We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.

The full article is available here as HTML.

Press Ctrl-C to copy

Nepal's new government is planning a US$125 million science budget for 2008 — a staggering 12-fold increase from last year.

The money will go to the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MEST), with the budget set to be approved next month.

Shortly before the country's April elections, the Maoist party — which has the largest share of seats in Nepal's assembly — released a manifesto declaring, "Without science a country cannot develop." Prachanda, the party's leader, has a degree in agricultural science and also taught science in a prep school.

Biotechnology research will be a focus — primarily to exploit Nepal's rich biological resources. A biotech lab in Kathmandu is due to be completed in 2009, while MEST plans to construct a national biotechnology research and development centre.

Nepal often experiences electricity and gasoline shortages, so the government will also devote a large part of the money to developing clean energy, including the use of a jatropha as a biofuel.

World Bank figures on science spending currently put Nepal behind Burundi, the country with the world's lowest per capita gross domestic product.

Link to full article in Science