IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


Contemporary Regional Developments in Bangladesh

14th March - 3rd April
  • DU professor suspended for ‘distorting of Liberation War, defaming Bangabandhu’: Dhaka University suspended a professor over charges of distorting history of Bangladesh’s Liberation War and defaming Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Prof Morshed Hasan Khan of Marketing Department, under Faculty of Business Studies, has been suspended on allegations of distorting history of the Liberation War and defaming Bangabandhu, said a press release issued by the Dhaka University. The order will be made effective instantly and he Hasan will have to face the punishment until further notice, the release added. Morshed made some remarks about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and on the history in his article titled “Jyotirmoy Zia”, published in a national daily. In the article, Morshed termed Ziaur Rahman the “declarer of independence” and claimed that most of the then Awami League leaders including Bangabandhu left the country during the war. Soon after publishing the article, protests sparked among the leaders and activists Bangladesh Chhatra League on the DU campus on March 26. The BCL men staged demonstration on the campus demanding punishment of the teacher and declaring him as “persona non grata” on the campus on March 27.
    They also submitted a memorandum to the vice-chancellor urging the authorities for taking immediate actions against him. Dhaka University Teachers' Association (Duta) in a statement also demanded legal actions against the professor. Following the protest, Morshed in a Facebook post issued an apology in this regard.
    (Daily Star: 3 April, 2018)
  • Bangladesh begins relocating Rohingya before monsoon: Bangladesh has begun relocating 100,000 Rohingya refugees to safer ground before the monsoon season for fear of deadly landslides and floods in the congested camps. The UN says about 150,000 refugees in Bangladesh's southeast - where nearly one million Rohingya in total live in shanties on hillsides - are extremely vulnerable to disease and disaster this rainy season. Humanitarian groups have been racing to reinforce the basic shelters erected hastily by the Rohingya as they fled across the border after a fierce army crackdown on the community in western Myanmar. Nearly 700,000 refugees have crossed the border since August into the Cox's Bazar region, clearing trees and packing whole hillsides with unstable shanties. Bangladesh's refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said 100,000 refugees living in "priority" areas most at risk from floods and landslides would be relocated before June. "We have already shifted some 10,000 refugees from different locations to safer settlements," he told AFP.
    ( Channel News Asia 1 April,2018)
  • Study finds Bangladesh teens with extended screen time show 'psychological symptoms': Researchers say this finding has significant public health implications for developing countries such as Bangladesh, which are now demonstrating increasing rates of recreational screen use and inactivity as access to technology becomes easier. The research published in the International Health, an official journal of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Oxford University Press, is said to be the first such study that examined the “combined effects of physical activity and screen time on the psychosocial difficulties of adolescents in Bangladesh”. Some 671 students aged between 13 years and 16 years of eight schools in Bangladesh, both English and Bangla mediums, have responded to the study. Earlier, a research by the same author Prof Asad Khan of University of Queensland’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Science found that teenagers in Bangladesh who did less than one hour of moderate exercise, and had more than two hours of screen time per day, were twice as likely to report depressive symptoms than those who exercised for an hour a day.
    (BdNews 24: 2 April 2018)
7th March - 13th March
  • Singapore, Bangladesh ink deals to boost economic relations: Bangladesh and Singapore signed four Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) at the inaugural Bangladesh-Singapore Business Forum on Tuesday (Mar 13). One of them will see International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority working together to facilitate the entry of Singapore companies, including SMEs, into Bangladesh. Another MoU will see both countries collaborate on developing and delivering capacity building programmes for public service officers, in support of the Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021 Programme. The agreement also aims to enhance and sustain the start-up ecosystem in Bangladesh. Another deal between the Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF) and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) aims to open doors for Singapore companies going into Bangladesh, providing them with a source of business contacts in the country, as well as opportunities to collaborate with FBCCI members. The fourth MoU builds on a deal that was signed between the SMF and the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) in 1997. Under the deal, MCCI will facilitate Singapore companies to be connected to manufacturers and businesses in Dhaka.
    (Channel News Asia 13.3.2018)
  • Bangladeshi Passenger plane crashes, catches fire at Kathmandu airport
    (CNBC: 12.3.2018)
  • Like in India, the Chinese are taking over Bangladesh’s phone market, too: Chinese smartphone makers are winning everywhere. After having beaten Samsung in India, they are now sweeping through Bangladesh. Local brand Symphony’s sales declined 48% year-on-year and 37% quarter-over-quarter, latest International Data Corporation (IDC) data show. Though it still maintained its lead with a 29% share, its stronghold is weakening. During the same period, Shenzhen-based Transsion bagged the second spot with its sales rising by 14% between the third and fourth quarters of 2017. Samsung fell to the third position.
    (Quartz India, 13.3.2018)
28th February - 06th March
  • Popular science fiction writer Zafar Iqbal stabbed in Bangladesh
    Popular Bangladeshi science fiction writer and educationist Prof. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal was stabbed in northeastern Sylhet. The attacker stabbed Prof. Iqbal on his head from behind with a sharp weapon on the campus around 5:30 pm, the police said. The writer was attending a programme organised by Electronic and Electrical Engineering department of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology when he was attacked. Prof.Iqbal, a teacher of the university, has been taken to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital for treatment. Though bleeding, he was still able to speak, a witness said.
    (The Hindu-03.03.2018)
  • Bangladesh to seek more Vietnamese investment
    Bangladeshi businesses will seek more investment from Vietnam during the visit of the Southeast Asian country's President Tran Dai Quang, who arrived in Dhaka yesterday. The bilateral trade volume is in favour of Vietnam, from where Bangladesh has been importing woven fabrics in bulk quantity since 2011 after the relaxation of the Rules of Origin by the EU for the least developed countries.
    (The Daily Star 05.03.2018)
  • Bangladesh's bad loan ratio higher than India, Nepal
    The high non-performing loan ratio remains a key concern for the banking sector, said a country paper on Bangladesh that was presented at a conference. Between 2014 and 2018, the NPL ratio has been hovering above the 10-percent mark, according to the paper titled “A Review of the Activities and Performance of the Banking Sector of Bangladesh”.
    (The Daily Star: 05.03.2018)