Action time

Lack of adequate resources and the dearth of research facilities have meant that much of Nepal’s rich flora and other natural resources remain unexploited. In this regard, the scientific community has time and again accused the government of not paying attention and failing to mobilise adequate manpower into the field of science and technology. Responding to such criticism on Tuesday, Deputy PM KP Oli called on the community to come up with a framework of laws for development of the field.

Indeed, the absence of a single national-level research laboratory speaks volumes for the state of science and technology in the country. Nepal’s premiere research body, the National Academy for Science and Technology (NAST), has for years been reeling under financial crunch. It is important to understand that the financial benefits the country is losing out on due to its failure to develop local scientific know-how is huge as compared to the little investment needed to build scientific infrastructure. Say some botanists, if the herbs and medicinal plants scattered across the mountain and hilly regions could be explored and exported, not only does Nepal stands to rake in a lot of foreign currency but also contribute towards curing deadly diseases like AIDS and cancer. Equally important is the need to invest in research into quake resistant technologies. Other areas include flood control and forecasting and prevention of other natural disasters. As Oli hinted, the vision of a New Nepal will remain unfulfilled without the development of science and technology. That being the case, it is about time political leaders translate their words into action.