Nepal's ICT (Information communication technology) sector has no dearth of
genius people. Muni B. Sakya is such a figure whose innovation fetch pride
and kudos both at the national and international levels. Known as
Bhismapitambah (a famous character in the Mahabharat epic) in the sector,
Sakya has pioneered in several IT genres.
Microcomputer (1979), development
and integration of devanagari (Nepali scripts) into computer (1983),
development of basic input output system (BIOS) (1982), establishment of
computer manufacturing plant (1995) and Nepali versioned super computer and
robots (2006) are among his innovations.
When he made super
computer last year, a large number of people especially young students, made
a beeline at his factory that displays his new inventions. All the day he
had been busy briefing about them.
"Everybody wanted me to tell
about the super computer and I really enjoyed in furnishing the curiosities
of the curious students," Sakya recalled the people's attraction to his
He made a super computer by combining memory and speed
of 16 computers. "It takes half an hour to complete a task that a
general computer takes 8 hours" he says. It costs around Rs. 1 million
to make a super computer.
Talking about the benefits of super
computer in the Nepalese context, he says that it is highly useful for the
banking sector and weather forecasting.
"In both areas, people
have to process a large number of data that a general computer is unlikely
to function effectively," he adds.
He says that the Meteorology
Department badly needs super computer for an accurate forecasting.
"There are about 24 satellite active in space and send million of data
to the earth. If the department has a powerful and efficient computer to
analyse such data quickly, it can predict precisely."
the weather forecast, he said, it is equally important for the financial
forecasting. He says, "They cannot buy time in computing where the
things should be done within an allotted time."
Asked about the
response on his innovation, he maintains that concerned people have realized
the need of super computer but they complained about the lack of sufficient
One of the factors behind not adopting the super computer is the inadequate
priority to new technology and lack of know-how, he said.
"My objectives is to highlight the importance of research and
development (R&D) in the economic development. It is up to the
government and the private sector to adopt the new technology to expedite
works fast and efficiently, " he said.
A few years back the government
planed to import a super computer from India for the Department but the plan
was never materialized. According to the sources, it did not accept
the Indian offer of super computers as donation as it was an old model
and would prove a white elephant because of its high in maintenance and
repairing costs. This super computer is a big in size and consumes much electricity.
said that US-based IBM Company has manufactured the biggest super computer
known as IBM Gene/L that has memory and processing power of a combined
65,536 computers. Its speed is 138.5 teraflop. One teraflop contains 1,000
"The concept of super computer is a relatives matter.
The super computer made in 1960 has less capacity than desk computer
of today," he added.
Dwelling on his robot innovations, he
said that artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous are the key two
inherent qualities of robots.
Students of Pulchowk Engineering Campus
also made robots but they operate on manual basis and lacked autonomous and
"These students are also doing well but they lack the proper
know-how on incorporation the elements of autonomous and AI.," he said.
veteran IT experts, Muni is not satisfied with the government's ICT
policy. He shared his bitter experiences during the years when he took
initiatives to establish the first ever computer plant in Nepal.
said, "If the government had provided as much facilities as it gave to
set up factories of cigarettes and alcohol, my computer factory would have developed
into full-fledged one by now," he said.
I asked the then finance
Minister Dr. Ram Saran Mahat to grant certain concession in the import of IT
spare parts but he was not positive about my request, he said. "If the
government offers concessions to you, everybody will line up to take the
benefits, "he quoted Mahat as saying.
With its entry into World Trade Organisation (WTO), Nepal announced zero
tariffs in the import of computer accessories. "However, the
government has not still brought tariff to zero percent, "he noted.
said that his plant had capacity to produce 50,000 computers annually if it
operated fully. It used about 40 per cent home made products in
"Nepal annually needs 50,000 computers,
which my plant can meet," he claims.
Established in the
collaboration of Taiwanese national, the factory that offers jobs to
20 people is now struggling for survival.
"I could not develop
it as per my concept in the absence of proper atmosphere," he admits.
Muni developed and integrated Nepali devanagari into computer system, India
had not done so. Indian experts used to come to his residence for the
"About two decades back, Nepal and India ranked same
but now India has gone far ahead in the ICT field largely due to its policy
to promote the sector. What we need is the visionary leader to take the ICT
into new height," he said.
When he returned Nepal in 1979 after
completing his study in France, the officials at the Tribhuvan
International Airport searched his bags thinking he must have brought some
expensive foreign items but in vein. Muni had really brought one precious
thing with him. It was hidden inn his brain, not in his bag. It was his
great concept of microcomputer that was just invented in the World.
became first person to make microcomputer in Nepal. Muni now runs High Tech
Pioneer Private Limited that provides variety of services such as hardware,
software, ISP and networking to the customers.
Last year he won the
RONAST Award for his contribution to the sector.