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One year of govt: MoCIT focused on law, policy making; concept paper on AI ongoing



Kathmandu, Dec 26: The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT) has been enforcing laws and policies aligning the annual programmes, goals and periodic plans.

The ministry has informed that some bases of policy implementation could be observed over the year. It is engrossed on law and policy formulation and implementation.

Nepal stands at around 151st position on e-governance development index, while the MoCIT is effortful to prepare telecommunication infrastructures, people’s access to IT for public service and capacity building of relevant workforce. Smooth service delivery is aimed at via e-governance.

The MoCIT has been working actively to adopt and improve integrated office management system and correct website template, increase threat surveillance through monitoring of IT system, ensure better communication and connection via group SMS, connect people to Nagarik App, promote software and hardware vetting, data recovery and cloud computing.

Ministry spokesperson Netra Subedi informed that the ministry was enforcing law and policies aligning the annual programmes and targets and periodic plans. “In the past one year, some new initiatives were launched, while some were near completion,” he said, however admitting that some were not enforced as expected.

According to him, there are hindrances on structural and practical levels, which could be foiled via coordination and confidence.

The expansion of optical fibre has reached 15,000 km till this mid-November by increasing from 12,230 km in the mid-January. Similarly, expansion of fixed broadband has upped by 4 percent reaching 39.67 percent; internet consumers’ density also witnessed 3 percent rise from 131 percent.

Now, the number of government offices integrated in Nagarik App has reached 62 from 53. The mobile broadband expansion has reached 94.88 percent, while radio’s access is 92 percent.

Moreover, the FTTH service is now available in 73 districts and the 4G/LTE service reached 67 percent. A total of 39 government offices are enforcing GIOM.

On the policy and law fronts, the printing bill and public service broadcasting bill are under consideration at parliamentary committee, while the Council of Ministers has approved the process of formulation of Nepal media council bill, national mass communications bill, and bill relating to regulation and management of social networks.

The National Cyber Security Policy, 2080 has come into operation, and the Radio Frequency Policy of Telecommunications Service, 2080 has been endorsed.

As per the ministry, NTA’s policy on use of information technology, 2080 has been approved, while the draft of the national advertisement policy, 2080 has been released for public feedback.

The Advertisement Regulation, 2080 has been amended, while the postal office regulation was presented before the Council of Ministers.

Concept paper on AI ongoing

Moreover, Directive on Management of the Use of Social Networks, 2080 is approved. The MoCIT also shared the information that it was working on concept paper on artificial intelligence. “Concept paper on AI is being prepared with the consultation of experts,” spokesperson Subedi informed RSS.

The IT division under the ministry is coordinating on ‘Digital Nepal Framework’. The Framework is being updated, while ‘Digital Nepal Acceleration Project’ is being implemented under the support of the World Bank.

The social networks unit at ministry is devoted to smooth operation and regulation of social networks as per the Directive.

Digital signature, development and standard of IT, connecting service delivery to IT, incorporation of fundamental issues of cyber safety and data security are being finalized under the IT bill.

Even a virtual interaction named ‘meet your minister’ is in operation.

Efforts are underway to receive complaints of indifference to concern by the platform owners online.

“Serious homework is on to reduce digital divide,” Subedi said, adding, “Ministry is aware on all-out efforts to fend off cyber attacks and build cyber hygiene”. The cyber security monitoring centre is run round the clock now.

Agreement was made between the Department of Postal Service and Qatar Airways on courier service and under which, EMS service is begun in 39 countries. The foreign postal service is launched also in Jhapa, Morang, Banke, Kailali, Rupandehi, Parsa and Pokhara. Srijana Rai/RSS


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