Word of the Year 2018

लोडसेडिङमुक्त /loɖ·se·ɖiŋ·muk·t̪a/ (free of power cuts)

Nepali Language Resource Center's Word of the Year 2018 is लोडसेडिङमुक्त /loɖ·se·ɖiŋ·muk·t̪a/, and the word means "free of power cuts."

The word was used significantly more by our users in 2018 than it was in the previous years. The usage of the word had started to spike in the previous two years as well when the length of power cuts in Nepal had started to go down and later when the power cuts had ended for residential customers. When in 2018, the power cuts ended throughout the country, including for the industrial customers, the usage of the word spiked again.

Nepal Academy's dictionary defines लोडसेडिङ as "power cuts enforced during special circumstances." The word is an English loanword used in Nepali.

Nepal is blessed with immense hydropower potential, and much of it is yet to be utilized. Its hydropower potential is estimated to be around 84,000 MW, of which 43,000 MW has been identified as economically viable.1 Out of this potential, Nepal has only about 1000 MW of installed hydropower capacity,2 which effectively means that less than three percent of Nepal's hydropower potential is currently being utilized.

Despite such potential, for over almost a decade, Nepal had been enduring long power cuts, which lasted up to 16 hours a day during the dry seasons. The power outages severely disrupted the normal life of people and added further strain to a country recovering from a decade-long insurgency.

In the past, as demand for power exceeded supply, the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), Nepal's state-owned and only power utility, had been scheduling power cuts, or as it is more commonly known, load-shedding, throughout the country disrupting daily lives and economic growth.

In the backdrop of this power crisis, Kulman Ghising was appointed to take charge of the utility in 2016. Soon after he took office, Ghising strategically improved power demand management, upgraded generation, transmission and distribution systems to reduce and eventually end the power cuts. As an example of power demand management, he ended the practice of a select industries and businesses receiving uninterrupted power and diverted those savings to residential customers. In addition to demand management, other measures were taken to commission the near-complete hydropower plants, to reduce theft, waste and loss of power, and to improve the transmission infrastructure to increase the import capacity of power from India and to transfer power efficiently within the country.

With the end of power cuts, Nepal is looking forward to generating surplus power from its new plants, improving transmission infrastructure within the country and between India and Nepal to start power trade with its neighbors, especially India and Bangladesh.

Related article: Ghising leads the country's only power utility to end power cuts in Nepal

The following related words were also among the top words for 2018: कुलमान घिसिङ /kul·män gʰi·siŋ/ (Kulman Ghising), जलस्रोत विकास /jal·srot̪ bi·käs/ (hydropower development), बिजुली /bi·ju·li/ (electricity).

ओडिआई स्टाटस /oɖiäi sʈä·ʈas/ (ODI status)

Usage of "ODI status" soared in March when Nepali cricket team earned ODI (One Day International) status for the first time. Marking one of the biggest achievements in Nepali sports history, Nepal rose to the highest tier in international 50-over cricket after beating Papua New Guinea by six wickets at the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament.

The usage of the word "ODI" also spiked during August when Nepal played its first ever ODI matches with hosts Netherlands. In an incredible nail-biter 1-run win match, Nepal also registered its first ever ODI win in the same series. It was down to Netherland's last wicket needing six runs in six balls and it came down to it needing two runs to win in the last ball. It was the Nepali captain, Paras Khadka, who bowled that last ball. When the Dutch batsman hit the ball, it hit the non-stricker's stumps, returned back to Khadka, who quickly picked it up and ran to rip out the non-stricker's stumps. And there it was, Nepal winning the match by just 1 run in its first ever ODI win.

पार्टी एकता /pär·ʈi eka·t̪ä/ (party unification)

"Party unification" was the primary word in Nepali media when Nepal's two major communist parties united to form a unified communist party. During the last general elections in 2017, the Community Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Lennist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) had forged an alliance which saw them win an overwhelming majority in the polls. Following the win, the two parties formally united to form the Nepali Communist Party. The agreement between the two parties stated that the guiding ideology of the new party would be Marxism-Lennism.

पदमुक्त /pad̪·muk·t̪a/ (relieved from office)

The word "relieved from office" spiked when Nepal's chief justice, Gopal Parajuli, was ousted from office after an independent judicial body found that he had altered his date of birth to be able to remain in office. When the media published Parajuli's academic records which included different dates of birth, pressure mounted on the chief justice to step down and it eventually led to an investigation by the Judicial Council. After examining Parajuli's various documents and finding inconsistencies in them, the Judicial Council said that Parajuli's stated date of birth was not accurate and that Parajuli's real age had made him older than sixty-five years old, the mandatory retirement age for chief justices in Nepal.

वैदेशिक रोजगारी /bai·d̪e·sik roj·gä·ri/ (foreign employment)

"Foreign employment" continued to be used widely in 2018 as it had been during the previous years as many Nepali youth, mostly male, continued to go to abroad for employment primarily due to lack of employment opportunities in the country. The continued migration of youth away from Nepal has caused major changes in the social structures (e.g., it is hard to find enough young men in many villages in Nepal as they have left the family behind to go abroad for jobs) and economic sectors (e.g., remittance has been a major contributor to the economy) of Nepal.


[1] "Nepal." International Hydropower Association, www.hydropower.org/country-profiles/nepal. Accessed 5 Feb. 2019.
[2] Annual Report FY2017/18. Nepal Electricity Authority, 2018.

About Word of the Year
Nepali Language Resource Center's Word of the Year and other top words are chosen from the most used words by users on our Website or our apps. Two types of words rank the highest in usage: evergreen words, which are not considered in choosing top words, and words whose usage spikes as a result of certain events. We then choose the Word of the Year and other top words based on how they rank in the current year and how they compare to their normal usage in the previous years.


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