Focus on job-oriented education for employment of graduates: President Shahabuddin urges universities
President Mohammed Shahabuddin on Monday asked the country’s universities to focus more on job-oriented education and research to cater to the need of the employment market. He said this when Jatiya Kabi Nazrul Islam University Vice-Chancellor Professor Soumitra Sekhar and acting Vice-Chancellor of BRAC University Syed Mahfuzul Aziz met with him separately at Bangabhaban. President's Press Secretary Joynal Abedin briefed reporters after the meetings. Also Read: Ensure proper spending of public money: President Shahabuddin The president said that the universities must do more on encouraging the students to take up research and innovative activities, which will be sustainable for the country. VC Soumitra Shekhar briefed the President about the academic and development activities of the Kabi Nazrul University.
A new study published in the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control journal has highlighted the importance of monitoring the tobacco industry’s interference in the formulation and implementation of graphic health warnings. The study titled “Tobacco industry interference to undermine the development and implementation of graphic health warnings in Bangladesh” examined the tobacco industry’s efforts to “delay and weaken” the implementation of graphic health warnings (GHWs) in Bangladesh. The study found that the Bangladesh Cigarette Manufacturers’ Association (BCMA) was the most active industry actor in interfering with the process, reads a media release sent by PROGGA. Also Read: Amend tobacco law in line with WHO guideline, speakers urge govt British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) was most active and the only company that acted alone to thwart GHW implementation, according to the study. The study urges the government of Bangladesh to adopt WHO FCTC Article 5.3 Guidelines and to make their implementation a policy priority. The paper was co-authored by Professor Anna B Gilmore, Director of the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath; Dr Britta K Matthes, Research Associate in the Tobacco Control Research Group at the University of Bath; and four tobacco control advocates from PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), a Bangladesh-based anti-tobacco research and advocacy organization – ABM Zubair, Executive Director of PROGGA, Md Hasan Shahriar, Head of Programs, Md Shahedul Alam, Head of Advocacy, and Md Mehedi Hasan, Media Manager of Tobacco Control Program.
A joint study by two researchers from Princeton University and University of Pennsylvania seems to have answered one of the most asked timeless questions: can money buy happiness? The research conducted by Daniel Kahneman and Matthew Killingsworth, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reached a conclusion: happiness tends to rise with increase in income and earnings. The latest study on the correlation between money and happiness refutes the previously reached conclusion that happiness levels off for people when their income reaches $75,000, The Washington Post reports. In 2010, Nobel Prize-winning economist and psychologist Daniel Kahneman first proposed this threshold in a study that found that "emotional well-being [also] improves with log income, but there is no further growth beyond a yearly income of $75,000." Read More: Happiness Hormone: Ways to Boost Dopamine However, a research conducted by Matthew Killingsworth, a happiness researcher and senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, found that happiness does not level out after hitting $75,000, rather continues to rise with “income well beyond $200,000,” the report adds. In their latest study, both researchers came together and pitted their theories against each other with the help of an arbiter. The study was adjusted for inflation, they told The Washington Post. The two researchers surveyed 33,391 people in the US — aged between 18 and 65 — with a household income of at least $100,000 a year. Read More: From coffee to yoga to happiness: Offbeat ministries from around the world! Killingsworth developed a smartphone app called ‘Track Your Happiness’ to measure their happiness. The app required participants to report their feelings at random intervals throughout the day. “The data came from repeatedly pinging people at randomly-timed moments during daily life, and asking about their happiness at that moment in real-time,” he told The Washington Post via email. They were specifically asked questions like “How do you feel right now?” on a scale ranging from “very bad” to “very good.” The study found that happiness continues to rise with “income even in the high range of incomes” for the majority of people, reaching a conclusion that for many, earning more can mean increased happiness. Read More: Eid for Introverts: Finding Happiness and Fulfillment on Your Own However, for about 20% of the respondents, the case is a bit different. For them, the unhappiness diminishes with rising income up to a certain threshold, the report says citing the research. These people usually experience “negative miseries” that can’t be alleviated by making more money, according to the study. “In the simplest terms, the findings suggest that for most people larger incomes are associated with greater happiness,” Killingsworth said about the final conclusion of the study. However, he cautioned that money isn’t everything — “just one of the many determinants of happiness.” Read More: Spending Money for Happiness: 10 Effective Ways “For instance, if you’re rich and miserable, more money won’t help,” The Washington Post quoted him as saying.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday reiterated her call to scientists to put extra efforts on research to attain excellence in agricultural production. “I always think that without research it is not possible to attain excellence. As we are agriculture dependent country, we have given extra importance on agriculture,” she said. The prime minister was speaking at a programme to mark the 50th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and inauguration of the ‘Bangabandhu Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’. She, however, said that the government has given importance on the research work on other sectors too. “Besides we have given emphasis on research works on health, education and science,” she said. Laying emphasis on continuous research on boosting food production, the PM said that Bangladesh frequently faces adverse circumstances due to geographical location and impact of climate changes. “So we have to produce our crops,” she said. Briefly describing various initiatives of the government for agricultural research, she said that Bangladesh not only sets example in food grains production, but also in all vegetables, fruits and other agricultural products. In this regard, she said that the production has to be continued with new varieties of crops in tune with the climate changes and environment. Hasina said that the country is about to enter the fourth industrial revolution and so the government has taken steps to create skilled manpower. She put emphasis on learning and producing bio-informatics, nano-technology, machine learning, internet of things and new agriculture technologies. Liberation War Affairs Minister A K M Mozammel Huq and State Minister for Youth and Sports Md. Zahid Ahsan Russel were also present at the event. Read more: Economic dev not possible without agriculture: Food Minister Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akter, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Director General Jean Balié, Executive Chairman of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at Global Institute for Food Security, Steven Webb and BIRRI director general Dr M Shahjahan Kabir also spoke. A documentary titled "50 years of BRRI's pride and success" was screened at the function. On arrival at the BRRI, the prime minister paid homage at the portrait of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Earlier, the PM inaugurated the ‘Bangabandhu Pierre Trudeau Agricultural Research Center’ aiming to conduct research in the field of agriculture for ensuring food security system tolerant of global climate change. The centre is expected to increase the existing commercial, research activities, technology exchange, development assistance between Bangladesh and Canada. This is the first time such a research centre set up with the direct support and funding of the government of Canada. The technology centre has been set up at BRRI following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the Global Institute for Food Security at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council aiming to cooperate on multidisciplinary research, training and development partnership to ensure sustainable food security. PM Hasina also released balloons and pigeons marking the golden jubilee of BRRI's pride and success. She also took part in different programmes including tree plantations, inspection of BRRI laboratories, its various innovations and a cultural event titled “Dhan-Kabbya”. She unveiled the cover of five research publications of BRRI and BARC. The PM said that the government will provide food assistance to at least one crore people during holy Ramadan. “We have taken that decision. Our goal is to ensure that the people of our country never suffer from food shortages,” she said. She also mentioned that the government is giving 30 kg of rice free of cost to the poor people in the country. Read more: Govt’s focus on agriculture to tap its full potential: PM Hasina “This is being mixed with nutritional rice so that they do not get nutrition deficiency", she added. Hasina said that the government provided cash assistance to different sectors during Corona pandemic. She also mentioned that when global inflation went up after Ukraine-Russia war, sanctions and counter-sanctions, the government distributed TCB cards to provide rice to one crore people at just Tk 30 per kg to ensure food security for the people of our country. “Moreover, for the poorer section we have made this arrangement for about 50 lakh people who can buy rice for only Tk 15 per kg," she said. She called for involvement of students in agricultural work from school life. “I think from school life they need to be involved. Working in the field, growing crops is a matter of great pride, not shame. So that's how we should build the people of our country," she said. Commenting on the change in the mentality of the educated youth about agriculture, Hasina said, “Many boys and girls do not want to go to the farms after finishing their study. Even if their fathers are farmers, they feel ashamed to say that their fathers are farmers. But today that shame is no longer, we have removed that shame.” She said that there is no shame in doing what helps a person eat and live. “It is the matter of pride to do that, So it was absolutely necessary to change that mindset, I believe that we have been able to change mindset to some extent,” she said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday stressed the need for research to preserve, revitalise and develop the mother languages of the world as many languages are being lost. “I always put emphasis on research. The reason is that enrichment of anything is not possible without research,” she said. The PM said this while inaugurating a four-day programme of the International Mother Language Institute at Segunbagicha to mark the Martyrs’ Day and International Mother Language Day-2023. She said the government will take steps to provide fellowship for language research in the International Mother Language Institute. “I think this institute has a responsibility to preserve all the languages of the world, conduct research on these and know the history of languages. I think it can be done,” she said. Hasina said she, if needed, will arrange funds to provide fellowship for language researchers. She said today Bangladesh has attained food autarky thanks to research. “Now research is extensively needed in different sectors including science and health,” she added. In this context, the PM said the government provides fellowship and stipends to 24 million students in Bangladesh and free textbooks to the school students. She said her government raised the literacy rate to 65.5 percent from only 45 percent during the 1996-2001 tenure and got an award from UNESCO for this achievement at that time. Then her government formed a fund with the award money to provide stipend for higher education. “Coming in power in 2009, now we’ve raised the literacy rate to 75.2 percent. So, we are advancing (in terms of education),” she said. Read more: Making Bangla UN's official language involves huge money: Shahriar Alam “Many languages in different countries are being lost…We want the engendered languages of the world to be preserved here and research to be conducted on these. We’re giving the utmost importance to research. I want International Mother Language Institute to make a huge contribution to preserve the languages,” she said.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said there is a growing need for research in strategic studies involving changing environments, especially in this time due to the fact that they are living in an “increasingly competitive and complex” global situation. “Our geopolitical location as a basin country of the Bay of Bengal is a determining factor influencing our domestic and international affairs,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at a programme titled “BIISS Research Colloquium 2022” organised by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its BIISS auditorium. Momen said from the view point of various strategic and economic perspectives the geopolitical significance of the Bay of Bengal can be analysed and welcomed more such creative research papers in future. The Foreign Minister said the rise of new actors, notably India and China, pose both intellectual and policy challenges which require more “informed” thinking. “In a changing world, the field must adopt a truly global outlook, if it is to remain relevant. Relatedly, there is a need to move beyond the dominance of American and British perspectives,” he said. Read more: Bangladesh considering ‘pros and cons’ of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework: Momen In recent days, Momen said, the Cold War is reappearing and forcing polarization. In the Indo-Pacific region, attempts are being made to polarize the region. He said strategic research, backed by facts and insights, can help the government to plan and implement its survival and growth strategies. “It assists us in understanding hidden opportunities from multiple perspectives, such as geopolitical situations, a nation’s inclination, its political alignment strategies etc,” he said. “We have to remember that the Great Powers enjoy strong research and think-tanks. Therefore, we also have to take efficient steps in terms of research and education in the field of strategic studies,” Momen said. BIISS Chairman Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain chaired the inaugural session and its Director General Major General Sheikh Pasha Habib Uddin delivered the welcome remarks. The colloquium was divided into three sessions under a specific theme and in each session, three papers were presented by the BIISS officers.
As many as 709 people were killed and 840 others injured in 668 accidents that occurred on road, railways and waterways in November across the country, according to the Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh. Among the casualties, 643 people were killed and 826 injured in 586 accidents on roads and highways during the period from November 1 to November 30. Besides, 51 people were killed and four others injured in 64 accidents on the railway while 15 people were killed, 10 others injured and seven people reported missing in 18 accidents on the waterways during the same period. Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh, a non-government organisation, compiled the report based on published news of various national dailies, online news portals and mass media, said a press release on Tuesday. Read more: 7 killed in road accidents in 3 districts The group identified several reasons behind most of the accidents. Among them, dangerous overtaking, reckless speed, unfit vehicles, lack of footpaths or grabbed footpaths, sudden entrance of vehicles from feeder roads at railway crossings and highways, increasing number of small vehicles. Besides, lack of service lanes on various national and regional highways, easy bikes, rickshaws, autorickshaws come down from various feeder roads on national and regional highways were the other reasons, it said. Read more: 5 dead, 4 injured in Narayanganj road accident
Five core issues - reduction in child mortality, increasing girls’ schooling, access to electricity, population density and an aggressive nationwide investment in infrastructure – have played a key role in Bangladesh’s development momentum. This has been revealed in a research conducted by Prime Minister’s Energy Advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and Mahir A Rahman, a research associate at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). The research findings titled: “Aspirational Momentum: The Development story of Bangladesh” were presented at a seminar, organised by the BIDS at city hotel on Sunday. With BIDS Director General Binayak Sen in the chair, the seminar was also addressed by Prime Minister’ Economic Advisor Mashiur Rahman, eminent economist DrWahidudin Mahmud, Prof Barkat-e-Khuda and Prof Abus Sattar Mandol. Making a joint presentation with Mahir A Rahman on the issue, Tawfiq Elahi said the development path of Bangladesh can be explained by focusing on family at the core decision-making. He said when the family decision-making process is linked with the aspirational momentum of a nation this accelerates its development process. Read: Shaping a "Bangladesh model" for development “This happened in Bangladesh and it keeps us ahead of other similar nations”, he told the seminar. Mahir said the research collected data from 26 countries where economic conditions were similar to Bangladesh and analysed their data. Mashiur said though Bangladesh could not make good in employment creation, the public investment in infrastructures played a significant role in the development of the country. Wahiduddin said Bangladesh’s development should not be explained only through basics of the traditional economic theory. “Rather, its unique characteristics should be taken into consideration”, he said adding, the women came out of the home for employment, child mortality rate dropped, family planning was adopted, rural roads were developed and there was no communal conflict—these all yielded combined result in development. Binayak observed that all the governments since independence continued some common policies in developments that played a vital role.
Jamdani, the strikingly patterned textile heritage of Bangladesh is globally popular now but many of its motifs have been lost with time with demise of artisans as their lineage could not preserve all of it in just memory.But think about a dataset of Jamdani motifs with which newer Jamdani patterns can be generated or some old ones with just a few hand strokes imitating the pattern itching your mind.A research team of students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) recently developed such a prototype called Generative Jamdani using Machine Learning to bring that idea to reality. Also read: Jamdani brings Sonargaon in the limelight againThe research aims at preserving the motifs of Jamdani and to get the country a step ahead in making the geometric motifs woven craftsmanship influential on modern textile and fine art industry and generating entirely new Jamdani motifs from a user's input.
Walton has set up a research and innovation centre in South Korea's Seoul. The company Thursday signed an agreement with a reputed Korean design house to work on bringing "radical changes" in the quality and design of electronics and technology products. Read: Walton brings Arc CPU liquid coolers Although the initiative will raise Walton's cost of production, Bangladeshi buyers will get world-class products with innovative designs, Walton Managing Director and CEO Golam Murshed said. "South Korea is undoubtedly a leading global hub for electronics and technology products. Setting up a research centre in the country and working with a reputed South Korean design house is a giant step for the electronics sector of Bangladesh," he added. Read EPB assures Walton of support to boost electronics, electrical products exports