Kathmandu, May 1, 2020
The celebration of National ICT (Information and Communication Technology) day has been going on for the past 9-10 years. It was initiated by the Federation of Computer Association Nepal (FCAN). In fact, the day marked its presence on the official calendar after the government endorsed it in 2017.
National ICT Day is celebrated on May 2nd every year and the first official National ICT Day was observed 2 years ago on May 2, 2018.
CAN Federation along with other private and public organizations organize several events to mark the National ICT Day celebration. Due to the nationwide lockdown, 2020 has witnessed a digital shift in every sector of Nepal. This year, the government may have postponed its activities but CAN Federation has planned on organizing digital events to mark the day.
Let’s find out more about National ICT Day.
Interview with Nawaraj Kunwar – President at Federation of CAN
Q. When and How did ICT Day start?
A: The first ICT Day celebration dates back to 9-10 years ago as CAN initiated to mark the event. Eventually, the government realized the importance of ICT and took an interest in the event. Thereafter, the Nepal government and CAN have been organizing the event together.
As history depicts, the first computer was introduced in Nepal in the month of May. Similarly, the month of May marks the establishment of the Federation of CAN as well. So, it seemed justice to celebrate the National ICT Day on May 2.
Ganesh Shah, Former Minister of Environment, Science, and Technology, and the cabinet supported the endorsement of ICT Day on May 2.
Q. What is the importance of National ICT Day in Nepal?
A: All the programs and events for the National ICT Day focuses on awareness. The CAN Federation along with other organizations has organized rallies, seminars, blood donation programs, etc. in the past. Basically, the core purpose and object remains to bring development in the field of ICT.
Q. How has CAN Federation planned on celebrating the National ICT Day 2020?
A: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are implementing virtual methods for celebrating the event. CAN Federation has planned on organizing webinars on different topics. The celebration will be more than a week-long from March 2 until March 10.
In a couple of areas where the lockdown is not as strict, district branches are planning to organize blood donation programs. Meanwhile, the central federation is hosting a webinar on “Go Digital – Go Cashless”.
National ICT Day 2020 | CAN Federation
Q. What are the roles of public and private associations in celebrating the event?
A: In the past, CAN federation used to lead the organization of events for celebrating National ICT Day. We used to encourage other associations or organizations to participate. But now, there are many public and private associations working in ICT.
Now that the government has endorsed the ICT day, other associations can also step up and organize events at local levels. They don’t necessarily have to be a member of the CAN Federation or associated with it.
Interview with Prem Sharan Shrestha – Director General at Department of Information Technology (DoIT)
Q. What is the need to celebrate National ICT Day?
A: Firstly, the cabinet decided to endorse the event and celebrate it annually as National ICT Day. Talking about the importance, you must’ve heard about the digital Nepal movement. Private sectors have been progressing with several applications in the digital world.
However, the government is also prioritizing the ICT sector and introduced systems like e-attendance. So, events like National ICT Day are important to move forward digitally with smartness.
Q. What can be the roles of the Government and Private sectors to meet the objectives of National ICT Day?
A: The private sectors have equal responsibility and roles in celebrating this event throughout the nation. If we look at the ICT history in Nepal, we will see that private sectors were already moving forward in the digital era.
Since the past 2-3 years, the Nepal government has also been actively focusing on digitizing its services to make them easily available for the general public. In the meantime, we are planning to upgrade these services in a manageable and secure manner.
Q. Has the DoIT planning to organize or support any virtual events to mark the National ICT Day 2020?
A: We held a meeting to discuss the possibilities to organize any event. However, the government had to cancel the events for this year due to the risk of virus infection. That’s why we decided not to organize events for this year’s National ICT Day as well.
The DoIT and the Ministry have planned to release congratulation notes for the National ICT Day 2020.
The ICT sector drives the nation towards the digital era. Similarly, it can pave the path towards Digital Nepal by supporting the framework. The government has realized the importance of the ICT sector and endorsed the National ICT Day.
The private and public associations working in ICT should organize virtual events, especially when social distancing is the topmost priority. It will both raise awareness and display the use of ICT that can potentially shape our future.