KATHMANDU – Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has asserted that the Youth Scientist Research Support Programme has been implemented through the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) to enhance research and development of science and technology.
Addressing the NAST’s 46th Academic Assembly today, PM Dahal informed that this programme has been implemented from the current fiscal year for creating environment conducive for developing the research capacity of Nepali youths.
“The present age is an age of science, technology and innovation. There cannot be differing opinion that innovation and novel technology play an important role in making the country prosperous, linking with production for economic development and uplifting the people’s living standard,” said the Prime Minister, who is also the NAST Chancellor.
He thanked NAST and its associated organisations for whatever they have done towards the promotion and expansion of science and technology through cooperation and collaboration with researchers by remaining active in science and technology research.
The PM stated that as a student of science himself, he was aware about the capacity and contribution of Nepali scientists and technologists in the field of science and technology. He maintained that although NAST has not been able to carry out many works in terms of development of domestic technology by prioritizing innovation, the initiatives it has undertaken for archiving and setting up laboratory centred for the same are exemplary.
“Internalizing the present need for Nepal to enter the space age, the government has placed a nano-satellite in space through NAST and I am pleased to know that you scientists are working together in preparation for sending the Munal satellite to space in partnership with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), bringing on board the youth scientists and collaborating with other organisations as well,” the NAST Chancellor said.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister said the works to establish a specialized research centre in all provinces on the initiatives of NAST have already begun to promote the science and technology at the province-level. He said the concerns of NAST employees and scientists are being addressed gradually.
Describing the NAST as a specialized agency with specific roles and vision, he said its leadership is expected to make the presence of the organisation more vibrant, contributing to the capacity enhancement of the people concerned.
According to him, science, technology initiatives and innovations in 40 years through the budget of just Rs 4 billion are commendable, but not sufficient. He, however, admitted that the promotion of science and technology is yet to be the priority of the State.
He apprised the meeting that during his recent visit to neighbouring China, he held significant talks with his counterpart and other leaders for increasing mutual assistance for the development of science and technology.
“The contemporary time demands more attention to the science and technology,” he said, urging scientists propose projects as per the needs of the country.