A liner

With the tenth thematic committee of the Constituent Assembly (CA), namely the Committee on System of Governance, submitting its preliminary draft report and concept report to the CA Chairman Subash Nembang, what seemed like a snail’s pace of constitution drafting seems to have picked up. Of course, it is but one facet of the onerous task of drafting the statute that must see culmination by May 28—the deadline. It is however another matter that despite the changes effected in the constitution drafting calendar, the scheduled point in time for wrapping up the task remains the same. Not even five months remain for the task with so much significance attached to be accomplished. In fact, the whole crux of the Jana Andolan II has to represented in the historic document that will be the law of the land. It is a sensitive work where even one trivial slip may have unparalleled effects on the future of the people and the country. Some seriousness among the CA members, including the thematic committee members, is evident. But, much time was wasted in the inter-party bickering ever since the successful conclusion of the CA election. No party can escape blame for the delaying tactics they have played. It is only some time back that the Legislative Parliament has been functioning in an almost smooth manner.

What makes the task of the System of Governance Committee important is that it has dealt with issues ranging from forms and nature of government, electoral system, structures of executive bodies at different levels, allocation and distribution of executive powers at different levels, interrelationship between central, provincial and local governments, and operation of public services and setting criteria for good governance. But the most contentious issue is as to who will hold the executive power. On this the major parties have come up with conflicting views as included in the document presented by the committee concerned. With disagreements prevailing, even the election on the proposals could not name any majority winner. This has been the reason for the committee to include all the three differing views in its report. In this context, the Maoists had backed the directly elected executive president, while the Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN (UML) were for the executive prime minister elected through the parliament and ceremonial president. On the other hand, the Terai Madhesh Democratic Party (TMDP) backed the model with the executive president elected by the federal parliaments. The proponents of the three models were in no mood to come to a compromise, and as none of them could garner the majority in the 43-member committee, the issue is up for discussion on the CA floors. The deliberations on the system of governance concept paper in the CA is scheduled to begin from January 24.

Despite the submission of the concept papers and the preliminary reports, barring one CA committee, the going will be time-consuming considering the elaborate discussion in the CA in the minutest details, and voting if necessary. To go over such a collection of themes will be taxing, and thereby the doubts among many as to meeting the deadline in a little over four months. The challenges are for real.

Internet proximity

Now, health workers will be able to contact medical experts by the internet to treat those needing the attention of specialists in the remote regions of the country which are unable to have such doctors. Nothing can be as good as having the doctors actually present to treat the various ailments, but through the internet the health workers can get the expert advice to treat the patients. The internet medical services have been initiated in Sankhuwasabha District Hospital in Khandbari. The necessary equipment to provide these services has been installed. After getting the report of the patients via the internet, the experts’ recommendations from doctors at Patan Hospital, Lalitpur is relayed to the health workers in the remote areas.

This form of treatment is being carried out for orthopedics, dermatology and gynecology patients, and it is claimed that these medical services are effective. Thus, modern technology has been used in a novel way so that those who are in the remote regions have experts treating them. The internet medical services should be expanded so that more patients could avail of the services of specialist doctors.