Picture Courtesy: Neesha Dhungana
Deerwalk Institute of Technology recently welcomed a new Associate Director in Research and Development unit, Mr. Saroj Dhakal. The Research and Development work had stopped after former director Mr. Alok Koirala left, but now it seems like it will get back into proper shape and new direction with the arrival of Mr. Saroj. A talented, innovative and motivated personality like him is what the unit needs to move further. In order to make the new face familiar to the college, I asked him certain questions. Let us all get to know Mr. Saroj Dhakal better.
What is your education background? Where did you start and what path did it lead to?
I did my primary level study from a public school in my village in Nagarkot. I completed my SLC from Mount Everest School in Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur and my +2 from Khwopa Higher Secondary School. I went to India and did B. Tech in Computer Science and Engineering. This was my formal education. I used to organize and volunteer in lots of activities in college. After college, I did an Internship with Mr.Mahabir Pun for 3-4 years and then I worked for a company named CA technology for 17 or 18 months as a Quality Assurance person. I worked for cross work systems and then I joined Deerwalk services as a QA person, and in two years became an associate QA manager. After that, I joined Google as a country engineering consultant. My role there was to fix google products for Nepal which included google Translator for Nepali Language, changing the interface of Youtube and localizing the domain, handwriting recognition, including the Nepali input method in google products. There was a bug in google chrome which used to showed Nepali Language as Hindi which I has fixed. I worked in Google for three years and now I am here at DWIT.
What is your purpose in DWIT? What do you aim to reform/enhance?
As an growing Institution, DWIT is doing great. The student’s involvement in various of activities is exciting. There are so many things we can do better while growing. My main purpose is to make students do better. There are no research trend in context of Nepal. I think a single research in Bachelor’s level, be it in Artificial Intelligence, Algorithm or other fields of Computer Science, would really be helpful in their career paths. There are some students who want to work after Bachelors, and some who want to continue their further studies. Research would be helpful for both. Some students even want to start up their own company. Idea generation technique, feasibility study, company registration and overall entrepreneurship training can be helpful for them. These are the basic things we aim to do, but let’s see how much we can achieve.
What do you think you will achieve for yourself, working with DWIT?
I love my country and I missed my country while studying and working abroad. I wanted to do something for my country and also for the society. All these things I’ve said about entrepreneurship, innovation, these are my dream jobs. I’ve always wanted to do them, so that is the most motivating factor. And while doing so, not only my dream job is achieved but DWIT as well as my country is benefited. I could contribute for my society and that is what excites me for my job.
How do you want yourself to be recognized as, personally not professionally?
As a person I want to be recognized for what I have contributed. I have contributed a lot in Wikipedia where I work as an admin. I have contributed in many localizing project like making Ubuntu Nepali, localizing VLC player, public domain and other products. I run a talk show named startup green which is in halt for now, but I aim to restart the project again. I want to be recognized for my work.
What are your hobbies?
About hobbies, I would say I like to dream. I like to think about making society a better place. I like thinking about how to solve a problem. We study computer science. We can visit to villages and see lots of problems and we come back to city and even in cities we see problems in public transport and other places. I think about how I can fix that and also some ideas to enhance the condition of our societies. Other hobbies include contributing to open source, localizing products that have not been used by most of the people due to language issues. I like reading as well. I read lots of books and of course I like talking as well.
What are the immediate goals you want to achieve in DWIT?
Firstly, I would like to talk to you. I would like to listen what you want to achieve in life and discuss on how we can help get you to your destination. Nobody knows which day might be their final one, but the world must revolve even without you. Likewise, I want to make Research and Development an independent body so that even if I leave after a year or two, the process will go on. For that I would like to build a team and define certain processes and implement them.
DWIT News will soon be published in Nepali. Why do you think it is necessary?
Not every person in Nepal can understand English. What is the use of any product if your own people cannot make use of it? Therefore, it is necessary to connect every Nepali through Nepali language itself. Nepali is not only spoken in Nepal, but is also the mother tongue in different parts of India like, Darjeeling, and Sikkim. Forty percent of population in Bhutan and certain portion of Myanmar’s population also uses Nepali Language as their first language. Many people living abroad who like to stay in touch with activities of Nepal can find it difficult to understand. Therefore, to unite the Nepalese all around the globe, it is necessary to implement Nepali Language.
Anything you want to include that I might have missed?
Well, you are a good reporter and you’ve asked everything I have to share. One thing what I believe or what I think is whatever you do must be valuable to society. Even if you have a brilliant idea, and you have made lot of money out of it, it won’t matter if you cannot do anything for the people around you. People have created or invented so many outstanding products but have failed miserably because it gave nothing good to the society. What we tend to do is, we leave the society where we grew up because they could not understand anything about technology. Well, that’s really bad, because as a technologist, we are here to solve problems, and not create another one. We must live in our society and try to fix the problem, not ignore them. There is always a better way, be it in cooking or in college. We must be able to find the way and lead the society to that way.