Nepal: Brief Profile
Situated in the lap of the Himalayas, Nepal is located between the latitude 26*22' to 30*27' North and longitude 80*4' E to 88*12' East, and elevation ranges from 90 to 8848 meters. The average length being 885 km east to west and the average breadth is 193 km from north to south. The country is bordering between the two most populous countries in the world, India in the East, South, and West, and China in the North. Nepal is a land locked country and home place of natural beauty with traces of artifacts. The Northern range (Himalayas) is covered with snow over the year where the highest peak of the world, the Mount Everest, stands. The middle range (Hill) is captured by gorgeous mountains, high peaks, hills, valleys and lakes. Southern range (Terai) is the gangaitic plain of alluvial soil and consist of dense forest area, national parks, wildlife reserves and conservation areas. The temperature and rainfall differ from place to place. In the geographic diversity and varied climatic conditions 23.2 million people of more than 60 caste/ethnic groups are accommodated in the country. Nepal presents an example of being united in diversity over the history and has maintained it's pride as being an independent sovereign state. There is constitutional monarchy where people exercise right of adult franchise. The executive, legislative and judiciary bodies function and exercise their rights independently. There is two tier system of legislation, the upper house, called the Rastriya Sabha, consists of 60 members and the Lower House, called the Pratinidhi Sabha is the house of Representatives for which members are elected from 205 electoral constituency distributed in 75 districts of the country. The elected Prime Minister heads the government.
Little over half (57%)of the population of working age reported economically active in 1991 and among them 81% were engaged in agricultural activities. Contribution of non-agricultural activities are gradually increasing in the GDP. Per capita GDP is estimated in the order of US $ 240 (preliminary estimate) for 2000/01. The currency is Nepalese Rupee.
Nepal is the member of the United Nations and has established diplomatic relation with 113 (Jun 2001) countries of the world. Major export commodities are paste, Pulses, oil Cake, Catechu, Jute good Sacking, Twins, Carpets (Hand knitted woolen), Readymade garments, handicrafts, ginger.
Economic growth of the country has not improved markedly over time to over take population growth. As the country estimated population growth is 2.3 per annum, the gain achieved by developmental activities has been concealed by growing population.
Geographically, the country is divided in three regions; Mountain, Hill and Terai. Based on area of districts these regions constitute 35, 42 and 23% of the total land area. There are 5 development regions and 75 administrative districts. Districts are further divided into smaller units, called Village Development committee (VDC) and Municipality.
Currently, there are 3914 VDCs and 58 Municipalities in the country. Each VDC is composed of 9 wards, Municipality ward ranges from 9 to 35. Kathmandu is the capital city. There are number of peaks, rivers and lakes in the country.