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होकुदाई बिसौनी

नयाँ अंक

अंक ४, कर्तिक २०६१

विषय सुचि

मुख्य पृष्‍ठ
सम्पादकीय
अन्तर्वाता
कविता
लेख
यात्रा संस्मरण

सोध सारंश

विविध

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hokudai Bisauni is a biannual (Nepali New Year and Dashain) publication of HUNSA.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect policy of HUNSA. 

               होकुदाई बिसौनी
             ‍                                
अंक ४, कर्तिक २०६१
                          ARTICLES

A brief comparative profile between Nepal and Japan

- Narendra Raj Khanal
Damauli, Tanahun

Physical feature:

Both Nepal and Japan are located in Asia with elongated shape. Nepal is extended in east-west direction with a total length of 900 km whereas Japan is located in south-west to north-east direction with a total length of 25000 km. Nepal is a landlocked country whereas Japan is an archipelago  with four large islands – Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu and more than 3000 smaller islands. Nepal has a total area of 147181 sq. km with a total population of 23.1 million (2001). In terms of area Japan is 2.7 times bigger than Nepal. The population size of Japan is 5 times bigger than Nepal.

Both are mountainous countries. Mountains occupy more than 75 percent of the total area. However, the mountains in Nepal are tall. There are more than 10 mountain peaks with altitude more than 8000 m in Nepal. Mount Everest (8848 m) is the highest mountain peak in the world. Other important peaks in terms of altitude are Kanchanjunga (8586 m), Lhotse (8516 m), Yalung Kang (8505 m), Makalu I (8463 m), Chooyu (8201 m), Dhaulagiri I (8167 m), Manaslu (8163 m) and Annapurna I (8091 m). The highest peak in Japan is Mt. Fuji (3776 m). Only a few mountain peaks in Japan have height between 3000-3776 m and most of them are less than 3000 m in altitude. Unlike in Nepal, many of the mountains in Japan are volcanic origin. But a few mountain ranges like Hidaka in Hokkaido are similar to Himalayas in its orogeny. Both the countries are located in active tectonic belt with frequent earthquakes. Japan is known as the land of fire where many of the volcanoes are very active. There are more than 67 active volcanoes in Japan. In contrast to this, no volcanic activity is found in Nepal.

Himalayas and Tibetan plateau have played significant role in the climate of both countries and they are influenced by summer monsoon precipitation. However, there is strong seasonality in precipitation and winter is almost dry in Nepal. The climatic condition ranges from subtropical to artic. Such a vast difference in climatic condition in Nepal is mainly due to altitudinal variation whereas in Japan it is due to altitudinal differences as well as latitudinal differences in its location. High intensity rainfall is one of the characteristics of both countries. Both countries are suffered from hazards such as landslides, floods, debris flow, wind storm and thunderstorm associated with extreme weather events. In addition to these Japan is highly affected by typhoons every year. Nepal has four distinct seasons whereas Japan enjoys six seasons namely winter, spring, Baiu, midsummer, Shurin and late autumn because of its locational advantages.

The proportion of level land suitable for farming and buildings is less than 15 percent in both countries. In terms of land use and land cover, arable land consists about 17 percent of the total land in Nepal whereas it is only 11 percent in Japan. However, the productivity of agricultural crops is significantly high in Japan than in Nepal. The use of modern technology in agriculture has made it possible to achieve such a high productivity of agricultural crops in Japan. Forest and wood land comprise about 67 percent of the total area in Japan whereas it is only 42 percent in Nepal. Though the proportion of permanent pasture is significantly high (15 percent) in Nepal than in Japan (2 percent), its utilization in Nepal is highly limited due to its rugged terrain and inaccessibility to animal grazing in many parts of pasture land. Japan enjoys the opportunity of fishing in the sea. Fish is one of the important diets of Japanese people. Fishing in Japan accounts for nearly 15 percent of the global catch. This opportunity is not available for Nepal.

Socio-economic conditions

There is high difference in demographic and other socio-economic conditions between these two countries. Gross population density is approximately two times higher in Japan than in Nepal (157 persons per sq. km). The family size is about 2.74 persons per household in Japan whereas it is 5.45 persons in Nepal. Similarly, annual growth of population is about 2.2 percent (1991-01) in Nepal whereas it is less than 0.17 percent in Japan. Life expectancy at birth is only 59.7 year in Nepal whereas it is 81.04 year in Japan. The proportion of economically active population with age between 15-64 is only 56.16 percent in Nepal whereas it is 67.83 percent in Japan. As compared to Japan, the proportion of children (0-14 years) is significantly high in Nepal (40.35 percent) than in Japan (14.64 percent). The literacy rate is still very low in Nepal (53.7 percent) as compared to Japan (more than 99 percent). Japan is highly urbanized country with 79 percent urban population whereas current urban population in Nepal is only 14.2 percent of its total population.

There are more than 60 ethnic groups in Nepal. Nearly 81 percent is Hindu and 10 percent is Buddhist by religion. In Japan, there are two ethnic groups- Japanese (99.4 percent) and Korean (0.6 percent). The majority (84 percent) in terms of religion is Buddhist.

Text Box: -13-

 There is high difference in the proportion of labour force engaged in different activities. Nearly two-thirds of the total labour force is engaged in agriculture in Nepal whereas it is only 5 percent in Japan. Japan is self sufficient in rice production even with such a small proportion of labour force engaged in agricultural activities. Proportion of labour force engaged in industry is only 3 percent in Nepal whereas it is 30 percent in Japan. Similarly, the proportion of people engaged in service sector is approximately 30 percent in Nepal and it is very high (65 percent) in Japan. Though industrial development in both countries depends on imported raw materials and fuels, easy access to domestic and international markets and raw materials, highly developed entrepreneurships with strong government-industry cooperation and technological development have made Japan possible to be one of the highly industrialized countries in the world. In terms of gross national income Japan ranks second position in the world whereas Nepal is in 110th position. Per capita GDP (purchasing power parity) is $26,900 in Japan whereas it is only $1,370 in Nepal which is 18 times greater than that of Nepal. The contribution of industry and service sector to GDP in Japan is 35 and 63 percent whereas its share in Nepal is 22 and 37 percent respectively. Still the major portion (41 percent) of GDP is from agriculture in Nepal whereas it is only 2 percent in Japan.

Japan has developed nuclear energy and it constitutes nearly 31 percent of the total energy use which is not available in Nepal. Japan has also developed dense network of transportation and communication. In Japan, the length of railways is 0.1 km per sq km and 1.87 km per 10,000 populations whereas the total length of railway in Nepal is only 59 km. Similarly, the length of highway in Japan is 3.1 km per sq km and 91 km per 10,000 populations whereas it is only 0.1 km per sq km and 5.7 km per 10,000 populations in Nepal. The development of transportation network is more than 34 times higher in Japan than in Nepal.

In summary, though there are some similarities in physical features between Nepal and Japan, the infrastructural and socio-economic development is highly distinct. The locational advantage and development in technology and entrepreneurships have played major role in the advancement of Japan.

 

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Bharse village is located in Gulmi district at an altitude of 1600 m. There are 481 households of different ethnic groups with a total population of 2856 in this village. Magar is dominant ethnic group in terms of the size of population (95 percent).

The development history of this settlement is not too long. Three families of Magar came in Bharse and settled here in around 1750s. The main purpose for migration from Lek Khani, Baglung district was to excavate mines (copper and iron) for Arkul principality under the Gulmi kingdom. They continued mining activities to supply raw materials for agricultural implements for their own use as well as people living in surrounding areas. Since, the government of Nepal banned the mining activities in the country in 1910; they had to search for other alternative economic activities for their livelihood. As a consequence, they started to expand their agricultural land into forest area. The forest land in its vicinity declined drastically due to increasing demand for food, timber, firewood, litter etc as a result of increasing population.

Further extensification of agricultural land in order to fulfill the increasing demand for food was not possible since forest area suitable for agricultural use was already cleared and utilized. The prospect for intensification of agriculture and consequent increase in production was limited whereas their population was increasing very rapidly. In this context, they had to search for other alternatives to supplement their food and other household requirements.

Text Box: -14-

Another strategies adopted by these people to cope with increasing problem of food shortage and poverty is migration. Many young people started to go temporarily outside the village in search for jobs after 1920s. Many of them joined military services of British Gurkhas. Bharse is one of a few villages in Nepal from where large numbers of people are employed in British and Indian army. The main sources of family income at present are the remittances and pensions. The annual income of majority of families in this village is quite high as compared to other villages in Gulmi district.The literacy rate has increased gradually over the last decades. People had established school long time ago in in 1930 (BS 1987) in this village.

The increasing off-farm sources of income in the form of remittances and pensions on the one hand and growing awareness about the consequences of degradation of forest   on the other, people have evolved forest management practices by themselves. They institutionalized forest management practices through forest management committee since 1952. They had employed 6 guards to look after nearby forests in 1952. They have divided forest into several patches and developed distinct rules and regulation regarding the use of forest resources for each patch. As a consequence, the condition of these forests has been improved now than in the past.

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Introduction to Pavement Management System

-Nirajan Shiwakoti,
Graduate School of Engineering,
 Hokkaido University)

Pavements represent the largest capital investment in any modern highway system. To keep the highway performing and the operating costs at an acceptable level, complex decisions regarding the operation and maintenance of pavements need to be made. Traditional methods of selecting pavement treatment based on the extensive knowledge and experience is still widely used and works well in low traffic areas or where repair/restoration funds are not limited. In most cases, however, this is not the situation. Firstly, rarely are there enough funds to complete all identified road repairs, and secondly, high traffic levels severely restrict when roads can be closed for maintenance. Pavement management system brings more science into this process. A pavement management system consists of three major components:

1) A system to regularly collect highway data.

2) A system (like computer) to sort and store the collected data

3) A system (like analysis program) to evaluate repair or preservation   strategies and suggest cost-effective projects to maintain highway conditions.

The decision regarding the best time for the application of suitable preventive maintenance treatment and the allocation of budget for the maintenance of roads is indeed the core objective of any Pavement Management Systems (PMS).

PMS should be able to answer the following important questions regarding pavements:

• What is the current condition of the roadway network?

• Which roads should be prioritized for maintenance?

• What techniques should be used for best results?

• What are the projected long-term consequences if we delay repairs?

 

The significance of PMS lies in the fact that it not only enhances the life of the pavement but also minimizes the higher road user cost. One can simply estimate how much can be saved if the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads can be restricted to periodic maintenance through proper pavement management. It is therefore necessary that we shift from responsive approach (i.e. dealing in emergencies) to control management (i.e. planning and use of available information) in order to achieve the said objectives of PMS.

Methodology for PMS

The major decision in any pavement management system (i.e. suitable pavement treatment and budget allocation for repair and maintenance) is and should be based on the existing and/or projected level of serviceability, traffic volumes and strategic importance of the road networks. Thus it is quite clear that the inputs for decision making should be the pavement condition and the measure of the traffic volumes.

The major parameters that determine the condition of the road are rutting, cracking, skid resistance, roughness, potholes, deflection, edge damage etc.

In this regard there are essentially four measures of pavement condition.

Road roughness

Road roughness can be defined as “the deviation of a pavement surface from a true planar surface with characteristic dimensions that affect vehicle dynamics, ride quality, dynamic pavement load and pavement drainage” (ASTM, E867-87). It is a major parameter associated with road user cost. Vehicle Mounted Bump Integrator and Merlin Roughness Machine are the instruments currently used in Nepal for roughness measurement.

Surface distress

It provides the first visual indication of pavement deterioration characteristics. The approach is to quantify the surface distress characteristics by means of visual examination and then combine the results into SDI rating 0 (good) to 5 (poor). It provides basis to determine the levels of intervention for maintenance activities as well as objective assessment of the conditions of the road network.

Structural capacity

It is a measure of pavement’s ability to carry the design loading. These are assessed through Non-Destructive as well as Destructive Tests and are the inputs for any rehabilitation or reconstruction.

Pavement Texture:

It is concerned with the safety on paved roads i.e. with skid resistance especially in wet conditions. As the vehicular speed in highways is high the measure of Pavement Texture is significant.

In order to assess the deterioration characteristics of the road networks visual condition survey is conducted. The survey includes all types of defects (both major and minor), affecting the integrity of the surface, which if left untreated, will seriously reduce the serviceability of the road and consequently the life of the pavement. The visually assessed characteristics are then used to develop a visual indicator called a Surface Distress Index (SDI) rating from 0 to 5, to categorize the road condition as good, fair and poor. The scoring is and should be based on the extent and severity of the defect. Average SDI values for the assessment of road condition for Strategic Road Networks in Nepal are presented in Table 1. 

Table 1: Assessment of road condition for Strategic Roads Networks

(Based on condition in Nepal)

Average SDI value

Condition

 

0 – 1.7

Good

 

1.8 – 3.0

Fair

 

3.1 – 5.0

Poor

 

Source: MRCU, 1995

There are various methods for collecting surface distress data. It becomes more complex and sophisticated as required information is of high quality. The usual practice of “drive and walk survey” also known as 10% sampling procedure (for strategic road networks) in Nepal comprises of a walk-over survey generally covering the last 100 meter section in each km. of the road on which the SDI is to be determined while the 900 meters are assessed by driving. Once the SDI values for the road sections are obtained the type of maintenance required for each road section is categorized. This categorization should be defined based on the level of serviceability required.

Once the maintenance type required in each road section and the traffic count is in hand the roads are prioritized for maintenance. For the road sections requiring rehabilitation and reconstruction, destructive and non destructive tests are conducted and the results from these tests are used for the design accordingly. Doing these tests only in the prioritized sections not only reduces the cost of destructive and non destructive tests but also minimizes the obstruction to the high traffic in urban roads to a larger extent.

Conclusions

Technology has advanced rapidly in the field of PMS in the past decade and it is now possible to develop prediction models, methods to optimize choice between competing alternatives, to develop multi year prioritization, remaining life of pavements and feed back information. PMS however is not a decision in itself, nor can it make one. But the question is whether the decision makers are using the best tools to assist themselves or not. PMS in Nepal is still at initial stage and requires serious research works.

When implementing and introducing the PMS for urban roads following points are notable:

• The purpose of the Visual Condition Survey is to determine the condition of each road segment based on pavement distresses. The condition survey is a critical part of pavement management, since specific distresses are very much related to certain causes of pavement deterioration. An accurate condition survey (through walk survey) is critical in helping determine appropriate repair strategies to restore a deteriorated pavement to an acceptable level.

• In order to provide effective pavement management, the strategies of the concerned department must be changed from response management (dealing with emergency) to control management (planning and making the best use of available information), because the focus should be to minimize the crisis rather than dealing with crisis.

• Planned maintenance activities comprising interdependent routine, recurrent, and periodic maintenance activities should be introduced with priority being given to the heavily trafficked roads and roads of strategic importance. The cost of rehabilitation and reconstruction are many times (3 to 9 times) higher than the cost of planned maintenance. Hence, the pavement management principles should be such that its actions keep the roads in serviceable and maintainable condition so as to restrict the maintenance to planned periodic maintenance.

References

IOE (2002), Project Report on Pavement Management System for Urban Roads, A study on road networks of Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City,

Course code: EG777CE, I.O.E, Pulchowk Campus

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IVF-ET – a treatment of infertility

Dr. Renuka Tamrakar
Kamal Pokhari, Kathmandu.

Infertility is defined as a failure of conception within 2 years of regular, unprotected intercourse. Many couples of reproductive age are relatively affected with this problem and considered to be common. A couple with such infertility suffers from the frustration of the natural drive to procreate. Involuntary childlessness is a condition in which biological and psychological factors inter-react, often producing significant emotional distress in the couple. Clinical research suggests that the infertile couple is at the risk of emotional dysfunction, distress, marital conflict, and sexual dysfunction. There are different factors which causes the infertility. Major factors of infertility are;

1. Female factors:    

Tubal disease, endometriosis, unexplained infertility, ovarian disorders, genetic disorders, uterine disease, postponement of pregnancy after marriage, advanced age (more than 35 years), etc.

2. Male factors:       

Oligospermia is often associated with the poor motility of the sperm.

3. Immunological factors:     

Presence of antisperm antibodies in the male or female body can interfere the process of conception.

Medical advancements in the field of Artificial Reproduction Technology (ART) are taking place in recent years. IVF-ET is on those ART. The full form of IVF-ET is ‘In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer’. In another word, it is also called a Test Tube Baby. This ART is a new option for an increasing number of couples with infertility. IVF-ET is a procedure designed to enhance the likelihood of conception in couples for whom other fertility therapies have been unsuccessful or are not possible. It is a complex procedure which includes four procedures. Each of the procedure must be carried out successfully. Pregnancy cannot occur if just one step of this procedure fails. These procedures are as follows:

1. Hormonal stimulation to develop the egg

To proceed with IVF-ET, well-developed eggs are needed from the ovaries and this will be accomplished by administering fertility drugs (hormones) at the beginning of a menstrual cycle. Egg development will be monitored by measuring the changes of hormones in the blood and performing pelvic sonograms and pelvic examinations.

2. Retrieval of eggs

Under intravenous sedation, transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte (egg) retrieval is performed. Suction apparatus is used to take out the egg from the ovary. But in some cases, laparoscopic egg retrieval is also performed under general anesthesia condition.

3. Fertilization of egg with sperm

After the egg is taken out from the ovary, it is fertilized with the sperm specimen of the patient’s husband in the laboratory inside an incubator. It is allowed to proceed for about 48 to 72 hours. The fertilized egg is then known as embryo.

4. Transfer of the embryo into the mother’s uterus

After a short period of development of the embryo within the incubator, it is transferred into the uterus by a small transfer catheter which is similar to a pelvic examination. The transferred early embryos might not develop within the uterus. All the cases of such transferred embryo might not develop within the uterus.

    5. Implantation of the embryo into the uterus and nurturing of the embryo

In normal pregnancy, the early implantation is under the control of the corpus luteum, which secrets progesterone hormone for the further growth of embryo. But in IVF-ET pregnancy, the function of the corpus luteum is supplemented by the daily injection of administrated progesteron.

In the natural way of pregnancy, normal fertile couples achieve pregnancy after an average exposure of 3 months which is called to one exposure. But if not within one exposure pregnancy might achieve within several months, sometimes even years. Contrarily, the expectation of pregnancy in any one attempt with the IVF-ET method, it takes less than the average exposure period that is necessary in the normal natural pregnancy. Approximately, it takes 6 weeks from hormone stimulation to pregnancy test with the process of IVF-ET. But the process including the retrieval of egg and transferring the embryo in to the uterus is accomplished within 2 weeks.

In the developing country like Nepal, about 15% of the women are infertile. The advent of ART- IVF-ET is really beneficial for such couples who are seeking to have children. Earlier, Nepalese couples who are seeking children had to go abroad for such treatment which is time consuming and expensive too. But with a new step to 21st century, in Nepal, Om Hospital and Research Centre of Nepal has started to provide IVF-ET service for the first time in Nepal, from July 10, 2004. With this new achievement, there is a hope for many Nepalese couples who are suffering from infertility problem. Now their dreams of having children could be fulfilled within the country herself.

 

Any reproduction or copy of this magazine is welcomed with appropriate acknowledgement.