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National ICT Day 2021 Held; Find The Major Announcements

From the distribution of free SIM to 5G initiation to Nagarik app launch to Namaste pay, learn all about the National ICT day 2021 announcements made on May 2 (Baishak 19, 2078).

Nepal marked its fourth National ICT Day on May 2, 2021. The event was an opportunity for the government to lay out their plans to develop IT infrastructures and they did not disappoint. Hon. Prime Minister KP Oli graced the event virtually and made several announcements to reinforce the Digital Nepal Framework.

At the event, KP Oli launched the revamped full version of the popular Nagarik app which now comes with some major upgrades. The app integrates a significant number of government services into one single app. The government hopes this initiative will help create transparent, corruption-free public services and earn the trust of the masses.

Prime Minister on National ICT day 2021

Similarly, Namaste Pay, NTC’s digital wallet/mobile money service also found its preliminary launch on the same day. The e-wallet is the result of the joint collaboration between Rashtriya Banjiya Bank and Nepal Telecom. With its paid-up capital of Rs. 500 million, it is set to become the largest digital wallet platform soon.

The Government has also announced of promoting digital payments and digital workflow for various services.

Expanding Connectivity in The Country

The Prime Minister revealed the government’s plan to improve connectivity via telecom and internet access. Soon the government will bring internet access within the reach of every local ward, health center, and community school except in the valley.

Free SIM card

He also revealed that the government will distribute free SIM cards in Province 1 and Province to increase communication reach. It was also announced that people in all districts in Karnali and Far Western Provinces will be entitled to free SIM cards. Similarly, the government also plans to launch an online system (most probably the Nagarik app) to enable the public to pay their taxes digitally on the go.

Soon the government will develop software to regulate, publish and collect data of ads issued in the public interest, government ads, and payments.

National Frequency Policy

PM Oli has also announced that the government will devise a necessary policy regarding the frequency bands to use for telecom services. As the technologies evolve and create a requirement for more bandwidths in several bands to the service providers, MoCIT had already conceived of the idea for creating a universal strategy/plan of the country for managing, allocating the frequency spectrum. Check out: All the frequency bands operational in Nepal for cellular networks.

About 5G Network’s Launch

The PM said that the government will soon initiate 5G testing in the country with Nepal Telecom. The government-owned telecom company will acquire the 5G spectrum for the trial. For which, Ntc announced its preparation for the 5G trial along with a detailed plan.

At the moment, Ntc is concluding the final details of the trial and the commercial viability. It shall send its proposal to NTA for the receipt of frequency and other necessary approval. As it stands, Nepalese will soon get the testing of the fifth-generation cellular broadband at the expense of Nepal Telecom very soon.

The jovial PM also laid out plans for setting up data centers in seven provinces to provide a smoother internet experience. adding further, he revealed that the government is setting up a data center in Kohalpur and a data center and internet exchange center in Khumaltar to protect the government data from possible infiltration.

The government is also keen on installing Wi-Fi hotspots on public spots and religious shrines.

National ICT Awards 2021 On ICT day

Nepal Government also concluded the prestigious National ICT awards at the event. This year it was Huawei that received the National ICT award prize for the private sector. The CEO of Huawei Nepal, Mr. William Zhang accepted the award on behalf of the company from Hon. Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MoCIT), Parwat Gurung.

Huawei was awarded for its contribution to the improvement of Nepal’s cellular technology. Huawei has played an active role in upgrading telecommunications technology. It has also made investments in airlines, media, internet service, etc. making a commendable presence in Nepal for the last 21 years.

National ICT awards are classified into various categories. Among the other winners were

  • Mr. Sudhir Parajuli (President Subisu Cablenet, ISPAN) – National ICT Excellence Award 2021
  • Ms. Kusum Lama (Vice President, Prabhu Group) – National ICT Excellence Award 2021 (Woman)
  • Huawei Nepal – National ICT Award 2021 (Private Sector)  
  • Office of the Auditor General – National ICT Award 2021 (Public Sector)

The government distributes National ICT awards with an aim to highlight the growing importance of ICT and also to promote IT companies. National ICT Day began in 2018 and it is marked every year on May 2. The companies with the highest contribution as well as individuals are awarded for their excellent performance in the IT sector.

What do you think of yesterday’s National ICT Day event? Which do you think was the most impressive part for you? Let us know your opinions about it in the comments section below.

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