NRCC’s Panel Discussion on Research in Nepal

NRCC's Panel Discussion on Research in Nepal

Picture Source: Nepal Research and Collaboration Center (NRCC) Facebook Page

Nepal Research and Collaboration Center (NRCC), an esteemed institution dedicated to fostering a culture of research-based learning and academic excellence in Nepal organized a 2-hour panel discussion on “Past, Present, and Future of Research in Nepal” on February 11, 2024. The event was conducted at Southwestern State College, Basundhara, Kathmandu. Five distinguished personalities listed below spoke as panelists at the event.

  1. Hon. Shishir Khanal (Member of Parliament, Former Minister – Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Co-founder of Teach for Nepal)
  2. Dr. Tista Prasai Joshi (Senior Scientist – Nepal Academy of Science and Technology(NAST))
  3. Dr. Bal Krishna Bal (Assoc. Prof. & Head of Department, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University)
  4. Dr. Babita Poudel (Research Director, Centre for Natural and Applied Science)
  5. Dr. Sameer Mani Dixit (Founding Board Member and Vice-Chairperson, Nepal Public Health Foundation)

The panel discussion was moderated by Ms. Prasuma Rawal, Digital Community Outreach at King’s College Nepal. The discussion highlighted some great insights about the speaker’s experiences and perspectives on the evolving landscape of research in Nepal.

Hon. Shishir Khanal spoke on how research is lacking in policy making & political agenda discussions and highlighted the importance of data & facts based conversation in parliament. He also presented an example of the Indian parliament where India’s second largest library is present and more than 100 researchers are available to assist in decision making. He also shared how research is less prioritized in Nepal with only 0.02% of the budget allocated for the science and technology field. He also mentioned research as the venture of the privileged and the need of huge investments for fostering research culture in Nepal.

Dr. Tista Prasai Joshi shared her experiences of analytical service in water resources based research in Nepal and highlighted the importance of safe and clean water resources. She also mentioned the advanced laboratory at Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and its contributions in journals and papers publication. Dr. Joshi also spoke about her experiences of mentoring women in her research lab.

Dr. Bal Krishna Bal highlighted the ongoing tech-based research activities ongoing at Kathmandu University. He also shared about local budgets available to universities for research. He suggested ways like introducing research methodology at undergraduate level, collaboration between all stakeholders and awareness about research based learning in present time to further promote research culture in Nepal. Dr. Bal also mentioned resources limitations for research based computing and urged everyone to practice license based research database use.

Dr. Babita Poudel talked about her experience of drug based research on bacteria present in higher altitudes of Nepal and high medicinal value of wild edibles. She also strongly advocated Women in STEM. Dr. Poudel highlighted the good changes in the research scenario of Nepal at present compared to the past despite very less research funding available to the private sector. She highly focused on the need for collaboration between universities and private research centers to promote research culture in Nepal.

Dr. Sameer Mani Dixit shared his experiences in Genomics based research and infectious diseases based research in the arena of public health. He highlighted the contribution of Nepali private sector in research and mentioned how research culture has improved in Nepal at present time. Dr. Dixit also urged the government sector to promote research with significant decentralized funding opportunities in provincial levels.

The Q&A session at the end allowed the audiences to interact directly with the panel, fostering a deeper understanding of various topics discussed and presented an opportunity to highlight various hurdles in promoting research based learning. 

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