Digital literacy is essential for the proper use of ICT
I took charge of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology only yesterday (Thursday). While working in various sectors of the Government of Nepal, I have come to this Ministry.
I am very happy for the way you have organized this program. Earlier, Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Zhou, also said that he would like to express his heartfelt congratulations and thanks for the initiative taken by the private sector in some of the tasks that the government has to do.
How can we cooperate in the future? For Digital Nepal, such programs have been done. We will discuss in depth and intensively tomorrow what we can do to further promote those programs.
Of course, my team, including the Ministry, will have to decide where the role of the government can be established and how we can help the private sector. I want to believe this.
The way in which the award-winning brothers and sisters presented some things that they could not have imagined was very good.
If you provide us with videos, poems, paintings and essays from the organizers, we will have a guideline.
Overall, we have a guideline on how to take Digital Nepal and ICT forward, so that we can put into practice what we see through the eyes of children.
So I made that request. After coming here, I was able to make so many requests. It seems to be right too. That’s all I asked for. Now I will talk about what they have raised and some more.
The things we do with ICT. ICT is a tool. We want to use it to make our lives easier. ICT can be used to provide interoperability and interconnectivity between government services, services to be provided by the private sector and those services.
ICT does not do everything. How we use it is important. The key to this is digital literacy.
Mobile and internet work is not just about using Facebook and playing games. Digital literacy is also needed on how to get the most out of it, how to increase knowledge, how to get the services from it in an affordable, easy and simple way.
Many places and many stakeholders need this literacy. We have a lot of work to do in this area as well. We have brought a digital Nepal framework in it. When I was in another ministry, I was connected to the Digital Nepal framework from somewhere. Even before that, he had worked in the field of ICT.
Digital Nepal Framework was created. It was also said that it belonged to the government. But it was understood that the framework belongs only to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. It was said that only the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology should do it.
It has 80 initiatives. It does not belong to any one ministry, not even to any government. All three levels of government and the private sector belong to everyone.
Let me give you a small example. Earlier, the first sister had also talked about payment. I live in a village. In the shops around that village, unless you have an online payment method like PhonePay to make cashless, I will buy it from the market when I come from the office, not buy from you.
That being said, now dairy shops, vegetable shops, drug stores and other shops have paid QR. It made it easier for me and for them. It was not difficult to calculate. You don’t even have to account for money. I didn’t even have to go to the bank and deposit.
What I am trying to say is that this is not possible only through the efforts of the government. The role of service recipients is equally important in its implementation. While I was briefing my friends yesterday, I was told that it was only from the Ministry of Communications. We take this as an initiative.
We involve and interact with as many people as possible. We look forward to making the initiatives taken by it meaningful. It wants to convince.
One part of it is e-governance. In which we are also involved. However, some things are disjointed. There is also the matter of how to look at it. Now it is up to the youth to take the lead in the way the brothers and sisters have presented it. Young Blood will do it.
Now that we have spent 30 years in government service, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know how to handle all this. That’s why Yong Blood led it. We also go together on how to lead Young Blood.
Earlier, the CAN president had talked about how we should work together, how to make the initiative worthwhile on our behalf, and how the government could play a role with us there. For that, the door of my office will always be open. Discussions are always welcome to take this initiative to a higher level.
We are not limited to 10-5 offices. After that I have 2 meetings in my office. I am ready to meet even outside office hours.
Mainly I will have an initiative. Which was raised earlier. According to the secretary of the Ministry of Communications, he will be the chairman of Nepal Telecom. The Nepal Telecommunication Authority is also coordinated by the same ministry.
We take initiatives on how to reduce the cost of internet as much as possible. It does not mean zero at once. From time to time, the issue of free WiFi also arises. It’s easier said than done with data or WiFi and we do it in terms of how everyone can use it easily.
This time I have talked to my friends to set a target to do that. How many here know? When mobile technology was introduced in Gujarat, the income of farmers there tripled. Simple entry is mobile technology.
They used mobile technology as a resort. What kind of crop to plant, what kind of weather, what kind of fertilizer, etc. came from there. There was information about whether there was a strike in the market and what the market price was.
If my product is not getting a price today, then why should I bring it to the market tomorrow? The income had increased up to three times. We can use it that way.
For that, the price of internet had to be reduced. If not, once the internet is used and all the money is spent on one service, then there is no point. So we go to those places too.
We also work to make it simple, accessible and reliable. Don’t go to work data and internet. We will move forward by taking meaningful initiatives and collaborating with our friends in the private and public sectors.
(Edited excerpt of the views expressed by Dr. Vaikunda Aryal, Secretary, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology at the ground finale of My Digital Nepal My Vision Competition held at Solty Hotel last Friday)