Protest demanding government priority for innovation

Apr. 29: Mahabir Pun, chairman of the National Innovation Centre, has started a protest demanding that the government should give priority to innovation and research in the country to create jobs and boost entrepreneurship in Nepal.

Pun, a 2007 Magsaysay Award winner, had requested all interested participants to take part in the sit-in with him and to bring along their innovations to demonstrate them to the public.

Many participants arrived at Maitighar holding different banners and placards that read ‘social movement and sit-in for the promotion of research, innovation and startups’, ‘let youths participate in innovation,’ and ‘do not discourage new entrepreneurs’.

Pun appealed them for those who could not take part in protest to fill the online form to show their unity with the protest. He said that he had met leaders and top officials, including Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and nearly half a dozen ministers in order to convince them to promote innovation in the country.

According to Pun, he has 4 major demands. The first one is he wants the federal and provincial governments to allocate 1 percent of their annual development budget to support talented and creative Nepalese involved in research.

His second demand is the government should give permission to new entrepreneurs for license, grants and easy loans required to start an enterprise and make policies for promoting products.

The third demand is the Parliament should formulate a research, innovation, and purchase law to meet the needs of a multi-year programme.

Pun’s fourth demand with the government is to establish an ‘Applied Research and Innovation Department’ under the Ministry of Science to promote research on private research centres and universities.

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