Youths yearn for change of leadership

PRAVAT JUNG GURUNG

We complain and we argue that there’s nothing much youths can do until and unless they join mainstream politics. But even if we decide to join politics, reaching a position of influence isn´t easy as the older generation is not yet ready to cede the power. It’s a catch-22 situation for the younger generation and most of us have learnt to live with it.

A host of issues concerning younger generation in Nepal have not been addressed by the government. Unemployment, among all other problems, tops the list. Every single day, Nepal is losing its “working age” population to Gulf and other countries. Nothing is being done to tap the youthful energies without which development of a country is impossible. 

Implementation of the youth policy, introduced in 2010, has failed to remedy the situation and the youth today are seeking change of the leadership.

On democracy

“We can voice ourselves more openly now compared to the past and I think Maoists are to be credited for this change,” says Dipendra KC, 23, president of YUWA, a youth organization based in Kathmandu. 

He added that people are more aware of their rights now and do not keep mum if they feel deprived of their rights. He is of the view that policy makers understand the role young people can play in the development of the country but are still hesitant to let them take the helms. 

“If I want to start a business, nobody will finance me. The Yuva Swarojgar Yojana (Youth Self-employment Fund), which was set up to provide loans to young people who want to start a business, is being used for the benefit of cadres of political parties,” KC opines.

On the other hand, Pukar Bam, 25, co-founder of Bibekshil Nepali, a political party founded by the youth, agrees with KC and adds that democracy has been fruitful only for some political leaders and party workers. Bam adds that in the recent five to six years, he has seen youth coming back from abroad seeking opportunities to do things at home. “They are very much willing to step out of their comfort zone to bring about change,” he says. “I think that’s the only good thing this whole political instability has brought us,” he says, summing that the youths know if they don’t do something, everything will remain the same. 

Change doesn’t come easy and it takes time. In Nepal, however, change is not something that’s welcomed with open arms. You take a step forward and there will be scores of people trying to pull you back. That’s the point Pushpa Gurung, 23, field coordinator at Nepal Mahila Ekata Samaj, wants to make. “Unity has definitely risen since the restoration of democracy but moving forward is still difficult because there is always someone pulling you back. It does not matter even if what you are doing is for the good of the country,” she says. 

Prasun Rai, 25, an intern at Actionaid Nepal, also raises the issue of youth in the rural areas not being updated with the whole scenario. “Privileged youths are aware about a lot of things but those in the remote areas are unaware of it.”

Disagreeing with Rai’s statement, Aman Lama, 21, a member of Activista, a youth platform, says, “They are aware about the happenings. What they lack is the opportunity to express themselves. Since they are far from the capital city, they don’t have much exposure in the media and, hence, we assume that they are unaware.” Lama thinks that youth outside the Valley should also get equal space in media so that they are encouraged to do more.

On federalism

The erstwhile kingdom of Nepal was renamed Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on May 28, 2008 when the Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly favored the abolishment of the monarchy. However, the federal system has yet to be given a complete shape as the political parties cannot decide how to go about it and how the separate states should function. 

The Constituent Assembly served its term for four years but was not able to produce the much anticipated “Constitution of Nepal” due to the inability of the parties to resolve some issues.

Rai, who thinks federalism is not suitable for Nepal, shares, “Nepal’s geography is such that federalism doesn’t make sense. People might get services faster and that need not have to travel to Kathmandu to get passports, but the cost of running the country would rise too. And if it’s the development we are talking about, it can still be done without dividing Nepal if we come up with proper plans.” 

Lama, however, pointed out another problem. “It would be difficult to put in place a proper taxation system. If one state increases the price of basic commodities, what will happen?” questions Lama. He also expressed that some states might be richer than another and that might invite instability.

Bam, too, thinks that the overall cost would rise and so would corruption. Also, he says, “We need to ask whether federalism is actually wanted by the people or the leaders. I don’t see any problems with the five development zones. It’s just that it’s not functioning very well due to the inability of the government.”

Bam is certain that the elections will take place for a new Constituent Assembly. “We should vote for people only after going through their Curriculum Vitae,” he says. “We need to vote for someone who can lead us and not disappoint us and for that to happen, we need to make sure that we vote for the right person.”

Secret Window

Social Media trends offer some unique experiences to the users. Confession pages, a new social media fad, are mushrooming these days. Though there is no actual evidence of how and where the global trend of confession pages started, the trend in Nepal is seen to be influenced by confessions pages in educational institutions of the US and India.

Over the last month, several confession pages have been started by anonymous users in the name of various educational institutions in Kathmandu. The anonymity of these pages is their core appeal. Lively anonymous posts collected from online forums are posted in facebook pages, which have become the new hangout destinations for a large number of youngsters.


CARDINALNEWMANSOCIETY.ORG
Page visitors wait for the mysterious admin to post new content. Their interest in reading more confessions is evident on the walls of such pages. The deluge of comments requesting the admin to post new content is an example of the craze. These kinds of pages provide students both the opportunity and the risk of expressing things they would not share with otherwise.

The use of technology as tool to raise a voice of protest is not new. Several political changes including the Arab Spring used technology as a powerful tool. In Nepal too, we have witnessed the positive use of technology for social causes. However, the recent trend is very new to the education sector. Such pages not only provide a platform to confess personal feelings but also act as a podium for students to express their views publicly on diverse issues. 

Out of 80 randomly chosen confession posts from 8 different confession pages based in Kathmandu, 38 percent were related to love and liking, 22 percent complained about teachers and schools, 19 percent were negative statements of hatred while another 19 percent were alumni who talked about their memories, and two percent were about other subjects.

The trend clearly shows us that love and mismanagement of educational institutions are not the only issues discussed. These pages also contain information that could ruin the image of a person in a single moment. Statements of hatred and negativity can be found all over the pages. This kind of negativity is establishing itself as a new way of bullying. The pages could also easily damage the hard-earned reputation of educators and educational institutions. 

These pages do not violate the rules of Facebook so long as the contents remain within the bounds of civility. Students who set up confessional pages must do so under their real names, as per Facebook policy. But they can choose to cloak their identity as page administrators. Tackling these confession pages is likely to be a challenge to the regulatory authorities due to their anonymity.

On a different note, these pages have empowered students with a unique and powerful tool which never existed in the past. Students have been using the tool to raise a voice against the malpractices at their institutions. Their posts range from complaining about the teaching-learning style at their educational institution to making fun of a particular teacher’s teaching style. But in the big picture, these forums not only provide a platform for students to express their dissatisfaction, but also point out the urgent need to understand students’ perspective in education. This will also democratize educational institutions and increase their accountability.

The power not only resides with students, this tool equally serves as a window for educators and educational institutions. It creates an opportunity to the educators to review their own activities from the perspective of the students and understand their psychology. Hence, it serves as a learning opportunity for educators and educational institutions as well.
Republica

MOOCs for global audiences

The Year 2012 was the year of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Several leading platforms for learning, including Coursera, Udacity and EdX Online launched their services during February to April 2013. With these three startups in the technology market, education has somehow been “democratized.” The course content that was available to a handful of people is now available to the global audience.

Today, Coursera has a user base of more than 2.8 million and offers 313 courses from 62 different universities from around the globe while Udacity offers 22 courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and EdX offers 32 different courses from universities like Harvard and MIT. Also, EdX on its blog on March 3, 2013 announced that its system will be available open source to ease the usage of technology for education from June 1, 2013. 

These MOOCs can be very beneficial to all those who seek to learn in the true sense. A few courses do offer the certificate of completion; however, most of the courses don’t provide the credentials. The contents that are delivered through these sites are outstanding and the discussion forums and quizzes aid the learning process. In a normal course, students from more than 150 countries sign up and express their opinions over the forums, and these virtual study groups give a unique sense of learning and expand the horizon of the applicability of the contents.

Over the last 11 months, universities in the US have been heavily debating on the new trend of education. At one end of the world, technology is growing rapidly and the debate is on whether the courses should be open and free while, unfortunately, guess papers and guidebooks are all sold out in the market as exams approach.
There are countless points which could be discussed and scrutinized to see how outdated a teaching/learning mechanism we have. Even when we compare the two leading universities of the country, Tribhuvan University (TU) and Kathmandu University (KU), there is huge gap between their teaching and learning methodologies.
All universities, professors and students must feel the urgency of sensing the global educational trends. Everybody cannot afford Ivy Leagues but they can afford to sit in front of a computer and taste the way teaching/learning is done.

However, initiatives from universities alone are not capable enough for the change that we want to see. Students should also, at least, try the subjects of their interest. Since these courses are generally shorter in length, students can give it a try.

There are also constraints to this new option. With only 19% of Nepal’s population having access to Internet, language and with other barriers, it might seem difficult to attend the virtual classrooms. However, a few measures can be taken to give this new taste not only to students, colleges or universities but to all those who opt for broadening their horizon.

The government’s Youth Information Centers (YIC) and Information Centers at the VDC level could also be used as strategic learning centers for many young people. This could foster the rural learners’ accessibility to the world-class education. Furthermore, different learning centers and libraries established by several organizations in the country can be established as strategic learning centers and attract students to use their resources to learn.

Colleges and universities can arrange a learning environment for their students in their respective colleges and universities. This will provide platforms to students who don’t regularly access computer and Internet. In addition, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can also be encouraged to provide access to these learning portals at subsidized rates.

It’s never too late to start. It has not even been a year but these MOOCs are booming. You can start your own learning experience at www.coursera.org, www.udacity.com or www.edx.org today.

Republica

अनलाइन आइकन

प्रदीप बस्याल 

पाँच महिनाअघि दीपेन्द्र केसी, २३, अमेरिकाको पि्रन्स्टन युनिभर्सिटीमा थिए। त्यहाँका डिनले एउटा सामूहिक बहसको मध्यस्थता गररिहेका थिए। बहसका लागि युनिभर्सिटीका प्राध्यापक, अनलाइन अध्ययन वेबसाइट कोर्सेराडटओआरजीका सहसंस्थापक र त्यहीँ

का एक विद्यार्थीसँगै दीपेन्द्रलाई निम्त्याइएको थियो।

विश्वविद्यालयका थुप्रै प्राध्यापक, टिचिङ् एसिस्टेन्ट (अध्यापन सहयोगी) एवं विद्यार्थीहरूले त्यो बहस निकै चाख लिएर सुने, प्रश्न-प्रतिप्रश्नहरू गरे। खासमा त्यो बहस ‘अनलाइन लर्निङ्’बारे थियो । एक उत्कृष्ट विद्यार्थीका हैसियतले काठमाडौँदेखि अमेरिकाको न्युजर्सीसम्म दीपेन्द्रको यात्रा तय भएको थियो।

नेपालबाटै ‘भर्चुअल’ कक्षा लिइरहेका उनले पि्रन्स्टनका केही कक्षामा प्रत्यक्ष सहभागी हुने अवसर मात्र पाएनन्, प्राध्यापककै आग्रहमा एउटा कक्षामा आफ्नो अनुभवसमेत सुनाए।

 एक वर्षअघि त्रिचन्द्र कलेजमा समाजशास्त्रमा स्नातक दोस्रो वर्ष अध्ययन गररिहेका दीपेन्द्रलाई कसैले अनलाइन कोर्सबारे सुनाएका रहेछन् । त्यसैले जन्माएको उत्सुकता अनुरूप कोर्सेराडटओआरजीमा पि्रन्स्टन युनिभर्सिटीको ‘समाजशास्त्रको परचिय’ अध्ययन सुरु गरिहाले।

विश्वका चर्चित विश्वविद्यालयले यस्ता थुप्रै कोर्स जोकोहीले निःशुल्क पढ्न मिल्ने गरी राख्छन्। केही विश्वविद्यालयले कोर्स सफलतापूर्वक सक्नेलाई प्रमाणपत्रसमेत दिन्छन्। भन्छन्, “धेरै हदसम्म यो आफ्ना लागि चाहिने ज्ञानका लागि हुन्छ।”

त्यो कोर्समा विश्वभरबाट ४० हजार विद्यार्थीले अध्ययन गररिहेका थिए। साताको कुनै एक दिन प्राध्यापकले अध्ययन सामग्री दिन्थे भने अर्को दिन भिडियो लेक्चर। त्यसबाहेक तिनै विद्यार्थीबीच चौबीसै घन्टा विभिन्न समूह बनाएर बहस चलिरहन्थ्यो, जसलाई विश्वविद्यालयको अध्यापन सहयोगीहरूले सघाउँथे।

एक दिन प्राध्यापकले आफूसँग सीधा सम्पर्कमा रहेर छलफल गर्ने अवसर सार्वजनिक गरे। इच्छुकले सहभागिताको कारणसहित इमेल लेख्नुपथ्र्यो। त्यसअघिको सक्रियताले पनि अवसरको सुनिश्चितता निर्धारण गथ्र्यो। ६ साताका लागि डिजाइन गरएिको उक्त अध्ययनमा ‘गुगल प्लस ह्याङ्आउट’ सुविधामार्फत विश्वभरका प्राध्यापकसहित ६ जना सहभागी हुन मिल्थ्यो। र, सहभागीहरू पनि तयारी र उत्सुकताका आधारमा सातैपिच्छे फेरिन्थे। दीपेन्द्र भाग्यमानी निस्के। उनले लगातार पढ्ने मौका पाए। भन्छन्, “त्यहाँ हामीले समाजशास्त्रलाई स्थानीय परिवेशका आधारमा छलफल गथ्र्यौं।” कोर्स सकिएपछि प्राध्यापकले उनलाई उत्कृष्ट विद्यार्थीका रूपमा अमेरिका जाने अवसर प्रदान गरे।

नेपालजस्तो विकासोन्मुख मुलुक, जहाँ दिनको आधा समय बिजुली हुँदैन, इन्टरनेटमा १३ प्रतिशतको मात्र पहुँच छ, त्यसमाथि इन्टरनेटको गति निकै सुस्त। यस्तो ठाउँबाट अनलाइन कोर्स पढेर दीपेन्द्र सफलताको त्यो हदसम्म पुगेको देखेर सबै दंग परे। विश्वविद्यालयले उनलाई उपहार स्वरूप अझै पढ्ने माहोल बनोस् भनेर आइप्याड उपहार दियो। उनलाई उद्धृत गर्दै अमेरिकी सञ्चारमाध्यमहरू दी न्युयोर्क टाइम्स र सीएनएनले समेत सामग्री तयार पारे।

अहिलेसम्म उनले त्यसबाहेक ‘सोसल नेटवर्क एनलाइसिस’, ‘इकोनोमिक फर म्यानेजर्स’, ‘मोडल थिंकिङ्’जस्ता कोर्स अनलाइनमै पढेर सकेका छन्। “विश्वका शीर्ष विश्वविद्यालयमा पढ्न चाहने सबैको इच्छा पूरा नहुन सक्छ तर अब त्यहाँको शैक्षिक सामग्रीबाट भने वञ्चित भइँदैन,” दीपेन्द्र सुनाउँछन्, “त्यसरी नै पढ्नेहरूको स-साना भर्चुअल गु्रपमा सहभागी भएर समेत कलेजको जस्तै अनुभव लिन सकिन्छ।”

पि्रन्स्टनमा गएसँगै उनको चर्चा भर्चुअल विद्यार्थीमाझ चुलिएको छ। विभिन्न देशका भर्चुअल गु्रपमा उनी अतिथि वक्ताका रूपमा निम्त्याइन्छन्। भन्छन्, “सम्बन्धलाई परिभाषित गर्ने मेरो सोचाइमा अहिले परविर्तन आइसकेको छ।”

कलेजमै पनि समाजशास्त्रलाई उनी स्वयंले हेर्ने शैली बदलेका छन्। “हामी सधैँ एकोहोरो सैद्धान्तिक कुराकै पछाडि लाग्छौँ तर समाजशास्त्रलाई निकै कम स्थानीयकरण गरेर हेर्छौं,” उनी भन्छन्, “दाङको थारू बस्ती र काठमाडौँको सम्पन्न बस्तीलाई एउटै सामाजिक संरचनामा हेरेर समाजशास्त्र बुझिँदैन।”

नेपाल साप्ताहिक 

Generate Table Of Contents Automatically in WORD 2007 onwards

Steps to Generate Table of Contents Automatically in MS WORD 2007 onwards:

1. First select the text that you want it to appear in the TABLE OF CONTENTS(TOC).
2. Use the Heading Format (Use Heading 1 for main content, Heading 2 for Sub content, Heading 3 for sub sub content) from Home TAB (Heading appears towards the right head of the word window)
3. Then Go to References Tab and select the TABLE OF CONTENTS.
4. Select the type of content that you want in your document.
5. The Table is ready.
6. If you want to go to specific section mentioned in the TOC, then press CTRL+CLICK, you are in the desired section.

How to Improve WiFi Reception

1. Put large furniture along the exterior walls of your home.
2. Minimize mirrors. All metallic surfaces reflect WiFi signals, including the thin metal layer found in most mirrors.
3. Place your router in one of the following locations:
o Near the center of the house
o Off the floor, ideally on a high shelf
o As far as possible from your neighbor’s Wi-Fi router (which, of course, you’ve made sure is using a different channel)
o Away from cordless phones and microwaves, which operate on the same 2.4-Ghz frequency.(There are some cordless phones that are Wi-Fi friendly)
o Keep antennas as far away from power cords and other computer wires as possible. Those cords and wires can interfere with radio reception.
Tips
· The computer case itself can be a significant barrier to the Wi-Fi signal – try positioning the case so it doesn’t come between the network card and router antennas.
· The addition of a “high gain” (higher dBi) external antenna will often provide increased reception signal and performance. Note that a higher dBi increases the signal horizontally, but decreases vertically. If you need to cover several floors, a higher dBi will probably not help. In this case, you might consider buying a Wi-Fi amplifier, which will boost your signal.
· Reflectors can also be used to good advantage. Use NetStumbler to tune your placement of the reflector. Compact disks can be used, as can anything that actually looks like a parabolic reflector. The reflector, of course, should be placed behind the receiving device or antenna. Large increases in signal strength can be expected. This trick also works with cellphones.
· If all else fails, you can look into purchasing a WiFi repeater, which is a piece of hardware you can use to boost the signal between the router and your device.
· Depending on your brand and model of wireless router, you may be able to replace the built in software with a replacement open source solution that adds much more capabilities and the option to increase the power to your wireless antenna.
· If you still need more range, consider upgrading your wireless standard, up to Draft N (Regular N has not yet been released) or Wireless G with MIMO. These two technologies will greatly increase the range of a formerly 802.11g or 802.11b network.

Warnings
· If you replace your router’s firmware, it may void your warranty. If not done properly it can turn your wireless router into a something that can’t be reprogrammed at all.
· If you turn the power up too high on a modified wireless router it may suffer permanent damage.

Twist in the Story: Prachanda Resigns

Few minutes back, Prime Minister(PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a Prachanda resigned from his post. With this action, he has given birth to a new chapter of Politics in Nepal. A chapter that is full of uncertainity and wild guesses. Having conflict over the army issue, he resigned from the post.
With this move, Prachanda a amateur but a strong player of Nepalese politics has leaped a great succes. He has left the post and government with this he has been able to meet his long seen dream. He now doesn’t have the post but he has street in his hand. Now, I see Nepal full of burning tyres and a lot of Bandhs.

Unity Through MUSIC

Music resides in the soul of every human being. Music has that strength which can bind the several hearts of different backgrounds to one. Recently Prashant Tamang, the Winner of Indian Idol is a good example of it. Prashant is an Indian of Nepalis origin but due to his or in but several Nepalis voted him to be an Indian Idol. Inspite of being an Indian he has been able to bind several Nepalis in his magical voice.

Our country is passing through a critical time period. The daily life is being very difficult. There is curfew in western terai. There is a fear of riots in the name of religion. The country is politically unstable. There are innumerable problems in the country. Nepal is lacking unity among its citizens.

In this context, music may be a good way to create National Unity. We have seen how Prashant has unified the Nepalis. Several Nepalis went to boarder area to vote for him. Prashant mad the Nepalis more proud by wearing “Dhaka Topi” when he won the title. A unique feeling of National pride aroused seeing him. If one person can unify so many people then why are the Nepalis artists and musicians not able to come up for national unity?

In my opinion, the riots of Kapilvastu can be controlled by our singers and artists. They should jointly make an appeal to control violence. Moreover the celebrities and singers can create awareness among the general people feel their responsibility towards Nation.

Moreover the government can invite singers like Prashant, Udit Narayan Jha to Nepal and ask them to appeal them for peace and unity. This may be a new and effective way to unite people. We have been using same old tradition way to create awareness among the people. I think it is the time to give new taste. Let’s observe and see how successful it is.