Boosting The ICT
In a digital era, the importance of information technology has tremendously increased. With the constitutional guarantee of citizen’s right to information, the information communication technology (ICT) has become an integral part of human life. It has effectively facilitating the people’s social, economic and political works. Because of it, the people have become more informed and conscious of the happenings around the world. The ICT has been the boon to transform the people into citizens who do not only demand rights from the state but the act responsibly to fulfill the duties enshrined in the national charter. They participate in the democratic process and contribute to the nation-building drive. Democracy thrives only when the citizens are active and imbibe the civic virtues that help the keep various anomalies of society at the bay. Now the ICT has been assumed as the viable instrument to achieve the cardinal goal of present government – Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’. This is the all-embracing motto of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who leads the strong federal government saddled with the task of meeting the people’s soaring expectations and aspirations. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is rolling up its sleeves to realise the dictum of PM Oli. The other day Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota told the Development and Technology Committee of the Federal Parliament that his ministry would devise action plan and implement it in a time-bound manner to expedite the development of communications, information and technology. He informed that it has pursued balanced development policy to boost ICT so as to achieve the overriding goals of socio-economic development.
It is true that only a balanced development policy fosters the inclusive growth and participatory democracy. The constitution has set out socialist-oriented economy that focuses on equity and just distribution of national wealth. It is only with the balanced development strategy that the marginalised groups such as Dalits, women, Madhesi and backward regions like Karnali will be able to enjoy the fruit of development. Highlighting plan of ministry, Minister Baskota said that it will install 638 towers in different parts of country. The ministry seeks the expansion of 4G telecommunications technology in major cities and introduction of 5G and installation of Internet in all local units. The ministry has floated some important steps in order to promote the state-owned media such as Rastriya Samachar Samitee (RSS) or the National News Agency, Gorkhapatra, Nepal Television and Radio Nepal. The government is going to designate NNA correspondents in New York and Beijing, and digitalise RSS’s important news and articles. As per the action plan, Gorkhapatra’s regional publication will begin from Biratnagar and Kohalpur soon. The coverage of Radio Nepal and NTV will be increased to 83 per cent and 72 per cent respectively. The ministry seeks to make public and mass media accountable, impartial, professional and competitive. It is commendable that the new government is working to promote the public media that are widely believed as the credible media agencies. Unlike the private media, the public media give priority to the broader interest of people and nation. They are unlikely to be influenced of the big money and partisan interest. This is pragmatic bid to realise that essence of statute that has envisioned creating a welfare state.