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HPE Ordinance endorsed

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KATHMANDU — The House of Representatives has endorsed the Health Profession Education (HPE) Act on Tuesday. Education Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel had forwarded the ordinance to Parliament on March 28 for endorsement.

The President had promulgated the ordinance barring establishment of new medical schools in Kathmandu Valley for a decade. An ordinance needs parliamentary approval within 60 days of its first meeting to remain in effect.

The Act was formulated as demanded by Dr Govinda KC, who has been fighting for reforms in the country’s medical education sector, in line with the recommendations of a team of experts led by educationist Kedar Bhakta Mathema.

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Endorsement of the law now clears the way for full-fledged functioning of the Health Profession Education Commission which was envisaged as an overarching framework to regulate medical education, among other things in the HPE Act.

Under the law, universities are not allowed to affiliate any private medical college as an extension of their programme. Likewise, a hospital not operational for three years is ineligible to apply for affiliation as a medical college.

The Act also tightens the grip on universities authorised to affiliate colleges. A varsity needs its own medical college and full-fledged hospital to run medical courses.

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Vice President Pun leaves for China

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KATHMANDU — Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun has left for China today on a six-day official visit.

Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa bade him farewell at the VVIP lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport.

On the occasion, a contingent of Nepal Army offered a guard of honour to the Vice President. Chiefs of Nepal-based diplomatic missions, high-ranking government officials and senior security officials were at TIA to see off Vice President Pun who will lead a Nepali delegation to the ’17th Western China International Fair’ in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

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According to his private secretariat, the Vice President is scheduled to address the inaugural session of the fair on September 20 and a programme on ‘Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) ‘ to be organised by the business community on the same day.

During his stay in China, he will meet Chinese Vice Premier, Sichuan province secretary of the Communist Party of China, and other government representatives. He will also inspect Sichuan-based development programmes.

He will return home on September 24.

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