April 09, 2017
While speaking at the inauguration of the 136th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Dhaka, Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for a united fight against terrorism, terming it a new global vice. Moreover the assembly, one of the largest international conferences in Bangladesh's history, has ended last week with the adaptation of five-point Dhaka declaration. A total of 132 of 171 members of the parliamentary forum of the world took part in the assembly. During this five day conference, speakers, deputy speakers of the national parliaments of 19 countries of the IPU member states and UN Assistant Secretary General Gerda Verburg paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, extoling her efforts in taking Bangladesh to a new height in terms of development and prosperity
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake said that International community showing their support and confidence to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League Govern-ment by joining in the 136th IPU summit. The envoy made this remark while visiting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's political office at Dhanmondi while attending a courtesy call on Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader. Admiring all effort of Bangladesh government to contain recent spate of terrorism and militancy, the envoy said, Bangladesh working hard showing courage and determination to eradicate militancy in the country.
According to the Human Development Report (HDR) 2016, released recently, Bangladesh maintained a higher average annual HDI growth rate -- 1.64% -- from 1990 to 2015, compared to all other South Asian countries, including India (1.52%). Life expectancy at birth stood at 72 years, the gross national income per capita based on PPP (purchasing power parity) was $3,341 with supplementary indicators about perceptions of well-being showed that majority of people in the country were satisfied with healthcare, education quality and social security and standard of living, and had trust in the national government, according to the report.
UN Assistant Secretary General Ms Gerda Verburg has commended the progress of nutrition-related programmes in Bangladesh. Gerda, also the coordinator of scaling up nutrition (SUN) global movement, made this commendation while calling on Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim. According to the expert, an array of steps taken to improve the nutrition situation that has put Bangladesh on the frontline in South East Asia region towards a path of success in addressing malnutrition and improve nutritional status nationally.
The World Health Organisation South-East Asia Region has designated Saima Wazed Hossain, a strong advocate for autism, as its champion to enhance commitment and generate awareness and action to address the sufferings of children with autism as well as their parents and caregivers. Saima Wazed leads various national, regional and global advisory committees and networks and is the chair of Global Autism Public Health Initiative, Bangladesh, and National Advisory Committee on Neuro-developmental Disorders and Autism. Saima Wazed, daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, brought the autism issue to the fore in Bangladesh by hosting a regional conference in 2O11.
During his recent visit to Bangladesh, India's Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi said Bangladesh is a place where miraculous happenings take place every day. Addressing a seminar in the capital, he said youths account for 30% population of Bangladesh and they together can spearhead any change. At a separate press conference, the Indian child rights activist lavished praise on Bangladesh's success in recent economic growth, education and reducing child mortality rate. According to this expert, Bangladesh has proven its ability to become a fast-growing economy from a poor country within several decades.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will provide US$129 million in loan along with $ 1.0 million grant to support smallholding rural farmers, helping them prepare for climate change. Of the total, $64.5 million would be extended to smallholder farmers to boost their income and strengthen livelihood resilience through demand-driven productivity growth, crop diversification and marketing in a changing climate. The rest of $63.5 million and the grant will be provided for constructing climate-resilient rural roads and community shelters, creating off-farm employment opportunities.
Plans are laid out to bring all the country's 460 upazilas under cent percent power coverage by the end of next year. The process to expand the converge was proceeding fast with HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated simultaneously 100% electrification at 10 upazilas alone last month through a video conference from her office. In this regards, 16 projects are being implemented at a cost of Taka 36,912 crore, while seven more projects are on the pipeline. Once become operational, around 20 million people will gain access to electricity.
With an aim to give the country's dairy sector a major boost, the government has taken steps to formulate a law to set up a dairy development board. Dairy processors and analysts hailed the initiative and said formation of a separate board will encourage dairy farming, boost milk production and thus, cut import dependence to meet annual requirement. Bangladesh requires 1.46 crore tonnes of milk a year, while it can produce 52.75 lakh tonnes of milk, according to data from Department of Livestock (DLS).
The government has moved to modernise the state-owned banks to improve their efficiency and cyber security on the back of a slide in their performances. A total of 11 state-owned banks will see upgrade under the ‘Modernisation of State-owned Financial Institutions’ scheme, which will be implemented. The scheme will help the state-owned banks enhance their efficiency in the area of risk management, financial transaction, internal control and audit, automation, and credit monitoring and management. With the initiative, the government seeks to ensure good governance in all activities of these banks, improve their institutional skills and strengthen Bank and Financial institutions Division’s (BFID) oversight system.
An order has been issued by the government to give special facility to the country’s frozen foods exporters to overcome the liquidity crisis at different factories of the sector. Under the order, 30% of total distributed capital loan of the exporters, taken before June 30, 2015, will be transferred into block accounts enjoying one-year moratorium facility. The loans can be repaid in quarterly instalments in eight years. The export target was set at $1,149 million for the current fiscal year while the sector earned $710.57 million in the first seven months of the fiscal year.
A collection of over 250 paintings from children with autism and other neurodevelopment diseases has been launched at the assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Saima Wazed Hossain, who spearheads mental health issues, compiled and edited the book styled Unique Glimpses. Speaking about how she developed the concept of compilation, Saima Wazed said many of the artworks were collected by HPM Sheikh Hasina over the years and used in her formal greeting cards. Marking this year’s Global Autism Awareness Day, she came up with a write up describing how autism awareness has grown ‘immensely’ in the region since July 2011 when she brought regional leaders together in Dhaka in a first such conference.
International Labour Organisation (ILO) with the support of Sweden and Denmark has launched a training to support workplace cooperation and handle grievances with officials from the Bangladesh Government’s Department of Labour and Industrial Relations Institutes (IRI) are participating in the training. Enhancing the capacity of the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations Institutes will help build a more mature industrial relations environment for Bangladesh that will benefit employers and workers alike. Launched in December 2016 in collaboration with Government of Bangladesh, the initiative aims to develop dialogue mechanisms between employers and workers as a means of preventing and constructively resolving disputes.
Attending the 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Bangladesh, the participants said Bangladesh should feel proud of its capability for hosting such a big event which is attended by around 1,500 guests from across the globe like. Jean Milligan, the spokesperson for IPU Headquarters was quoted by media as saying the host country should be very proud of its capacity, given that the attendants have been welcomed with a big smile from everybody. Additional security measures in Parliament area and around Bangabandhu International Conference Centre have been taken for the assembly. The guests are being carried to and from the hotels by heavily guarded shuttle buses.
In a bid to avoid casualties and establish a good border management, Bangladesh and Myanmar will jointly work to remove the landmines and IEDs (improvised explosive devices) reportedly planted by separatist groups along the border. Brig Gen Md Anisur Rahman, additional director general of Border Guard Bangladesh, made the remarks on the concluding day of the six-day border conference between BGB and Myanmar Police Force (MPF). BGB also handed over to Myanmar a list of 49 yaba factories and spots from where the drugs are smuggled into Bangladesh, he said, adding that the Myanmar authority assured them of giving priority to combating the crime.
Bangladesh is the third-largest video gaming market in South Asia and 61st globally in a ranking of 100 countries thanks to robust growth of internet users and smartphone penetration, according to Newzoo, a leading provider of market intelligence of global games, e-sports, and mobile markets. The country's video gaming market is worth about $62.22 million. According to the report, there were 26.46 million internet users in Bangladesh in 2016, meaning every consumer spent Tk 188 for playing games in the same year on an average.
In sync with the government’s pledge to transform the future of Bangladesh into a technologically advanced one by 2021, a project has been rolled out to set up labs and computers in educational institutions across the country. Till date, some 23,331 educational institutions were provided with laptops, internet modems, and multimedia projectors. Moreover, some 24,204 class teachers, headmasters and field-level officials were imparted training on digital content development under the first phase of the project.
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