Social Sciences and Humanity Studies Academic Blog

Education of Nepal and Sustainable Development Goals

Posted in My life by Shekhar on August 29, 2016

In the developing countries like Nepal, social and economic constraints have been restraining the fast and quality progress in the education achievement.

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Education is a globally and continuously acknowledged process of enhancing the capability of human beings and enabling them to keep themselves and their environment sustainable, safe and advancing forward. Education is probably one of the most sought means of developing understanding and judgment and enabling action for the purpose of driving the life and society. Education motivates people to be skilled, knowledgeable and self-reliant and play central role in smooth functioning of life and society. It enables one to be respectful, able and activated.

In the modern world we gained education through formal/informal schooling, learning life skills and observing our life and societies and reading or listening to different forms of arts and creations (human and nature).

Image result for sdg nepal

Education in Nepal

Nepal’s education system is guided by government policies to ensure the access of each Nepalese citizens’ to compulsory and free education up to secondary level with the special focus to children, women, disable and economically poor citizens. Nepal’s education institutions is composed of government entity ranging from central ministry agencies to regional and districts level agencies responsible for managing early childhood, basic, secondary and higher education (including Technical and vocation education and trainings) and its partnerships with private institutions, professional association and donor partners.

The school education in Nepal is seriously and continuously supported by government, its donor partners, civil societies’ and professional associates and other stakeholders to make sure that each children get access to quality schooling and learning outcomes. The Ministry of Education has been implementing School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP) as a major strategic plan of the Government of Nepal (GON), to ensure access, equity and quality of education to the Nepalese citizens. SSRP is jointly supported by nine pooling and non-pooling development partners (DPs) using a Sector Wide Approach (SWAPs). The Plan aims to increase the participation of all children to high-quality school education by focusing on strategic interventions and new reform initiatives to improve the access, efficiency, effectiveness and institutional capacity of the education system. Fiscal year 2015/16 is seventh and final year of SSRP implementation, thereby completing the 7 year SWAP. SSRP will be followed by School Sector Development Plan (SSDP) 2016 July onwards with focus on upgrading quality of the education and enhancing learning achievements of the students.

Recent damage of April 25 Earthquake

Nepal’s economic growth rate is predicted to be limited at 2% per annum for the year of 2016 due to post earthquake deadlock and economic blockade by India. The impact left by devastating earthquake in education sector can’t be ignored. Around 8000 schools were damaged and 36 thousands classrooms were destructed.  Among the total damages, school education received 90% and remaining in higher education and TVET institutes. Hence the government with the support of many humanitarian agencies has made prioritized effort to resume the school education services by establishing temporary learning spaces, provision of text books materials, management of debris, proper and sustainable plan for future disaster resilient school building structures and provision of psychological support and training to students and teachers.

Among the recent progress, the government has full-fledged established the National Reconstruction Authority after 8 months of the earthquake, to carryout long term reconstruction activities and rebuild Nepal by ameliorate the bad impact left by earthquake.

Global Milestone and Nepal’s commitment in education sector

Nepal has been demonstrating its commitment to various global framework and instruments recognized for education development.

School Sector Reform Plan (SSRP), which is the currently being implemented as the main strategic intervention plan in education sector, has its root to various past education programs including Education for All (2001-15) Plan of Action and Basic and Primary Education Plan (2010). The government of Nepal has shown its participation to various international global miles stone in education sector like The World Declaration of Education For All (1990), Dakar Framework for Action on Education for All (2000), Millennium Development Goal (2000), United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005), Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI – 2012), World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (2014) and Incheon Declaration (2015).

The government of Nepal has been trying to integrate the principals of above mentioned education framework in its education plans and policies to meet the global standard of education development.

Achievements in education indicators

Some of visible achievements have been made through the SSRP in the area of access and equity, quality, exam reform and public financial management and governance, teachers’ capacity and safety as well as disaster preparedness of the school education. The share of education budget as a percentage of GDP has raised from 3.5%  in 2009 to 4% in 2016. School education still receives the highest share (85% of total education budget) with 79% for basic education and 9% for secondary education. Remaining 15% is allocated for higher education, non-formal and TVET sub-sector.

The number of schools within the period of 2008 to 2015 has reached 34837 and the gross enrollment rate of primary level has reached to 96.6% in that period (against 91.9% baseline). The average pass percentage of SLC (grade 10) has been limited to 50.2% in that period. The free and compulsory basic education is under implementation on phase wise. National Assessment of student achievement (NASA) has been proved to be effective tool to measure the learning achievements of the students and helping government to make proper strategies for intervention.

Similarly the dropout rate of grade 5 has decreased from 7.4 in 2009 to 3.1 in 2014. At basic education level, about 91.4% teachers are qualified and trained (against the baseline 66% in 2009).

Apart from above quantitative progress, one of the significant qualitative reform steps of the government is to restructure the school system by amending the exiting education act so as to introduce basic education covering grades 1-8. The process has been delayed citing administrative reason due to the post-earthquake and economic blockade imposed by India. The newly established system will also pilot the secondary education from grade 9-12 in selected district.

The government is also waiting for necessary legislative changes to implement the free and compulsory basic education. More specifically, school aged children out of school and children of disabilities will not be deprived of their basic right to education through the reform plan.

Major Challenges/Issues

In the developing countries like Nepal, social and economic constraints have been restraining the fast and quality progress in the education achievement. In addition, the recent earthquake of April 2015 added more economic burden to the government. Some of the specific challenges faced by education sector of Nepal are pointed out under different themes

  1. Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED): Government has not been able to address the institutional and human resource capacity gap of ECD centers spread across the district and village development committees of the country. There has been continuous effort to allocate separate earmarked budget for upgrading the quality standards of ECD centers but there has not been significant contribution to this sector.

One of the main objectives to strengthen the ECED system is to increase the share of students having ECED experience in grade 1, so the strong foundation drives their future towards more prosperity. Around 62% of the total grade-1 students have received ECED experience and the government aims to increase it.

  1. Lifelong learning: Along with providing non-formal education, the government is also trying to link up the literacy gain with the possibility their economic engagements through involvement in income generating activities. The effort has been made to maximize the poor beneficiaries from marginalised and rural communities.
  2. Access and Equity: SSRP has made significant upsurge in the primary enrollment rate but the biggest challenge of bringing out-of-school children within the school system still remains an unfinished agenda. Annually, the government hasn’t been able to create equal favorable learning environment in schools across the ecological regions, urban/rural areas including timely availability of school texts books and trained teachers, timely examination and results. To address these challenges, the government is developing the Equity Strategy which will ensure the provision of all necessary materials to children across all geographical regions.
  3. Teacher Management and Development: The government has realized that without the skilled and qualified teachers, there is no guarantee of quality deliver of knowledge to the children. Hence, teacher management, recruitment of qualified teachers in school on regular basis, qualification upgrading of existing teachers, deployment of teachers as per the demand of the students etc area remains under priority of government and donor partners.
  4. Financial Management: SSRP developed the Financial Management Implementation action Plan (FMIAP) to improve the financial management system of the Ministry of Education. Appropriate resources allocation, quality auditing and timely reporting of the financial data and progress are major concern in the financial management area.
  5. Capacity and Institutional arrangement:
    To ensure the effective and timely delivery of the education service to the children, the capacity of each institutional mechanism needs to be enhanced from central to regional and district (including VDCs). In that direction the government is developing effective implementation tools and enhancing human resource capacity through recruitment and training but still due to various technical reasons, the process is delaying to show it visible impact.
  6. Accountability: Public accountability and transparency is a heated issue among the education stakeholder because it has been stressed by donors and public stakeholders that it is the prime responsibility of the government to publicize all the informations, project results and responsibilities through effective information system available online/offline.
  7. TVET: Though the government has clearly stated that the whole education system will be TVET oriented so as to ensure that each student have basic life skills to engage in economic activities, however the results are nominal. The availability of TVET information, expansion of TVET streams in general schools and examination reforms are some of the associated challenges for government in TVET sector.
  8. Monitoring: With the increased channeling of the resources in the education sector through joint effort of GoN and development partners, the need of robust and strong
  9. Resource Constraints: To implement the agreed and target actions made by the government for Nepal, there is need of additional resources and support from all stakeholders.

There are several other education challenges indicated by UN report on analysis of education sector globally, in which Nepal is also not free from.

Inequity and Time Poverty: There has been limited education environment for students with disability and female students as the poor government can’t channelize sufficient budget for disability friendly school infrastructures and female friendly toilets, teaching curriculum and materials in all schools. Apart from that, the poor parents limit the participation of their children in school during farming and harvesting seasons. The school participation is limited by geographical remoteness and lack of transportation roads, vehicles equally across the country.

Barrier for women and marginalized groups: Women face relatively more challenges in having access to education in developing countries like Nepal due to the socially constructed gender role including household activities. Being in trap of vicious circle of exclusion and inequality, there are more girls out of school than boys, and women are socially and culturally excluded in Nepal which required careful attentions from concerned stakeholders.

 

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Education

In the recently endorsed SDG framework, Education has been advocated as a largely untapped strategic resource for building re-salient and sustainable societies. It has been put forwarded as a stand-alone entity to improve human living standard with direct linkages to economic growth, employment, gender equity, healthy life and creation of peaceful and resilient societies.

It has been well explained that the overall aspect of education is fundamental to promote, peace, justice and equality in the work. Various lessons has been learnt from the last decade of MDGs (2000-2015); providing stronger and sustainable pathways for upcoming SDG (2015-30) period. The citizens with higher capabilities and skills can make better choices in their life regarding economic engagements and productivity as well as promoting social values like trust, tolerance, equity and global cooperation.

Investment in Education brings improvement in social and cultural practices also. It discourages harmful practices like child marriage and early birth, and child labour. Educated family and society make fast transition from agriculture to non-agriculture and industry based economy. Educated country invests on research and technology to bring innovation and productivity so as to address the new emerging problem and needs of the country and the world.

Low level of education and skills among citizens has multiple implications. It gives space for inequality, weak and fragile economy, unemployment and low wage, exploitation and criminal activtites, foreign migration of low skilled workers and insecurity. Also weak education system make knowledge gap in disaster risk reduction and preparedness, low technology absorption capacity of citizens and slow economic growth.

 

Recommendation

Though the Ministry of Education hasn’t made reflection of SDG on the education progress and plan of Nepal (still in progress) however it would be relevant to share SDG recommendation to make sustainable improvement in education sector. The SDG recommends investing and strengthening education system by integrating the education component to broad ranges of other development areas like economic growth and employment, gender and peace, infastrastcture and health and agriculture.

The government should focus on infrastructural development friendly to gender and disability students. Along with the hardware aspects, there should be reform in the curriculum so as to promote civil and peace education, understanding of democratic norms and values like transparency, accountability etc. Every effort of education should incorporate vulnerable groups, disabilities, poor and rural citizens. Along with government effort to promote formal education, there is also role media (especially private) to raise awareness among the citizens and raise the questioning capacity for the citizen regarding their basic right to education.

 

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.

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.

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)

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

 

 

 

 

देश कब्जा गर्ने धम्की

Posted in Political Affairs, Satirical and humorous, Video Gallery by Shekhar on January 13, 2009

“Mr Don” was not so bad

Posted in Satirical and humorous by Shekhar on December 29, 2008

Had it not been for ‘ Sano Sansar’ this summer’s box office hit film, most urban youngsters would have found it difficult to recall the last Nepali movie they watched with so much enthusiasm. They readily agree to watch Hindi and English films over our Nepali films on any given day. After all, where would Nepali films stand in comparison to films like Titanic and Harry Potters series. The appeal factor is equally negligible in our Nepali film stars for their very youngsters who are so used to steamy scenes of Brangelina in Hollyhood films. Except for a few films, Nepali Film Industry has not produced movies that have been remarkable in any aspect be it in technicality or content. The once sought after industry seems to have been stagnant since the last decade.

( To get full article , pls mail me at kushekharkc@gmail.com)

Note: This post got 10 comments till now

Roshan Kc at 8:55am December 26

nice one shekhar.!!!

few months back i had this urge to watch a nepali movie
So bought a ticket to watch this movie ” Thuldai” starring Shiv Shrestha, our very own Rajesh Hamal etc etc..jaado..
May be i was unfortunate in choosing the movie..that the story content was too too obvious and predictable.Too Many scenes and i mean too too many were mismatching with what we observe in real life,”Nepali life”.And though just 20 rs i felt cheated but seeing other viewers completely satisfied clapping, whistling and cheering for their favourite hero Rajesh hamal’s every power dialogues and entry . it was gud to see so many nepali viewers who still untouched by bolly, hollywood showstealers do not miss single nepali movie however mediocre.
This made me think, “thought of a hope”. hope that still something can be done..
Only the honest compliments and criticisms (only after watching the movie) can motivate/demoralise the makers and affect the nepali movie scene else we are going nowhere.

Roshan Kc at 8:58am December 26

while say all these..
I also respect people’s right to spend their hard cash on wat they feel worth of.
Truly i wudn’t bear any compulsion that i have to watch this movie just becoz this is a nepali movie and i have to support the scene.
Its my money just like everybody have their own.!!!
Cheers.
Shekhar Kc at 8:59am December 26

TEI TA YAAR? HAMI AUDIENCE LE AFNO TARFA BATA PANI EFFORT GARNU PARYO NI ? HAINA RA? WE SHOUDL ENCOURAGE OUR ACTOR AND ACTORESS
Shekhar Kc at 9:00am December 26

please if anybody got some nepali actors or related person in his friend list then plz inform me la. Thanks
Shekhar Kc at 10:14am December 26

i also respect that roshan sir but . Then are u not concerned about where will the money you spend for entertainment will go? If nepali movie then to nepali market, otherwise foreign.
i am not completely in favor of abandoning hindi or foreign movie and it is not possible in todays globalized world. but lets have some glimpse on our own native production and lets comment it or curse it or complain in forthrightly so that our films makers could get feedback from thier audience espeicall educated audience like us. Becuase the audience like i have describle in this article above just get satisfied with the hustling and bustling scene and noone or very less are there to coomment about the quality of movie. Those audience are untouched with Hollyhood and even bollyhood so Nepali film makers just enjoy monopoly over their bounded interests of watching movie.

But we should make difference? i am starting from myself.

Roshan Kc at 11:50am December 26

I think we’re pulling the same chord Shekhar.
But then again i wat i say is there should be no compulsion @ all to anyone.Yes i do sometimes go to Cinema hall n watch nepali movie but not of a compulsion of watching a Nepali one.
My Solution instead of discussions:
For eg.
“Sano Sansar was really good.” -this comment from me should actually reach its makers but no where do i send them to publish them in some cine magazines , i have no idea. And No i am not writing any letters and posting them myself to the makers. why would I ?It wud be gr8 if u/we/anyone cud manage some sort of platform(for eg from KU) to collect and dispense the criticisms to the creators.
I think better collections can be made @ cinema halls themselves.
Aastha Dhungana at 10:16pm December 27

i mus say,u hv done a brilliant job.well,about me….i dn think i njoy watching nepali movies..bt i really enjoyed reading ur notes…it’s llike a fiction,u’v presented it so beautifully….while goin thro it i smiled,laughed n noded my head in agreemnt wid wat u said..

well,talkin abt nepali movies i watched recently…they r oviously SANO SANSAR n KAGBENI.i liked both.bt as u’v mentioned abt the school children watching so curiously the movi..MR. DON..i remembered myself…going to cinema hall,wid my dad n mom to watch typical nepali movies,when i ws in school.aa bt the differenc is..my fingers wre nt usd to stick to my teeth….but nowadays my preferences r changed.i don get fascinated by any aspects of nepali movies..beside som exceptions.We cant expect that the old trend of movie makin cn b changed abruptly but hop for the nice practical nepali movies…bt euta kura kya,ma pani typical nepali movi hernu jau jasto lagyo..sathiharulai uksaunu paryo.

Shekhar Kc at 5:18am December 28

Thank you Aastha! Honestly saying, this time i felt so much grateful to myself becuase i made you remember your memeorable days of childhood. this sound abit produy or egoistic but that was the truth not intention.

Saying about Nepali movies, they are not so bad such that we completely forget to watch them. By the way, Thank you for your comment

Asmita Manandhar at 3:42am December 29

oieee,, edit it a little, send it to a newspaper… not kidding hai, serious…i can spare a hand if u want…thanks for writing it and moreover doing the job me and shail always talked about but never did, watching a nepali movie in any ill facilitiated hall. u’ve done a brilliant job….keep it up shekhar…!!!!
Shekhar Kc at 4:49am December 29

Thank you, ekdin hami sabai jau la. hehe
उजेली said…
I liked the sense of the article. But, theoretical ending !!! everybody think the same but…………….

Tek Raj Bhatta said…
good thoughts, but we can’t go together with your views.”please give some of your glimpses to the brilliant work of our actors”– i wonder wat impressive intelligence u found on them.if u go for 2/3 nepali movies u ll find them almost same.its sure we backed some movies up like darpan chhaya,sano sansar.so its true if its of quality n creativity we all will be there to keep our eye on. hope they will switch n modify the trend.

badri said…
good article