Nepal’s Technology Festival Attracts the Tech-Savvy
Prabesh Devkota, a 20-year-old engineering student, was busy observing different stalls and figuring out what’s new in the technology market on last Wednesday afternoon in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu.
“Technology is very important,” Devkota said. “This tech exhibition is fruitful for me in getting the latest information about laptops, mobiles, softwares and hardwares.”
Devkota was one of the thousands of visitors who observed the 19th edition of CAN Info Tech 2013 that kicked off last week in Kathmandu, Nepal. In the last few years, CAN Info-tech has been setting up festive-like vigor to attract more youths, students, computer experts and tech enthusiasts.
“During our initial days we had to campaign a lot to request every person to participate in the infotech,” Amrit Kumar Pant, general secretary of General Secretary of Computer Association of Nepal (CAN) said. “ Now we have to concentrate on how to manage the visitors and how to make their visit easy and fruitful. That’s the great change.”
Nepali society has been gripping into technology rather slowly. The process has taken a lot of utopian claims by many who attended the infotech to achieve that.
“The penetration of mobile has increased so much. Technology has helped in the social-economic change in Nepal,” Ganesh Shah, former minister of Environment, Science and Technology said.
According to the latest report published by Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), access to the internet has increased to 21.49% in Nepal. The country’s mobile penetration, on the other hand, is recorded at 62.8 %.
Shah points out that although technology is transforming Nepali society, the government is not doing enough for the information communication technology sector.
“We do not expect anything from the government,” said Anup Lal Manandhar, CEO of ViaNet Communications. “There is no support [from them].”
Inaugurating this year’s Midas CAN Info-Tech 2013, Keshav Prasad Bhattarai, secretary at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, was quick to add that the government is trying its best to promote the information, communications and technology sector.
“We realise that we haven’t been able to promote the IT sector,” Bhattarai said. “We are ready to work together with the private sector.”
Services and products related to hardware sales and maintenance, mobile accessories, ICT training and colleges, telecommunication firms and ISPs, power solution, and software developers were on display at the 6-day tech event.
However, people working in the technology field say much of enthusiasm is hit by the power cut problem, as Nepal is facing 12 hours of load-shedding every day. If the power crisis is managed properly, technology can reach rural Nepal and life will move along with the latest technology.
Prabesh Devkota thinks the power cut problem should be solved soon. “It will be easy to use technology then,” Devkota said. “Technology is already influencing us.”