Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 28, Tuesday February 21, 2006



News Flash

Pearl Fashion Institute: On to Bangladesh

The garments industry has galvanized the country's economy as its largest export earner. Today the industry is in the throes of change, as witnessed by the increasing recruitment of professionals from fashion institutes. In Bangladesh, the current big names in providing training to aspiring students who seek a foothold in the over 4, 000 garment factories are the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers Export Association's (BGMEA) Bangladesh Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) and Shanto Mariam University.

Now there is another entrant on the scene--the Pearl Fashion Institute (PFI) in Baridhara. PFI is a branch of the well- known Pearl Academy of Fashion (PAF). The latter has a 13-year innings in India. This premier institute is at the cutting edge of creativity through its tie-ups with Nottingham Trent Institute (NTU), UK, for fashion and LDT, Nagold, Germany for retail related programmes along with Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Netherlands and Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. Come March, PFI is slated to open its portals to students.

Amplifying on the need for educational institutes such as PFI, director of the organization, Rajat Bhattacharya ,asserts: “ We will offer courses such as fashion merchandising and production technology slanted to meet the need of Bangladesh's garment industry. The aim is to add value to merchandise exports from the industry through training professionals at all levels. Another forte is that the Pearl Academy has a record of 100 percent placements, which we hope to emulate.”

PFI will have a student strength of 100, divided between four courses: Fashion Design and Clothing Technology, Fashion Merchandising and Production Technology (both undergraduate diploma courses) along with post graduate diploma courses, Knitwear Design and Merchandising and Fashion Merchandising and Marketing.

One of the strengths of PFI, says insiders, is its high caliber faculty--mostly drawn from Pearl Academy and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). Through Pearl Academy's partnership with foreign institutes, PFI will gain by way of curriculum development, visiting faculty and international networking.

However, inputs from Bangladesh will not be neglected. The 20-member advisory board comprises well-known names from the art and design world, along with industrialists. In their ranks are names such as Rafiqun Nabi, Bibi Russell, Jamal Ahmed, Kuhu and Aneela Haque. The industrialists are Mohan Mahul, owner of Fashion Knit (Pride group), Asha Menon, country head of American Merchandising Corporation and Syed Naved Hussain, chairperson of the Beximco group.

Talking about the prospects for PFI, Mini Sharma, senior faculty member, says, “ We need to create the awareness of fashion here. In India it is already a career option. Here we need to educate people about the kind of openings they can hope for after passing out of the institute.”

“Another step to generate such awareness is a fashion seminar around March with journalists and visiting faculty from Nottingham,” says Archana S Raj, marketing consultant, PFI. “Through the media we hope to attract and groom skilled personnels in the garment industry,” she adds.

PFI's long term aim is to train local manpower that will be able to replace the high flying expatriates from other countries. This will give momentum to the nation's effort to build an indigenous industry while conserving considerable foreign exchange. Whether the institute can fulfill these lofty goals remains to be seen.

By Kavita Charanji

Kanchkolar Dom Green Banana Curry
4 green bananas
2 chopped green chilli
2 potatoes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
4 Ts soybean oil
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 Ts cumin seeds
2 tsp sugar
2 onion, minced
2 Ts lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
salt to taste

Peel banana and cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces. In a sauce pan add two cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Add banana, boil for three minutes. Drain water. In 2 Ts of oil, fry banana slices until both sides are brown.
Peel and cube potatoes. Boil in salt water and drain.
In a frying pan, heat 2 Ts oil. Add cumin seeds. Then add ground onion, green chilli, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and 1/2 cup of water. Stir and fry until oil separates from spices. Add potatoes and fry for 2 minutes.
Add banana, salt, sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of water. Cover, cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Serve hot with rice or chapatti.

Doi Begun ( Eggplant in Yoghurt)
1 lb eggplant
1/2 cup yoghurt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp roasted & ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground chilli
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground garlic
cooking oil

Slice eggplant (1/2 cm thick each), wash and drain water, and wipe out with paper towel. Mix turmeric, chilli, coriander, salt ( less than 1/4 tsp ) to eggplant. Use hand for better mixing.
Heat oil in frying pan. Fry eggplants until both sides are golden brown.
Beat yoghurt, adding salt, black pepper, garlic, cumin, and two tblsps of water.
Arrange fried eggplant in a dish and pour yoghurt mixture over eggplant. Make sure eggplants are covered with yoghurt.
Keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours and then serve. It can be made early.
This dish can be served with pulao or Biriyani.

Khatta Begun ( Sweet and Sour Eggplant)
2 lb eggplant
1/2 cup seedless tamarind
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground red chilli
2 Ts finely chopped onion
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground garlic
3/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp panchforan
2 bay leafs

Soak tamarind in 1 cup of water. Rub through a sieve and save the thick liquid drained from it. Slice eggplant 1cm/ 1/2 inch thick, wash and drain water.
Mix ground spices and salt to make a paste. Mix eggplant with half of the paste.
Fry eggplant slices until light brown in a covered pan.
Choose a pan in which 2 or 3 layers of eggplants can be arranged afterwards.
Keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours and then serve. It can be made early.
Heat rest of the oil in that pan. Add panchforan, bay leaf, and rest of the spices except sugar and tamarind. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir until oil separates. Add 2 cups of water, tamarind and sugar and arrange eggplant slices.
Cover and cook for about one hour. Remove from heat when gravy is thick and is separated.


Camera Phone

When I decided to finally replace my old phone with a new one, I realised how difficult it is nowadays to find a decent mobile phone set without a camera. I refuse to use a camera/phone on principle but all the sets I liked had built in cameras, some with video options.

I got to thinking of all the horror stories I've heard about hidden cameras in operation, and how detrimental the effect of such incidents can be to a society. And I wondered how easily we still accept and in fact, popularise, phones with cameras, knowing that they often take away our privacy.

Would you want your picture taken, without you being aware and have it posted on the net? And how would it be to find your private moments being shown on the mushrooming websites?

We can't take away phones with cameras from the market, of course. That wouldn't solve anything. There would still be illegally installed surveillance cameras to deal with. We can, however, take a stance, by defining our personal boundaries and by showing others how not to allow anyone else to invade that space.

We need to make the younger generation aware of what often goes on in the name of fun and entertainment. But first, we need to know ourselves how far we will let the ball roll. When a friend of a friend brings around a clip that we know is not legal, moral or ethical, we need to tell them that it is illegal, amoral and unethical. We need to decide our own principles and only then can we declare them to the world. And once declared, we need to stick to our guns and hold out against cheap diversions.

As for me, I stand by my decision to not use a camera/phone. If I want to take a picture, I'll use a camera. My phone is for keeping in touch with people. And till the market comes up with a range of stylish phones without a camera I'll just have to stick to my old phone set.

By Kawshiki Nasser


Cell Phone Care

In today's Bangladesh, millions and millions of people begin their day by checking the time and date on their cell phone and mobile phones have become a necessity in our life. Cell phones have already reached the palms of almost one crore people around Bangladesh.

However, as cell phone usage has increased, we must now also know about stretching the life span of this electronic device. Simple practices can elongate the life of our mobile phone. Remember that like any other electronic device, cell phones too must be taken care of to prolong their useful lifetime.

There are certain things which must be avoided always. Firstly, never keep your mobile phone in a damp or steamed environment, for instance, in the bathroom. Do not use wet hands to push buttons. If water seeps in through the keypad, it might cause non-repairable damage to your cell phone.

Protective cases for cell phones are widely available in the local stores. Do consider buying one to keep your cell phone safe. Not only can you save the display screen from scratches, a protective case will also save your phone from sunlight, water, dust and debris.

Extreme heat in a car can damage the battery or cell phone electronics. Keep your cell phone away from sunlight when you are inside your car. Cell phone holders are widely available in stores selling mobile phone accessories, you can purchase one and fix it inside your car to provide protection to your cellular phone.

Don't expose your cell phone to extreme cold as it may cause momentary loss of the screen display.

A little attention to the usage of cell phones can elongate their useful life.

By Penelope


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