Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, is a traveller's paradise. This city offers a perfect blend of rich cultural experiences and excellent shopping opportunities. The city is known for its diverse markets and traditional bazaars that showcase the unique essence of Nepali culture. When in Kathmandu, shopping becomes an integral part of the travel experience, and it is worth exploring the local markets to find extraordinary items. Best Souvenirs to Buy in Kathmandu On the bustling streets of Kathmandu, travellers can discover a captivating array of souvenirs. Each one encapsulates the rich culture and traditions of Nepal. Pashmina shawls are a must-buy, renowned for their luxurious softness and warmth. Made from the fine wool of Himalayan goats, they embody not only exquisite craftsmanship but also symbolise Nepali elegance. For adventure enthusiasts and trekkers, Kathmandu stands as a hub for top-quality trekking gear. Moreover, immersing yourself in the local culture becomes possible through unique items like ayurvedic soaps, Tibetan juniper incense, and handicrafts made from natural fibres and intricately hand-carved woodwork. These items showcase Nepal's artistry and add a touch of its heritage. Read more: 8 Best Winter Travel destinations in Bangladesh Tea and coffee in Nepal have distinct flavours and are delightful purchases. It is perfect as either a personal indulgence or a thoughtful gift. The markets in Kathmandu offer a stunning variety of jewellery, ranging from traditional silver pieces to modern designs. These jewelleries provide a perfect piece to adorn yourself or a loved one. Lastly, for culinary enthusiasts, spices from Kathmandu are a must. From fiery chilli to aromatic herbs, these spices add a dash of Nepali flavour to your cooking. Additionally, Gurkha knives (Kukri) and honey sourced from skilled honey hunters in the Nepali mountains are distinctive souvenirs, reflecting Nepal's rich heritage. Each unique item you purchase will not only serve as a reminder of your time in Nepal but also contribute to supporting local artisans and preserving Nepal's cultural heritage. Read more: Best Hotels and Resorts in Kuakata
Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ghanshyam Bhandari has underscored the need for promoting economic partnership as the centerpiece of Bangladesh-Nepal relations. He also shed light on the strong bilateral cooperation existing between Nepal and Bangladesh in areas including trade, transit, energy, tourism, connectivity, and education. The Nepalese Embassy hosted a reception on Wednesday evening to celebrate the National Day and Constitution Day of Nepal. Bangladesh keen to export readymade garments to Nepal, seeks collaboration to unlock opportunities The Ambassador highlighted that the day was a reminder of the moment in which political issues were settled and democratic gains institutionalized with the promulgation of the constitution in 2015.
Bangladeshis, Indians, Nepalis and Pakistanis expected to live 5 years less due to air pollution: AQLI
Particulate air pollution remains the greatest external risk to human health, but most of its impact on global life expectancy is concentrated in just six countries, with Bangladesh being one of the most polluted in the world. As global pollution edged upward in 2021, so did its burden on human health, according to new data from the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI). If the world were to permanently reduce fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) to meet the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline, the average person would add 2.3 years onto their life expectancy—or a combined 17.8 billion life-years saved worldwide. This data makes clear that particulate pollution remains the world’s greatest external risk to human health, with the impact on life expectancy comparable to that of smoking, more than 3 times that of alcohol use and unsafe water, and more than 5 times that of transport injuries like car crashes. Yet, the pollution challenge worldwide is vastly unequal. Read: Urgent, coordinated actions needed to curb air pollution in South Asia: World Bank In no other location on the planet is the deadly impact of pollution more visible than in South Asia, home to the four most polluted countries in the world and nearly a quarter of the global population. In Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, the AQLI data reveal that residents are expected to lose about 5 years off their lives on average if the current high levels of pollution persist. “Three-quarters of air pollution’s impact on global life expectancy occurs in just six countries, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and Indonesia, where people lose one to more than six years off their lives because of the air they breathe,” said Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and creator of the AQLI along with colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute in University of Chicago (EPIC). For the last five years, the AQLI’s local information on air quality and its health consequences has generated substantial media and political coverage, but there is an opportunity to complement this annual information with more frequent—for example, daily—and locally generated data. Read: Dhaka’s air pollution: HC asks what steps have been taken Indeed, many polluted countries lack basic air pollution infrastructure. Asia and Africa are the two most poignant examples. They contribute 92.7 percent of life-years lost due to pollution. Yet, just 6.8 and 3.7 percent of governments in Asia and Africa, respectively, provide their citizens with fully open air quality data. Furthermore, just 35.6 and 4.9 percent of countries in Asia and Africa, respectively, have air quality standards—the most basic building block for policies. The collective current investments in global air quality infrastructure also do not match where air pollution is having its greatest toll on human life. While there is a large global fund for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis that annually disburses USD 4 billion towards the issues, there is no equivalent set of coordinated resources for air pollution. Read: Air pollution 2nd biggest cause of deaths in Bangladesh in 2019, cost about 3.9-4.4% of GDP: World Bank In fact, the entire continent of Africa receives under USD 300,000 in philanthropic funds towards air pollution (i.e. the current average price of a single-family home in the United States). Only USD 1.4 million goes to Asia, outside of China and India. Europe, the United States, and Canada, meanwhile, receive USD 34 million, according to the Clean Air Fund. “Timely, reliable, open air quality data in particular can be the backbone of civil society and government’s clean air efforts—providing the information that people and governments lack and that allows for more informed policy decisions,” said Christa Hasenkopf, the director of AQLI and air quality programs at EPIC. “Fortunately, we see an immense opportunity to play a role in reversing this by better targeting—and increasing—our funding dollars to collaboratively build the infrastructure that is missing today,” she added. Read: Effects of Air Pollution on Unborn Children, Neonates, Infants China Although the challenge of reducing air pollution across the world may seem daunting, China has had remarkable success, reducing pollution by 42.3 percent since 2013, the year before the country began a “war against pollution.” Due to these improvements, the average Chinese citizen can expect to live 2.2 years longer, provided the reductions are sustained. However, the pollution in China is still six times higher than the WHO guideline, taking 2.5 years off life expectancy. Southeast Asia Like South Asia, almost all of Southeast Asia (99.9 percent) is now considered to have unsafe levels of pollution, with pollution increasing in a single year by as much as 25 percent in some regions. Residents living in the most polluted parts of Southeast Asia are expected to lose 2 to 3 years of life expectancy on average. Central and West Africa While Asian countries rightly receive the most media coverage about extreme levels of air pollution, the African countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Republic of Congo are amongst the ten most polluted countries in the world. In the most polluted areas of these regions, pollution levels are 12 times the WHO guideline and taking as much as 5.4 years off lives—becoming as much of a health threat as well-known killers in the region like HIV/AIDS and malaria. Read: UN report: Climate pollution reductions 'highly inadequate' Latin America While average air quality is at an unsafe but relatively low level across the region, the most polluted areas—located within Guatemala, Bolivia, and Peru—experience air quality similar to pollution hotspots like Pune in India and Harbin in China. In these regions, the average resident would gain 3 to 4.4 years of life expectancy if their air quality met the WHO guideline. United States In the United States, Americans are exposed to 64.9 percent less particulate pollution than in 1970—prior to the passage of the Clean Air Act—and they’re living 1.4 years longer because of it. Yet, 96 percent of the country still doesn’t meet the WHO’s new guideline of 5 µg/m³. This year, the EPA proposed to lower the national standard from 12 μg/m³ to 9-10 µg/m³, gaining 3.2 million total life years if the upper limit of that proposed standard were met. In 2021, 20 out of the top 30 most polluted counties were in California due to the impact of wildfires. Europe In Europe, residents are exposed to about 23.5 percent less pollution than they were in 1998, soon after the Air Quality Framework Directive started, gaining 4.5 months of life expectancy because of it. Yet, 98.4 percent of Europe still doesn’t meet the WHO’s new guideline. In 2022, the EU proposed ratcheting down their standard of 25 µg/m³ to 10 µg/m³ by 2030, gaining 80.3 million total life years if the proposed standard were met. Residents in eastern Europe are living 7.2 months less than their western neighbors due to dirtier air. Read more: 9-point directive on air pollution: HC asks DoE to submit report within 2 weeks
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has offered to Nepal the use of its newly constructed Payra port during a meeting with her Nepalese counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The two visiting ministers met at newly opened Bangladesh-Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Room in the FAO Headquarters on the sideline of the UN Food Systems Summit. Both leaders are in Rome to attend the summit. In the meeting, PM Hasina offered Nepal the use of theu Payra port, said Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen while briefing reporters. Read: Italy keen to take more manpower from Bangladesh in agri & hospitality sectors “Bangladesh has already opened the Chalna and Chittagong ports for Nepal. Nepal can use the newly constructed Payra port as well,” Momen quoted her as telling Dahal. PM Hasina said Bangladesh is developing its Sayedpur airport as a regional hub to extend the connectivity in the region. The Nepalese premier commended the development of Bangladesh under the successful leadership of PM Hasina, said Momen. Read: Time has come for a climate-smart agri-food revolution: PM Hasina tells UN food summit “You are a leader of our region,” Momen quoted him as saying. He said there is a huge scope of hydroelectricity generation in Nepal. In this context, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh will take steps to import renewable energy particularly hydroelectricity after the first trilateral power trade from Nepal to Bangladesh through India for 40MW of power starts. Read: Bangladesh-Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Room opened at FAO Headquarters Dahal mentioned that a good number of Nepalese students are pursuing their studies in Bangladesh.
Nepal’s newly elected president — the third since the Himalayan nation abolished its centuries-old monarchy in 2008 and became a republic — took the oath of office Monday in Kathmandu. Ram Chandra Poudel was elected Thursday by members of the Federal Parliament and provincial assemblies. Top officials, diplomats and Parliament members lined up to congratulate the new president at the ceremony where the military band played national songs and gave him a salute. Outgoing President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, having completed the maximum completed two terms in office, passed the position on immediately after the swearing-in ceremony. The president is largely a figurehead with little political power. But the election triggered a feud among partners in the governing alliance headed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who took office in December after a hung parliament left a fragile coalition government. Dahal backed Poudel, who is also now the supreme commander of the Nepalese army, angering his main coalition partner, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), which backed Subash Chandra Nembang, its own candidate. The party has since pulled out of the coalition, threatening Dahal’s control. Dahal has since lost the support of three key political parties that were part of his initial coalition government, and must seek a vote of confidence in parliament later in March to continue in power. There was no clear explanation of why Dahal decided to back the opposition candidate and endanger his alliance, but struggles for power among the main political parties are common. The country has had eight different governments in the past 10 years.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen Sunday said Bangladesh and Nepal will graduate from LDC in 2026; so, both countries have enormous opportunities to work together for a smooth LDC graduation. He said energy, tourism, education, migration, and connectivity between these countries have many untapped potentials for cooperation. Speaking as the chief guest at a seminar, Momen emphasised exploring possibilities of a free trade agreement and increasing two-way trade for shared prosperity. The Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the seminar "Celebrating 50 Years of Bangladesh-Nepal Friendship: Shared Vision of Peace, Progress and Prosperity" in the capital. Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin, director general of BIISS, delivered the welcome remarks. Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ghanshyam Bhandari, Swarnim Wagle, chair of the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) Kathmandu, and Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, rector of the Foreign Service Academy, Bangladesh, made presentations.
Nepal's parliament members lined up Thursday to elect a new president, the third since the Himalayan nation abolished a centuries-old monarchy and became a republic. The election of the president has fueled feuds among the main political parties and triggered political uncertainty. A total of 884 members of the federal parliament and provincial assemblies gathered in the capital, Kathmandu, to vote for the new president. The final results were expected to be announced Thursday night. Both candidates in the presidential race are prominent career politicians. Ram Chandra Poudel is a senior leader of the Nepali Congress party and previously served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. His opponent, Subash Chandra Nembang of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), has also previously served as Speaker. The national election in November last year left a hung parliament, leading to a fragile coalition government taking power. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's decision to support a candidate outside the coalition partners led to the alliance's biggest party pulling its support. As a result, Dahal was forced to seek a confidence vote in parliament later this month. Analysts say the presidential election and confidence vote could lead to further instability. “The phase of political instability in Nepal has not ended despite the fact we had a successful national election and a new coalition government in place,” said Dhruba Adhikary, an independent analyst in Kathmandu. Besides facing the vote of confidence, Dahal also lost the support of three key political parties that were part of the initial coalition government. His tenure has had a rocky start even before he could address key issues facing the country of 30 million. Nepal is still struggling to recover from the economic troubles brought by COVID-19, which led to a drop in the number of foreign tourists coming to climb the country's mountain peaks and hike its trails. Reviving tourism is necessary to bolster Nepal's economy. Dahal also must balance relations between Nepal's two giant neighbors, India and China. Both New Delhi and Beijing compete for influence in the tiny Himalayan nation. Nepal's new prime minister typically begins his or her tenure with a visit to one of these countries, but Dahal has not yet announced any such plans. Political turmoil and frequent changes in government are nothing new in Nepal, where eight different governments have ruled in the past 10 years.
Coming from behind, Himalayan nation Nepal storm into the final of the four-nation SAFF U-20 Women's Championship '2023 shocking favourite India beating them by 3-1 goal in their last league match at Bir Sherestha Shaheed Shipahi Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur here on Tuesday. India, which rout Bhutan by 12-0 goal in the tournament opener, today (Tuesday) also dominated the first half by 1-0 goal, but the scenario of the match changed in the 2nd half with the frustration of India. Nepal, which entered the field Tuesday afternoon in a must-win situation to reach the final, initially went down in the race conceding a goal in the middle of the first half, but the determined Nepalese girls achieved their tough target scoring three goals in a row in the 2nd half, silencing the high flying Indian tent. .With the day's well merited win, Nepal smartly qualified for the final as the first team securing six points from all three group matches after suffering 1-3 goal defeat against hosts Bangladesh in the first match and beat Bhutan by 4-0 goal in the 2nd match. After the day's debacle, India, which drew goalless against Bangladesh in the 2nd match, now had to pray for a defeat of Bangladesh against all losers Bhutan Tuesday evening for their tough final berth. After the match, Bangladesh needs just a draw against all-losers Bhutan in their last league match Tuesday (February 7) evening to qualify for the final. In the day's match, Apurna Narzari scored first for India in the 21st minute by a placing shot utilizing a cross of Sumita Kumari to dominate the first half by 1-0. Anjali Chand leveled the margin for Nepal in the 48th minute capitalizing on a lapse of India defender (1-1). After making the equaliser, confidence level of Nepalese booters grew up and they made a series of attempts towards Indian territory and took its fruit scoring two goals in the last few minutes. Captain Preeti Rai put Nepal ahead from behind scoring the 2nd goal in the 69th minute from a penalty (2-1) while the match best performer Amisha Karki sealed the fate of the match scoring one more goal in the 89th minute.(3-1). With the goal, Amisha Karka dominating the scorer list making four goals, featuring a hattrick against Bhutan in the last match.
India, Nepal, and Bhutan have arrived in Dhaka to play the four-nation SAFF U-20 Women's Championship 2023 at the Birshrestha Shaheed Sipahi Mostafa Kamal Stadium in the capital's Kamalapur. These three teams and hosts Bangladesh will compete in the championship scheduled for February 3-9, initially on a league basis. After that, two top teams will play in the final on February 9 at 6pm at the same venue. The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) has organised the championship under the supervision of the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF). Bhutan reached Dhaka Tuesday, Nepal and India Wednesday. Hosts Bangladesh will start their campaign by taking on Nepal in one of the two opening-day matches at 7pm. Earlier in the tournament's opener, India will play Bhutan at 3pm at the same venue. Read more: SAFF U-20 Women's Championship: Bangladesh start campaign with Nepal match February 3 Midfielder Shamsunnahar will lead the Bangladesh team and goalkeeper Rupna Chakma will be vice-captain. In the remaining league basis match, Bangladesh will face their arch-rivals India on February 5 at 7pm and Nepal will play Bhutan at 3pm. Bangladesh will play Bhutan on February 7 at 7pm in their last league match while India will lock horns with Nepal at 4pm.
Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ghanshyam Bhandari on Friday said the friendly relations between Bangladesh and Nepal expanded into all areas – including economy, communication, trade, education, and culture – after the establishment of diplomatic ties between the countries on April 8, 1972. He was speaking at an art competition organised by the Embassy of Nepal in Dhaka, Bangladesh-Nepal Friendship Society and Bangladesh Book Club at the Central Shaheed Minar the capital to mark the 50 years of Bangladesh-Nepal diplomatic ties. Read more: Dhaka, Kathmandu seek enhanced ties for mutual gains Speaking as chief guest at the event, State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid said there are a lot of similarities between the cultures of Bangladesh and Nepal. "Also, after India and Bhutan, Nepal became the seventh country to recognise Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign country on January 16, 1972."