May 24, 2018
1,00,000 Rohingyas to be shifted to Bhasanchar soon
Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said 1,00,000 of the displaced Rohingya people, now living in Bangladesh, will be shifted to Bhasanchar Island in Noakhali soon for giving them shelter there until their repatriation. The Bangladesh Premier said this when UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Dr Natalia Kanem met her at her office. On the other hand, the newly appointed UN Secretary-General's special envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener thanked the Bangladesh government as well as the people of the country for giving shelter to a huge number of Rohingyas. In a related development, a major canal dredging and renovation project worth $20,000 is underway to protect local residents and Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar from impending monsoon floods.
The Canadian Federal Court has once again labelled the opposition BNP as a terrorist organisation while dismissing the review of the refugee claim by one of its activists. According to the court summary, BNP activist Md Mostofa Kamal in 2015 left Bangladesh and made a refugee claim in Canada. The refugee claim was suspended and he was ordered deported. He sought judicial review which was dismissed in the first week of May. The final hearing took place on April 11 in Toronto, according to the court’s website. The court ordered investigation which upheld the position of the minister, “finding reasonable grounds to believe both that the Applicant was a member of the BNP, and that the BNP engaged in terrorism and engaged in, or instigated the subversion by force of the Bangladesh government".
Bangladesh economy is going to post 7.10% growth in the current fiscal year (FY) 2017-18, according to a report on the World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018, released by the United Nations. "Bangladesh economy is set to continue expanding at a rapid pace, underpinned by strong domestic demand, especially large infrastructure projects and new initiatives in the energy sector," said the report. It also mentioned that the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to remain above 7.10% in 2018 and 2019.
Bangladesh is ahead of India which has ranked 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality and accessibility of healthcare. Bangladesh has ranked 133rd position in the index while India is also behind its neighbours like China, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, according to a Lancet study. The study used an index to measure the quality and accessibility of healthcare, based on 32 causes of death which should be preventable with effective medical care. Each of the 195 countries and territories assessed were given a score between 0-100.
Plan for 23,252 MW power underway
Plan to construct 21 power plants, including private sector ones, in the country is underway to generate 23,252 megawatt (MW) of electricity, reports BSS. Works are going on in full swing for construction of 47 power plants having 13,771 MW generation capacity and those will begin operation in phases from 2018 to 2024. Since assuming to power, the present government constructed 85 power plants having capacity of 11,104 MW after taking time-befitting, realistic and sustainable steps.
Target has been set to build some 12.8 million skilled workforce to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as materializing the desired goal of turning Bangladesh into a prosperous and developed country. To materialize this goal, the Ministry of Education would send some 1,731 teachers and officials to Singapore and China in 2019 for taking training. Till last year, the government had sent some 1,564 teachers to Singapore, Australia, the Philippines, China and India to receive training to meet the local demand alongside developing the technical and vocational education.
The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has been implementing 16 development projects at a total cost of around $ 1 billion aiming at bringing dynamism into the railway transportation along with boosting quality of services. Works of eight of those were completed during last nine years since 2009 and the rest eight are progressing fast. As of now, 120 broad gauge passenger coaches, six BG break vans and one BG and one MG cranes were procured at a cost of around while passenger coaches and wagons were repaired and rehabilitated in Syedpur Railway Workshop.
Director General (DG) of World Health Organization (WHO) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyeyesus has highly praised successes of community clinics in providing healthcare facilities for the people of the rural areas. “Community clinics have set an example to reach healthcare services to the grassroots people in the rural areas”, he made the comments when Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim met WHO DG in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr Tedros said HPM Sheikh Hasina deserves special appreciation as Bangladesh has provided healthcare services to nearly 1.1 million Rohingyas, who were forcefully displaced from Rakhine state of Myanmar. He expressed his interest to visit Bangladesh as the country has made a remarkable progress in the field of heath sector.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the Fourth Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP-4) involving an estimated cost of over $3 billion in a bid to further strengthen the base of primary education. Of the approved 16 projects, 12 projects are new while the rest four are revised projects. According to reports, the overall enrollment rate in primary education in 2010 was 107.70% which later increased to 112.20% in 2016. On the other hand, the net enrollment rate in primary education in 2010 was 87.20% which increased to 97.96% in 2016. The main project operations include providing teaching-learning education equipments and providing textbooks in due time, appointment of some 1,65,174 teachers and their postings, imparting Dip in training to some 1,39,174 teachers, induction/institutional/foundation training to some 55,000 teachers, construction of some 39,000 male and 39,000 female wash blocks, providing out of school training to some 10,00,000 children.
A Dhaka declaration containing a nine-point action plan was announced at the second International Conference on Disability and Disaster Risk Management with a view to improving the life of people with disabilities as well as enhancing disaster risk management around the globe. The Dhaka declaration focuses on international collaboration, research, survey, disabled-friendly private and public investment. Around 100 representatives from 35 countries took part in the international conference to share knowledge and insights on disability and disaster risk management.
Exports earnings of the Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ) are gaining momentum as investment flow brings factories in the Chittagong-based industrial zone to shape and enable them to optimise production. South Korea's Youngone Corporation, which established the country's first private EPZ, alone shipped products worth $200 million in 2017, a stark contrast to the five initial years since production started in 2012 when $197 million was brought in. With $100 million already earned in the past four months, it hopes to rake in $220 million this year and double that in 2021.
Chittagong Port is set to enhance its cargo handling speed by 25% within this calendar year as it installed port's first ever rail-mounted gantry crane and nine other sophisticated equipment today. 35 other cranes and other equipment will arrive from abroad by next August. The port authority has procured the rail mounted yard gantry crane from China at the cost of $2 million. Four rubber-tyred gantry cranes was purchased from the same country, two rubber-tyred gantry cranes from the United Arab Emirates, one log handler from Germany and two mobile cranes from Italy. The rail mounted gantry crane was commissioned on May 14 last, the mobile cranes commissioned on May 15 and the RTGs and log handler commissioned in December and January last.
Bangladesh and Austria have signed Air Service Agreement (ASA) for the first time aiming at operating cargo and passenger flights between the two countries. Bangladesh Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal and Austrian Transport Minister Norbert Hofer signed the ASA in Vienna. As per the agreement, the airlines companies of both the countries can operate seven passenger flights and seven cargos flights every week. Several airlines companies of the both countries have already expressed interest to operate direct flights.
Bangladesh and Russia reached a consensus on forming a joint working group on cyber security as state minister for ICT division Zunaid Ahmed Palak held a bilateral meeting with Russian communications and mass media Minister Nikolai Nikiforov in Moscow. The Russian minister also agreed on exchanging advance information on possible cyber-attack to tackle such threats. He also agreed on Russian help in establishing a 'Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security' in Bangladesh. Both the Bangladesh and Russia decided to sign a memorandum of understanding to make the e-governance activities more fruitful.
Bangabandhu-1 satellite reaches its orbital slot
Bangladesh’s first commercial satellite has reached its orbital slot 11 days after launch. The communication satellite completed the first phase of launch - Launch and Early Orbit Phase – on Monday while the second phase of the launch, Satellite in Orbit – will take 20 days to complete. A SpaceX rocket blasted off carrying the satellite into orbit early on May 12 from the US. Built by Thales Alenia Space Facilities in France, the satellite will provide Ku-band and C-band television and data services across Bangladesh in a mission valued at some $280 million, including the cost of the Falcon 9 rocket.
The monitoring and evaluation system of primary education in the country is all set to go digital within two months. As part of digitisation, the Directorate of Primary Education (DPE) on Monday announced that the monitoring and evaluation activities in the capital are totally paperless. The DPE has a plan to distribute a total of 3,729 tabs among primary education officials in June to bring the entire country under e-monitoring system by the deadline. E-monitoring is designed to force DPE officials to visit schools in person and ensure feedback on the report they submit on their monitoring basis. Earlier, the DPE in association with the Save the Children and Grameenphone instituted the e-Monitoring system in five upazilas in 2015. Later, the system was introduced in 80 more upazilas in 2017 and 2018.
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