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       Volume 9 Issue 50| December 31, 2010 |


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An Arithmetical Reality – Bangladesh Studies


Disclaimer: If any numbers, characters or institutions mentioned in the maths problems or solutions have any resemblance with any real statistics, persons or institutions, this is purely co-incidental.

1) If the ward commissioner of an area takes four years and two months to fix one thirtieth roads of his ward and he has only ten months left to fix the rest of the roads and to be elected again for the next term, what proportion of work does he need to finish per day?

a) 0%. He needs no time because he does not care for votes as he knows 'other ways' to bag them;
b) He would fix the rest of the roads in the coming five years, he promises, if he is elected again (!);
c) He will urge the prime minister for a direct intervention to solve the public problem;
d) The question is irrelevant and not worth answering.

2) A middle-aged man earns Tk 4,500 a month doing a job of a peon at a government office and bears expenses of four persons of his family including his wife and two kids. As the price-hike of daily necessities hits market everyday, and he needs to borrow at least Tk 2000 by the middle of every month. When would he no longer need to borrow and his income and expenditure would be in equilibrium? The day when-

a) He would no longer be alive;
b) He is reassured by Commerce Minister's comment on market situation 'everything is under control';
c) He would start picking pockets besides borrowing to meet his necessity;
d) He would help (taking bribe for pursuing higher ups) people to get their job done.

3) 40,765 hectares of temporary wetland in Dhaka in 1989 came down to 35,740 in 1999 and 24,208 in 2005. If the grabbing of wetlands of Dhaka continues at such a pace what will happen in 2020?

a) The grabber would take over the sky to build super malls;
b) Dhaka will be relocated to some other geographical zone to fix the problem;
c) Dhaka will lose its 20 percent of wetland by 2020;
d) There is no point in pondering over such complexities.

4) Anti Corruption Commission has filed 2,142 cases since 2007 but has not been able to punish a single person in this regard, why?

a) Because the Commission did not want to embarrass anyone;
b) Because the Commission is well aware of its own toothlessness;
c) Because it is all about political influence;
d) Because the Commission was just conducting its regular duty to file cases not really do anything.

5) If RAB kills 1,200 criminals since its operation, which is approximately 200 a year, how might it affect the severe population problem of the country?

a) If there is no criminal alive, there won't be any next generation of criminals;
b) When child and maternal mortality rate is reducing, criminal mortality rate is increasing; it is a good sign to solve the population problem;
c) Ministry of Health and Family Planning may propose new projects with Home Ministry to make optimum use of RAB in coping with the population problem.
d) Only 200 people from 16 crore a year, that's not a big deal.
6) Earning only Tk 2000 a month a day labourer in the city pays house rent of Tk1500 for his ten square-feet room. Having no other safe haven if the slum is evicted he starts to search for a new shelter.

On the other hand, Khaleda Zia is also evicted from her Cantonment residence, which she got for free, and crying for her 'lost home'. Find the analogy.

a) The slum dweller had 64 holes on his bamboo fence: Khaleda had 64 ACs at her house;
b) A beggar has nothing to lose: a leader has nothing to fear;
c) The slum dwellers blamed the government to drive the eviction: Khaleda blamed the government for harassing her;
d) The slum dweller would go for a new abode: the opposition leader would go for a new movement

7) In a democratic state like ours where one party goes for the country's development by ruining all the initiatives taken by the previous government; and when the latter one takes over power by turn it also tends to ruin the former one's development initiatives. How long it would take the country to be developed?

a) One five-years goes, another five-years comes, things remain the same;
b) 'Least developed' is a better option to choose rather than 'developed';
c) Neither do the ruling party nor do the people care for real development;
d) For the sake of democracy: it requires eternity to be developed.


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