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REPUBLICA
Poor capital expenditure
Every year, billions of rupees are wasted as the government hastens development works at the end of the fiscal cycle. This kind of last-minute spending is associated with leakage and shoddy work-quality. And yet the country will see the same depressing cycle repeated this year. In the first half of the current fiscal, only 12 percent of the budgeted capital expenditure of Rs 117 billion has actually been spent.

 This is hard to understand. The budget this year came on time; the National Planning Commission (NPC), to its credit, fast-tracked development programs to expedite expenditure. Even then capital spending is so low. This will hinder job creation, impede the growth of private sector (which spends two rupees for every rupee spent by the government) and hamper achievement of the targeted eight percent annual growth needed to graduate to ‘developing country’ status by 2022. Nepal is certain to miss the 2022 deadline. In fact, this year, the country will be lucky to grow at five percent, the government’s revised forecast. So what’s behind these dismal development returns?
Asian Parenting
Neelam Adhikari
Responsible parenting is perhaps the toughest challenge in life. It is also controversial, because we are all emotionally invested in raising our children.

Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, published in 2011, stirred a big storm in the West. The Yale law professor has written that she prevented her daughters from watching TV, playing computer games, having sleepover or play dates, or getting any grade less than an A—all of which helped them become successful in school and in music studies. For this, she called herself a ‘tiger mom’.
Age And Experience
Richa Bhattarai
In J K Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, there is a moment when the students are about to learn Quidditch, the magical game played on broomsticks. While all other students are nervous about mounting broomsticks for the first time, one of them is brimming with confidence. “I have been riding broomsticks since ages,” boasts Draco Malfoy. But when it is finally time to play, the instructor informs Malfoy that he has been riding wrong all his life. So much for his experience which hindered rather than helped him.

To me, this tendency of putting too much value on the time factor is a real life fallacy. “Since 1910,” a jeweler’s board advertises. But just because it has been there for a long time is no guarantee of the soundness of the enterprise. The advantage here, of course, is that clients will have seen it for a longer time; their minds will have subconsciously absorbed the brand name, and will feel it apt to visit it first the next time there is a wedding in the house. The reference to age certainly helps in creating a brand aura. But does time span step in as an assurance for quality? That I find doubtful.
New Frontier
Kurchi Dasgupta
English theater in Nepal
Theater in Nepal has evolved into a rich tradition over the past few decades, thanks to institutions like Aarohan Gurukul, Sarwanam, Mandala Theater and more recently, Theater Village and Shilpi, to name a few. They have been bringing us plays in Nepali—either original creations in the national language, or adaptations from and even occasional translations of classics of the international stage.

However, One World Theater (since 2011) and Studio 7 (since 1981) have been bringing us plays in English. It is a welcome change for theater-goers like us. For exciting as it is to watch international plays adapted to home-grown Nepali scenarios or even those that bring a foreign setting to us through adequate Nepali translations, the fun of witnessing a play drawn from a foreign culture and presented in a foreign language is unequalled in terms of experiential value.
Infographics: What´s Swine Flu?
REPUBLICA
H1N1, or swine flu, is back. It first appeared during the 2009 flu season and quickly caused fear and confusion around the world. The virus spreads when you touch an infected surface or breathe cough and sneeze droplets in the air. If you are infected, you can be contagious for up to 10 days.

The symptoms are the same as the seasonal flu—cough, sore throat, and body aches. Young children, pregnant women, and older adults are more likely to develop complications. But an annual flu shot is your best bet against this virus. More in infographics below.
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