Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability

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DGES Colloquium - Dr. Pushkar K. Pradhan

Dr. Mangal S. Manandhar completed his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma in
1973 and returned to work in his home country Nepal. There are three aspects of his work that
should be highlighted. The first is his role as an academic and a pioneering researcher particularly
in the field of political geography in Nepal. At Tribhuvan University he helped to introduce
courses such as mountain geography, applied geomorphology, and gender and rural development,
and to establish a course in geographic information systems and remote sensing technology. His
publications include topics in the areas of political geography, urban and regional planning, and
environmental management. He became Minister of Education for a brief period. The second
aspect is his involvement in the orientation of Nepal's development as Vice-chair of the National
Planning Commission. The third is his political work. He became an elected member of the first
Constituent Assembly cum legislative parliament. His substantive contribution to the Constituent
Assembly was as a member of the Committee on State Restructuring which advocated a federal
structure carved on ethnic lines with some prior-rights to indigenous ethnic population. Apart
from these larger national/public roles Dr. Manandhar was deeply engaged with his community as
a result of his appreciation and love for the history and cultural heritage of the Newars of
Kathmandu Valley, and he was seen both as a role model as well as a much sought-after mentor.

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