Starting business just got easier in Nepal, a better ICT4D eGovernance approach

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Going paperless in Nepal - OCR Company registration certificate
Going paperless in Nepal – OCR Company registration certificate

Even World Bank agrees, why not we? The Office of the Company Registrar (OCR) Nepal is now fully online expecting to make it easier to start a business which was otherwise very cumbersome. Now one can apply for company registration online, reserve their unique company names and check if your intended company name is available, file company documents and much more. We expect more when they say it is FULLY online, and we interpret it as one of the best ICT for Development approach by digitizing the government works. OCR’s e-Services started from 2069/07/24 (November 09, 2012) while many other e-Services were added only on February 7th, 2013 to OCR’s website http://ocr.gov.np/.

This is a really appreciable step from the Nepal Government, however many business starters still lack the knowledge of Internet which could lead many middleman make the process more hassle. OCR should advertise themselves and even train intended business persons to familiarize with the process and services delivered via the website. True implementation of ICT4D eGovernance can only be achieved this way.

After creating an account with OCR, one can benefit from a number of e-Services like get updated information about the registration, updated rules and regulations, check name, reserve company name, start a company, view company profile and much more. The site also share the information about the companies and brands from the Global Brand Database on World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The comprehensive search for companies detail is really useful for both analyzing the pattern of companies registered in Nepal plus possibilities for newer categories at the same time.

Technicalities on OCR e-Services & Website

The Office of Company Registrar (OCR) website, based on front-end Joomla CMS and back-end CRO application developed by Yomari, is bilingual (website available in two different languages but not instant language change for individual pages) and comprehensive enough to give information for seekers. The complete e-Services manual can be downloaded from OCR’s repository for both languages, click here to download e-Services manual. Since this website still doesn’t fully use up secure mode (both HTTPS and SSL) while browsing, even after logging, depending upon your data sensitivity you can avoid to login from public computers.

Error on OCR Company registration page
Error on OCR Company registration page

We found that certain areas of the website connects securely though giving us a sense of secured transactions. Also we found that the passwords in the website are saved (at least sent back to users) in plain text, which made us blue however again for the e-Services page it is https connection with temporary passwords provided (with strict password combination required.) The lack of user management integration between the e-Services page and the Website’s general (CMS) framework can be observed very clearly and is sure to confuse users. OCR should integrate these two with certain access levels on-demand.

We gave it a try to register a new company, it gave us this screen! Whatever, this is a huge step to go paperless office in Nepal, really appreciated. Share us your feeling about this OCR project and ICT4D in context to better eGovernance in Nepal.

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