THT 10 YEARS AGO: Digital books for blind people being prepared

Kathmandu, January 24, 2007

DAISY- the Digital Accessible Information System for the people with print disablities (those who are blind or have difficulty in reading) will not come up with desired output unless the actual population and status of blinds in Nepal is known. Birendra Raj Pokharel, coordinator for DAISY for Nepal Program said, “Information regarding blind persons is important to implement DAISY technology.

Moreover, the government support to make the system accessible through subsidy in production, and distribution process and should prioritise the mainstream education, so that the software can be utilised.”

In the DAISY system the books are recorded or stored on to CDROM and played in MP3 system or DAISY system. “We are working to open reading centres, DAISY software will be made available in the computers of school and college libraries. We are now focused on the production side of the DAISY books to meet the demand of reading centres,” he said. He said that eight people have been trained in the DAISY production.

The Nepal Association of the Blind and the Nepal Association for the Welfare of the Blind have undertaken the responsibility of producing school and college level text books. “Several books can be recorded on one compact disc at the cost of Rs 100.

Re-promulgated fiat paves way for extension of local bodies’ tenure

Kathmandu, January 24, 2007

At a time when the government and the Election Commission are seriously preparing to hold civic polls on February 8, the government yesterday re-promulgated an ordinance vesting power to the Council of Ministers to extend the tenure of any local body if polls cannot be conducted.

Amending the Clause 239 of the Self Governance Act 1998, the government vested power to the Council of Ministers to extend the tenure of the local government up to three years if election could not be hold even after extension of the tenure of such a local body for a year.

The ordinance was promulgated yesterday. According to the Act, Village Development Committees, District Development Committees and Municipalities are entitled as local bodies. The Sub clause 2 of the Clause 239 states that the government can extend the tenure of a local body up to three years by nominating representatives or by giving authorities to government officials to run the local bodies if election cannot be conducted due to the natural calamity, economic adversity, worse law and order situation and other factors.

This is the first time that the government promulgated the provision to extend the tenure of a local body up to three years. Six months ago, the government had had re-promulgated the ordinance giving power to the Council of Ministers to extend the tenure up to one year.