Shanti Basnet obtained a Master’s degree in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation for Land Administration at ITC. She now helps Nepal’s government manage land in a sustainable way.
Shanti Basnet studied at ITC from 2010 to 2012, having been encouraged to pursue a Master’s degree by her employer, Nepal’s Ministry of Land Reform and Management. Leaving her home and family for so long was tough – as was the curriculum at ITC. But Shanti has no regrets. ‘I was lonely so far away from home; I had a one-and-a-half year-old child back home. But it was also a very interesting time and at ITC I made many friends from all over the world – most of them are still online friends today.’
Shanti gave her studies everything she had, she says. ‘The course involved a lot of hard work. But I can honestly say that my efforts paid off: the work I do now is a lot easier because of everything I learned in the Netherlands. One thing that stands out about studying at ITC, is that it makes you a lot more self-reliant.
Land administration, Shanti’s specialisation, deals with regulating access to land and the management of land. It is a critical success factor in economic growth, food security, nature conservation and poverty reduction, the protection of vulnerable groups and housing. Reports of international agencies such as the World Bank, the European Union, Habitat, FAO and UNDP all devote considerable attention to land issues and land policies. Land policy and land policy instruments determine how a government can provide access to land, offer tenure security, regulate the land market, implement land reform, protect the environment, and levy land taxes. Applying relevant principles of business administration and information technology, the ITC course provides theoretical and practical knowledge and expertise in building a viable land administration organisation.
Nepal faces numerous land management issues. These include pressure on biodiversity and natural resources, land degradation, poor productivity of agricultural land, uncontrolled urbanisation and numerous others. Shanti and her colleagues are front runners in tackling these challenges. Comments Shanti, ‘The knowledge and skills I gained at ITC are essential for my organisation. As a surveyor, my responsibilities are to use geo-information science and land management principles to implement the policies of our Ministry of Land Reform and Management. My knowledge has really boosted our organisation’s capacity in terms of offering effective services to land-related stakeholders.’
Before applying at ITC, Shanti studied geography at Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal’s first national institution of higher education, located just outside of Kathmandu. Her Master’s degree from ITC boosted his career, as it led to her promotion from Survey Officer to Chief Survey Officer. ‘In the future, I would like to continue studying and get a PhD in land administration,’ she says. ‘I am deeply grateful to the World Bank for providing me with this opportunity.’