PRI Concludes its Establishment Day amid a Grand Function
On 26 September 2021, Policy Research Institute entered the fourth year of its establishment. The founding day was celebrated amid a grand function amongst over 200 participants, both physically present and virtually connected. To maintain the COVID-19 health protocol, PRI was compelled to invite only a few experts to participate in the event physically and request others to connect virtually.
Among the highlights of the programme was the discussion on the achievements made and challenges faced by PRI in the last three years, the release of PRI’s flagship journal ‘Nepal Public Policy Review’, the honouring of PRI staff members for their exemplary performance over the year and the presentation of the PRI-instituted ‘policy honour’ to Kathmandu University.
At the event, six publications, published by PRI in the last two months, were released. Among them was the founding issue of PRI’s flagship journal, released by the event’s Chief Guest veteran educationist Professor Dr Suresh Raj Sharma. PRI’s Executive Chairperson, also the Chairperson of the event, Dr Bishnu Raj Upreti and Professor Dr Meena Baidya, PRI’s advisor, released other publications, including the institutional report that collates achievements and other materials since PRI’s first day in operation.
Kathmandu University was awarded the ‘policy honour’ and a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 for its outstanding contribution to policy research and innovation through policy-focused teaching and research. (Kathmandu University was selected through an objective process by a committee – Policy Honour Selection Committee – constituted by the PRI Board. [The committee members comprised: Mr Leela Mani Poudyal (Coordinator); Professor Dr Surendra Labh (Member), Professor Dr Meena Baidya (Member), Dr Man Bahadur Bishwakarka (Member); and, Dr Mukunda Raj Kattel (Member Secretary)].
Accepting the honour and prize, the Vice-Chancellor of the University – Professor Dr Bhola Thapa – said the prize has created moral pressure on Kathmandu University to do more. “Kathmandu University will” he added, “use this prize as a seed-money, add rupees five million (Rs 5,000,000) to it and establish an endowment fund to be used dedicatedly for public policy research.” PRI believes the fund to set a milestone in policy research and innovation in Nepal.
Presenting a keynote address, the Chief Guest of the event Professor Dr Suresh Raj Sharma said the event was an indication of the promising future of policy research in Nepal. Policy research, he said, should also take eastern philosophy as the source of knowledge. To address the problem of policy non-implementation, the officials responsible for policy implementation should be held to account, he underscored. “If those responsible are not held to account for not doing the job they are entrusted with, there is no cure for policy non-implementation.”
An interaction was held amongst the delegates as a final part of the event. Professor Dr Dharma Kanta Baskota, Vice-Chancellor of Tribhuvan University; Dr Sunil Babu Shreshta, Vice-Chancellor of the Nepal Academy of Sciences and Technology; Dr Arjun Karki, Chairperson, Nepal University Development Committee; Professor Dr Meena Baidya; Professor Dr Sharad Wanta; Dr Mahesh Maskey; Ms Bandana Rana; Dr Gobinda Kusum; Dr Netra Timsina; Dr Khim Lal Devkota; Dr Bimala Poudyal Rai; Dr Arjun Karki; Dr Durga Bhattarai; Krishna Gwayali; Dr Bipin Adhikari; Dr Surya Raj Acharya; Dr Ram Babu Nepal, Dr Man Bahadur BK; General Balananda Sharma; Dr Jagadish Chandra Pokhrel; Dr Lila Nyaichyai; and Dr Dinesh Bhattarai suggested issues and areas PRI should consider while undertaking research and disseminating knowledge products.