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Science is the way to prosperity.

Published: 22-12-2014
{ Editor: Nirajan Dhakal (Admin)  }
Science is the way to prosperity
Nepali students, and especially those studying science and mathematics, are commonly considered inferior to their peers not just from around the world, but also from neighboring countries like India and China. And there are many reasons for this.First of all, we, as a country, have never focused on developing a rational and scientific temper. Science, in earnest, began as a discipline in Europe during the Renaissance. And one of the defining traits of this period was the precedence of scientific and logical mindset over false beliefs and traditional outlook. We’ve never had anything even remotely similar to this. And even now, more than five hundred years after the Renaissance happened in Western Europe, our country is still plagued by traditional, unscientific and illogical beliefs and practices. In an environment like this, there is no way for science to foster.

 
Secondly, our government seems to have adopted a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to science. Neighboring countries like India and China have become behemoths in the field of science and technology because the governments of these countries take the discipline seriously and invests a lot of money in pursuing excellence in this field. To put things into perspective, the budget that the Indian government allocates for scientific research and education is way more than the annual budget of our country.
It requires a lot of time, investment and nurturing to produce one good scientist. And in all the developed countries around the world, it’s the government that takes the primary responsibility, in one way or the other, of producing brilliant minds in this field. This is because, in the world that we live in, researching and developing new technology is the best way to long-term prosperity. Countries like USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Germany and France have become prosperous and powerful because of their well-developed scientific and industrial sectors. But given that our government’s investment in the field is so meager, can we even expect to nurture decent scientists and scholars in our country?  Of course not. And this is the reason we are forced to stay trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty.
But despite all these hurdles, we must be thankful for having a few brilliant and innovative scientific minds who have made our country proud. A young Nepali student named Lujendra Ojha became a sensation when he spotted the possible signs of the flow of water on Mars surface. Similarly, Rijan Karki secured Student Achievement Award (SAA) from NASA for his innovative concept of running trains in the mountains without any electricity or fuel.
The names that I have mentioned are just representatives of many young, talented and committed Nepali scientists who have proved their worth in spite of the hurdles posed by the country.
Thus, it is imperative that our government focus on developing science and technology and retaining the best-available minds that we have. Given the kind of shameful and disappointing economic indicators we’re forced to confront, and given the kind of enthusiasm and dedication I see in the students of science, I have come to the conclusion that investing in science and nurturing innovative and hardworking scientific minds is the only way to prosperity.
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