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Strengthening The Knowledge Economy

Strengthening the knowledge economy, a consumption and manufacturing system founded on intellectual capital.

The wealthy countries are currently undergoing the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), whereas the least developed countries, such as Nepal, are lagging behind and unable to benefit from it. The knowledge economy, also known as the knowledge-based economy, digital economy, tech economy, and information economy, is one of the four pillars of the 4IR.

Data and information are also the fuel for the knowledge economy (KE). The generation, storage, and use of data has increased dramatically across the world as digital activities increasingly dominate every area of human life. By 2025, an estimated 465 exabytes of data will be created every day, bringing the total amount of data to more than 180 zettabytes.

In 2010, just 2 zettabytes of data were created and used. Such a massive rise in data shows that digital activities have opened up new employment, innovation, and service delivery options.

The KE, sometimes known as the new economy, is the shift from a labor- and capital-based economy to one based on skill and intelligence. It is the consequence of a creative and innovative mind that has drastically reduced labor’s position in the economy.

Although labor is an element of human resources, KE is dominated by the knowledge faculty. The assets, which include land and money, are dismissed as capital.

The more original data you generate, analyze, and use, the more you earn. Technology, innovation, and education are all integrated in the knowledge economy to produce disruptive business – a radical revolution in the production, supply, and consumption of goods and services. The global internet giants—Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Google, Apple, and others—are the most visible examples.

As a result, knowledge economy is inextricably related to the ability to create, store, use, and analyze data with exceptional skill. Infrastructure development, as well as regulatory and legal reforms, are both necessary for this to happen.

Internet growth

We are being obliged to adopt alternatives to several tasks and services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nepalis, too, consumed a large amount of internet broadband, and mobile phone purchases increased at an alarming rate. During the previous year’s blockade, internet usage in Nepal increased by 35%.

The internet and smart gadgets are vital for virtual classes for students or work-from-home parents, transaction of takeout food, and ride-hailing services. Thousands of Nepalis joined ride-sharing services as drivers after being freed of various skilled and unskilled jobs.

Despite the difficulties, drivers of ride-sharing services took advantage of the lack of public buses on the road. Another key area that thrived during the pandemic was mobile banking.

Despite the fact that these digital activities had already begun before to the pandemic, COVID-19 required that Nepal develop its digital economy. The Digital Nepal Framework (DNF) is at the forefront of development in the legal and policy sectors to supplement KE.

The digitalization of dozens of industries has been extensively discussed. It was brought in to help Nepal prepare for the digital economy.

The government responded by launching apps such as Nagarik App and MeroKitta. These will surely contribute to the development of a digital Nepal by enhancing digital services. In addition to government initiatives, a number of private sector organizations have made the Apps available to those in need.

However, it is concerning that the draft e-commerce bill has yet to be thoroughly debated due to a shortage of MPs. After prolonged debate in parliament, the e-commerce bill will be passed, regulating e-business, including revenue generating.

However, the aforementioned measures are primarily focused on assisting customers and service seekers. In order for the KE to survive in the country, it must properly utilize digital technology. The mere reduction of administrative burdens through the use of particular apps does not create an environment conducive to KE.

Digital data must be monetised, and revenue from digital business must be secured. Information should be used in such a way that it serves as a foundation of national economic growth. The promotion of current government and business sector digital efforts, as well as the generation of new data, its usage, and links to economic activity, lays the groundwork for KE.

Double burden

How Nepal provides stepping stones to connect agriculture to the current transformation is also critical. Worrying is the fact that Nepal mostly missed the industrial revolutions, which have now progressed to the fourth stage in rich countries. We are bound to be pleased with the news that farmers are now receiving tillers, at a time when others are benefiting from 4IR.

Nepal is thus faced with a dual challenge: first, to continue and systematize the country’s fragmented digital activities, and second, to modernize agriculture and connect it to the industrial revolution.

Other obstacles to Nepal’s entry into KE include a lack of data, a lack of digital literacy, an inability to retain technology human resources, a lack of attention to vocational and technical education, a lack of investment in research and development, and a risk-averse culture.

It will be critical for the government to keep high-skilled and technological human resources in the country while also creating an environment favourable to digital entrepreneurship.

source: rising nepal

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