My Republica - My Republica - OPINION Fri, 23 Jun 2017 21:01:45 +0545 en-gb One South Asia One South Asia
The region’s prosperity depends on the ability of its political leaders to mitigate differences and collectively focus on economic development
Poverty is pervasive and entrenched in South Asian countries. About 399 million people in this region—or 40 percent of the world’s poor—live on less than US $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. The region is also home to around two-thirds (more than 200 million) of world’s slum-dwellers. This region includes four least developed countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, a region where half a billion people still live without electricity. Thus there is a need for collective action to lift the bottom 399 million people out of poverty.
Economic growth is the most powerful tool to reduce poverty and improve the quality of lives in poor countries. In the past few decades economic growth achieved through well-known reforms have lifted millions of poor out of poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Further, globalization and liberalization are a reality we must contend with; no single country on its own can achieve sustainable economic growth. Thus regional integration is the key to South Asia’s prosperity.

Why integration?
Generally, economic interests underpin regional integration. Its bottom-line is shared prosperity through accelerated economic activities. Regional collaboration contributes to economic growth and poverty alleviation. In the globalized world, South Asian regional integration is crucial for a number of reasons. First, it helps strengthen the region’s economic gains against vulnerabilities due to global shocks. Second, lack of decent and well-paid jobs remains a major challenge in South Asia. Regional economic integration helps create more decent jobs by promoting manufacturing sector.
Third, it helps individual countries to enhance their capacity in various businesses. Fourth, regional integration can be useful for small and poor countries to move up the value chain and maximize their growth potential. Further, presence of small and poorer countries in regional market via trade integration can help them respond better to business challenges and yield positive spillovers. Last but not least, it can contribute to the region’s long-term peace and stability by ensuring more jobs and sustained growth.

]]> (Siromani Dhungana) OPINION Fri, 17 Jun 2016 20:13:06 +0545
Humbled by mountains Humbled by mountains
Whether I am on a bus or a plane, a seat by the window is always on my wish-list
At the end of a recent one-hour flight from Nepalgunj to Kathmandu, I thanked myself several times for not possessing a professional camera.

Now, who in this world of technological advancements would celebrate the lack of a camera that would capture life’s fleeting moments and help you walk down the memory lane when you reach a point when your feather-weight body tries hard to confine a rebellious spirit to a crumbling cage of ribs?     

]]> (Devendra Gautam) OPINION Fri, 17 Jun 2016 20:00:32 +0545
Whither nonalignment? Whither nonalignment?
The geostrategic rebalancing in the Asia Pacific region has put Nepal’s long-held non-aligned foreign policy to test
The relation between India and the US has shifted after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in May, 2014. The two countries recently concluded a number of key agreements, mainly on defense and security cooperation. Washington now recognizes New Delhi not only as a Major Defense Partner, but also as an ally, ostensibly to contain a ‘rising China’. The foreign policy departure of New Delhi from “non-alignment” to “strategic alignment” with the US carries profound implications for the geostrategic stability of South Asia. The region could now be a major theater of big-power rivalry.
While India is already wary of Beijing’s engagements in its strategic backyard through a number of measures including the much-touted “One Belt, One Road” and “Maritime Silk Road” initiatives, the latest Indo-US defense cooperation pacts are likely to make Beijing even more assertiveness in the region. The strategic alignment between India and the US leaves Nepal as well as other small countries that otherwise depend heavily on New Delhi with the challenge of pulling off a delicate balancing act between India and China, for their security as well as economic interests.

Non-alignment over
The relation of post-independent India and the US was strained till the end of the 20th century. India cultivated strategic and military relations with the then USSR to counter potential security threats; the US, meanwhile, chose to make Pakistan its strategic ally in South Asia shortly after India’s and Pakistan’s independence. Wary of the Cold War power-play between the US and the USSR, India later became a founding member of the Non-Alignment Movement, even though India didn’t severe its strategic military relation with the USSR. The relation between the two oldest and largest democracies reached the lowest ebb when the US supported Pakistan in the 1971 war over Kashmir.

]]> (Kosh Raj Koirala) OPINION Wed, 15 Jun 2016 20:12:44 +0545
Will it work? Will it work?
The policy provides subsides to the poor and marginalized based on their identity cards. But first how will one obtain this card?
The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) seeks to address the problem of people’s financial hardship in accessing healthcare and providing quality care to the needy. There was a long effort to introduce health insurance in Nepal. Protecting people from financial risk is crucial as more than three-fourth health expenditure comes out-of-pocket.

This reality contradicts the provision in the new constitution that says “every citizen shall have the right to seek basic healthcare services and no citizen shall be deprived from emergency healthcare” under fundamental rights in Article-35. Financial risk protection is one way to implement this constitutional provision.

]]> (Geha Nath Khanal) OPINION Wed, 15 Jun 2016 20:05:23 +0545
From war to work From war to work
There is one example of successful post-crisis employment policy: Nepal. Its government sought to expand opportunities in informal sector after the civil war
There is no denying that conflict has far-reaching negative effects, including on employment. But the prevailing understanding of the relationship between conflict and employment does not fully recognize the complexity of this relationship—a shortcoming that undermines effective employment policies in fragile states.

The conventional wisdom is that conflict destroys jobs. Moreover, because unemployment can spur more conflict, as unemployed young people find validation and economic rewards in violent movements, job creation should be a central part of post-conflict policy. But, while this certainly sounds logical, these assumptions, as I detailed in a 2015 paper, are not necessarily entirely accurate.

]]> (Frances Stewart) OPINION Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:58:11 +0545
Let’s make use of them (Commentary) Let’s make use of them (Commentary)

Nepal has come a long way with a brand new constitution. It now needs to flaunt it.

After one year of Nepal earthquake, if we look back and try and see where and how relief and reconstruction work lost priority and politics took over with the result that despite all support from across the world, the reconstruction work in Nepal has been slow and way below what the world expected from the country.

Let’s reconstruct the story. The earthquake strikes, and tremors kept coming for next three months almost daily. Nearly 10,000 people were left dead, most houses and infrastructure were either flattened or left with a deep scar. The damage was done.

]]> ( Arun Kumar Shrivastav) OPINION Wed, 15 Jun 2016 16:49:01 +0545
Terrorism 2.0 Terrorism 2.0
It’s only a matter of time when some of our youths who come in contact with ISIS and Al-Qaeda operatives in the Middle East are led astray
If initial news reports from the US are to be believed, Omar Mateen, the gunman who attacked the gay club in Orlando, Florida, was an ISIS sympathizer. I believe these recent terrorist attacks in Western cities represent the changing face of terrorism: Terrorism 2.0.

The hallmarks of new terrorism are the lone wolves, people who carry out attacks in support of a terrorist organization/ideology without being directly affiliated to it. Just like the Orlando shooter, they might sympathize with a terrorist group but carry out attacks on their own.

]]> (Trailokya R Aryal) OPINION Tue, 14 Jun 2016 20:04:33 +0545
Fair play Fair play
“Celebrating someone else’s victory is not a sign of defeat. It’s a sign of friendship”
At the Jail field ground at Inaruwa, Sunsari, spectators watch the football game in excitement. There’s tension in the air, as the final football match between the blue and yellow team leads to a penalty shootout. The two sets of players look anxiously at each other. The blue team had already scored four out of five times. Now it was the turn of the yellow team to take the final kick. The fate of the two team depended on one penalty shot!

Player number 1, Kuber Jung Thapa, a youth activist from the yellow team, positions himself. The referee blows the whistle, and Thapa sharply kicks the ball. The crowd erupts in euphoria, as Thapa scores the winning goal. “ …. And the winner of Hamro Team Maidanma (“Our team on the pitch”) is team yellow,” screams the commentator. Dagal Limbu, a traffic policeman and one of the players of team yellow, rushes to congratulate Thapa. They hug and celebrate with their other teammates. Thapa and Limbu met three days ago at a football clinic. That was the start of their friendship.

]]> (Ayush Joshi) OPINION Tue, 14 Jun 2016 19:57:30 +0545
Open for business Open for business
In conversations with Chinese officials I detect a renewed sense of humility and a willingness to recognise mistakes
China continues to dominate discussions about the health of the world economy. Many are concerned about China’s slowing growth and its ability to manage the difficult transition from a controlled economy dominated by manufacturing to a more open economy with greater reliance on domestic consumption. Some policy decisions last year also scared the market.

While the risks are many and real, they are manageable and well-understood by China’s policymakers. This is not the time to sell China short.  

]]> (Bill Winters ) OPINION Tue, 14 Jun 2016 19:50:13 +0545
Infographics : Antibiotic resistance the global threat ]]> (Republica) OPINION Tue, 14 Jun 2016 19:34:46 +0545