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The Ethos of Mujibnagar

There was a qualitative difference between Sirajuddoulah and the men about to transform themselves into a government in April 1971.

Tuk Tuk Bangladesh
Bangladesh News
  • The streets of Dhaka are filled with constant clamor. Among the chorus of honking horns and ringing bells, roaring cars and rattling rickshaws, you can hear the electric hum of the city’s three-wheeled open taxis, called tuk-tuks, as they weave through traffic.

  • Among the chaos, one Bangladeshi startup has spotted an opportunity. SOLshare plans to tap into the country’s estimated 2.5 million electric tuk-tuks, and turn them into a “virtual power plant.”

  • “When (the tuk-tuks) return to the garage at the end of the night, they come back with 30% juice in their batteries,” says Salma Islam, head of projects, fundraising and communication at SOLshare. “If they can feed that back into the grid when the demand is really high, that would be amazing.”

Reuters: Japan proposes industrial hub in Bangladesh with supply chains to India

  • Japan has proposed developing an industrial hub in Bangladesh with supply chains to the landlocked north-eastern states of India, and to Nepal and Bhutan beyond by developing a port and transport in the region, officials said on Tuesday.

  • It comes after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's visit to India last month in which he touted the idea of a new industrial hub for the Bay of Bengal and northeast India that could bolster development in the impoverished region of 300 million people.

  • After Kishida's visit, his government approved $1.27 billion in funding to Bangladesh for three infrastructure projects - including a new commercial port in the Matarbari area with links to adjacent landlocked Indian states, including Tripura, and wider international markets.

  • The deep seaport is likely to become operational by 2027 and would be key to building an industrial hub connecting the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to landlocked areas of India.

The Daily Star: Monthly household income doubles in 6 years

  • The average monthly household income in Bangladesh rose to Tk 32,422 in 2022, up more than 102 per cent from six years ago, according to the latest data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

  • The state-run statistical agency published the "Household Income and Expenditure Survey -2022" today. The average monthly income was Tk 15,988 in 2016 and Tk 11,479 in 2010. Monthly average household expenditure increased to Tk 31,500 in 2022, up from Tk 15,715 in 2016 and Tk 11, 200 in 2010.

The Business Standard: Kolkata markets thrive after Tallah Bridge and Bangladesh border reopen

  • Covid restrictions have gone and customers are flocking back to Kolkata's budget markets for this year's Pahela Baishakh and EID boosting sales, The Telegraph India reports.

  • The closure of Tallah Bridge in 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic hit the business of hawkers and owners of small shops, stalls, and kiosks hard.

  • However, as restrictions have eased and international borders reopened, shoppers are coming back to the Hatibagan and New Market areas.

Dhaka Tribune: 41 women entrepreneurs get 'Smart women entrepreneurship grants'

  • A total of 41 women entrepreneurs have been given 'Smart women entrepreneurship grants' aimed at promoting the welfare of the entrepreneurs and their business development.

  • The Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) Project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division provided the grant of Taka 50,000 to each of 41 promising women entrepreneurs in seven parliamentary constituencies in the country through Anondomela of UNDP, Sarvajaya Nari Uddokta Utpadon Mukhi Somobay Samity Ltd, Samaj, gram and Shohor Unnoyon Mohila Sangstha, Bangladesh Entrepreneurship Organization, Women's Alliance, Nijer Bolar Moto Ekta Golpo and Women Entrepreneur Forum, said a press release.

The Daily Star: Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury no more

  • Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder and valiant freedom fighter Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury died on 11 April at the Gonoshasthaya Nagar Hospital.

  • Zafrullah Chowdhury joined the Liberation War while he was a medical student in the UK and set up a major field hospital under the wartime Sector 2. and following the independence he founded the Gonoshasthaya Kendra in Savar in 1972.

  • Among other awards, he was given Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1985 and the Right Livelihood Award in 1992 for his work in the public health sector. Dr Zafrullah was the recipient of Swadhinata Padak, the highest civilian award in Bangladesh.

The Business Standard: Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury: The pioneer of primary healthcare in Bangladesh

  • In conversation with The Business Standard, Dr Nizam Uddin Ahmed (Executive Director of the Shastho Shurokkha Foundation) reminisces how Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury revolutionised healthcare services in Bangladesh.

  • If disease prevention remains weak, people will keep coming to hospitals. Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, as a young man, often thought that the way forward and out of the vicious cycle was to strengthen primary healthcare.

  • At the time, in the 1970s, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury embarked on a lifetime in healthcare and humanitarian work and later on, he became one of the first healthcare professionals in Bangladesh to implement the Alma-Ata Declaration.

The Guardian: ‘Time we put an end to it’: the Bangladeshi women fighting their silent killer

  • A group of Bangladesh’s health workers are working to reach women in some of the country’s most isolated places, to fight back against the stigma of cervical cancer.

  • Cervical cancer is a growing global health challenge, with more than 604,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2020 and an estimated 342,000 women killed. About 90% of the new cases and deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries, where access to preventive measures and treatment is often limited. In Bangladesh, a delta nation crisscrossed by rivers and tributaries, such access can prove particularly difficult, especially for those living on the shifting sand islands – known as chars – of the Brahmaputra and Jamuna rivers.

United News of Bangladesh: PM to inaugurate Indian Ocean Conference in Dhaka May 12

  • Bangladesh will host the Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) in Dhaka on May 12-13, says Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Seheli Sabrin on Thursday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the conference at a city hotel on May 12, the Spokesperson told reporters at a weekly media briefing.

  • With the theme of “Peace, Prosperity and Partnership for a Resilient Future”, the conference would bring together a luminary gathering of key stakeholders to chart the roadmap for strengthening the Indian Ocean Region.

  • The Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) was started in 2016 and in the last six years it has emerged as the "flagship consultative forum" for countries in the region over regional affairs.

The Business Standard: Bangladesh made progress in industrial safety but not enough: Peter Haas

  • US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas has commended the work done in the last decade to improve workers' rights and ensure safe factories for all while stressing that the country needs to do more in this regard.

  • "As Bangladesh moves to graduate from LDC status, more will be expected of it," he said at a roundtable on the tenth anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, which left more than 1,100 workers dead and thousands more injured.

  • Solidarity Center-Bangladesh office, IndustriAll Bangladesh Council, and USAID jointly organised the seminar on "Workers' Health and Safety and Trade Union Rights: Where Are We Now?" at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka on Wednesday.

The Business Standard: Bangladesh to get 800-MW more power from Adani in June.

  • Bangladesh is expected to receive 800-MW more electricity from Adani Power Limited in June.

  • The Indian company started supplying over 700 MW to the national grid on Sunday from its first 800-MW ultra-super-critical thermal power generation unit at Godda in Jharkhand of India.

  • Talking to BSS, Director General of Power Cell Engineer Mohammad Hossain said Bangladesh's grid generation capacity rose to 23,000 MW, while the present demand is over 14000 MW.

University of British Columbia News: UBC student cycling across Bangladesh to raise awareness of climate change impacts

  • UBC student Abul Bashar Rahman is preparing for an epic bike ride across Bangladesh to produce a documentary about how those most vulnerable to climate change in the country are experiencing and preparing for its impacts.

  • With climate change putting vast swathes of Bangladesh at risk of catastrophic flooding, including his home city of Dhaka, the 45-day journey is intensely personal for 21-year-old Rahman, an undergraduate student studying international economics.

The Business Standard: IMF team due on 25 April to discuss 2nd tranche of $4.7b loan

  • A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due to arrive in Dhaka on 25 April to discuss the progress in the use of the first tranche of its $4.7 billion loan programme for Bangladesh and the release of the second instalment.

  • The Ministry of Finance sources told UNB on Wednesday that during its 25 April to 2 May visit the mission will hold meetings with the officials of the Ministry of Finance's Finance Division, Financial Institutions Division, Economic Relations Division (ERD), Bangladesh Bank, and National Board of Revenue (NBR).

The Daily Star: $4.7B IMF loan: Bangladesh on course to meet most of March targets

  • Bangladesh is poised to meet five of the six targets set by the International Monetary Fund for March as part of the $4.7 billion loan programme.

  • There is uncertainty about whether the condition of maintaining a minimum net international reserves (NIR) of $22.95 billion at the end of March could be met, according to Bangladesh Bank and finance ministry officials familiar with the issue.

PBS News: Driven by necessity, Bangladesh develops innovations to fight climate change

  • The low-lying nation of Bangladesh suffers disproportionately from climate change, despite producing just 0.5 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. It’s also creating innovative ways to predict and protect against climate-driven disasters, and discovering new ways to build resilience using natural resources. NPR international correspondent Lauren Frayer joins Ali Rogin to discuss.

Politico Brussels Playbook:  Fair Border Tax - Bangladesh Trip.

  • Bangladesh trip: One of the co-rapporteurs of the proposal, MEP Valérie Hayer (Renew), went to Bangladesh to discuss the proposal with stakeholders, including fast-fashion retailers. “The safety conditions and wages are improving, owing to the international pressure, although they are still very low,” Hayer told Playbook’s Ketrin Jochecová in an interview upon her return on Thursday.

  • Context: In 2013, a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, killing more than a thousand people. In the wake of that tragedy, there has been greater scrutiny of the fashion industry’s practises — but this has only led to small improvements in workers’ conditions. Still, Hayer said, “All of those I met are very positive, they want the conditions to improve and they are expecting the proposal.”

  • This proposal would only target the tip of the iceberg. Over 80 percent of Bangladesh’s labor force is employed in the informal economy, according to the International Labor Organization. “The safety conditions there are much worse, I went to visit one of the local factories, but could not enter, because it’s too dangerous,” Hayer said.

Japan Times: Bangladesh's energy plan faces gas dilemma as fuel crisis bites

  • As Bangladesh’s fast-growing economy has shifted to rely more on imported fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) to meet its growing energy needs, volatility in the international market stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a gas supply crunch and power outages.

  • And as the appreciation of the dollar against the Bangladesh taka strained the country’s foreign currency reserves, the government has significantly hiked gas and electricity prices over the last year to rein in energy subsidies, a measure that has hit entrepreneurs like Ahmed.

The Daily Star: Bangladesh’s trade competitiveness eroding

  • Bangladesh's competitiveness in trade is eroding for factors such as higher import taxes and non-tariff barriers, excessive dependence on readymade garments, and the delays facing exporters while complying with border and documentary requirements, said the World Bank recently.

  • The multilateral lender also warned that competitiveness would narrow further after graduation of the country from the group of least-developed countries in 2026.

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