Dhaka, May 19 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday bemoaned that no university of Bangladesh, including Dhaka University (DU), could grab any position in the Asia University Rankings-2019 by Times Higher Education due to their outdated curricula and lack of quality teachers.
“This is unfortunate that no Bangladeshi university, including the Dhaka University, could make their way into the list of 417 top universities of Asia. Even, the Dhaka University, known as the Oxford of the East, is not there in the global ranking of 1,000 universities,” said BNP senior leader Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan.
He came up with the remarks at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
The London-based Times Higher Education (THE) recently published the names of top 417 Asian universities.
Dr Moyeen said the Dhaka University has failed to have any place on the list due to its very poor performance in key indicators like teaching, knowledge transfer, research and international outlook.
He said the courses and curricula of many departments at the university have not been updated in line with the renowned global universities as the textbooks of unknown publishers of India and or underdeveloped countries are picked in many cases in its classrooms.
Mentioning that hiring quality teachers is necessary for ensuring the standard of education, the BNP leader said political influence has unfortunately taken a serious turn in appointing teachers to the Dhaka University.
He alleged that activists of the ruling party’s student body are made its teachers without assessing their merits just to maintain their influence on teachers’ politics.
Dr Moyeen said the teaching method of a university should be different from that of a college. “But one-sided lecture-based education method--the way children are taught from textbooks in schools-- is followed at the Dhaka University.”
He said modern education method what prominent universities follow could not be introduced at the Dhaka University due to poor leadership in the country’s education system.
The BNP leader also said inadequate research, caused by lack of funds, has also taken its toll on the university.
He, however, questioned whether it is possible to conduct quality research by the teachers appointed on political consideration.
Dr Moyeen also mentioned that the Dhaka University’s education and research-exchange programmes are also outdated ones.
He said the university should develop relations with well-known universities of the developed world for exchange of education by improving its own quality.
The BNP leader also lamented that hardly any foreign student now comes to Bangladesh for studying at the Dhaka University as its global image has got tarnished.
Dhaka, May 19 (UNB) – BNP on Sunday announced a two-day programme demanding that the government ensure fair prices of paddy and clear all the arrears of jute mill workers.
As part of the programmes, the party will submit memorandums to deputy commissioners across the country on May 21 while its leaders and activists will form human chains at all the union-level haat-bazaars on May 23 to press for their demands.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programmes at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.
He criticised Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque for ruling out the possibility of raising the government's food grain procurement prices despite the serious resentment among the farmers over the falling paddy prices.
The BNP leader alleged that the government is depriving farmers of fair prices of their produces only to create a scope for ruling party men to make money.
He said the farmers are setting fire to their own paddy fields at different parts of the country, including Tangail, Joypurhat and Netrokona, as they have been counting a loss of Tk 300 per maund due to the price fall.
Rizvi said though the loan defaulters are getting huge debt waivers and thousands of crores of taka are being plundered in the name of mega projects, the government is depriving the farmers of the fair prices of their crops, let alone giving them subsidy.
The BNP leader said the government fixed the procurement rate of per maund paddy at Tk 1,040, but the farmers are being forced to sell the harvest to middlemen at Tk 450 to Tk 500 per maund. “Local Awami league leaders, mill owners and officials concerned are pocketing the rest of the money, depriving farmers.”
He urged the government to procure paddy directly from farmers instead of mill owners.
About the ongoing movement of workers of the 22 state-run jute mills, he said the workers’ all the demands, including clearing their all arrears and implementing their new pay scale, are justified ones.
He urged the government to immediately accept the demands of the jute mill workers.
Dhaka, May 18 (UNB) – Jatiya Party acting Chairman and former commerce minister GM Quader on Saturday warned that exporting surplus rice may lead to food crisis in case of any natural disaster.
“Farmers aren’t getting fair prices as the government isn’t procuring paddy directly from them,” he told the media at party chief’s Banani political office.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said on May 7 that the government was planning to export around 1 million tonnes of surplus Boro rice after meeting domestic demand.
Quader urged the government to reassess its decision, saying that it will not be able to import rice even at high cost during exigency.
“Exporting rice at this moment will be a very sensitive decision, no matter how much surplus the country has. We may have to pay a heavy price during any big disaster if we export rice now,” he added.
Referring to media reports, Quader said farmers are not interested in harvesting Boro paddy since they are not getting fair prices.
He said that the middlemen are getting benefited as the government is buying rice only from mill owners.
The former commerce minister suggested the government to procure paddy directly from farmers and take steps to preserve it in private silos.
Dhaka, May 18 (UNB) – BNP on Saturday alleged that the government is pushing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia towards a tragic consequence through “torturing’ her both physically and mentally”.
Speaking at a press conference, party standing committee member Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar also said keeping Khaleda in jail depriving her of bail is contrary to the constitution and human rights since no case against her is yet to be disposed of finally by the Supreme Court.
BNP standing committee members arranged the press conference at its Nayapaltan central office, demanding Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and her proper medical treatment.
“Khaleda Zia’s life and health has become very risky because of staying in an unhealthy atmosphere in jail for a long time. She’s now in between death and life,” Sircar said.
He also said proper legal processes were not followed in convicting Khaleda in “politically motivated” cases.
Sircar, also a former Speaker of parliament, said their chairperson is now at a serious risk of sudden cardiac arrest due to repression and unusual mental pressure on her in an adverse situation in jail.
He said Khaleda cannot eat anything, except rice porridge, for a few days due to blisters inside her mouth.
Besides, the BNP leader said, their chairperson has long been suffering from pain in her left hand and arm. “But now the pain has spread to her right hand. She is now enduring serious pain in her both hands.”
He said the Khaleda’s blood sugar level is not coming under control even after using insulin. “She’s also in a very risky condition due to high blood sugar.”
The BNP leader also criticised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for what he said her recent remarks that Khaleda is gladly taking payesh (rice pudding) and staging a drama in the name of illness. “Such remark by a prime minister over the sickness of an elderly and popular politician is unprecedented.”
He also said the Home Minister made an ‘untrue’ remark that Khaleda’s blood sugar is under control.
At a programme in London, Sircar said, the Prime Minister told her party men that Khaleda Zia would never be freed from jail. “After returning home, she is now implementing it.”
The BNP leader alleged that justice has disappeared from the country as it is now under the grip of an authoritarian ruler. “Keeping Khaleda Zia in jail without granting her bail is the manifestation of injustice and unfairness of the current regime.”
He demanded the government immediately release Khaleda Zia from jail, and allow her receive proper treatment at a hospital of her choice.
Replying to a question, Sircar said they have now no plan to apply for Khaleda’s release on parole.
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said the government is trying to shift Khaleda Zia to Keraniganj Jail as part of a conspiracy.
Replying to a question, another BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said they will take effective steps at the right time to force Awami League to accept their demand of releasing Khaleda from jail.
BNP standing committee members Gayeshwar Chandra Roy and Nazrul Islam Khan were also present at the press conference.
Washington, May 18 (AP/UNB) — First came the sternly worded letters. Then the subpoenas. Now the votes to hold Trump administration officials in contempt of Congress.
As House Democrats plod ahead investigating President Donald Trump, against unprecedented stonewalling by the White House, they are pursuing a long-game strategy that's playing out in the committee rooms, the courthouse and in the court of public opinion. And it's going to take time.
Some Democrats say the administration's blockade is leaving them almost no choice but to open an impeachment inquiry — not necessarily to impeach Trump, but as part of a legal strategy to force the administration to comply with their requests for documents and testimony.
"Things are coming to a tipping point," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the Judiciary Committee. "We're running out of options," said another on the panel, Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. "I think we're on the road," said Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi racheted up the pressure this week when, faced with a 12-page letter from the White House counsel saying Congress had no "legislative purpose" in its investigations, shot back that the purpose could, in fact, be for impeaching the president.
"We hope we don't have to do that," Pelosi said. "We want to see what we can get respectfully. First, we ask. Then we subpoena friendly. Then we subpoena otherwise. And then we see what we get."
Democrats say they're not ready to impeach the president. But opening an impeachment inquiry would provide legal weight to their investigations that would be tougher for the administration to ignore. Already, a judge indicated last week Congress may have a right to review some of Trump's financial documents. As Trump instructs his White House to reject the requests from Congress, more legal battles are coming.
Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University who wrote a book on impeachment, said the administration's arguments for blocking Congress would likely go by the wayside in court if the House were in an impeachment inquiry. The Constitution gives the House the sole power to impeach, which stretches even beyond its traditional oversight role. It's one thing for Trump to say the White House won't respond to Congress. It's another for the administration to defy a court order to turn over documents.
"The courts have been very, very wary of interfering in the impeachment power," Lichtman said. "This is really a case where one branch of government rules."
Pelosi, though, signaled she is in no rush to get there. Next week, there will be more steps in the process as Congress delves into Trump's finances and possible obstruction of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said the panel will be taking an "enforcement action" against Attorney General William Barr or the Justice Department after they refused to hand over an unredacted version of Mueller's report and other documents.
Schiff wouldn't say what that action would be. Options could include voting to recommend Barr be held in contempt of Congress, as the Judiciary Committee has done, among others. Schiff said he will be conferring with House lawyers on the strategy.
But as a federal court moved quickly in the case in which Trump is attempting to block Congress from his financial records, Schiff said, "what we have seen thus far has been very encouraging."
The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., said he was consulting with legal counsel after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to comply with the panel's subpoena for Trump's tax returns.
And the Judiciary Committee will weigh options if former White House counsel Don McGahn fails to comply with a subpoena to testify by Tuesday.
The step-by-step approach is part of a broader strategy by House Democrats to methodically pursue their inquiries while giving the administration multiple opportunities to comply.
For some, it can't come fast enough as they consider the option of opening impeachment proceedings.
"Everybody says 'impeachment' and they're like, 'Oh, you're going to impeach the president.' That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about an inquiry, and impeachment inquiry, that might give us more tools to get the information that the administration is refusing to provide to a coequal branch of government," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.
"So as the administration continues to do what they're doing, I think there are more and more people, and it isn't just progressives, who feel like this is untenable," she said.
"Members of Congress — like the American people — are exhausted by all this drama," said Huffman. They wish it would all go away, he said. "I don't think we have the luxury of that option. Not with this administration, not with the offenses we've seen, not with the daily and weekly institutional challenges that are coming our way."