Nepal Embarks on Path to AI Governance


  • Nepal is developing a comprehensive policy for governing Artificial Intelligence, focusing on its impact on society and the economy.
  • Educational institutions like Kathmandu University are introducing AI programs, aligning technological advancements with human rights.
  • Discussions among diverse stakeholders aim to balance AI innovation with ethical standards and the protection of citizens’ rights.

Nepal is now focusing on establishing a comprehensive governance policy for Artificial Intelligence (AI). This initiative, set against AI’s growing dominance in global technology, marks a crucial step for the country. Recognized stakeholders and experts gathered at a recently held event to discuss and shape this evolving landscape.

Digital governance and AI’s impact on society

Krishna Bahadur Raut, secretary at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, emphasized the role of Asian countries, including Nepal, in leading digital governance. He pointed out the potential of AI to influence critical aspects such as elections and employment, particularly in Nepal’s remittance-dependent economy. Raut’s insights underlined the urgency of developing proactive AI governance measures. The event, a collaborative effort by UNESCO, the Department of Languages and Mass Communication at Kathmandu University, and Digital Rights Nepal, provided a platform for this crucial dialogue.

The discussion highlighted the need for policies and legal frameworks that encourage AI development and ensure its alignment with national development goals. Stakeholders from diverse fields contributed their perspectives, including government, academia, civil society, media, and the technology sector. They collectively explored ways to optimize AI’s benefits while addressing potential risks and ensuring its contribution to a more inclusive, sustainable, and peaceful world.

Educational initiatives and global perspectives

In tandem with policy development, educational institutions are also adapting. Kathmandu University, recognizing AI’s societal impact, has introduced Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in AI. These courses aim to produce graduates capable of contributing to AI research and development, aligning with UNESCO’s initiative to balance technological advancements with human rights.

Globally, the proliferation of AI technologies has prompted countries to consider regulations that foster innovation and protect fundamental principles like human rights and freedom of expression. Nepal’s approach to AI governance mirrors this global trend, aiming to balance technological advancement with ethical standards and citizens’ rights.

Constructive dialogues and collaborative efforts

The event featured panel discussions that included under-secretaries from various government ministries and constitutional commissions. These panels delved into Nepal’s current state of AI governance and legal frameworks. Another set of discussions involving experts from tech industries, government bodies, and international organizations focused on finding the equilibrium between innovation, ethics, and rights in the context of AI regulation.

Tanka Aryal, chairperson of Digital Rights Nepal, highlighted the critical nature of regulating AI. He stressed the importance of inclusive discussions involving diverse stakeholders to establish a comprehensive AI governance framework that evolves with AI technologies.

A step towards a balanced digital future

Nepal’s journey towards AI governance is a reflection of a broader, global acknowledgment of the need to regulate AI. This regulation is envisioned to accelerate human development and innovation while safeguarding fundamental principles. The collaborative effort seen in Nepal’s approach is instrumental in establishing a comprehensive governance framework that keeps pace with the rapid development of AI technologies.

As AI continues to shape various sectors, from the economy to education, the discussions and initiatives in Nepal serve as a model for how countries can approach AI governance – with a balanced perspective that considers innovation, ethical standards, and safeguarding citizens’ rights and freedoms. This multi-faceted approach ensures that as AI technology advances, it does so in a way that aligns with the broader goals of national development and global human rights standards.

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Brenda Kanana

Brenda Kanana is an accomplished and passionate writer specializing in the fascinating world of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, NFT, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With a profound understanding of blockchain technology and its implications, she is dedicated to demystifying complex concepts and delivering valuable insights to readers.

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