April 2012

A Primary Key Infrastructure for Nepal

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Rajan Raj Pant, Controller, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Nepal

Primary Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a framework for creating a secure method for exchanging information based on public key cryptography. The foundation for PKI is the Certifying Authority (CA), which issues digital certificates that authenticate the identity of organizations and individuals over a public system such as the Internet.  PKI is a vital tool for information security, reliable and secure e-commerce ransactions, e-governance services etc.

Nepal enacted the Electronic Transaction Act in 2006 and the Electronic Transaction Regulation was passed by the Cabinet in 2007. The Controller’s office was created for the effective implement Electronic Transaction Act and we have recently established the PKI Datacenter having Root Certifying Authority.

As with other developing countries, we are also struggling with some common problems such as lack of technical knowhow in government, e-Governance being a low priority area, poor infrastructure, lack of a security orientation among end users, lack of established ICT governance protocols, lack of IT experts among the professional class and inadequate budgetary allocation, to cite a few. But we are hopeful of achieving our objectives and with this faith, the work is going on.

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