Nepal govt initiates concept paper on AI, paving way for policy development

Kathmandu: The Nepali government has taken a significant step forward by preparing its first Concept Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI), aimed at guiding the formulation of policies and laws governing AI use and operations in the country.

Initiated by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Concept Paper addresses the absence of specific policies and laws on AI amidst its increasing global prominence and usage. Over a period of five months, a technical committee formed by the Ministry, led by Joint Secretary Anil Kumar Dutta, meticulously studied and developed the concept paper.

The committee, comprising Ministry Under-Secretary Narayan Timilsina, Information Technology Director Pabitra Dangol, Dr. Baburam Dawadi from the Institute of Engineering, and Ministry computer engineer Surya Prakash Upadhyay as member-secretary, presented its findings and recommendations to the Ministry.

Among its key recommendations, the report advocates for the enactment of policies, laws, and procedures necessary for the development, regulation, and ethical use of AI. It emphasizes addressing critical issues such as cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy at the policy level. The committee proposes the establishment of a national AI policy, a strategy for data protection, and frameworks aligned with international standards.

Furthermore, the report stresses the importance of fostering research, development, and utilization of AI through structured national programs and enhancing collaboration and investment in AI initiatives. It calls for integrating AI-related information through a national portal and prioritizing AI development across relevant sectors’ policies and programs.

“A strategy should be taken to promote privacy protection, transparency, accountability, and research on the development and use of AI,” stated Under-Secretary Narayan Timilsina, emphasizing the report’s recommendations.