Digital Nepal Framework

24th August 2022, Kathmandu

The government released the Digital Nepal Framework in 2076. The goal of the framework was to build a digital economy by enhancing service delivery, production, and productivity through the use of digital technology.

For that, 8 major areas have been selected in the Digital Nepal Framework. 80 initiatives have been identified covering those 8 areas.

It has been more than 2 years since the Digital Nepal Framework came following the vision of the government to create a digital Nepal for good governance, development, and growth. Initially, the Digital Nepal Framework was said to be implemented in 5 years.

But even after 2 years, some initiatives are in the direction of implementation, while some initiatives have not progressed. Digital Nepal Framework has also been included as a ‘game changer project in the fifteenth plan of the government.

The Digital Nepal Framework is currently under implementation. For the implementation, a structural arrangement has been made by the director committee, coordination committee, subcommittee, and digital Nepal management office.

What progress has happened in the 8th sector?

In the Digital Nepal Framework, 8 major sectors have been identified Digital Nepal Foundation, Agriculture, Health, Education, Energy, Tourism, Finance, and Urban Infrastructure. Initiatives are divided according to the region. Those initiatives which have been separated according to the region are being implemented.

Anil Dutt, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said that many works of the Digital Nepal Framework have been implemented and some are in progress.

According to the region, the progress of the work till the end of February is as follows.

Digital Foundation

Digital Foundation is the foundation pillar of the Digital Nepal program. Digital Foundation is the ‘heart’ of Digital Nepal. Under the Digital Foundation, the provision of electronic services for internet access, digital literacy, and good governance are covered.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has prepared a national frequency distribution policy for spectrum availability and management. Nepal Telecommunication Authority has advanced the work of 5G testing and optical fiber network expansion. Nepal Telecom has received permission for 5G testing in the first phase.

Telecom has advanced the work for testing 5G. The work of expanding the optical fiber network, which has been advanced by the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund, is also being done at a very slow pace.

According to Dutt, Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) has been implemented after preparing the standards for online systems and software used in government agencies.

Paperless government is also an initiative under Digital Foundation. For this, the government has put into operation the integrated office management system. In addition, various software is being used to digitize government offices.

The authority has already set up WiFi hotspots in public places such as various religious places, Everest base camp, and circuits, and some are in the process of being worked on.

The Ministry has also started initiatives for the establishment of the National Cyber ​​Security Center, the leading agency of cyber security. Last year, the ministry called for a tender to prepare a detailed project report, DPR, but no company could be selected. This year also DPR was included in the program but it has not been completed.

Similarly, a committee with representatives of concerned agencies of the National Language Computational Resource Pack has been formed and is in the process of preparing the TOR for the study.

The work of delivering broadband internet across the country has reached its final stage. By the end of May, broadband internet has reached all local level offices, health institutions, and secondary schools.

In the same way, the national identity card, which has progressed with importance, has been distributed to 13 thousand 920 people so far. There is a government plan to distribute identity cards to all citizens in 2 years.

He informed that the process of making the DPR of the National Knowledge Park at Khumaltar under the foundation has been advanced by the Information Technology Department. According to the objective of providing all the government services through the mobile app, 26 services have been added to the public app so far.

Work has progressed to connect the services of the electronic payment system, Khalti, e-sewa, and Connect IPS. There is an initiative to establish a digital innovation and co-creation center.

This work has not progressed yet. The Telecommunication Authority has established IT labs in 1,000 public schools to conduct digital skill development programs.

The government e-learning platform will be launched under the foundation. For this, a study report on the National E-Learning Platform has been given to the Ministry.

Likewise, the National Information Technology Center has advanced the construction of a data center in Kohalpur and a data center, and an Internet exchange center in Lalitpur.

Dutt says that digital signatures have already been issued to more than 5,000 government and private organizations under digital signature. Awareness programs related to a digital signature are being conducted at the central, provincial, and local levels.


7 digital initiatives have been placed under tourism. The Nepal Tourism Board is involved in the initiative of preparing a mobile app with an online booking and payment system by taking tourism-related hotels, aviation, entertainment, and other businesses operating in Nepal to the online system. No progress has been made so far.

Dutt said that all types of visas issued by the Immigration Department under the tourism sector are printed visas with QR codes. Similarly, Nepal Port software is being continuously developed, operated, and modified based on needs.

As part of the initiative to build infrastructure for tourist safety, in the first phase, GPS devices have been purchased and contact officers are being appointed.


9 digital initiatives have been placed under energy. Under this, work has progressed to implement a smart irrigation system. Likewise, the work of implementing smart meters in electricity distribution has progressed.

He informed that about 90,000 single-phase, 44,000 three phases, and 27,000 three-phase smart meters have been distributed to new customers under Maharajgunj distribution center and Ratnapark distribution center till February.

Similarly, sites have been identified to adopt the GIS Smart Grid system. There are preparations to call for tenders. Under the digital initiative of Urja, a system has been developed in which electricity tariffs can be paid from any branch within the Kathmandu Valley.

A system that can be done in other places is under development. Similarly, Nepal Electricity Authority’s official mobile app and customer service portal have been launched as part of Urza’s digital initiative.

The authority is conducting various pieces of training through online and virtual platforms as part of the initiative to use the e-learning platform.


In the Digital Nepal Framework, 11 digital initiatives have been placed under agriculture. As part of the initiative to operate the e-hot market of agriculture, the market price of purchase and sale of agricultural products is being broadcasted through the website/mobile app.

Similarly, digital soil map, farmer call center, SMS, radio, TV, social network, and agro advisory are being done.

Under the initiative to arrange digital payment of Minimum Support Price (MSP) and subsidy, there is a process of procuring the services of IT experts to update the details of the farmers who are getting subsidies in the farmer listing system.

Similarly, it is mentioned in the progress report that the software has been developed for the development and operation of the electronic seed management system and orientation seminars have been conducted in 6 provinces.

Also, the subsidy program will be conducted digitally from the upcoming rice crop. Likewise, televeterinary (Televet) medicine service is continuously being operated.

According to Datta, under the digital initiative to manage digital land records, soil mapping of 77 districts is in the process of being done, while land-related information and management system has been implemented in 126 land reform and land surveying offices to conduct transactions related to land administration online.

He also said that the Land Department has launched the Mero Kitta system and Nepal Land Information System in 10 survey offices to provide services such as map printing online.

Software is being developed for the development and piloting of the online National Animal Health Information System (NAHIS) for smart management of livestock and wildlife.

The Livestock Movement Tracking and Certification System is being developed, while the Agricultural Results Monitoring Information System has been prepared and is operational.

Similarly, as part of the initiative to adopt the quality monitoring system of agricultural materials and products, a digital seed balance seed system has been prepared and orientation seminars are being conducted in 6 provinces.

In addition, the demand and supply of seeds from the upcoming paddy crop will be operated through a digital system. The quality monitoring system is under development.


8 digital initiatives have been placed under finance. Under this, Nepal Rastra Bank has given the responsibility to Nepal Clearing House to establish National Payment Switch under the first phase to establish and operate National Payment Gateway.

Similarly, as part of the initiative to encourage digital payments, arrangements have been made to transfer revenue from digital wallets and all types of revenue can be transferred from Connect IPS, he says.

The Customs Department has developed a system where customs duties can be paid electronically and implemented it as a test at the dry port customs office.

For this, Nepal Rashtra Bank RTGS is being linked with NCHL’s National Payment Interface/Payment Switch of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) system. Similarly, payments to local governments have also started to be made online.

Under the digital initiative to develop and promote a service system based on e-commerce and technology, it has been arranged to get an immediate refund of 10 percent of the value-added tax paid when purchasing goods and services through electronic payment through debit card, and credit card, QR code. He informed me that the PSPs have been integrated into the system and are in a state of implementation.

Similarly, it has been arranged that all taxpayers who are registered for value-added tax must issue electronic invoices. Similarly, 32 concerned agencies have joined the one-door system so far.

In addition, it is said that discussions and coordination are being held with objective associations, Nepal Rastra Bank, Comptroller General’s Office, etc. to conduct a digital payment campaign.


8 digital initiatives have been identified in the education sector. As part of the initiative to widen the use of information and communication technology in education, it has been proposed to create ICT labs in 2218 public schools this year to cover all public schools.

Earlier, it is said that ICT labs have been established in around 4500 public schools. Similarly, in education, it has been proposed to establish smart classrooms in all public secondary schools.

So far, the government has made 29.712 percent of schools participate in the Integrated Education Management Information System. According to Datta, biometric attendance and CCTV cameras have been placed in 1,200 schools across the country and it is being expanded to more schools.

Under the program to expand access to mobile learning centers in rural areas, mobile learning centers have been operating in 2150 CLCs so far.

There is a plan to conduct digital skills training for basic level teachers in all seven provinces to make up for the learning loss of students.

The government has been providing 650,000 rupees annually to 1012 schools to use ICT in teaching and learning.


7 initiatives have been placed under the health sector of the Digital Nepal Framework. But the work is being delayed in this area compared to other areas.

So far, the procedures related to telemedicine have been approved and are being implemented, while some software related to telemedicine has been developed and is being operated in some hospitals.

Similarly, under e-maternal care, some software is operating till February, SMS reminder is in operation for pregnant women, online data wash program of maternal and perinatal death monitoring and response is in operation for monitoring and evaluation related to e-maternal care.

Urban infrastructure

11 digital initiatives have been placed under urban infrastructure. But it does not seem that much progress has been made in this.

Under this V.No. After the monsoon of 2077, the reconstruction management information system was developed, the issue of complaint management was addressed in the system, it was developed as an integrated disaster information system by interacting with the information systems of various agencies working in disaster management, and the data in the system from the health emergency operation center was transferred to the disaster portal and integrated. Dutt says.

Similarly, the reconstruction management information system has provided training to the local levels of 46 districts so far.

Training has been provided to the employees of the local level and authorities regarding the disaster portal, and orientation programs have been conducted in Sankhuwasabha, Pyuthan and Salyan districts to enhance the capacity of the local level in disaster management.

Delay in Framework Implementation

After the publication of the Digital Nepal Framework, the speed at which it was supposed to move forward and the direction of implementation did not happen. Anil Dutt, Joint Secretary of the Ministry, admits that there has been some delay in the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework.

“Processes like the private sector cannot be jumped,” he says, “We have to proceed according to the Public Procurement Act.” The process is a bit long, but it seems to be slow, but the work has progressed.

Similarly, communication and information technology expert Manohar Bhattarai also said that the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework has been delayed.

“Some work has been done within the framework, some things are being implemented, that is a good thing,” he said, “but it is not going at the pace it should be moving forward.”

He says that there should be institutional and structural arrangements to implement it effectively. Bhattarai says that for programs like Digital Nepal to be successful, strong political will is needed to increase it with political will.

The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is also coordinating with other ministries for the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework.

“When we say IT, we mean that it belongs only to the Ministry of Communication,” Dutt says, “but we sometimes call people from the Ministry and this is your program. We are asking you to propose the budget yourself.

Dutt says that despite the speedy transfer of staff, there has been a delay in the implementation of the framework. The ministry says that the private sector has also participated in the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework.

Various committees formed for the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework are represented by the CAN Federation, Federation of Commerce and Industry, etc.

“There is the participation of the private sector in the committee,” he says.

Datta informed that the World Bank is going to invest 17 billion rupees through the DNA (Digital Nepal Acceleration) project to advance the Digital Nepal Framework more effectively.

What are the problems in implementing the framework?

According to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the following problems have been observed in the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework.

  1. Lack of a dedicated mechanism to coordinate the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework
  2. Lack of adoption and ownership of agencies toward the Digital Nepal Framework
  3. The concerned bodies have not prioritized the initiatives of the Digital Nepal Framework while proposing the annual program
  4. There are difficulties in coordinating the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework
  5. There is not enough manpower related to information technology in Nepal government agencies.

Emphasis on framework reform

Stakeholders have emphasized that the Digital Nepal framework needs to be improved. On the occasion of the National Information Technology Day, the launch of the ‘Technology’ journal by the Technology Journalist Forum, and the interactive program on ‘Disruption of Digital Nepal Construction’, the speakers emphasized the need to improve the many complications and weaknesses within the framework and move forward effectively.

In the program, Sunaina Pandey, the former vice president of the Computer Association Nepal Federation (CAN), said that the Digital Nepal framework should be revised.

“Private sector is also taking initiative in building Digital Nepal,” she said, “There is a lack of coordination and cooperation between the government and the private sector regarding the implementation of the Digital Nepal Framework.”

Similarly, information technology expert Vivek Rana said that important things like digital leadership, digital literacy, and accountability are missing in the framework. He believes that while creating Digital Nepal, emphasis should be placed on creating an ‘ecosystem’ rather than creating an ‘application’.

“This framework is more focused on attracting external investment or investors,” he said, “It should not be forced to implement IT projects.” Digital Nepal cannot be created in that way.

Vinodchandra Shrestha, Deputy Director of Nepal Telecommunication Authority, said that they are working for Digital Foundation. He said that procedural obstacles and a lack of coordination with stakeholders caused the problem.

Deputy Director Shrestha said that workshops are organized for stakeholder engagement. He said that the projects of the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RDTF) are being implemented through various service providers and they are in the form of management.

When the government agencies went online, Subash Dhakal, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, said that it was not because of the technology, but because of the lack of preparation.

Dhakal, who was involved in the drafting of the framework, said, “The problem will not be solved by just paying attention to the technology. An effective plan has not been made to solve the backlog coming to the server. There is no problem in the domain of our digital foundation. The problem is in its effective implementation.

Describing the Digital Nepal Framework as a ‘guiding framework’, Dhakal said that its initiatives should be implemented on a priority basis.

He also said that its financial model is unclear. Therefore, he suggested allocating projects based on competition.

Pandey, the former vice president of CAN, believes that an IT council or board should be established to fully implement the ‘Digital Nepal Framework’. According to him, the council should coordinate with stakeholders.

Expert Rana advised that instead of making applications, we should start collecting data. Shrestha of the Authority said that the ‘Utility Corridor Act’ is necessary.

He also asked the service providers to invest 15 percent in telecommunication development in rural areas.

Deputy Secretary Dhakal said that there is no point in building an organization like the IT Council. He said that the top level of the government needs to be committed to building a digital Nepal.

“We don’t have the culture of data sharing,” he said, “We should be flexible in data sharing while being aware of privacy and security issues.”

He said that we need everyone’s support to make the Digital Nepal Framework acceptable to all and to end the digital divide by implementing it.


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