Friday, May 31, 2013

Miss SLC 2013 Finale to be Held in Asar

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[SLC results are coming soon. Once published by OCE, Snothimi, type SLC<space><symbol no.> and send SMS to 35001 to get your results]

Miss SLC 2013 a beauty pageant of recent SLC appeared students is being organized by Bandana Kala Kendra, a dance and music Institute. A total of 20 participants are competing for the title of Miss SLC2013 this year which was won by Binita Chand last year. 

The auditions for the competition have been concluded and the participants are being trained for the finale to be held at Rastriya Nach Ghar, Jamal on 7th Asar, 2070. 

On their reason behind organizing such events, the organizers say, “It is to empower the students to compete at the international level. Miss S.L.C. also deals with the makeover planning for their personality development process to enhance their efficiency in more advanced way. The competition will be judged (according to the overall appeal, showmanship, interaction with audience and overall talent) by the reputed citizens related to educational organizations and Nepalese celebrities as well.”

 
Although, the contest will be judged solely by the judges, the organizers have also allowed the public to express their opinions via SMS. To know the public opinion on the contestants, the organizers allow the public to SMS their choices through the SMS voting service facilitated by Sparrow SMS. Anyone can send their opinion by typing MS<space>contestant no. and sending the SMS to 33001. For instance, to vote for contestant no. 1 type MS 1 and send the SMS to 33001.

The organizers of the event wish to discover hidden talents of the students involved in the contest. The winner of Miss SLC shall be representing Miss SLC for a period of one year and receive great media coverage. The winner shall be expected to inspire other SLC appeared students to take the right path in the future with the knowledge she shall gain during the contest.



Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Text Now, End Violence Against Women!

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 Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Women, in Nepal, have reached in the parliament, they lead a number of organizations, they are even  worshipped as a living goddess but still in the patriarchal society of ours they are killed before birth, there are hands that grope them in public places, there are lips that whistle and eyes that stare, undressing them in the perverted thoughts of theirs degrading the status of women to mere objects that can be used and disposed of as per the wishes of men. Several research projects in Nepal have indicated that 66 percent of women have endured verbal abuse, 33 percent emotional abuse, while 77 percent of the perpetrators were family members. But this must end; if we want to pride ourselves in being humans, the highest form of animals that has the ability to think and judge, we must take actions to end the ongoing Violence Against Women (VAW). 

To begin with, let us discuss who is to blame for VAW. It’s extremely convenient to put all the blame on the perpetrators or even worse, in some incidents, the victim herself. But, to speak the truth, it’s the attitude and mindset of the entire nation that is responsible for the rise of such pervasive incidents in the country. And above all it’s the apathy and indifference of the people to raise voices against it that makes it difficult to curb VAW. According to a survey most cases, around 80%, of gender violence in Nepal occur at home which often go unreported, both by the victims and the witnesses, and it’s the silences in such cases that inflict the deepest of wounds.

Although there are organizations working to address issues on VAW, they are unable to make their efforts count due to the low penetration of modern technologies in Nepal. With an aim to bridge the gap between social initiative to curb the incidents of VAW and modern technology, and taking into consideration that mobile penetration in Nepal has reached to 66.96%, Sparrow SMS has teamed up with Yuwa to launch a campaign intended to hear and act upon the voices being raised against Violence Against Women.



The team has launched a facebook group with the name Voices Heard which allows people to post their views or report issues on VAW also by an SMS. The message can be either directly posted in the facebook group or typed in the compose message box of a cellphone and sent to 5455. The message thus sent will be automatically posted in the facebook group in real time and then the posts will be addressed by particular social organization as per the need of the facebook post.

The Project allows the privilege to
·         Report an issue related to you or anyone you know
·         Report on incident that you witness
·         Post Directly into the Facebook group
·      Send your post in real time by a simple SMS to 35455 with normal SMS cost of Rs 1+tax ,available for  NT, Ncell, UTL and SmartTel users

To increase the participation of more people, there is also the privilege to post message anonymously. It is hoped that the initiative will encourage more and more people to come forward and speak up against VAW so that more issues could be addressed. So, just text your message and be heard, it’s high time you spoke.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mobile Penetration in Nepal Reaches 66.96 Percent

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Yet again Nepal Telecommunications Authority has released its monthly report on telecommunication scenario in Nepal. The report based on data collected till the date of April 13, 2013 shows a significant growth in the telephone penetration in Nepal over last one month.

The report shows that the telephone users in Nepal have increased by 1.58% from 73.88% last month to 75.46% this month. Yet again the increase is due to the increase in the users of mobile telephones from 65.65% last month to 66.96% while the percent of users of fixed telephone lines remains unchanged from the last month.

With total of 9,790,860 users, Ncell has 49% of total market shares while NTC has 44% with total of 8,705,315 users and UTL and SmartTel have market shares of 3% each.



There has also been an increase of 0.82% in the internet users in the country from 23.69 percent last month to 24.51 percent as per April 13. Although, there is increase in number of users of all the internet services, GPRS still leads the users’ choice of internet service while the newly initiated WiMax service from NTC seems to be getting popular and has gained 450 more users since last month and now has 648 users.UTL this month has suffered a loss of a percent in its internet users which resulted in a gain of a percent user for Ncell. Ncell, thus, now has 52 percent of entire market share in internet while NTC has 46 percent. UTL and other ISPs follow behind with 1 percent each.

If we look at the data over the last one year, the mobile penetration has increased by 11.56% while there has been 5.41 percent increase in internet users in Nepal.

Overall, the data suggests that the penetration of communication technologies in Nepal is getting stronger and with the introduction of new operators and service providers there is strong competition in the market. While, Ncell still remains to be the most popular brand in telecommunication, WiMax the new internet service brought by NTC is getting popular with time.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Do you have what it takes to be the Young Innovator?

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Do you have an idea that can change the world for better? An idea that can generate employment opportunities, an idea that can help bring about social change with the use of technology? If the answer to above questions is yes, then you have an opportunity to see your ideas transform into reality. InternationalTelecommunication Union (ITU) is looking for yet another young innovator through Young Innovators Competition 2013.

Young innovators between the age of 18 and 26 can send their ideas, concepts or startups between March 30th and June 30th 2013 to participate in the competition. Young Innovators Competition is an ITU Telecom initiative, the department of ITU responsible for organizing the annual ITU Telecom World events.

This year the competition focuses on the overall theme of ‘technological innovation driving social change’. The idea could be a start-up already but in need of funding to implement the next stage or it could be a concept worked out on paper but in need of support to make it real. The ideas and startups submitted in the competition must be able to present solutions to six global challenges

o   Improve employment opportunities for young people and  migrant workers
o    Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail level
o    Improve access to ICTs for marginalized groups such as the elderly and women
o   Improve natural disaster prediction and response
o    Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians
o    Protect sensitive personal data held by institutions and inspire the creation of local digital content

The ten finalists of the competition will be awarded USD 5,000 for the concept and USD 10,000 to bring to scale winning start-ups and will be invited to the ITU Telecom World 2013 to be held in Bangkok from November 19th to 22 where they will be mentored by high level industry representatives. They will also participate in various workshops and training sessions and meet and work with leading people from the ICT world.

To apply for the competition please visit http://world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/. To spread the news about its events and help people participate in them, ITU also appoints its ambassadors in various countries across the world. Pankaj Chhetri is an ITU ambassador in Nepal working to popularize ITU Telecom YoungInnovators Competition by posting or blogging about it and reaching out to various groups of young men and women via personal contact or organized gatherings. Mr. Chettri can be contacted at pchhetri@equalaccess.org for information or any kind of assistance regarding the competition. To get  further information about the competition SMS ITU to 5001.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gear Up for City Chase Version 4

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How many times have you watched a car chasing scene in a movie and felt like trying it out but couldn’t do so because of the traffic rules and overcrowded streets in Kathmandu? But what if someone paid you to do so? What if you could race against a car in the streets of Kathmandu and win exciting prizes? This is all possible through Vista D90 City Chase Version 4.0 to be held in Kathmandu on 25th of May 2013.

Based on the similar concept as international city chase events held in different countries, city chase in Kathmandu is being organized since last four years by Juniors Achievers’ Forum club under Student Council of Kathmandu College of Management.


 The event is basically a treasure hunt where each team in a car, starting from Satdobato Swimming Complex, solves various clues that help them move towards the finish line. Each team consists of two members in a car competing with other teams to find correct answers to a trail of clues. The team which reaches all the tasks points and performs all the tasks and reaches the finish line the earliest wins. Both the members of the winning team will be awarded with a Dell laptop. 

Anyone interested to participate can register his/her team at Kathmandu College of Management, Gwarko or Sipradi (TATA) showrooms at Thapathali and Teku before May 25, 2013. The registration fee for a team of two members is NRS 2000 but if you are an owner of a TATA vehicle, you can register your team at just 500 NRS. For more information, contact Mr. Akshay Agarwal or Mr. Arjit Chapagain on 9801019697 and 9802048444 respectively or SMS cchase to 4001.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sparrow SMS Wishes Best of Luck to Grade Eleven Students

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After two days of completion of grade twelve exams, grade eleven exams kicked off in the country.  Beginning from 31st of Baisakh, the exams are scheduled to continue for eleven days until 10th of, Jestha, 2070.

After SLC, the last two years of high school, i.e., grade eleven and twelve get over before anyone has time to realize it. Unlike SLC exams, the exams of +2 do not get as much attention but they are, if not more, equally important in the lives of the students. Compared to more than a decade of schooling, these two years pass away swiftly and students don’t realize how vital their actions and attitude during these two years can be.

What they choose to study and how they perform in their +2 will be the ground to decide what they will study in their bachelors and what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. But very few students actually realize this and after the exams most of them are confused as to what are they are going to study in graduate level.

Grade Eleven Exam Routine
 But, fortunately, for grade eleven students, there is entire one year after the exams to decide about their future. So, we would suggest everyone appearing their grade eleven exams to do well in their exams and utilize their next year to explore their interests and capabilities and what they want to be in future.

The last thing they need to worry about is how to obtain their results. Sparrow SMS has been helping students of HSEB view their results via SMS and thousands of students have benefitted from this service. All they have to do is type HSEB followed by a space and their symbol no. and send the SMS to 35001. Sparrow SMS would like to wish best of luck to all the students and hopes to serve them in the future as well.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nepal contributes to the World Startup Report

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World Startup Report event was successfully held in Kathmandu on 27th of April, 2013. The event was organized to provide Bowei a glimpse into the startup culture in Nepal.

world startup report sparrow sms nepal
Mr. Bishwas Dhakal, CEO (F1Soft Int'l ), one of the panelists, speaking at the World Startup Report
World Startup Report event organized by Janaki Technology at Kings’ College was a part of Mr. Bowei Gai’s social mission to document and connect the global startup communities. It was followed by a speed networking event Tech-Mashup on the following day. Mr. Bowei is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and fire starter behind the World Startup Report. He was formerly the founder of Snapture Labs and CardMunch (successfully acquired by LinkedIn in 2011).

Bowei world startup report nepalworld startup report team in Nepal sparrow smspanelist at world startup report nepal sparrow smsThe event was attended by seven panelists and guests from over fifty startups, tech communities and business houses. The panelists at the event were Mr. Bal Joshi, CEO, Thamel.com, Mr. Biswas Dhakal, CEO, F1Soft International, Puja Tandon, Director, Beed Management, Manohar Bhattarai - Ex-VC, High Level Commission of Information Technology, Vidhan Rana, Founding Partner, Biruwa Ventures and Subrat Basnet Co-Founder, Grepsr.com.   
audeince at world startup report nepal sparrow sms       
At the event, the panelist and Bowei, discussed their journeys towards becoming a successful entrepreneurs and hurdles they had to face along the way. They also discussed the startup environment in Nepal and the difficulties that the growing startups have to face. During the discussion, some interesting facts about Nepal were revealed. Although, Nepal hasn’t achieved great heights in technology, it was the first country to introduce 3G and digital telecommunication network in South Asia. But the fact that Nepal had its first computer in 70’s and internet was introduced in 90’s, we haven’t made any remarkable progress in the field is quite deplorable. However, what shocked Bowei most was when he was told only 4% of Nepalese citizens actually pay taxes.
But that’s just one side of the story. Things are changing for better in Nepal and startups like cloudfactory, Grespr.com and Sparrow SMS paint an optimistic picture for the upcoming startups. Also, companies like Biruwa ventures that support and fund innovative ideas are source of great encouragement for people interested in starting a tech company.

world startup report event nepal sparrow sms
World Startup Report being held in Nepal
It will be interesting, however, to see Bowei’s perspective on the startup culture and ecosystem in Nepal. We all are eagerly waiting for him to reveal his report on startup in Nepal. Reports on other countries like India, China, the US, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and others have already been published after a similar event in each of these nations. The ultimate aim of gathering such information is to help people in each country compare the startup environment of various nations and adopt a global approach to starting and scaling their ventures. So keep following us as we bring you the startup report of Nepal.

You can have a look at other snapshots of the event here

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