Thursday, April 28, 2016

IT park, KU IT meet 2016 and relevance of holy Trinity, the oxygen!

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The chill climate at night and moths after the light and far away the fine bright static light that boasts around its neighborhood with that might as that of the king Lion in the Jungle. Roaming around the Kathmandu University with your friends and the “meaningful talks” that almost conquers the topic of discussion and far away glittering IT Park and the lights that make it shine are the common scenario to the nocturnal KU citizens.

Kathmandu University - IT Meet 2016

Oh that reminds me of the MoU between Kathmandu University (KU) and IT Park. I believe someday there shall come opportunity when a KU final year Students interning the sprouting companies established around the park. Well, intern season is on and I shall not be able to live the dream to reality as of now. But let’s hope the future students shall able to intern there without leaving this peaceful and clean surrounding of Dhulikhel and KU.

Dreamers are we allowed being, always. But was not the scenario realizable itself? IT park as the platform for tech companies with necessary infrastructure for operation. I guess while its establishment in 2006, starters back then was surely inspired by the Silicon Valley of USA. However,as the aim the impact the park has made in the IT market is almost null. Well, Let’s leave the history to critics, but better late than never, see how the MoU and consequent decision to hold the annual tech-mela and meet for IT stakeholders- students, professionals, developers, named KU IT meet 2016 with the theme Education-Technology-Entrepreneurship has been announced . Let's leave future to the God-the time herself, but courage and initiative taken by Kathmandu University, Kathmandu University Computer Club (KUCC) and students to revitalize the almost dead park with this holy trinity oxygen is commendable.

As earlier said, the lights and shining of the park building is distinguishable from the local community of Banepa and Panauti in the Kavrepalanchowk district with the population of 381,937(2011 census). However, as they say a building is a home when it gets life and impact it makes on the life of the people involved. Similarly, this is, with full confidence I can say, the event or to be precise life to the building.

The technology is growing rapidly and the world has been weaved together by a web more and more like never before. This cliché you hear every day from almost everyone, but few really reflect and analyze to what is required to catch up with that pace.

Connecting back to the aim of IT park itself, the youth and upcoming generation are the ones whose are to be targeted for getting close to the pace. With the synchrony of that aim, one of the theme- Education comes to fit in the puzzle. The more we are able to make our youth acquainted with the tools that has the capacity to make our life easier, the more we ourselves can carry on with the pace and innovate something for the mankind besides the slogan as Buddha's Birthplace and Sagarmatha's Situation.

I must not delve into the power that the word education has and the change it can create, it’s obvious. But the way education has not been integrated with technology till now by our authorities is, to be honest from a Computer Engineering student's viewpoint, disgraceful. Like for example, the way Facebook connects people, Google feeds us information at a click and faster and efficient networks that are making this world into spherical webs with diameter very much minimized compared to the actual one . But does our youth especially the middle school ones and the ones below SLC and even the +2 ones know how and what it requires to make Facebook, Google, Twitter or products as such. Well, let's say it's pretty difficult stuff to grasp, but I can bet bucks for the fact that more than half the population of high school and higher secondary students do not know that there is a platform and there is a technique called programming which can help make your vision and dream turn this world for real using the wand called technology.

Well again, let's leave policies to authorities. But coming back to the initiative, I just want to highlight why the initiative itself and the holy trinity oxygen is really relevant today. With the events like Developers' meet, software and hardware competitions, IT quiz competition, IT talk shows focused towards the youth and inspiring them towards technological innovation is what this IT meet 2016 is categorically aiming on with the theme Education. Everyone uses technology but integrating its mechanism with the stuffs we study is pretty progressive in today's conventional educational system. We (We as in high school students of today's system) know mathematics but we lack the knowledge of what computation is! Irony, isn't it? We know number system, Calculus and everything but little do we know about languages like python, Java, that can really carry out the computation to help us innovate. So, with this meet particularly aimed at that theme, through aforementioned events, students are able to see the bigger picture of abstract concepts they study. They come with the capacity of comparing mathematics to Computation. They are able to widen the horizon through the motivations they gain through the distinguished ones in the field. They are able to think freely and innovate. Isn't this what education is supposed to do?

Pages can be filled talking about this but the aim of IT meet 2016, from the effort and aim organizers are putting into, I can say through this event, KUCC wants to light Nepal through the lights of Technology from Sagarmatha of IT in Nepal itself, IT park. So, that the ones in the dark can follow the path the light provides with the tool in hand called Technology to alleviate themselves from their own miseries, turn their hardships into comfort and ones around them. Isn't this what the big word Entrepreneurship called? With the events like Software and Hardware Hackathon, platform is provided to the ones with the ideas. They get a place for brainstorming their ideas in a way it can be usable to the market it is aiming to. When the aim and the way and vision get clear and tied up with effective business plan, the budding idea can get shaped into a startup, the repeatedly used word Entrepreneurship.

Enough said, so do visit the IT Park, Banepa-Panauti road on 29th and 30th of April yourself to witness that enthusiasm sprouts, that motivation bursting into action through your own eyes. Be the part of that change. Peace!
This post is written by Prabesh Acharya. He is a computer engineering student at Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel. Twitter: @70acharya
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Friday, September 18, 2015

9 Reasons to participate in Ncell App Camp

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The second edition of Ncell App Camp 2015 is back with a bang and promises an impressive lineup of trainings, workshops, seminars from the best mentors. It is an opportunity for the always-eager Nepali youth to hone their skills in app development and help them bring their own creative ideas to life.


Here's a few exciting reasons for participating in this year's App Camp:

Platform for Creative Business Ideas
If you have been looking for a platform to put forth your creative ideas, Ncell App Camp is the perfect platform for it. The best thing about it is that it's not limited to your own ability but will also help you to get a business sense in order to develop that ability, turn that idea into an app and make it sustainable.

Training Workshops and Seminars
After the selection of 150 ideas, representatives of each team will get to participate in a series of workshops and seminars based on idea management, skill development and business development with national and international speakers. You will learn techniques to successfully develop your app into a business and yourself into an Appreneur.

Mentorship from the Best
The camp features a great mentorship opportunity for each team. Last year, Tommy Palm (the man behind a candy crush saga) mentored the teams at the camp and provided valuable knowledge and guidance on mobile app development, capacity building of participants, entrepreneurship skills for successful startups and business development.

A window to the world of app development and technology market
The recent growth of app development in Nepal promises a budding market for innovative and handy apps. The camp is a doorway to the technology market.

Interaction with like minded people
You will get to meet and interact with people like yourself who are interested in turning an idea or a dream to reality. You will learn from each other and a healthy competition will help broaden your horizons.

Networking platform
Getting to meet people, experienced, chances to collaborate with people who have established themselves in the market. This will help you to build contacts, correspondence and learn from them in the future as well.

Exposure
Along with interactions and networking you will get exposure in this field and so will your app. This will help create a market space for it as well. Last year, Ncell App Sansar was introduced at the camp. It is Ncell’s app store wherein the winners and participating teams of Ncell App Camp can place their apps for distribution in the Nepali market. In addition, the grand winner gets to participate in an overseas app camp experiencing the app world outside the country.

Unique in Nepalese context
For the first time, Ncell App Camp last year provided a much needed opportunity for where innovative minds to materialize into prolific businesses. This year too it aims to continue it and create space for technological innovation here in Nepal.

Prize Money
Last but not the least, each category winner team will get Rs 250,000 and grand winner will get Rs 500,000 that you can utilize and invest for the benefit of your app and business.
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Nepal Telecom Introduces Prepaid Data Package

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Good news for Nepal Telecom's GSM prepaid users, the telecom has introduced, the most awaited Data Packages.

According to NT's Facebook post, there are six different types of data packages, ranging from 200MB to 10GB. The telecom has categorized the data plan into three categories: Bronze, Silver and Gold Pack.

Data Package Rate for Nepal Telecom's GSM Prepaid

Plan Package Price (Rs.) Validity
Bronze 200 MB 130 1 Month
500 MB 300 1 Month
Silver 1 GB 500 1 Month
3 GB 1,290 2 Months
Gold 5 GB 1,800 3 Months
10 GB 2,800 6 Months
*Prices are Exclusive of Govt. Taxes

How to Subscribe NTC's Prepaid Data Plan?

You can easily subscribe to your preferred data plan via SMS. All you need to do is, send an SMS text to 1415 with data package name. Below are the examples:
For 200 MB Data Plan: Type DATA200MB and send SMS to 1415
For 10 GB Data Plan: Type DATA10GB and send SMS to 1415
Nepal Telecom has already introduced, the data packages for GSM postpaid users. Right now, postpaid users are getting voice calls worth Rs. 500 and 2GB data volume at Rs. 900/month.

To check the data volume, type VL and send SMS to 1415. Enjoy the NT's prepaid and postpaid data packages.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Ncell App Camp is Back Again

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Ncell App Camp - country's biggest mobile app development competition - is back again! Ncell on Tuesday launched Ncell App Camp 2015, opening registration for all interested mobile enthusiasts to submit their mobile app ideas for the competition.

Ncell opened the App competition 2015 unveiling the official website. "Ncell App Camp is not a mere competition; it is a platform through which we wish to inspire youth to build innovative businesses, be a part of the global app industry and contribute to a country's economic growth," said Erim Taylanlar, CEO of Ncell.

In Ncell App Camp 2015, Ncell has opened a competition under four categories, viz. Games and Entertainment, Health, Tourism, and Utilities.

As in 2014, competition under Ncell App Camp 2015 will be implemented in multiple stages. In the first stage, 150 best ideas among all submissions will be selected for capacity trainings and mentorships. In the second stage, best 24 ideas with a prototype - six from each category - will be selected for the finals, following which four category winners and a grand winner will be declared.

The category winners would be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs 250,000 and one grand winner, best app among the category winners, will receive additional prizes of Rs 500,000 and also an opportunity to participate in the similar international event.

Interested mobile enthusiasts with a team can register and submit app ideas in any of the four competition categories. Registration is free of cost. The deadline for idea submission is 12 noon September 20, 2015. Participants can create an app for any platform like Android, Apple iOS, Windows, SMS and J2ME, among others.

In 2014, Ncell App Camp had attracted 457 initial app ideas, ICT for Agriculture (app name IFA Krishi) had bagged the grand prize along with the title winner of agriculture category. Sentinel, RitiRiwaj and Lipi (the Script) were category winners of Corporate Solutions, Education and Tourism respectively.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Google Doodle Celebrates Nepal Teacher's Day 2015

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Google Doodle is celebrating Nepal Teacher's Day 2015 (Guru Purnima). This doodle is available all across Nepal on Google homepage today.


On the Doodle's page, Google writes, "Teachers are our mentors, friends, and catalysts. They’re the wild, eager sparks that can, with a word, set our passions ablaze. Not quite parents, they nevertheless raise us to be the very best versions of ourselves. And their impressions last lifetimes, as the lessons we’ve learned are passed down to others, like inheritances of wisdom. Today, let’s celebrate teachers, one of the noblest and most selfless of callings, all across Nepal."

Happy Teacher’s Day!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Together We Stand, Hand in Hand Launches #TshirtsforRelief Campaign - And You are Invited

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An independent club, "Together We Stand, Hand in Hand" launched a "T-shirts for Earthquake Relief" campaign. The fundamental idea of this campaign is to contribute NPR. 1,00,00,000 (NPR. 1 crore) to the PM's Disaster Relief fund, for the earthquake victims.
"Understanding the importance of trusting the government for national upbringing and realizing the need for contributing to the PM Relief Fund, #TshirtsforRelief is a campaign that aims at selling 17,000+ T-shirts (NPR. 600) to contribute a sum of 10 million rupees to the Prime Minister Relief Fund.", a member, Aashish Acharya said in an email.
After the earthquake, responding to the needs of emergency and immediate relief, a group of companies came together to form an informal club ‘Together We Stand, Hand In Hand" and had launched an emergency relief campaign, that touched the lives of around 27,000 people and distributed over 48 Lakhs worth of relief materials. #TshirtsforRelief campaign is their next initiative.


"Together We Stand, Hand in Hand" is organizing a launch event for the #TshirtsforRelief campaign on Friday, 12th June 2015. The event includes painting exhibition, T-shirt displays and musical performances.
Event Details: #TshirtsforRelief Campaign Launch
Date: June 12, 2015
Time: 4 PM to 6 PM
Venue: Office Space of Three H Management Pvt. Ltd., Jwagal, Kupondole, Lalitpur
For more information, visit #TshirtsforRelief campaign page.
Update: Previously, article mistakenly stated "Together We Stand, Hand in Hand" as a campaign. We have updated the article. "Together We Stand, Hand in Hand" is an independent club, that has launched a  #TshirtsforRelief campaign.
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Nepal PM Office (@PM_Nepal) Joins Twitter

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Office of the Prime Minister Nepal joined Twitter as @PM_Nepal on Wednesday (10th June 2015).


Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's, Chief Press Advisor Prateek Pradhan confirmed that, the PM has joined a popular micro blogging site Twitter. He tweeted, "Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Sushil Koirala is on Twitter. @PM_Nepal".

After joining Twitter, PM Office tweeted"Prime Minister Office Nepal is on Twitter's cyber space from Today." 

This is an official account of Nepal Prime Minister Office, and will be transferred to the next PM after Sushil Koirala. "It's the existing PM's official handle. We wish to institutionalize this handle, and assist all the PMs in the future to be transparent.", Prateek Pradhan said on a Tweet.

Currently, the account follows 2 profiles and has earned around 5K followers within 24 hours. Social media sites are getting popular among the political leaders. Former Prime Minister, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has joined Twitter in 2013.
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Answers for a Shaking Nation

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This post is written by Diwash Thapa. He is an undergraduate Physics and Chemistry Major at UNC Chapel Hill, aspiring to become a radiologist.
I gaze at the setting sun and the hills that embrace it on the horizon of the North Carolina landscape: how vast, how serene, how naturally peaceful. But as I pull out my phone and check my recently downloaded app QuakeFeed, my heart skips a beat in fear that another jolt might have hit an equally vast, serene, and naturally peaceful territory some 13000 kilometers away from here: Nepal. That territory is where my heart still calls home some 3 years after moving to the US.

It is heart wrenching to see images of the places you knew growing up turned into rubbles, and your family and friends having to endure a life of fear and uncertainty. But this pain is belittled by the sufferings of the people who actually experienced the 7+ magnitude earthquakes in Nepal; such is the scale of the calamity. The world has come together and chipped in to relieve and reconstruct Nepal and here I am making petty donations, otherwise helpless to this cause.


Helpless I may have felt but I quickly realized that I could help my countrymen in a way only someone in my position can, in one of the major universities in the world, amongst the best and brightest minds in the field of seismology. I am by no means an expert in the field, but I have dug deep into relevant journals and articles and spoken to experts in the field just to answer some of the prominent questions people back home are raising concerning the earthquake. In the aftermath of the earthquake there has been a flow of information on the web as large as the actual catastrophe, sparing physical damage but creating an intellectual tumult among Nepalese.

Here are the answers to three basic questions about the recent seismic activities based on my meeting with Dr. Jonathan Lees, chair of the department of geological sciences in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Why are these earthquakes happening?
My conversation with Dr. Lees began with him playing a time-lapse video of the continental drift, now subsumed into the plate tectonics theory; perhaps he wanted to be sure that I first understood the root cause of seismicity before we progressed further. As I watched in awe how a chunk of land fragmented into continents and moved in random directions over time, scale millions of years, in the last one-sixth of the video one particular fragment rose up from the southern hemisphere and collided head on with another fragment located in the northern hemisphere. That was the Indian subcontinent playing tag with Eurasia, politely put.

With the two continental plates being of similar physical properties there is very little room for either to move. Hence, neither gives up, producing mountain ranges like the Himalayas and terrains like the Tibetan plateau. Dr. Lees stressed that the earthquakes are part of the readjustment of the continental crashing. These will continue until the readjustment is complete, which in geological timescales could be millions of years. The most recent earthquakes are because of the release of the pent-up strain in one of the faults created by this continental tussle. This fault is about 700 km long, about the length of Nepal.

Why are Earthquake Magnitudes reported with such inconsistency?
Earthquakes are measured in several different scales. The popular ones are the Richter scale, the moment magnitude scale, and the Mercalli scale. The Richter scale is the most widely know metric because it has been around for a longer time. Developed by Charles Richter in the 1930’s, the Richter scale is best applied to earthquakes in southern California. Although there have been corrections to this scale and methodology, its prime disadvantage that it fails to accurately reflect larger earthquakes near magnitude 8 is significant. The Richter scale measurement is expressed in units of M­L, also known as the local magnitude.

The more widely accepted modern scale is the moment magnitude scale. “The moment magnitude is based on the size of the event, how much slip occurred [in the fault] and the properties of the rock,” said Dr. Lees in trying to explain the difference between the various scales. He also pointed out that researchers abroad don’t quite know the properties of the rocks in Nepal although this is not merely why there are discrepancies in the values reported; “I have a different computer algorithm while the guy down at Duke University may have a different algorithm which results in different estimates, then we also make assumptions like in any scientific calculation that results in experimental error.” The moment magnitude is reported in units of M­W.

The third—by contrast a discrete metric—is the Mercalli scale, which reports earthquake events based on human experiences. “Did the coffee cup shake, or did the lights swing, did the cabinets fall over?” These are some of the subjective question witnesses are asked for categorizing an earthquake in Mercalli scale, according to Dr. Lees. The 7.8 MW earthquake was reported as very strong (VII) to severe (VIII) in the Mercalli index by IRIS, a network of seismology research universities in the US.

Hence, to answer the question of why earthquake reports have appeared inconsistent, it may either be due to differences in scale of measurement or the way of calculation, despite using a common scale.

Are there possibilities of larger earthquakes in Nepal?
This is the one question I believe every single Nepali is asking at the moment, including me. A more naively unrestrictive way of putting this question would be, “Is there a larger earthquake to come?” I will attempt to answer these questions in a way I believe everyone would like to hear —with a cautious tone but positive outlook.

It is needless to mention that Nepal lies in a very seismically active zone and the nature of the plate tectonics underneath makes it vulnerable to larger earthquakes. The pent-up strain in the particular fault may indeed require large magnitude earthquakes to dissipate all the energy. Couple this with the fact that Nepal hasn’t had a major earthquake, of magnitude 9 or so to release this strain, in its documented history and you have an argument to send the whole nation into panic!

I inferred through my talk with Dr. Lees that the aforementioned argument, while not entirely wrong, could be counter argued. For instance, the 8.0 MW Nepal-Bihar earthquake of 1934 occurred around the time when Richter scale was just invented while the moment magnitude scale was another 40 years away from development. Is it, then totally out of the question that the 1934 earthquake may have been a 9 MW earthquake? “ They are just guessing these historic events [in justifiable ways],” answered Dr. Lees. Likewise the western region of the fault hasn’t had a major seismic event since 1555 and seismologist have already speculated that the next big quake will be in the western region of Nepal. “[500 years] in geological timescales is nothing,” laughed off Dr. Lees. So, it is totally within the realm of reality that the fault goes on for another 500 years without any major seismic activity.

But Nepal hasn’t had a major earthquake in its documented history you may repeat. And to you I point out the operative word is “documented.” We are talking about a country that used to be so far removed from technology and literacy that even events of recent history are inferred from foreign records. Who then is to say that a 9.0 MW earthquake didn’t occur before 1555? The event, that such an earthquake had occurred is as likely as it will happen as you are reading this.

On the matter of probability, different research groups and organizations like the USGS make statistical forecasts of seismic events based on empirical data collected over time. But forecasts are not predictions and should be interpreted rather carefully. For instance, the statistical probability of getting heads on a coin toss is 50 percent, but that does not mean, if you tossed a coin ten times you would see 5 heads and 5 tails. You could see 10 heads, or 10 tails, or any other theoretically possible combination.

The 50 percent likelihood of heads or tails only tells us that for a sufficiently large number of trials, say a 1000 tosses, one might get 499 heads and 501 tails, pretty close to 50 percent apiece. Forecasts of earthquakes are very similar. If the USGS forecasts a 40 percent chance of 6-7 MW earthquakes in the next week, all that can be said is if there were about 1000 earthquakes next week there is a very good chance that 40 percent of those will fall in the advertised range. However, a thousand earthquakes a week is not very likely in the first place and any single earthquake can turn out to be of any magnitude.

What is a hundred percent likely event is that there is chaos in nature. One has to consider that science is only a human model to interpret nature and models fail at one point or another. In seismology most models fail to successfully predict events due to chaos. In order to explain this I will borrow an analogy from Dr. Lees. If you take a twig and bring its ends together, it comes under high extension in the middle and eventually the twig will snap. You may know the physical properties of the twig down to a molecule, but you will never be able to tell how these molecules interact to break at a certain point. Earthquakes are just like that. It is just how nature rolls!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

3 Super Cool Gadgets You Need Right Now

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This is a guest post by TechGuy. He loves writing about Gadgets and Technology.
It is difficult to settle upon some lofty smartphone and drag upon it for years or months for that matter. Either switching to a new smartphones become inevitable or some new features need to be added to keep them interesting. This is what gadgets and accessories are for. Simplifying a task that otherwise takes longer and is arduous to do. Performing a function that digital devices on their own are unable to perform. Mobile companies therefore come up with new and innovative accessories, which are not only astonishing in their unique performance but almost become unavoidable. For such gadgets, we have online shopping sites like Kaymu in Nepal -- that make things easier for you. Following are some of the gadgets that you need right now.

Google Chromecast


With the era of smart phones and tablets, come a lot of accompanying functions that need to be fulfilled. Moreover, smart TVs have further strengthened the connection of man with the internet world. However, how do you build a connection between the small screen (smartphone, tab etc) with the big screen? To this end, Motorola has come up with Google Chromecast that establishes a connection between the two. You can transfer pictures, videos and movies from internet to your TV without using any remote or cable. All you need is an internet connection. Just sit back and watch the videos play on your TVs.

Micro SD Card


Micro SD cards are the ultimate solution to your camera quality problems. It happens quite a lot when you don’t want to give up your smartphone just because of its bad picture quality. What if all the other features in that smartphone are perfect? At this critical juncture, you don’t need to change your phone and just add a Micro SD card into it. This San Disc Ultra Micro SD card will enhance the picture quality manifolds. It will also enable you to capture perfect images and shoot HD videos at the spur of the moment.

Play with the Music with Moto stream


This could be the ultimate thing for music lovers. Moto stream turns any sound device wireless. By connecting the home speakers with this device you can have a wireless connection, which means any Bluetooth device can be then connected to it and you can start listening to music anywhere you want. If you have your digital device with you, but you don’t want to tangle it with wires, then this is the panacea for all such irritants.

One thing is for sure that these gadgets have a mesmerizing effect on your everyday experience. So, instead selling off your products, you should be looking for such amazing gadgets around you.
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Friday, May 29, 2015

Google's Doodle Celebrates Nepal Republic Day

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Google has published a doodle on its home page to honor the strength and resilience of the people of Nepal on the occasion of Nepal Republic Day 2015. On doodle's page, Google says, "this country (Nepal) is an international symbol of splendor, peace, and tenacity".



Today's doodle features the candle, stupa and temple, that symbolize the celebration, prayer and a way forward. "The concept of light in this Doodle means three things for Nepal: celebration of this National day, prayers to Buddha, and a guiding light on the way home.", writes Google. Search engine giant, Google further adds, "We hope today's Doodle will remind the people of Nepal that they are an inspiration to the entire world, and that their burning perseverance lights the way for us all."

Google has launched Crisis Response map and the Person Finder in Nepal after the devastating earthquake. Google says, they will continue to help rebuild Nepal.

"In the aftermath of the recent devastating and tragic earthquakes our hearts and minds are with the people of Nepal and the aid workers there helping to heal and mend families as they regain their footing, standing again as their world shifts beneath their feet. Google is committed to supporting efforts to rebuild, and to help carry the load on the difficult climb to recovery.", writes Google.

"Nepal Republic Day, 2015" doodle is available on Google.com and Google.com.np's homepage in Nepal.

On Aakar Post: नेपालको गणतन्त्र दिवसमा गुगलको डुडल

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