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...Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar For the first time since the tiny Gorkha kingdom conquered the mini-states of the Himalaya in the 18th century, Nepal has this year seriously attempted to devolve power away from the capital Kathmandu to provinces and municipalities. Elections in newly-created local bodies with wide-ranging power were concluded in September. Today, for the first ever, elections to the seven provinces in addition to the national parliament, will be concluded. As much as 40 per cent of the national and provincial parliaments will be chosen through proportional representation, which is determined by the share of different ethnic groups in the country’s population. Most importantly, with these elections Nepal has completed its transition from a unitary state to a federal republic. These changes seemed improbable just a decade ago. Certainly, it will take many years for the impact of these changes to make their mark on the society. ...Indian Express on Dec. 7, 2017, 9:44 a.m.