Feb 23, 2017
Terming the menace of climate change as a new element of national security, Honorable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina has renewed her call to the world leaders to create a global fund for water security. The Bangladesh Premier made the comments during her stay in Germany where she attended a three-day Munich Security Conference, world's most important independent forum for exchanging views by international security and policy decision makers on international security challenges. On the sideline, she has sought support of international community to arrange temporary accommodation for Myanmar refugees in a healthy and safe environment in Bangladesh.
The European Union (EU) has highly appreciated Bangladesh's role in maintaining global peace and security as one of the highest troops and police contributing countries for the UN peacekeeping operations. Both sides agreed to intensify collaboration on matters of regional and global interests such as connectivity, migration, terrorism. These issues came up for discussion at the second diplomatic consultations between Bangladesh and the EU held in Brussels recently.
The Federal Court of Canada has labelled Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP), one of the leading political parties in the country, as a 'terrorist organisation'. The bench of Justice Henry S Brown of the Canadian apex court on January 25, while dismissing an appeal for immigration of a BNP activist, found "reasonable grounds to believe that the BNP is, or was, a terrorist organisation." The officer in his rejection order states: "The BNP's continued reliance on strikes as a tool to coerce the government by creating significant economic disruption as well as the incidences of violence that resulted from the implementation of the strikes caused by BNP members are sufficient to find that the BNP constituted terrorist acts."
The government and the World Bank (WB) launched a cash benefits programme for 600,000 of the country's poorest mothers and pregnant women in exchange for their participation in activities to improve their children's nutrition and cognitive development. Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries will be selected using the National Household Database being developed by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. An automated Management Information System will help the program monitor beneficiary enrollment, attendance, payments and grievances.
Aiming to mitigate the waterlogging crisis in Chittagong city, Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) has taken up a project involving US$ 3 billion. Other objectives of the project include making the city free of flood, improving the city's drainage system and preventing saline water intrusion. Under the project, regulators in 40 canals of the city and about 2.7km of retaining wall will be constructed, said BWDB officials. Apart from these, 27.497km of flood wall with 1km slope protection will be constructed and 100 pumps with generator facilities will be installed in 10 big canals including Chaktai, Moheshkhal and Rajakhali.
The Weather Index-Based Crop Insurance (WIBCI), introduced as a pilot project in 2013, gained huge popularity among the farmers owing to its credential features. Farmers of three districts- Noakhali, Sirajganj and Rajshahi- have already benefited directly from 5399. This scheme is much viable than the analogue data-based schemes. Owing to its effectiveness, the government took the project in 2013 with the assistance from the ADB and the project was extended till mid2017.
Plans are rolled out to set out separate zones for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). BSCIC industrial areas will be established beside every export processing zones (EPZs) and economic zones (EZs) for the development of SMEs. On top of that, efforts are also underway for improving the country's infrastructure and energy supply situation, increasing efficiency in institutional framework, and ensuring ample skilled human workforce to improve the ranking of Bangladesh to attract more investment and facilitate industrialisation.
The first container ship, MV Nou Kollan-1, arrived from Kolkata at Pangaon Inland Container Terminal in Keraniganj this week, opening up a new horizon for bilateral trade between the countries. According to experts, buyers from home and abroad would be benefited from the operation of the Pangaon container terminal while booths of several banks, including the state-run Sonali Bank, would be opened there for providing banking facilities to businessmen.
Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar arrived in Dhaka on a brief visit to firm up deliverables ahead of HPM Sheikh Hasina's state visit to India likely in April. During a meeting with the Bangladesh Premier , the envoy also discussed on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation that has been inoperative for long. They opined that though the activities of SAARC has been stagnant due to Pakistan, the organisation should be kept functioning.
Russia will complete the delivery of BTR-80 amphibious armoured personnel carriers (APCs) to peacekeepers in Bangladesh this year, the vehicles' developer told Sputnik on Monday. The 2014 contract reportedly entails the delivery of some 330 Russian-made BTR-80s to Bangladesh. This development stands out as a testament to the height of the mutual cooperation between Bangladesh and Russia in this respective field.
Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd has been connected with the country's second undersea cable up to the landing station in Kuakata. While Bangladesh has now nearly 300gbps bandwidth from its lone submarine cable, another 1500 gbps bandwidth will be acquired owing to this move. Envisaged and implemented by HPM Sheikh Hasina, the vision 2021- blueprint for transforming the country into a digitally advanced one, has been changing the course of national progress.
A new move has been stepped up to set up science and technology club at upazila headquarters across the country. A circular regarding the decision has been served by the Department of National Science and Technology Museum under the Ministry of Science and Technology to each upazila nirbahi officer (UNO). According to the approved constitution, a committee has to be formed in each upazila headed by UNO at each upazila headquarters, while, one laptop, one multimedia projector and other logistics and funds are under active consideration of the government.
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