Nepal | June 03, 2020

Stakeholders stress need for space law

NepaliSat-1 ground station under radio communication regulation

Ujjwal Satyal
Share Now:

Kathmandu, August 31

Lack of space policy has forced the ground station of the country’s first satellite, NepaliSat-1, to be registered and licensed under The Radio Communication (License) Regulation, 1992, which provides licences to radio services such as, FM, cordless phones and radio equipment.

After launching the country’s first satellite, NepaliSat-1, into space on April 18, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had said the country had entered the space era. Contrary to the PM’s claim, the country still does not have clear rules and regulations on satellite or space.

The Department of Information and Broadcasting has provided NepaliSat-1 ground station with licence number: ‘Satellite Earthstation 220-2075-76’. The ground station, which will receive information and is required to send commands to the satellite, is yet to come into operation.

Officials of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology said they faced difficulties acquiring licence as there were no clear law regarding space in the country. The licence was provided under schedule 4(d), which grants licence for ‘manufacturing radio machine.’

Following pressure from space scientists, physicists, and stakeholders, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology recently drafted a Nepal Satellite policy-2019. The policy, however, received criticisms from the science fraternity saying the government should have developed a broader scope of National Space Policy.

NepaliSat-1 ground station programme head at NAST Roshan Pandey said, “We have suggested that the ministry change the policy into National Space Policy so that it could incorporate a wider scope.” He added the ministry was positive about the proposal.

Suresh Bhattarai, executive chairman of Nepal Astronomical Society, said it was necessary to establish a separate space agency in the country. He said the government now needs to draft separate regulations, policies or acts for setting up a space agency.

“For now, scientists and stakeholders are not clear who will work on space related issues. There should be a separate space agency or space department to deal with this issue.”

Bhattarai said there was confusion as to which ministry would assume authority of NepaliSat-1, either Ministry of Education, Science and Technology or MoCIT. “Had there been a separate body to deal with space related issues, it would have been much easier and we would have progressed a lot in the field,” Bhattarai added.

Officials of NAST have once again claimed that the ground station could come into operation within a few days. NepaliSat-1 ground station programme head Roshan Pandey said, “We have completed construction and assembly of high tech devices and are calibrating various devices. If everything goes well, we will  be able to bring the ground station into operation within a few days.”

NAST had claimed it would operate the ground station months before launching the country’s first satellite, but the station is yet to come into operation. After the satellite was launched on April 18, NAST had again claimed the ground station would be set up within a couple of weeks.

However, more than four months have passed since NepaliSat-1 was launched, and data from the satellite
is being received with the help of our neighbouring country Bhutan.

A version of this article appears in print on September 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:


Brazil sets another record for daily coronavirus deaths

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil registered another record number of novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours, the health ministry said on Tuesday evening, as the pandemic in Latin America's largest country shows no signs of slowing down. The nation registered 28,936 additional cases of the nove Read More...

High-level panel to decide on easing lockdown by tomorrow

KATHMANDU, JUNE 2 The High-Level Coordination Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 formed under Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence Ishwar Pokharel will decide in a day or two whether or not to ease the lockdown. Member Secretary of the committee Narayan Prasad Bi Read More...

FIFA adds voice to protests over Floyd's death

BERN: World soccer's governing body FIFA has joined sports leagues, teams and players around the globe to express solidarity amid outrage over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police custody in the United States. The National Football League, National Hockey League an Read More...

Nepal's ruling party stresses dialogue with India to resolve territorial dispute 

Kathmandu, June 2  Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Narayan Kaji Shrestha urged India to sit for dialogue with Nepal to resolve Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani issues. He welcomed Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's remark about resolving border disputes with Nepal through dia Read More...

Nepali Congress registers statute amendment bill 

Kathmandu, June 2 The main opposition Nepali Congress today registered a private constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat seeking to change the constitution's provisions related to citizenship, language, provincial boundaries and formation of a boundary commission. Eight Nepal Read More...

Dhangadi  quarantine

Quarantines in Sudurpaschim bursting at seams 

Dhangadhi, June 2  With the increasing number of returnees from India, the quarantine facilities in Sudupaschim Province are almost packed. The number of migrant workers returning home from India is increasing every day. According to Kailali District Administration Office, around 5,000 Read More...

Nine businessmen held for gambling, remanded to custody 

Kathmandu, June 2 Nine businessmen, some of whom are ‘well-known faces’ in the business fraternity, were sent to five-day police custody after being arrested from a gambling den last night. Deputy Superintendent of Police Raj Kumar KC, also the spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Range,  Read More...

PCR tests of all quarantined persons fraught with problems 

Kathmandu, June 2  The Ministry of Health and Population said that implementing the Supreme Court’s order to conduct tests for coronavirus on all quarantined persons across the country using polymerase chain reaction method was a daunting task. Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued an order Read More...