Nepal government prepares concept paper on artificial intelligence

KATHMANDU: For the first time, the government of Nepal has prepared a concept paper on the use and practice of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Despite the global increase in AI development and usage, Nepal lacks a comprehensive policy and legal framework. To address this, the government has initiated the creation of a concept paper to lay the groundwork for necessary policies and laws.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology formed a technical committee, under the direction of Minister Rekha Sharma, to undertake this task. The five-member committee, coordinated by Joint Secretary Anil Kumar Dutt, includes Narayan Timilsina, Under Secretary of the Ministry; Pavitra Dangol, Information Technology Director of the Information Technology Department; Baburam Dawadi, Associate Professor of the Institute of Engineering Studies; and Suryaprakash Upadhyay, Computer Engineer of the Ministry, as member secretary.

Formed on January 5th, the committee spent nearly five months studying and preparing the concept paper, which has now been submitted to the ministry. The report emphasizes the need for the government to establish policies, laws, and procedures for the development, use, and regulation of AI.

The report identifies key issues such as cyber security, data protection, and privacy that need to be addressed at the policy level. It suggests formulating a national AI policy, creating a national strategy, and developing a data protection framework with a legal basis.

Additionally, the report recommends aligning AI policies and laws with international standards and creating an integrated national portal for AI-related information exchange. Prioritizing research, development, and the implementation of national projects and sectoral initiatives to harness AI’s transformative potential in economic and social development is also advised.

Under Secretary Timilsina highlighted the importance of increasing research, investment, and cooperation in areas such as privacy protection, transparency, and accountability. The report underscores the need for skilled manpower in both the public and private sectors to accelerate AI development and promotion. It suggests identifying existing manpower and enhancing their capacity.

The report advocates for the use of AI in various fields, including disease prevention and treatment, financial services and analysis, construction and production, education and development, communication and experience improvement, organizational management, government services, social security, sports, research and development, agriculture, and tourism.

It also calls for evaluating the current state of AI development in Nepal and creating a national strategy and action plan, focusing on major areas such as health services, agriculture, education, smart cities and infrastructure, and smart mobility and transportation.

The AI strategy should encompass data and digital infrastructure, economic and financial support for AI startups, research and development, ethics, data privacy, security and regulation, skill and capacity building of human resources, industrialization of technology, and sectoral initiatives.

Timilsina noted that the committee’s study included an examination of AI usage strategies from regions and countries such as the European Union, United Nations, Nordic-Baltic region, UAE, India, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, and South Korea, providing a comparative analysis in the report.

Fiscal Nepal |
Wednesday July 3, 2024, 04:35:29 PM |

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