UNDP launches new text for university students
25 August, 2006 Kathmandu - With almost half of Nepal's population falling into 'traditionally excluded groups', the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Nepal, Matthew Kahane, today called for more emphasis on human development to empower women, Dalits, Janajatis and members of religious minorities.
'No country can afford to let half its human capacity wither away,' Mr. Kahane said during a ceremony to launch a new text for masters-level students. The book' produced by UNDP and containing articles by some of the country's leading development practitioners' is aimed at helping students grasp the key aspects of the human development approach to progress. With UNDP's support, this area of study has recently been added to the curriculum of various masters-level courses in Nepal.
'Human development is among the most powerful ideas to emerge in recent times. Instead of focusing on reducing poverty only by boosting GDP, the human development approach seeks to empower people by focusing on their freedoms, well-being and capabilities,' Mr. Kahane said.
While the Government of Nepal has incorporated the human development framework into the Tenth Poverty Reduction Strategy, more action was needed to empower traditionally excluded groups to participate more fully in development, Mr. Kahane said.
When comprehensively applied, the human development approach had resulted in more sustainable progress that was effective in including the poor and other disadvantaged groups because it empowered people politically, socially as well as economically, Mr. Kahane said.
'The human development approach is key to overcoming exclusion and realizing sustainable progress in Nepal,' he said.
The Minister for Education and Sports, Professor Mangal Siddhi Manandhar, and Mr. Kahane launched the new publication entitled: Nepal Readings in Human Development at the Hotel Soaltee earlier today.
Other special guests at the event were: Secretary to the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr. Balananda, the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University, Professor, Suresh Raj Sharma, and the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, Professor Ramesh Kunwar.
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For further information please contact: Lisa Hiller (+977-1 5523200 ext: 1060, mob: +977 98510 12133), or Sangita Khadka (+977-1 5523200 ext: 1077, mob: +977 98510 81114).