Noted microbiologist Bijon Kumar Sil, who led the researchers of Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) in inventing coronavirus rapid testing kits, returned to Singapore on Sunday due to work permit complications.
Dr Bijon left Hazrat Shahjalal Airport around 7.30 am by a flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, said GK’s press adviser Jahangir Alam Mintoo.
“Gonoshasthya Kendra will provide him all-out cooperation so that he gets a visa to come back to Bangladesh. Hopefully, he’ll return to the country soon as he’s always eager to work here,” Mintoo said.
Born in Natore of Bangladesh, Dr Bijon is currently a citizen of Singapore. He has been working as the head of microbiology department of Gono University for nearly one and a half years obtaining a visa and work permit which expired in July last.
Jahangir said the microbiologist could not leave the country after the expiry of his work permit due to the coronavirus-induced travel restrictions.
He said the Gono University authorities have already applied for a work permit for Dr Bijon by submitting all the necessary documents in this regard. “We hope, he’ll be given a work permit allowing him to work for his motherland.”
Dr Bijon relinquished his Bangladeshi citizenship to Singapore as per the rules there while joining that country’s Civil Service in 2002. His wife and two children live in Singapore.
He was appointed to the Gono University in Savar on a three-year contract on February 12, 2019.
A GK team under Bijon’s leadership developed coronavirus’ antibody and antigen kits.
On May 13, GK submitted the samples of GR Covid-19 Rapid Dot Blot antigen and antibody kits to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities for the performance trial.
However, it requested BSMMU on June 3 to suspend the performance study of its coronavirus-testing antigen kit due to the detection of some inconsistencies in the sample collection procedure.
Later, the BSMMU conducted the trial of the antibody kit and found it not fully effective to detect the corona patients.
Following the BSMMU’s report, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) did not approve the kit.
According to a release of the GK, Dr Bijon invented the PPR vaccine in 1999 to control the goat plague. He also developed the quick test method in 2002 and the SARS virus quick test method in 2003.
As a Singaporean government scientist, Dr Bijon also played a key role in preventing the SARS virus in Southeast Asia.
The academic and administrative activities at the Islamic University (IU) in Kushtia are being hampered badly as the posts of vice-chancellor and treasurer have remained vacant for one month, officials said.
The tenure of IU VC Professor Dr Rashid Askari and Treasurer Professor Dr M Selim Toha expired on August 20.
Since then, the authorities concerned of the university are continuing academic activities through online classes during the coronavirus pandemic.
If the authorities concerned do not appoint a VC or Treasurer then the salaries of the teachers, officers, and employees of the university cannot be disbursed, said IU Officers Association Member Secretary M Abdul Hannan.
IUTA President Kazi Akhtar Hossain said the government should appoint a skilled and experienced person as VC from Islamic University.
University sources say a number of senior teachers are lobbying for the posts of vice-chancellor and treasurer.
The Dhaka University Authorities have decided to provide all of their regular students with institutional email addresses.
The ICT cell of the university has already made all necessary arrangements in this regard and Vice Chancellor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman has also approved the initiative, said a press release.
The email addresses will be provided using G-Suite for Education Service of Google. The students can access all G-Suite services, including google drive, google classroom, google meet, using the email IDs.
To materialize the plan, each of the departments and institutes will nominate an “email admin” to issue students’ data to the ICT cell.
Later, the students would get exclusive email addresses from the ICT cell.
Issuing institutional email addresses to university students is a widespread practice all over the world.
Keeping pace with the world, the DU students have long been demanding institutional email addresses to avoid any unwanted hassle while applying for higher studies or other opportunities abroad.
Calling upon the vice-chancellors and registrars of public universities to work within the rules and regulations, University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Kazi Shahidullah on Tuesday said action will be taken if any kind of irregularities is detected.
“The UGC's job is to ensure that the laws and regulations of the university are properly followed. There is no chance of going outside the law...UGC will adopt ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy against any kind of irregularities,” he said.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the signing ceremony of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for the fiscal year 2020-2021 with 48 public universities of the country.
The APA has been introduced to bring transparency and accountability in government operations, ensure proper use of resources and improve institutional capacity.
Speaking on the virtual platform, he said that there are various pressures on university authorities. “If someone bows down amid pressure and breaks the law or commits irregularities, they will not be exempted. Legal action will be taken against them.”
He requested the Vice-Chancellors and Registrars to perform their duties in accordance with the existing laws and regulations in various matters including recruitment, promotion and finance.
The UGC Chairman also said UGC will later conduct audits after Covid-19 pandemic is over at public universities if necessary.
The UGC chairman said, "At the end of your term, you must stay aware of various issues including recruitment."
Speakers at the meeting called upon the universities to ensure quality education so that five to six universities could be top-ranked globally in the golden jubilee of the country's independence.
Putting emphasis on discipline and quality administration in higher education UGC Chairman Professor Dr. Kazi Shahidullah said good governance must be established to take the higher education forward
“Proper utilization of resources has to be ensured. People’s hard-earned money can never be wasted. Successful implementation of Annual Performance Agreement need to be ensured,” he said at an event in a virtual platform marking the signing of Annual Performance Agreement (APA) with 14 public universities in the city on Monday.
University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh signed APAwith 14 public universities of the country in the second phase for fiscal year 2020-2021 under the Performance Management Framework Policy of the government.
The agreement signing ceremony for the current year and evaluation meeting of APA for 2019-2020 fiscal year was held on Monday at UGC auditorium, said a press release issued on Monday.
In the first phase, Annual Performance Agreement was signed between UGC and 14 public universities for 2020-2021 fiscal years.
UGC will sign APA with remaining 18 public unviersities on 15 September. APA has been introduced to enhance transparency and accountability in government activities, ensure proper utilization of resources and improve institutional capacity.
With Dr Ferdous Zaman, Secretary (Additional Charge), UGC in the chair, Professor Dr. Kazi Shahidullah, Chairman, UGC participated in the agreement signing ceremony as the Chief Guest. UGC Members- Professor Dr. Dil Afroza Begum, Professor Dr. Md. Sazzad Hossain, Professor Dr. Muhammed Alamgir, Professor Dr. Biswajit Chanda and Professor Dr. Md. Abu Taher spoke on the occasion as Special Guests.
Secretary (Additional Charge) of the Commission and registrars of the concerned universities signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations at UGC.
Registrars, focal points of APA from 14 public universities and high officials from UGC, among others, were present on the occasion..