Oxbridge and Glacier:Nepali Colleges Get Extra Creative with Names

Whats in name? The college has to offer good education and good environment, my father used to say when I was looking for appropriate school in the US. My dreams were stuck on Harvard and Stanford but my score made even for-profit schools seem like distant dream. Anyway, I managed to find an OK school in Florida. It was named after its founder. None of my friends had heard of it and they constantly teased me! and I was the lucky one.

Because hundreds of students in Nepal(especially Kathmandu) are struggling to  explain their school names to bewildered parents. Oxbridge (when Oxford and Cambridge had a son/daughter in a hurry in Nepal), Kathford (hmm one of the parents must be Oxford or Stanford, not sure), Liverpool, NASA, Pentagon-these are hip Nepali colleges, and there are many with even more creative and crazy names.

The fascination our colleges have with an English name is beyond the realm of reason. Near my neighborhood there is school named Science Memorial. Thank heavens my parents didn’t send me there. How would I explain that name to my potential employer or to a professor, as a Science major no less!

And the race is still on, in break neck speed to come with even more insane names.Apparently, these colleges didn’t get the memo that while education quality and environment matter most, if you name yourself Oxbridge or Kathford, you are definitely sending  wrong signals to your students and to your community.

Yes, trying to prove yourself a distant relative of famed Stanford or Oxford University is a good marketing ploy and it does make you look very “high-class” and hip. But does that eagerness to align yourself with world-class universities reflected in your commitment to provide great education? If not, then you are insulting Nepali language,heritage and intelligence of the people by your meaningless English sounding name.

Here are some tweets on Nepali Colleges and their creative names.

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Nepali Colleges and Their Creative Names

Enjoy and be thankful that you are not student at Oxbridge or Whitegold College. 

@bhumikaghimire newly arising +2 colleges from this year : Discovery , Liverpool ,Whitegold and Mega .#nepalicollege
sushilpokhrel
June 29, 2011
RT @gentlerajesh: @rubeenaa @bhumikaghimire Einstines Revived in Einstein’s college with zero degree scientific approaches 😀 #nepalicollege
bhumikaghimire
June 29, 2011
@bhumikaghimire @sushilpokhrel there’s one called Oxbridge (oxford and cambridge jodera) and Caribbean, Caspian too lol
rubeenaa
June 29, 2011

friendycalls ♛Friendycalls

@
@bhumikaghimire deficiency of Names for colleges has been a major problem now #SouthEasternStateColg #NasaInternational #White/Green-field

svbel Subel Bhandari

@
@bhumikaghimire some of my favorites stupid college names in nepal are: oxbridge, nasa, glacier, and the usual stanford, harvard, etc

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Looking Back: Vibor Development Bank is in Trouble

Chandan Spokota, 06-09-2011

In yet another spate of financial turmoil, Vibor Bikas Bank (VBB) — a national level development bank — has become the latest financial institution to seek emergency management takeover by the central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to avert a looming financial meltdown.

A delegation of Nepal Bankers Association and Vibor Bank´s CEO Ajaya Ghimire formally approached two Deputy Governors of NRB Gopal Kafle and Maha Prasad Adhikari on Wednesday and requested for management takeover.

Refusing to take over the troubled bank, the NRB suggested to the members of the NBA to help Vibor by resuming stalled inter-bank lending.

The bankers refused to buy the idea. “The bank is seriously in crisis. Who will risk themselves by providing loans to it against land or house, which are not selling these days?” said a banker.


Here is the full story. Someone named Sam Clifford is placing the whole blame on “acute liquidity crunch”. While Sam chides at the reporter for not checking Vibor’s balance sheet at the office, he does not deny the fact that the bank’s CEO and NBA officials knocked on the doors of NRB for help. This means, plain and simple, Vibor is in trouble right now. You can’t blame liquidity crunch to justify your imprudent investment portfolio that is putting the entire institution in troubled waters. Why are other development banks not pleading for NRB’s assistance? Why is Vibor knocking NRB’s door NOW? It is because it is in trouble and does not have confidence on its own balance sheets. No doubt.

Meanwhile, this is what I wrote in January:


While the latter (NRB) ignored the unhealthy development in financial sector, let new BFIs prop up without even evaluating if our economy needs so many of them, and took damage control measures of late, the former (BFI) is in desperation to survive amidst cutthroat competition, which is getting nasty by the day. The BFIs’ inability to effectively cope with the existingpressure on deposit and lending, and to attain unsustainable profit targets might lead to a situation where all profits are private but losses are social, i.e. taxpayers pay the cost of reckless behavior of few sectors in the economy.

Looking at the existing business structure of the real estate and housing sector and the BFIs, it is very likely that their unjustified growth will end soon, raising fear of destabilizing not only the very conduit from where the public is facilitated with credit but also derailing the entire economy. The existing path on which these two sectors are hurtling toward bears the hallmark of the recent housing, financial, and economic crises in the West. It all starts with pumping of too much money in one sector, which after few years of unnatural and unsustainable growth crashes down and puts pressure on the BFIs, leading to defaults, extremely vulnerable financial institutions, and squeezing of credit to all sectors in general.

[…]

The development in the housing and real estate sector and the ad hoc decisions of the BFIs do not augur well for the economy. We might end up with empty apartments and ‘ghost’ houses if things continue to go the way they are going right now. Playing with interest rates on loans and savings is just an attempt to buy time before the inevitable disaster hits the BFIs. It is good to acknowledge and rectify mistakes before it is too late.

The tendency to seek short term gains over long term sustainability is a recipe for disaster with severe negative externalities, i.e. it will not only affect the BFIs, but also the public who are not a direct party to the activities of financial sector, and real estate and housing sector. Before these two sectors put the entire economy at risk, strong safeguards should be put in place. It might mean making painful decision of letting some BFIs to either fail (remember Nepal Development Bank?) or forced to merge, and help to rapidly cool down the urban-centric real estate and housing sector.


I see as situation where profits are private and losses are social in the Nepali banking system. The fault squarely lies in the BFIs (and some to NRB) itself. The financial crisis will deepen further without NRB’s activism to mitigate fears and clamps down on BFI’s indiscipline to manage their own books. Expect more troubled time in the Nepali banking sector.

Note: Vibhor Bank was rescued by the Nepal Rastra Bank(Nepal’s central bank), following weeks of turmoil and speculations.

Previously published at ChandanSapkota’s blog on June 9,2011. Shared here with permission.

A Nepali Running for US Congress: Press Release

It is certainly exciting to see a Nepali run for public office in America. Forget the party affiliation, the simple act of standing up and declaring candidacy means a lot for a small and still largely invisible immigrant group.

At Nepal Blogs, we do not engage in politicking or campaign for a party or a candidate.But  candidacy of Darshan Rauniyar is an important milestone for Nepalis in America. So, here is a press release from his campaign. For further information on his policy position please visit his website.

ENTREPRENEUR AND BUSINESS EXECUTIVE ANNOUNCES BID FOR CONGRESS

Bothell, WA – June 27, 2011 – With Rep. Inslee’s imminent announcement for Governor, successful business executive and local political activist Darshan Rauniyar announced today he is running for the Congress in Washington’s 1st Congressional District. “I came to the United States of America 20 years ago in pursuit of an education and to follow the American Dream. Through hard work and determination I completed my education and put it to good use in the technology sector. Becoming a naturalized citizen is one of my proudest accomplishments, and I am a proud example of the American dream.

“I am saddened, however, to have witnessed America move away from its founding principles”, Rauniyar continued. “We have become a country that has forgotten the health and welfare of its citizens. We have lost our focus, and spent trillions of dollars in an unjust war, while our economy has suffered, and essential government services have been cut. This is not the America our founding fathers envisioned, and this is not the America I came to. I am running for Congress to bring America back to its founding principles – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all. I am not a career politician, but someone who believes in this country and its people, and want others to have the same opportunities I’ve enjoyed.”

Rauniyar continued, “I want to thank Representative Inslee for his service and wish him well on his run for Governor. His principled leadership on environmental and energy issues is inspiring. This race will likely be crowded, and I look forward to talking and listening to voters across the district, and hope to have the honor to represent them in Washington, D.C. This country needs a strong leader with innovative ideas, to bring back our strong manufacturing base, create a vibrant economy, establish a dedicated revenue stream for education, and find a way to provide healthcare to all of our citizens. We can do all of this by taking care of America first, and reflecting our values in our politics. We will continue to make this the greatest nation in the world, and I am ready to take the challenges and stand up for the voters in Washington’s 1st Congressional District.”

Rauniyar was raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. He came to America in 1988 in order to study Electronics Engineering at the Oregon Institute of Technology. He later received his Masters in Business Administration from Portland State University. He has held various senior-level positions in technology companies, and later went on to be a successful entrepreneur and businessman. He has been active in the politics for over a decade, and has campaigned for many local, state and federal candidates. He is an elected Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, and was served on the Executive Committees of both the 1st Legislative District Democrats Executive Committee and the Snohomish County Democratic Executive Committee. He is a member of the Snohomish County Human Rights Commission and the Snohomish County Parks Advisory Board. He has served as a Board member for numerous non-profit organizations.

Rauniyar lives in Bothell with his wife and two sons aged 5 & 11.

##

Contact:

Darshan Rauniyar
Phone: (425) 780-1800
Email: press@darshanforcongress.com
Web: http://www.darshanforcongress.com

Our Stolen Children and Sisters: Nepal’s Shame

On Sunday June 26th, CNN aired powerful documentary Nepal’s Stolen Children, on human trafficking-especially trafficking of women and children. Hollywood actress Demi Moore’s journey to Nepal in search of answers on the country’s huge trafficking problem is featured in the documentary. CNN 2010 Hero Anuradha Koirala and her organization Maiti Nepal’s work is used as a background to highlight Nepal’s poverty and how its creates a cycle of desperation that has turned many women and girls into human trafficking targets.

The documentary, as I said in the introduction, is very powerful and emotional. Demi Moore comes off as sincere and affectionate. One scene where a trafficking survivor is re-united with her daughter is so emotionally charged, it reduces everyone to tears. You can see Moore genuinely distressed and touched. It is compelling and forceful, without any words spoken.

So, my heartfelt gratitude to CNN, Demi Moore and Anuradha Koirala for this documentary and showing the horrors of trafficking to the world.

Now to the not so rosy side of the documentary. As a Nepali, Nepal’s Stolen Children absolutely shamed me.  Anuradha Koirala’s work to end trafficking of Nepali women and girls makes me proud to be a Nepali; but the reality of trafficking makes me wonder about my country and our priorities.

Compare to the resources allocated to stop trafficking and help the survivors re-build their lives with the obscene amounts being spent on housing allowance and miscellaneous expense accounts allocated to the Constituent Assembly(CA) members. It is clear the Nepali government needs to wake up and define its priorities better, and the leaders need to grow a spine.How long can the country sell its daughters while the Ministers and CA members live a life of reckless abandon?

To add to the same of “Nepal is a human trafficking hub”; I came across some very unflattering comments about Anuradha Koirala and her work. The usual allegations of corruption and fund mismanagement.

Koirala is a huge public figure and people look up to her for leadership and inspiration. She should be held to a much higher standard of transparency and the laws regulating NGO’s and their funds should be applied with same rigor against Maiti Nepal as with any other NGO.But are the rules being applied fairly? Is Koirala being targeted because she has managed to get international following and recognition? Because a couple of weeks back a very damming report on Nepal’s orphanages came out in Republica Daily and the people behind these poorly run institutions do not face the same level of scrutiny as Maiti Nepal and Anuradha Koirala. There are hundreds of NGOs in Nepal who don’t do their work properly, why so much venom against Maiti Nepal which has actually managed to get the job done?

It is easy to brush aside all negative remarks against Anuradha Koirala as typical Nepali habit of back stabbing; but then that will give clean pass to all those engaged in this shameless practice. I would like to ask them, while they are busy entertaining themselves with rumors about Koirala (I have yet to read anything credible or official on the allegations of mismanagement), who is working to save our sisters and daughter from getting sold  to a brothel in Mumbai or Delhi? Certainly not them.

And there are those who say that the documentary and Koirala have shamed Nepal by exposing our dirty laundry to the world through international media. O well, isn’t that convenient! Where was your national pride when hundreds of girls are trafficked to India and the Gulf every year. Were you this angry when you read reports on Nepali women crying for help in Mumbai brothels or girls being sold by their own family members? Or is your national pride in hibernation when its comes to taking ownership of our problems but rises up when someone sees what a sorry bunch we are?

Nepal’s Stolen Children should be a wake up call for Nepal and all Nepalis. Lets take this as an opportunity to take ownership of own problems and rebuild our name. Don’t turn this into an issue of national pride.

CNN’s Documentary On Nepal’s Stolen Children and Twitter Reaction

Twitter reacts to CNN’s powerful documentary on human trafficking in Nepal, aired on Sunday June 26th.Reactions are largely positive and commend the people behind the documentary, especially actress Demi Moore and Nepali activist Anuradha Koirala.

Inspired by Anuradha Koirala! Spread awareness, #endslavery
Isabelmenchaca
June 27, 2011
Anuradha Koirala, CNN Hero 2010, is an inspiring figure. She leads Maiti Nepal-organization working to stop human trafficking in Nepal and also rehabilitates survivors.She also active in AIDS awareness campaigning and women’s rights.
Real men don’t buy girls. #endslavery
Stephanie_ano
June 26, 2011
@CNNFreedom would love to hear more men speaking out against human trafficking #endslavery
ArielleIllana
June 26, 2011
Watching an eye-opening documentary about human sex trafficking in Nepal led by Demi Moore. Glad these stories are being told. #endslavery
undergroundup
June 26, 2011
#endslavery…..I can’t believe so there are so many slaves in this day and age!
fidelaj
June 26, 2011
RT @marcorubio: Watching #CNN special on outrage of modern day slavery,ending it is one of great causes of our time http://t.co/OtsadNw #EndSlavery #Sayfie
DavidJBro
June 26, 2011
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is a rising star of the Republicans. Also rumored to be potential vice Presidential candidate. His attention to this issue says something.

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Mero Report Blogger of the Week: Fani Mahat

Fani Mahat is the Mero Report Blogger of the Week for June 22. Congratulations!

Resident of Rautahat, Mahat has been actively involved in journalism-print and broadcast, for last 7-8 years. He an engaged blogger too, actively supporting Mero Report.

Fani Mahat. Image via Mero Report, 2011.

Due to lack of proper infrastructure in Rautahat, Mahat was introduced to the cyber world and blogger not very long ago. He reminisces the days during Maoist led insurgency when the district didn’t even have proper telephone lines, and that was just 5-6 years back.

Mahat’s blog focuses on social issues and he appreciates the comments and feedback from readers. He sees a lot of opportunities for journalists in Nepal, provided they work on their professional capacity building and stay on the right side of the law and society.

On citizen journalism platforms like Mero Report and blogs, Mahat says that they are a great medium to share local information with a global audience and says that more Nepali journalists should join in.

Fani Mahat’s Mero Report profile can be viewed here.