Participants attending an interaction program have expressed their concern over major political parties and government showing dreams of prosperity to people without paying adequate attention towards the development of science and technology in the country.
Attending a webiner event organised by the Nepal Forum of Science Journalist (NFSJ) on the occasion of World Science Day on Wednesday, former Science and Technology Minister Ganesh Sah said, ” major political parties have never given priority to development of science and technology sector.”
“In my experience I have never found any political party holding a meaningful discussion on importance of science and technology. The scientific community may also be failing to convince the major parties to make it an agenda for discussion,” Sah elaborated.
“If the government really wants to move towards the path of development and prosperity then it should invest in this sector.”
Giving an example of other developed nations and their investment in science and technology, former minister Sah stressed that the government should at least allocate one percent of its total budget to ‘Research and Development’.
Likewise, Surendra Subedi, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology clarified that the line-ministry had demanded an allocation of one percent budget for the same which is yet to be approved by the Finance Ministry.
“It may appear as if we have not done anything, but there are problems in implementation as our proposals are yet to apporoved by the concerned authorities,” Subedi added.
On the occasion, Dr Rabindra Dhakal, Chief of Technology Department at the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) said, “Due to lack of adequate resources, NAST has been failing to address issues related to science and technology.”
Although NAST has been carrying out works which may not be sufficient, the state itself should give special priority to the sector, Dhakal shared.
Founder Chairman of Nepal Forum for Science Journalists Chhatra Karki said that all the stakeholders need to work in tendem to promote science journalism in the country.
Similarly, journalist Saugat Bolakhale speaking on the theme ‘Investment in Science in Nepal’ expressed dissatisfaction over government’s investment of around only 0.4 per cent in the sector.
Science journalists, other persons affiliated to research sector had attended the web event.