Wednesday, December 14, 2016

NEXT Launchpad opens application for scalable businesses

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Next Venture Corp. has opened an application for its highly anticipated business accelerator program, NEXT Launchpad as announced in NEXT Growth Conclave 2016. It's a mentorship-driven business accelerator program aimed at helping Nepali entrepreneurs and their early-stage businesses to grow faster.

Nepal is a country full of potentials yet to be fully explored especially in the fields of information technology, education, health, tourism, and agriculture. Furthermore, everyone is well aware of the Nepal’s degrading economic scenario and the need to create a youth-friendly environment in the country. One of the most well-observed methods to kickstart an economy is through entrepreneurship, which would not only find a solution to problems of the society but also create jobs, keep entrepreneurial ecosystem intact, and change the society for better. In spite of knowing this, there have been barriers for entrepreneurs.

The entrepreneurs desire to grow their ventures. As it would require large sums of money to utilize the resources, to operate and expand the business, and create the market, it would be practically difficult for them to foster and ultimately such scalable businesses are stuck or die.

Most of these can be easily eliminated through proper guidance, resources and support system but Nepal being an emerging economy, this is lacking. Thus, to avoid such, NEXT Launchpad has been introduced.

How will NEXT Launchpad help?
NEXT Launchpad will fill this gap by providing compact and extensive programs to equip business with the most of what they need to sustain and succeed. Accelerators like this will push the creation of more knowledge-driven businesses with higher success rates. To foster entrepreneurship in Nepal, it provides the best of business knowledge, curriculum, experts, mentors, investors, resources, valuable networks, market exposure, supportive community and access to funding.

NEXT Launchpad is a mentorship-driven accelerator of 4 months, carefully designed to provide optimum value to the business houses and entrepreneurs. This 4-month long program has been broken down into weeks, each with an objective which incorporates business model refining, marketing, legal, strategic management, operations, HR, finance, industry specific workshops, presentation and much more. In addition, NEXT Launchpad has also developed various signature events, like Brainfast, Venture Walk, Venture Talk and Venture Blend to escalate knowledge exchange, networking, and exposure.

How NEXT Launchpad operates?
The applications for the business has been opened from 25th September 2016. Entrepreneurs from all over Nepal who are looking to grow their businesses can apply for NEXT Launchpad. Out of the hundreds of applications, only 10 companies will be selected to go through the accelerator program. The business will be screened out through various phases such as analysis of application forms, founder interviews, team assessment and market study. Each month has its own objective starting from building a strong foundation, gearing for success, managing growth, to attracting and managing funds. To fulfill these objectives, the mentors deliver the workshops and training during the mornings every Monday to Friday. The program concludes with a Demo Day where 10 selected business entrepreneurs pitch their business whereas investors make growth investments in the businesses.

Events of NEXT Launchpad:
Various events are designed to enhance the entrepreneurs’ learning experience in the NEXT Launchpad:

1. BrainFast - Is a brainstorming session over breakfast with business leaders and sector experts on any business issues relevant to the business. This highly focused brainstorming is geared towards solving the specific problems business will face during the accelerator program.

2. Venture Walk - Is a morning walk session for entrepreneurs and the investors to know each other better, building valuable relations. This session will be highly valuable during the DEMO day when the close relationship could assure an investment.

3. Venture Talk - Is a talk program where leading entrepreneurs share their journey of building successful ventures and inspire the entrepreneurs to do more. After the talk program, they will also have a chance to interact with the speakers and the audience.

4. Venture Blend - Is a theme based networking session where people from all the verticals of various industries and people related to the industry get a platform to interact and break deals.

Brain Fast and Venture Walk are organized on every Sunday morning on a request by the selected business. Venture talk and venture blend are each organized on alternate Friday evenings and are open to the public with prior registration. These events boost the growth of entrepreneurs, their team and business with maximum knowledge sharing, networking, and exposure.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

NEXT Growth Conclave Inspires to Solve the Local Problem [Tweet Buzz]

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Over 700 entrepreneurs, investors and growth experts from both home and abroad attended the Next Growth Conclave on 25th September. The entire event was centered around a stellar lineup of 12 amazing business and entrepreneurship personalities from 4 different countries including Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Thailand.

Celebrated investor, entrepreneur and global keynote speaker, Mahesh Murthy opened the conclave with his take on the new rules of building a successful business in the digital age.

The conclave also hosted 25 of the most exciting and innovative startups in Nepal at a startup showcase called “Startup Valley”. 8 exciting startups launched their companies and products at the conclave on the startup launching platform called Kickstart Hill. The startups and products launched were WebRobo, Green Bamboo Creations, Furniture Hub, Fancy Nepal, Keep Rolling Media, Hodor and Golden peak.

The conclave proved to be a fantastic melting pot of entrepreneurial ideas, passions, aspirations and energy, bringing together all relevant stakeholders of the Nepali startup community. The knowledge and insights shared at the conclave will surely help nurture the nascent entrepreneurship ecosystem of Nepal while the interactions and connections the Nepali startups, entrepreneurs and investors had at the conclave will help them grow faster.

The conclave, was organized by M&S NEXT Venture Corp. as a part of its mission to create an entrepreneurial support system for faster business growth and to make entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. M&S Next Venture Corp. also opened an application for its highly anticipated business accelerator program, NEXT Launchpad, at the event.

Here are the LIVE Tweets from the event.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

NEXT Growth Conclave on September 25

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The NEXT Growth Conclave is being organized on 25th September by M&S Next Venture Corp. The Next Growth Conclave is a growth hacking conference that is designed to help entrepreneurs and the Nepali startup ecosystem. "The growth conclave is designed to showcase Nepal’s growing startup community and cater to its unique needs," according to M&S Next.

The Next Growth Conclave brings together the growth leaders from Nepal and beyond to inform, inspire and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs about growing faster. These speakers will be talking about unlocking the potential of Nepalese businesses, how to make it big and how support systems can help the entrepreneurial ecosystem grow.

  • Aditi Chaurasia, Co-founder, EngineerBabu, India
  • Amarit Charoenphan, Group CEO and Founder of HUBBA, Thailand
  • Ajeet Khurana, CEO of Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT- Bombay
  • Bhupendra Khanal, Co-founder and Former CEO of Simplify360
  • Deepak Raj Joshi, CEO, Nepal Tourism Board
  • Joseph Jeong, Oracle Strategies Cyberport, Hong Kong
  • Minhaz Anwar, Head, Grameenphone Accelerator, Bangladesh
  • Sneh Sharma, Founder & CEO, Ittisa, India
  • Vinay Singhal, Co-founder and CEO, WittyFeed, India
  • Shahil Agrawal, MD, Shankhar Group, Nepal
  • Mahesh Murthy, Managing Partner, Seedfund, Mumbai, India

The conclave will also host a startup showcasing platform called "Startup Valley", a 'Kickstart Hill',  an "Investors Lounge" and a "Media Lounge".

Event Details
Date : September 25, 2016
Time : 9:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m
Venue: Soaltee Crowne Plaza, Kathmandu
Ticket: Rs. 2000


Thursday, June 16, 2016

SEO for Tumblr Blogs

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SEO for Tumblr Blogs

Tumblr themes are beautiful. But they suck when it comes to SEO. Most of the themes, I have used does not even generate the unique title tag, and does not follow the order of highest level heading tag rules. So, for Tumblr SEO, you have to change/add a few lines of code to the theme. If you’re familiar with HTML/CSS, you can do it yourself, if not just ask your developer, and he/she will optimize it for you. Go to the Tumblr settings and edit your HTML/CSS theme from there.

Title Tag

If you’re optimizing your Tumblr blog for text posts instead of photos/links/quotes etc., make sure that the <title> tag contains the PostTitle;

<title>{block:PostTitle}{PostTitle} | {/block:PostTitle}{Title}</title>

Meta Description

Add meta description block, if it’s not already there, we will create meta description dynamically from the post later.

{block:Description}<meta name="description" content="{MetaDescription}" />{/block:Description}


On the blog homepage, the blog of your name is the most important factor there, and all the blog posts title becomes secondary. And in the blog post page, the title/heading of your blog post is the most important SEO factor. So, on the homepage (index page), we are going to use <h1> tag for your blog title whereas, for the blog post listing, we are going to use <h2> tag.

<div class="blog-title"> {block:IndexPage}<h1 class="blogtitle"><a class="default" href="/">{Title}</a></h1>{/block:IndexPage} {block:PermalinkPage}<h2 class="blogtitle"><a class="default" href="/">{Title}</a></h2>{/block:PermalinkPage} {block:IfShowDescription} <p class="blog-description">{Description}</p> {/block:IfShowDescription} </div>

Similarly, on the blog post page, we will be using <h1> tag for the blog post title and <h2> tag for the blog title (index page title).

{block:Title} {block:IndexPage}<h2 class="posttitle"><a href="{Permalink}">{Title}</a></h2>{/block:IndexPage} {block:PermalinkPage}<h1 class="posttitle">{Title}</h1>{/block:PermalinkPage} {/block:Title}

This above method is suitable for text posts on Tumblr. After replacing your existing block with the above code; you’re ready to rock the Tumblr SEO. One little thing, you might have to write a CSS for <h1> and <h2> tag.

If you have a photo blog, you can generate title from the PostSummary;

<title>{block:PostSummary}{PostSummary} | {/block:PostSummary}{Title}</title>

Lastly, do not forget to submit your site to Google Webmaster tools. Tumblr creates sitemaps automatically, check your sitemap at (replace yourname) Submit it to Google Webmaster Tools.

Originally published at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

7 Ways to Drastically Improve Your On-Page SEO

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On Page, SEO efforts need to be undertaken in order to improve the ranking. Thankfully there is a large number of on page SEO tactics that help improve a particular web page, chances of making it big in the competitive online world.

However, to outdo the traditional on-page SEO tactics, one needs to try some of the advanced ones in order to reap the benefits to its best.

1) Using synonyms of relevant keywords
Have a set of target keywords as a number of variants of the same can be used in the content. It might surprise you but it is true that the search engines are smart enough and recognize synonyms of commonly used words.

The synonyms of such words and phrases can be placed throughout the content. This can be better understood through an example. In Google’s dictionary, terms as improve and increase relate to the term boosting.

In case any user keys in the same, Google will come up with prominent results. If this strategy is implemented with true earnest in the website, the site contents rank higher for relevant long tail keywords.

However, not much of such variants of keywords should be used in a single post. Use the same judiciously and reap the benefits.

2) Linking to high authority sites
As a writer when you decide to pen down your thoughts, the focus should always be on providing the readers as much information as possible. If you find that an external link will do all the good to you, the same should be linked to the site.

Inbound links from high authority sites can always boost the site’s SEO endeavors and link them in the posts will help the search engines understand that the site is trusted.

Remember that linking to high authority sites can help boost the score of your site always.

3) Posting useful stuff to get worthy reactions
It might surprise you but Google is updating its algorithms and this essentially means that it intends to push great content high up in its SERPs. This kind of content is always loved by the end users.

Before posting any kind of stuff on the site, an in-depth analysis of the site needs to be done, so as to see what works exactly for you. You should also check out on what all gets social shares and user engagements for your endeavor.

Remember that what all works for your competitor does not essentially work out for you. However, it does not mean that you should not be taking content ideas from other sites that are of the same niche as yours.

4) Detailed and lengthy content
The length of the content always has a positive impact on Search Engine Optimisation ( SEO). However, this need not be taken otherwise and one should focus on quality while keeping the length of content in mind.

Non-expandable posts should never be expanded as quality often gets compromised in such cases. The best way out is to do quality research on the topic decided and come up with worthy content.

Never increase the word count out of compulsion as the move might fall flat and you might end up loosing worthy readers.

5) Coming up with fresh content
Remember that search engines always love fresh content. This helps give an extra edge to the pages that have been updated regularly. Fresh content also makes your website more relevant and acceptable as your regular readers appreciate your seriousness in coming up with relevant content that is of use to them.

6) Ensuring user satisfaction
User satisfaction is of prime importance as this signifies your trust with the readers. The same comes only if quality content is written. To achieve the same, you need to do quality research on the topic.

The best course of action to pursue is to write on your niche categories as you will be able to come up with your best and this will have a bearing on your writing career in the long run.

7) Connecting with your readers
Give your readers a medium to connect and you will see the change for yourself. Connect with them regularly, reply to their queries and give worthy suggestions. This will have a bearing on your future and the popularity of your blog or website will reach a new high.

Communicate with your readers regularly and be in touch with them regularly. You will notice a drastic improvement in your rankings as your dedicated readers will keep you updated of their interests.

Follow these steps and you will find that, your on-page SEO efforts will bear fruits.

Margaret is a freelance journalist who has been writing about mobile technology, customer relationship management and play euromillions for more than a decade. These days she is busy to contribute to private home tuition Singapore.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!