The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, April 24, 2014


News of: Friday, 30th of July, 2010

Front Page

Garment wage spikes

The government yesterday formally announced the new minimum salary structure for readymade garment sector hoping to put an end to the longstanding labour unrest over wages.

JS body mulls tough clause

The parliamentary special committee for constitutional amendment might recommend inclusion of a stringent clause in the constitution blocking the way for extra-constitutional usurpation of state power.

Internal conflict, anti-govt strategy top agenda

Conflict within the party and strategy to forge an anti-government movement are likely to top the agenda for the first meeting of BNP's national executive committee tomorrow.

No move from major parties to inform EC

As many as 31 of 38 political parties including Awami League, BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami are yet to turn in reports on annual financial transactions to the Election Commission with the seven-month deadline for submission expiring tomorrow.

Remove recreation centre from river

The High Court has directed Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to demolish and remove within 30 days its recreation centre in the Buriganga river in Kamrangirchar area of the capital.

Mixed reaction among lawyers

A number of senior legal experts yesterday expressed mixed reactions over the Supreme Court verdict that declared illegal the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

Most people against clipping ACC wings

Three in every four people in the country oppose the government move to make it mandatory for the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) to take permission before filing corruption cases against public servants, a Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) survey says.

Office hours revised for Ramadan

Office hours during Ramadan will be from 9:00am to 3:30pm for government, semi-government, autonomous and semi-autonomous organisations.

Key accused Rahim dies of 'heart attack'

Deputy Assistant Director Abdur Rahim of Bangladesh Rifles, a key accused of criminal offences during BDR mutiny, died last night at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. He was 54.

Four Jamaat leaders asked to appear Aug 2

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday directed the prison authorities to produce the four detained top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders before it on August 2.

Sayedee on remand in 2 cases

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee on a one-day fresh remand in connection with a case filed following an attempt on Prof Humayun Azad's life.

HC acquits Nasim

The High Court (HC) yesterday scrapped the 13-year imprisonment sentence against former home minister and Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim in a graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), deeming the conviction against him as illegal.

Shibir men clash with cops in city

At least 15 people including five law enforcers were injured in a clash between police and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists in the capital's Motijheel yesterday.

30th BCS tests start today

The preliminary tests of 30th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations will be held today.

Govt to import 3 lakh tonnes rice from India

India has agreed to export three lakh tonnes of rice to Bangladesh.

Dhaka joins global move to save tigers

Bangladesh joins hand with 12 other Tiger Range Countries (TRC) to save global tiger population.

Govt to recruit 582 docs soon

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday gave a strong instruction to doctors who have been posted in villages to perform their duties at their respective villages and make sure that villagers do not suffer for lack of doctors.

Staff confine Dinajpur Edn Board chairman

Law enforcers rescued Dinajpur Education Board Chairman Taslima Akter Banu yesterday evening after unruly muster roll staff kept her confined in the office room for hours alleging her of taking bribes for making fresh recruitments.

Strengthen Information Commission

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the government to recruit competent and honest persons in the Information Commission in order to protect the credibility of its information.

BCL units get incomplete committees

Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday announced partial committee of Dhaka city units, three-days after its councils.

Verdict paves way for secular democracy

The Supreme Court (SC) verdict on the fifth amendment to the constitution paved the way for secular multiparty democracy and development, Law Minister barrister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Save Shuvadda canal from grabbers

Environmentalists yesterday demanded that the government dismantle illegal establishments erected on the Shuvadda canal to protect it from the grabbers.

Muggers kill police source

Muggers chopped a source of the police to death yesterday at Pallabi under Mirpur section 11 in the capital.

Name Padma Bridge after Fazilatunnesa Mujib

A parliamentary committee yesterday recommended that the Padma Bridge at Mawa point should be named after Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib.

Editorial

Landmark SC judgement on fifth amendment

HISTORY generally takes its natural course. But when that course is blocked through unnatural or spurious means, there must be found the ways in which to put it right again. In Bangladesh, the judgement of the Supreme Court nullifying the fifth amendment to the constitution must be considered one significant means by which history can be restored to its natural course or must be made to move in a direction that will uphold the interest of the nation.

'Infiltrators' in the ruling party

PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina's warning that wrongdoers, who, she believes, have infiltrated into the Awami League and its front bodies would not be able to get away with their criminal activities. While it is appreciable that she wants to cut the deviant elements to size, we would like to add in the same breath that such warning rings hollow at a time when workers of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) are involved in unlawful activities like toll collection, tender and admission business and so on. They have also been found running in hot pursuit of their fellow members brandishing firearms over sharing of the spoils or establishing sphere of influence as it happened at the Jahangir Nagar University in recent times.

Sports

India go one better

Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar hit 203 and debutant Suresh Raina made 120 as India bettered Sri Lanka's run-spree in the high-scoring second Test on Thursday.

Imrul, Shafiul settling in

The emergence of Imrul Kayes as an assured presence over the summer is as much a revelation as Tamim Iqbal's assertiveness since 2007.

Pakistan lose initiative

Eoin Morgan led England to 190 for four at tea after Pakistan took two wickets in quick succession on the first day of the first Test at Trent Bridge here on Thursday.

Koertzen all for UDRS

The newly-retired umpire Rudi Koertzen has called for the decision review system to be included in every Test series after he bowed out with a tour that did not feature the UDRS. Koertzen is remaining involved in the game as the International Cricket Council's (ICC) new Regional Umpires' Performance Manager for the Africa region, and he will help mentor young umpires coming through the ranks.

MSC in coach quandary

Mohammedan Sporting Club (MSC) is in a dilemma to choose a coach for the upcoming football season as the officials are apparently divided into two groups on the issue.

10-member BD team leaves Aug 12

Bangladesh is sending a 10-member contingent to the first Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore over August 14-26.

Muralidaran & Kumble may join hands

Record-breaking Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralidaran and retired Indian legend Anil Kumble plan to join hands to set up a spin academy for youngsters, the players were quoted as saying on Thursday.

Maradona 'betrayed'

Diego Maradona accused Argentine soccer chiefs of betraying him on Wednesday, a day after they voted unanimously to end his tenure as national team coach.

PAOK hold Ajax

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, in the headlines at the World Cup for the handball incident against Ghana, was on target for Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League on Wednesday but they were held 1-1 at home by PAOK Salonika.

Laudrup frustrated

Real Mallorca coach Michael Laudrup and his players and staff have written to UEFA president Michel Platini expressing "great frustration" with the decision to exclude the club from European competition this season.

New challenge for Raul

Former Real Madrid striker Raul has completed his move to Bundesliga club Schalke, signing a two-year contract.

Cesc going nowhere

Arsenal have no intention of selling captain Cesc Fabregas manager Arsene Wenger said on Wednesday dismissing Barcelona's repeated approaches for the Spain midfielder as "transfer noise".

Khedira close to Real move

Stuttgart's German international midfielder Sami Khedira is closing in on a move to Spanish club Real Madrid, the club's sporting director Fredi Bobic confirmed on Thursday.

Inter to face Roma, Juve early

Italian champions Inter Milan will visit last season's runners-up AS Roma and host traditional rivals Juventus in their fifth and sixth Serie A matches next season the draw was made on Wednesday.

Hughes set for Fulham

Former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is set to be appointed as Fulham boss within the next 48 hours, according to reports in England on Thursday.

Red Devils rout MLS All-Stars

English Premier league giants Manchester United capped off their North American exhibition tour by routing the MLS All-Stars 5-2 on Wednesday.

Diego sacking upsets president

Argentina President Cristina Kirchner has expressed her sadness at Diego Maradona's sacking as national football coach, saying the star did not deserve his treatment.

Elena in quarters

After missing her first Grand Slam event in more than 10 years because of a left calf injury, sixth-ranked Elena Dementieva wasn't going to get bumped out of her first tournament back so early.

The Broads' race

Stuart Broad has admitted his father will have family bragging rights until he too is a member of an England team that has won an Ashes series in Australia.

Waugh has faith in 'generation next'

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh tipped Graeme Swann, Ajantha Mendis and Harbhajan Singh to fill the void left by the retirement of spin bowling's golden generation.

Salman idolises Imran

Pakistan captain Salman Butt hopes some of the magic of Imran Khan, his cricket hero, will rub off when he leads the team in the first Test against England here on Thursday.

New look Test Championship on the cards?

A new proposal under consideration is all set to revolutionise Test cricket, with the two best nations to play a grand final possibly over six days or, even until there is a result.

Ajantha has been sorted out: Sachin

Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar said India have sorted Ajantha Mendis and they are no easy prey for the Sri Lankan spinner now. Mendis, who tormented India in their last tour and also in the only practice game, took two of the four wickets but gave away 83 runs in 25 overs.

Nat'l kabaddi

Tangail, Rajshahi, Dhaka and Jessore moved into the semifinals of the ATMAI Product National Youth Kabaddi Championship beating their respective rivals at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.

Zurich to go high-voltage

Jamaican and US sprint teams are set to face off at next month's athletics meet in Zurich, with the teams led by Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay lining up to challenge world records, organisers said Thursday.

Business

High hope on infrastructure fund

The government pins high hope on an infrastructure fund by marking an authorised capital of Tk 10,000 crore for a company that will run the fund.

Surcharges weigh on Ctg port users

Chittagong Port users pay Tk 50 crore a month in surcharges mainly due to mismanagement and negligence by the authorities.

Dial 00 for overseas calls by mobile

Mobile callers will be able to use 00 as a uniform international dialling code, starting Sunday, at a cheaper rate.

BB cautions banks against quick profits

The central bank governor has warned the commercial banks against the risks stemming from a short-term outlook.

CCC rolls out Tk 741cr budget with surplus

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) yesterday rolled out a Tk 741 crore budget with a surplus of more than Tk 1.78 crore for fiscal 2010-11.

Rakub chief asks officials to stay away from graft

The new chairman of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (Rakub) yesterday asked officials to perform honestly to turn the institution into a hub for helping farmers in the north and enable it to contribute to the national economy.

Indonesia overtakes Thailand in car sales

Indonesia has hit the fast lane in terms of auto sales and has overtaken Southeast Asian pace-setter Thailand for the first time, according to a Nikkei survey from the first six months of the year.

WB for transparent financial institutions

World Bank has suggested that Bangladesh's public financial institutions should be strong, transparent and accountable to promote better public service and improve the livelihood of people.

Shift chemical stores in time

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday served a reminder to chemical goods businesses to relocate corrosive chemical storehouses out of Old Dhaka within the stipulated time to avert ruinous incidents like Nimtali tragedy in future.

Europe's economic confidence soars

A surge in confidence in Europe's economy fuelled hope Thursday that the region is finally overcoming its financial troubles just days after European banks largely survived a crash test.

Janata Ins chief re-elected

Janata Insurance Company Ltd has re-elected Rubel Aziz as chairman, says the insurer in a statement.

Sonali Bank gets new GM

Sonail Bank has promoted Nasrin Begum to general manager, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Corporate Briefs

PRIME ISLAMI LIFE INSURANCE
Unaudited half-yearly accounts until June 30 show the company reported an increase in life insurance fund of Tk 435.40 million with total life insurance fund of Tk 2,693.57 million against Tk 319.97 million and Tk 1,708.21 million respectively for the same period of the previous year. Increase in the fund was Tk 272.65 million for the period of three months to June 30 against Tk 187.19 million for the same period of the previous year.

Metropolitan

Sea level rise may be higher in Bangladesh than predicted

With the current level of continuation of human effects on climate, coasts of Bangladesh and India might experience higher sea level rise compared to mean level predicted for the planet.

War crimes trial second war of liberation

A four-day debate competition with the theme 'Liberation War, War Crimes Trial and Today's youth' kicked off at the Brac University in the city yesterday.

3 killed in road crashes

At least three people were killed and ten others injured in separate road accidents in Narsingdi and Panchagarh yesterday.

16 get Sarojini gold medals

President Zillur Rahman yesterday called for presenting the life and works of poet Sarojini Naidu before the country's young generation.

PM shocked at PAK plane crash

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed deep condolences at the tragic plane crash in Pakistan on Wednesday.

Imtiaz made envoy to Bhutan

The government has appointed Imtiaz Ahmed, current Bangladesh ambassador to Sweden as the next ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Bhutan, according to an official announcement yesterday.

Long-term plan on ICT in higher edn stressed

Speakers at a meeting yesterday stressed the need for an integrated and long-term planning on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in higher education, said a press release.

Threat to indigenous rape victim, police indifferent

The raped daughter of an indigenous freedom fighter and her family members in Tangail are being threatened instead of being provided due justice.

Poverty cause of women, children trafficking

A recent study identifies poverty as the major cause behind trafficking of women and children in the country.

Husband kills wife over trifling matter

A quarrel between 19-year-old housewife Konika Akhter and her husband Ali Hossain over a trifle matter led to her killing at their Khilgaon home on Monday, disclosed detained Saudi expatriate Ali Hossain.

Domestic help sues employer for torturing

A teenage domestic help filed a case with Mohammadpur police station in the city on Wednesday night against her employer accusing the woman of torturing the girl with a hot spoon at Mohammadia Housing.

Call to implement SC verdict

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) yesterday hailed the Supreme Court's verdict that declared the Fifth Amendment of the constitution illegal said a press release.

9 promoted to secretaries

Nine additional secretaries, serving as acting secretary in different ministries and directorates, were promoted to secretaries yesterday.

National

Train fare hike in the name of VAT triggers protest

Exchange of hot words and scuffle between passengers and staff of private railway operators has become a regular affair following unauthorised increase of fare in different routes of the northern region.

50 hurt as AL men attack protest procession, rally

At least 50 people were injured as Jubo League and BCL activists led by Dashmina AL organising Secretary Iqbal Mahmud Liton attacked a rally and procession of Nagorik Committee at the upazila headquarters yesterday.

Create mass awareness to save Sundarbans tigers

World Tiger Day-2010 was observed here yesterday with a call to save tigers for conservation of biodiversity of the Sundarbans.

Indians allegedly tilling Bangladesh land

An Indian Khasia man, held on charge of illegal intrusion through Jaintapur border, was produced in judicial magistrate court yesterday and later sent of Sylhet Central Jail.

Kushtia BNP leader murdered

Criminals stabbed to death a local BNP leader in broad daylight at Amdah village in Meherpur Sadar upazila yesterday.

Jubo League rivals clash over tender, 10 injured

Two factions of Jubo League clashed on Tuesday over the submission of tender of Water Development Board, leaving at least 10 people injured on.

4 fishermen missing as trawler sinks

Four fishermen remained missing till Wednesday as a fishing trawler sank in Bay at Balir Char in Charfashion upazila early Tuesday.

Rajshahi BNP demands proper police probe

Leaders of Rajshahi district unit BNP yesterday demanded proper investigation into Puthia Chhatra Dal leader Nur Nabi Nuhu murder case and punishment to his killers.

6 women killed in 4 dists

Six women including a mother and a daughter have been murdered by criminals in four districts.

Six IU BCL men get bail

Additional District Judge Court here yesterday granted bail to six Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders and activists of Islamic University unit.

Bank official beaten to death

A Sonali Bank official was beaten to death in Aamgram bridge area of Rajoir upazila early Tuesday. Victim Khabir Uddin Matabbar, 55, of Telikandi in Aamgram union was principal officer of Madaripur branch of the bank. A group of people numbering 10 to 12 beat Khabir with a hammer on his way to office at 8:00am leaving him seriously injured, said police. Hearing his screaming, locals rushed to the spot and sent Khabir to Rajoir health complex in critical condition where he died. Hamida Begum, wife of the deceased, filed a case with Rajoir police station accusing 15 people.

5 get life for murder

A trial court here yesterday sentenced five people to life term jail in a murder case in Gowainghat upazila. The convicts are Sultan Ahmed, Jamshed Miah, Ali Azam and Nurul Islam, sons of Abdul Gafur and Jamshed Miah's son Imam Hossain, all hailing from village Bagairhaor of the upazila. Additional District and Sessions Judge-I, Sylhet, Nazir Ahmed pronounced the judgement. The prosecution case in brief is that the body of 'missing' Humayun of the village was found in front of the house of one Khorshed Miah in the morning of March 21, 2003. Humayun Miah's father-in-law Abdul Quadir filed a case on the same day accusing the five people. Although police failed twice to unearth the reason behind the murder but they submitted the final report. At this the complainant raised 'Naraji' against the police report. Later the case was transferred to the CID, who submitted the charge sheet against the five on July 31 of 2004. The judge took testimony of 22 out of a total of 32 witnesses in the case before giving the verdict yesterday.

10 pirates arrested

Ajmiriganj police in a three-hour long drive arrested 10 pirates and recovered looted valuables at Gordair village in Mitamoin upazila on Wednesday morning. The arrestees were identified as Rois Mia, 48, Jamal, 22, Maksud, 55, Fazlu 35, Majnu, 35, Idris, 30, Joynal, 38, while the identity of three other pirates could not be known immediately. All of them hailed form Gordair village in Mitamoin upazila. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Ajmiriganj police with the help of Mitamoin police raided the village and arrested the pirates at about 7:00am along with the looted valuables. Police said a gang of pirates swooped on the boat of Shahjahan Mia of Kamalpur village in Ajmiriganj upazila while he was returning home after shopping and looted valuables on July 17. Later, Shahjahan Mia filed a case with the local police station.

Fake ASP of police held

Police arrested a fake police officer from Rajshahi bus terminal area on Monday while the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members recovered three firearms in abandoned condition from Rajpara and Boalia areas of the city. Boalia police held Shahadat Hossain, 32, son of Nazrul Islam, of Bhatkatha village of Joypurhat Sadar from the terminal area for identifying himself as a trainee ASP and taking away around Tk One lakh from three persons, said second officer of the police station Abdus Sattar. Meanwhile, a Rab team from Railway Colony camp found a .22 bore Pakistani revolver and eight bullets from Shaheed Captain Mansur Ali Park in Bhadra area while another team found two locally made one-shooter guns at Baliapukur.

Letters

Civil servants

It refers to a news item and an editorial by The Daily Star that the government is considering administrative actions against the civil servants who are performing poorly and using red tape for financial gains. The wheels of the bureaucracy are grinding to a standstill. Many of them do not work sincerely. They are more interested in using their positions for personal gains.

Traffic mess

Recently the government took some steps to remove transports older than 20 years from mega city Dhaka. The end result is, thousands of passengers are seen waiting for their vehicle to move to their respective destinations which doesn't end within less than two hours. Especially, the female job holders are the worst sufferers from the day the transport removal mission started. The owners of various transport companies are staying away from their business for the last few days to avoid such subtraction of their vehicles and waiting for the present government pressure to go off, causing the situation to further deteriorate. From the Daily Prothom Alo, I came to know the grievances of the factory employees, arriving mostly from rural areas, as they are not able to reach their workplaces in time.

Rickshaws not allowed

The other day my wife had gone to the Kushal centre grocery market in Uttara sector # 3 to do daily shopping but when she reached near the Rajlaxmi complex from sector # 5 the on duty policeman stopped her rickshaw and told her that she could not go further. On inquiring my wife was told that the whole stretch of the by-lane has been made off limit for the rickshaws because now this road has become a VIP road and only cars are allowed to ply this road. My wife asked who made the road VIP and she further said that so far she knew this street had been purposefully constructed for rickshaws only. The policeman said. “ I don't know. I am just obeying the orders of my superiors.”

Ineffective directives

An interesting front page article on the matter published on 19th July rightly stated that BERC only passes time by issuing ineffective circulars, wasting public time and money! In effect, it is not worth the paper in which it is written! Mere circulars cannot regulate the minimum temperature at which an air conditioner can be set! Better would be to install sealed thermostatic limit-switches, set at the minimum temperature desired. One wonders if BERC has the technical and organisational capability to do it.

Chittagong election

On June 17, 2010 Chittagong City election was held and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party backed M Monjurul Alam won the race. The election has been termed free, fair and the votes declared that they were not intimidated and no irregularities have been seen.

Why nicknames?

Some people have been using their nick names so rampantly that it is now on the verge of abuse. This is because of their ignorance about the purpose and reason of using nicknames.

Tax on saving certificates

From the income year 2010-11, the government has imposed tax @10% on the interest earnings from the saving certificates. This decision will reduce the net income of the investors and cause a lot of sufferings to the people who are dependant solely on this income. On the other hand, it will also reduce the number of votes in favour of the government nominated candidates for the up coming Union Parishad, Pourashava and City Corporation elections. So, for the sake of the people as well as for the government itself, such type of tax should be withdrawn immediately.

Biotechnology

In recent years, all the inventions that promise to make our life on this earth easier are from life sciences. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology is the most remarkable field in this regard. Biotechnology ensures sustainable development. Just a few days back, Bangladeshi scientist Dr. Maksudul Alam made a breakthrough in elucidating the genome sequence of jute. It reflects the prospect of biotechnology in our national economy, health, environment etc. But unfortunately extensive research and studies are not done on biotechnology in all the universities. Research in this field is very expensive and requires proper patronization from the govt. Private sector investment needs to be encouraged. Most private universities run courses on BBA, MBA, computer science and other commercial fields. So the govt. should make it mandatory for private universities to conduct research and studies on Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering. Thus biotechnology will surely contribute to the development of Bangladesh.

Bureaucrats

Finally, the Bangladeshi kingmakers and kingship breakers are, presumably, heading to face some music. Historically, Bangladeshi bureaucrats have never faced any major punishment except few stand-by transfers, temporary sackings, mild reprimand, stoppage of promotions for time being, idled as OSD etc. The highest punishment, we have heard, were few forced retirements for gross misconducts.

Indian terrorists

Bangladesh is a country that is geographically very important in South Asian map. For its over population and as a developing country, the South Asian terrorists usually hide in the remote areas of the country, especially the hilly areas. The Indian, Pakistani and Burmese terrorists hide in safe places for the planning terror attacks. Recently ULFA leader Major Ranjon was arrested with an associate from Kishoreganj by Rab. This is not the first time but a regular process. Last year the ULFA chief Arbindo Rajkhwa was arrested from Chittagong. After a few days the Indian Media said that, Arbindo surrendered to the police, but Arbindo told the reporters that he did not surrender.

Amar Desh

The Daily Amar Desh, a Bengali newspaper of Bangladesh, has survived through a historical verdict of the Appellate Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court. The government cancelled the Declaration of the newspaper and stopped its publication on June 1, 2010 because of the absence of a legal publisher. The High Court Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court stayed the decision of the government for three months. The Appellate Division upheld the judgment of the High Court Division on 18 July, 2010.

Save the pensioners

It is indeed very disheartening to note that an elected government of the people is so inconsiderate towards its retired employees. With effect from July 01, 2010, the government has reduced the interest rates on PSCs knowing very well that this benefit goes only to the retired govt. employees, their families and widows. On the one hand, it is offering tax exemptions to certain privileged classes to the tune of crores of taka and on the other hand, it is depriving the old retired government employees of a meagre amount, so essential to them for their survival at this age with the ever increasing prices. I as a sufferer would, therefore, humbly request the Honourable Finance Minister to please reconsider his decision and restore the earlier interest rates of PSC, to offer some relief to the old retired government employees who dedicated the best part of their lives to serving the government with their meagre incomes of yesteryears.

Tax on education!

The government of Bangladesh, in its national budget FY 10-11, has imposed a 4.5% VAT on all Fees and Charges payable to the private universities. I studied at Dhaka University and I had to pay only Taka 12 in a month and after 25 years a Dhaka university student has to pay Taka 25/- in a month whereas a private university student is paying Tk.7000/ to Tk.18000/ per month depending on the university. I admit that quality of education of some private universities is not good but many private universities are providing quality education to thousands of students. Some private universities have adopted better education system than the existing system of education and started research to solve national problems. After passing students are contributing to the nation in various ways. Many of them went abroad to do job and are sending foreign currencies to enrich our foreign currency reserves. So why this injustice to them? Many people have a misconception that only sons and daughters of very rich people study at private universities. I have seen many guardians of my students paying tuition fees by selling their land.

Food security

Proper conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources (PGR) is essential for universal food security. Wild and cultivated plant species, landraces and genetically improved genotypes of economically important food and industrial crops constitute invaluable pools of genes for crop improvement and diversification. Tolerance to drought, salt, heat and cold and resistance to pests and diseases are highly desirable and valuable traits in crop improvement programmes. The need to amplify world food production can only be met by appropriate management and use of elevated quality PGRs, required for the improvement of better-adapted and higher-yielding cultivars.

Online Voices

Readers' instant comments on The Daily Star Online reports. Log on to thedailystar.net to leave your comments.

International

Emergency to be lifted in six provinces

Thailand's premier said yesterday he would end emergency rule in six provinces but maintain the strict laws in Bangkok, where a weekend bomb blast rekindled tensions in the wake of deadly street protests.

China urges change in US policy to avoid friction

The United States should alter policy to take account of China's role as a major player on the world stage if it wants to avoid friction and instability, a major state newspaper said yesterday.

Iran to reduce uranium enrichment for nuke fuel

Iran will suspend uranium enrichment to 20 percent if it acquires nuclear fuel for a research reactor, the country's atomic chief said on an Iranian television channel yesterday.

Arab League demands US guarantees

The Arab League has declined to endorse an immediate resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, saying it needs further guarantees from the United States before approving talks.

Japanese near US base win aircraft noise damages suit

A Japanese appeals court yesterday ordered the government to pay 4.2 million dollars to residents living near a US base on Okinawa island to compensate them for military aircraft noise.

S Korea PM offers to resign

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-Chan offered to quit yesterday to take responsibility for the government's failure to win parliamentary approval for a key development project.

Sri Lanka ex-army chief faces new trial

Sri Lanka's former army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was brought before the Colombo High Court yesterday to answer charges of provoking violence.

Pakistan slams UK 'terror' remark

Pakistan has strongly criticised David Cameron, the British prime minister, for his remark that Islamabad should not "promote the export of terror".

Cameron defends 'frank' comments about Pakistan

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has defended his comments about Pakistan's record on tackling terrorism as he continued his trip to India.

Pakistan mourns victims of air crash

Pakistan is observing a day of national mourning following the country's worst-ever air disaster.

Gunmen and bombs kill 12 in Iraq

Attackers killed at least 12 people and wounded 31 in a series of shootings and explosions across Iraq yesterday, police and hospital sources said.

Arts & Entertainment

Music festival at Dhaka University begins today

A two daylong music festival begins today at TSC auditorium of Dhaka University (DU). Department of Music, DU is arranging the festival for the second time.

Ranjit’s solo exhibition at Galleri Kaya begins today

Galleri Kaya is holding a solo painting exhibition featuring Ranjit Das, one of the seasoned painters of Bangladesh. The exhibition begins today and will continue till August 12.

Planning for Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary celebration in Kushtia

Kushtia Shilpakala Academy on Wednesday arranged a musical soiree featuring Baul songs.

Theatre performance in aid of veteran activist

A five-day theatre show to raise funds for critically ill veteran theatre activist Jinnah Haque begins today at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). In association with Nupur Natya Goshthi from Kushtia, Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF) has arranged the event. The staging will continue till August 3. Reputed troupes from Dhaka will stage their popular productions at the programme.

An artiste at her peak

If any particular aspect should define Nazrul Sangeet, it'd be diverse nuances -- ghazal, thumri, toppa, Islamic, Shyama Sangeet, ballads, folk and much more. A singer who wishes to belong to the Nazrul Sangeet genre should therefore master all the sub-genres. Yasmin Mushtari has earned a reputation as an accomplished Nazrul Sangeet artiste and her latest album, “Pran-er Mela-e” explains why.

Single-episode play “Unknown Number” on Desh TV

Single-episode play “Unknown Number” will be aired tonight on Desh TV at 9:45 pm. Written by Rizvi, the play has been jointly directed by Sadeque Hossain Bablu and Ismail Sadeque Shaikat.

Gala round of “Abriti Chhandey Anandey” on Channel i today

The gala round of the talent hunt for reciters, “Cute-Channel i Abritti Chhandey Anandey” will be aired today on Channel i at 5:30 pm. Six contestants will compete in this round. The contestants are -- Tulin Sarkar, Tanushree Chakrobarty, Tasmi Chowdhury Hansa, Md. Mubidur Rahman Sujat, Sanjida Khanam Kakon and Ataullah Bokhari.

OP-ED

The mills of God

IS time finally running out for the Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh? For the past 35 years the party has stood tall, casting its ominous shadow over the political landscape, untouched and untouchable.

The slot machine philosophy

IT is said that rural people share an old system of beliefs among them, which is rooted to the land, drawing their sense of pride and purpose from hard physical work. That being what it is, it translates into what is largely known as the Peasant Philosophy. By and large, a peasant expects his son to grow up to be a peasant and stay close to his land.

Whining and "why-ing"

We have sat down today to ask a bunch of "why's" after seeing events surrounding VAT on private university education unfold in the last few days, and the eventual repeal of the government's decision.

Endless grief but no accountability

AFTER the recent Nimtoli fire, someone on the Unheard Voices blog commented: "Look at the reaction after the fire, endless grief but no demand for accountability from the citizens." The fire truck came to Nimtoli but quickly ran out of water and had to go back through the narrow alleys and get water again. A few of the firefighters tried desperately with their limited resources.

Bangladesh's regional transit agenda

The Indo-Bangladesh joint-communiqué (IBJC), originating from the January 2010 summit, has gained new momentum following the finalisation of the transit operating modalities between Bangladesh and Nepal.

StarTech

Plastic money syndrome

Angel is heading out to university in the latest fashion, but without a taka in his pockets. Today, he will hang around campus all day with friends and go shopping. He'll worry about the bills later, because today he is carrying only plastic money the same kind of money that made US consumers spend well beyond their means.

RIM to unveil "iPhone killer" soon

Shares of BlackBerry smartphone maker Research In Motion Ltd jumped early on Wednesday on speculation it is set to unveil a long-awaited touchscreen handset designed to battle Apple Inc's popular iPhone.

WikiLeaks: We don't know source of leaked data

WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief claims his organisation doesn't know who sent it some 91,000 secret US military documents, telling journalists that the Web site was set up to hide the source of its data from those who receive it.

iPhone 'jailbreaking' now legal

Owners of the iPhone will be able to legally unlock their devices so they can run software applications that haven't been approved by Apple Inc., according to new government rules announced Monday.

Google in talks to build Facebook competitor

Google Inc has held talks with gaming companies as it looks to develop a new service to compete with social networking website Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.


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