Landlocked between the China & Himalayan ranges in the north, and India & the plains of the river Ganges in the south
Contains 8 of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest (8,850m)
85% of the country is mountainous
5 development regions consisting of 14 zones with 75 districts and 3,995 village development committees
Only official Hindu country in the world with more than 90 percent of its population following the Hindu religion
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal(Sanghiya Loktāntrik Ganatantra Nepāl)
Land Area: 147,181 km
Population: 29,246,739 (2017 est.)
Official Language: NEPALI (47.8%)
Religion: Hindu (80.6%), Buddhist (10.7%), Muslim (4.2%)
In 1951, the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. An insurgency led by Maoist rebels broke out in 1996. The ensuing 10-year civil war between insurgents and government witnessed the dissolution of the cabinet and parliament and assumption of absolute power by the king.
On 1 June 2001, there was a massacre in the royal palace; it left the King, the Queen and the Heir Apparent Crown Prince Dipendra among the dead. Prince Dipendra was accused of patricide and of committing suicide thereafter. Several weeks of mass protests in April 2006 were followed by several months of peace negotiations between the Maoists and government officials.
Following a nation-wide election in April 2008, Nepal was declared a federal democratic republic and abolished the monarchy. The Maoists, who received a plurality of votes, now run a coalition government since August 2008.
Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with almost one-third of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for three-quarters of the population, accounting for about one-third of GDP.
As a small economy combined with its technological backwardness, remoteness, civil strife, labor unrest and its susceptibility to natural disaster, Nepal remains a country in need.
Efforts were made to establish a national education system. This includes the primary education being made compulsory and free in 1975.
Despite efforts to improve education, caste differentiation still influences access and quality of education. Furthermore, government funding for education was hampered by the violent conflict between the government and Maoist rebels. As a result, an increase in country’s defense budget had left education a casualty.
As of 2011, literacy among the Nepalese stands at 59.63% with only 71.71% males and 48.84% females able to read and write. (Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics)