Create openings

Good news is that the government has now decided to review the Science and Technology Policy-2005. It is reported that the six-member task force formed for the purpose is going to formulate new policies and come up with a report in two months time. Once the report is adopted and the recommendations enforced, the policy is expected to “reconfigure the scientific establishments and reorient research and development” — the main concern being how to retain, right at home, the scientists and researchers. This is a great idea and no doubt a timely one, too. If implemented sincerely, all those institutions and individuals associated with it stand to gain from the revised strategies and the projects thereof.

But the problem facing this neglected but important sector is not actually lack of fine policies. There is no financial commitment on the government’s part that is hindering the delivery. By allocating a paltry 0.3 per cent of the GDP to research in science and te-chnology, not much can be achieved. The monetary crisis facing the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, for instance, is a clear case in point. There is no other way to stop professionals from running abroad if opportunities are not created at home. And even if Nepal cannot afford all those high-tech equipment, appropriate technology has to be developed and put in place. The focus should thus be on investment in this sector. A slight increase in the budget would go a long way in making a veritable difference.