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Introduction

The first ever establishment of printing press in Nepal dates back to 1908 BS (1851), when the then Prime Minister Junga B. Rana brought in a manual press from England. It was named after 'Giddhe Press'. It is regarded as the first government press of its kind in Nepal. Later on it was given the name of 'type press', which was then established in Thapathali, Kathmandu. Following the establishment of 'type press', about 5 printing presses were found to be operated in Nepal for next 40 years i.e., by the end of 1948 BS (1891). Among them, the 'type press' was operated under the government ownership and remaining four presses were operated privately.

With some capacity enhancements, the 'type press' was renamed as 'Gorakhapatra Press' in 1958 BS (1901) during the premiership of Dev Sumsher Rana. The oldest newspaper of Nepal 'Gorakhapatra' was started to be published for the first time since the same year. The Gorakhapatra Corporation was established in the year 2020 (1964) BS. The newspapers such as Gorakhapatra and the Rising Nepal were printed through the Gorakhapatra Press. The Gorakhapatra Printing Press remained to be as the government press until the year 2029 BS (1972), in which year it was again renamed as HMG Printing Press. The HMG Printing Press was shifted to Singhdurbar in the year 2031 BS (1974).

The thought of transforming government press into 'security press' had been conceptualized after the Government Printing Press was shifted to a new building in Singhdurbar. The government press earned the departmental status in the year 2045 BS (1989) with a new name given to it as Printing and Publication Department. Following the establishment of Department of Printing and Publication, several printing and publication tasks that used to be previously done by Department of Information came under its jurisdictions. Such tasks include publications of Nepal magazine, calendar, diary, books, biography of Kings and Queens, public speech and address etc. In addition, the Printing Department was also authorized to install the hoarding boards in the city areas and distribute several publications. Similarly, Information Centers previously remained under the Information Department were also brought under the Printing Department. Furthermore, the department was also involved in producing documentary films through Nepal Film Corporation. In this way, the scope of Department of Printing and Publication had been widely expanded.

Following the restoration of democracy in 1990, the Government of Nepal formulated a new national information policy in the year 2049 BS (1992) that changed the name of Department of Printing and Publication to Department of Printing. The national information policy further strengthened the scope and authority of Printing Department with several mandates assigned to it. With such authorized mandates, the Printing Department has been publishing Nepal Gazette, Nepal Magazine, calendars, diary etc. Similarly, it has also kept on publishing the security documents of other ministries including letter-pads, forms, posters, books and other documents etc. regularly. In addition, the department has also been publishing security printing materials of the government including Nepalese Citizenship Certificate, annual budgets and Redbook, ordinance, budget speech, project related annual programmes etc.