Discussion Held on Draft National Research Policy 2077
Policy Research Institute (PRI) and the Research Coordination and Development Council of Tribhuvan University (TU) jointly organized a workshop on 20 April 2021 at TU’s Senate Hall, Kirtipur. The purpose of the workshop was to seek inputs on the National Research Policy 2077 drafted by the National Planning Commission (NPC) and make roadmap in finalizing the draft.
Chaired and moderated by Prof. Dr. Shiva Lal Bhusal, Rector of TU and Prof. Dr. Dharma Kanta Banskota, Vice-Chancellor (VC) of TU as Chief Guest, Dr Usha Jha, member of NPC and Dr. Bishnu Raj Upreti, Executive Chairperson of PRI as Special Guests, the discussion followed expert review on the draft policy presented by Prof. Dr. Pitambar Sharma, Prof. Dr. Pushkar Bajracharya and Prof. Dr. Pramod Kumar Jha.
Main points of their comments:
- National Research Policy should be a basis for enhancing research culture in Nepal,
- It has to strengthen interlinkages of policies, strategies and action plan,
- There should be a provision to categorize policies,
- Must have provision of functional committees as the structures proposed in the policy are too bureaucratic and academics and researchers are missing in the committees
About three dozen of professors including Deans of various institutes and faculties and directors/heads of research centers/ directorates under TU had their comments on the policy. Responding to the comments made and the concerns raised on the draft policy, Dr. Usha Jha, member of the NPC, advised the participants to freely come up with their further intellectual inputs – written or otherwise- contributing towards meeting the purpose of the policy. She also highlighted the important role of PRI in organizing the workshop and made commitment that NPC and PRI will work together in refining the draft policy.
Dr. Bishnu Raj Upreti, PRI Executive Chairperson, underscored the need to finalize the policy by adopting standard and minimum requirements of the policy process. He also suggested to ensure sufficient time for policy debate – a strong base to make policies implementable and ensure ownership of stakeholders. He further emphasized on the need of an umbrella policy that provides direction of the research for national development and also provides competitive grants for Nepali researchers and research institutions to minimize dependency on donors funding that could bring vested interests. He also suggested TU to investigate land/properties of TU used by others that generate huge amounts to meet the research fund requirement of TU.
Prof. Dr. Dharma Kanta Banskota, VC of TU, committed to further prioritize and promote research culture in academic institutions under TU also informing in the meantime that there has been a remarkable increment in the research fund TU has received. He also advised the draft policy be further discussed amongst other stakeholders and forums before finalizing it.