage as it only deals with the media-related and academic and scholarly articles.

Reuters.com being an international media house believes in the diversification and the world-wide dissemination of information relating to various genres.

2. Diversity of issues: Nepali Times.com highlights the national, cultural, environmental, health, sports, and travel and Nepalese lifestyles.

Nepal Monitor.com highlights the peace-building, serious and developmental issues related to the nation by giving a global perspective.

Reuters.com has a vast coverage in terms of its content, scope and nature of the issues. The burning global issues are highlighted. The showbiz and entertainment section is explored at great depth.

 

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