Monday, March 31, 2008

Why IT development is so slow paced in Nepal

Last few days i've witnessed some events which have been really agonizing me.

The first was on saturday. I'd got call from Manish who with Jitendra and Suraj have been developing a software similar (but not limited) to APTonCD but their version is more like APTonUSB too.. The software they are developing is really superb IMO, especially in our context where we dont have fast internet connection, but still want to use linux and want to be up-to-date. They have also publicly announced their software.

So we all were there to have a look at the prototype n give feedbacks. The 'program' went good. Everybody was excited.

Total cost of organizing the event: Few phone calls
Productivity: Super High
Problems: Lack of fund / resources to setup a package repo (n nobody seems to be helping too)

The next day (sunday) i was at Himalaya Hotel, Kupondole to attend a program (representing OLPC Nepal, along with Shankar). "Demonstration & Interaction Programme on Rural Information Gateway Portal." Big words huh! But actually it was about a website named Previously i thought it was the launch of the website, but later on found it was just feedback collection.

WTF! Lunch at luxury hotel, jus to gather feedbacks? Wait, the website building process is even more interesting..

Some askings, and i found out that the project was initiated by USAID and it handed over the development works to HLCIT. But ofcourse HLCIT is a governing body, so did a bid which Mercantile Communications won. Mercantile Communication further did a bid which was won by Winrock International. Winrock again did a bid n finally Magnus Consulting got the job of developing the website. The result - the website is not even Web2.0 and i bet, with Drupal, i can create a better site in ONE day!

Now think of the cost.. I get nothing but frustration. There's so much money being poured into IT development currently. Is this how they spend the money? Expensive hotels, lunch n dinners?? The program was about the telecenter website. And we all know telecenters are a complete failure in Nepal. Is there any way this website gonna last then?? I estimate maximum life-expectency of this website not more than a year!

Productivity: NONE

The final one was again back on saturday. Outside Pulchowk Campus, there was an endless line of people ready to enter the campus to attend examination for their employment in Korea. And everybody looked under 30.

Where are we heading??

Lets have an overview. The guys who wanna work aren't getting proper funds / resources. The big guys who have it are busy with lunch n dinners at five star hotels. Rest of the potentials have no options but go abroad. And the rest of us are still fighting.



  1. Last time when I saw thousand youth in queue to fill the form for korean language exam, I was so touched I wrote this small piece standing on tripureshwor chowk, sorry if it is little irrelevant here.

    "म भाग्दैछु"
    लाखौं भजाएर दशौ हजार
    फेरी बिस्फोटन सैयौ एक हरु
    म भाग्दैछु, मेरो देश रेमिटेन्सको भोकमा
    जिब्रो फड्कारीरहेछ

    मेरा बाटा, पुल, स्कुल अस्पताल
    सबै ओझेल छन, तुवालिदै छन
    म भाग्दैछु मेरो भाग्य चम्किएको छ
    जिन्दगी जिउने आशामा

    म भोली देश बनाउछु, सबै मिली निती कोर्नेछौ , हामी समान हुनेछौ रे
    म भाग्दैछु, रस निचरेको कागती जस्तो
    तिम्रो जनता तिमीलाई नै बधाई छ

    एउटा छानो, तिलहरी अनी तमसुक
    भिड्लाई अङ्गाल्दै , लामलाई चिर्दै
    म भाग्दैछु, एउटा जुत्ताको खोजिमा
    फर्कनेछु अबश्य, खुट्टा नरहेमा

  2. jwalanta, thanks for documenting the situation so clearly. that's really frustrating, but we are the one who need to (and can) do something. great job dude!

  3. Hi,
    your post is really good, it pictures the reality in Nepal perfectly. Sad, but true.

    But that's where I have to end it: I don't have any words to add that can do more than your beautifully composed post.

  4. Jwalanta
    A very real picture.

    More of this practice may one day lead to IT students in queue to go abroad like citizens giving EPS exam...

    Now and even in coming days that ICT is nowhere in Our political parties' dream of Naya Nepal. What the F**K!!!

    Helpless and hopless WE!!!


  5. a sad n true picture of Nepal portrayed in words.
    is there any way, jus any way at all; to shuffle the first three people n role pair that u mentioned in the overview??,
    such that we have
    -guys who wanna work have proper funds/resources,
    the 'big guys' have no options but to flee abroad
    -and the rest potentials keep on fighting, thrive for work.???!!!

    ....I wonder,...

  6. Jwalanta,

    nice post. i very much like the way you expressed ur thoughts in the last single word.

    keep it up!

  7. Jwalanta,

    nice post. I very much like the way you expressed ur thoughts in the last single word.

    keep it up!

  8. seriously, we have major problem, we are taught to dream, not to meet them. We are taught to talk but not to do it. Everyone gives "baal" to everything and everybody else, that's what's wrong.
    FOSS is always about "just doing it." Imagine what would've happened if Stallman had organized such parties for FSF launch at Hilton Plaza and called for bid between IBM and Microsoft... haha, that's the case here., seriously now gnu, no linux nothing.
    The last word does sum it up but it's always the work that shows these f**kers up....
    A lot of people that say we can do so and so in a conference always say "khai Nepal ma ke nai hunchha ra" as soon as dinner/drink is offered. People are concerned about earning money, spending money, having fun without anything to show with that... F**k again.

  9. If as many people as have blogged feel rightly about this, we are closer to a solution. More people are alive to the situation and the time to whine is long past.
    It is now that we can work lets try that beyond our blogs.
    What say Jwalanta you send this Blog for publication to a media house