The 19th meeting of the Bangladesh–India Joint Steering Committee (BIJSC) on power sector was held at a hotel in Dhaka on Saturday.
The meeting reviewed the progress of various ongoing projects related to the power sector cooperation between the two neighbours and expressed hope for further cooperation, said a handout from the Ministry of the Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
Bangladesh’s Power Secretary Habibur Rahman and his Indian counterpart Sanjiv Nandan Sahai led their respective sides in the meeting.
The progress about construction of the second transmission line beside the current situation of import of electricity from India through Bheramara and Bharampur inter-connection system was apprised in the meeting.
Apart from it, the meeting also reviewed implementation of the proposed Katihar-Parbatipur 765 kV transmission line.
It discussed the Indian power import-export guidelines and regulations, giving waiver of taxes, customs duty and value added tax (VAT) facilities in import of electricity from India and also exemption from financial losses due to political reasons or change in Indian laws.
The BIJSC also discussed the progress on the import of electricity through India from Indian GMR’s hydropower plant in Nepal and also the joint investment of Bangladesh, India and Bhutan in hydropower project in Bhutan.
The meeting expressed satisfaction over the implementation progress of the under-construction 1,320MW Moiytree Super Thermal Power Plant in Rampal amid the Covid-19 situation and hoped the cooperation in power sector between Bangladesh and India would continue.
A working group meeting of the two neighbouring nations was also held in the same place, said the ministry handout.
The Cox's Bazar CSO-NGO Forum (CCNF), a platform of local NGOs and civil societies, on Saturday called upon all concerned to take up special rehabilitation programmes for local educational institutions and students in Cox's Bazar affected by the Rohingya influx.
In a press release, the network of 50 local NGOs and civil society organisations active in the promotion of development and human rights in Cox's Bazar, made the call ahead of the International education day, which will be observed on Sunday.
It also recommended the introduction of education for Rohingyas with Myanmar curriculum to make Rohingya repatriation sustainable.
According to the press release, some local education institutions were initially used as temporary barracks for military personnel at the beginning of the Rohingya influx in 2017, and many Rohingyas also took refuge in various institutions. As a result, these institutions shut down their activities for a few months.
Many students stopped going to school because of the increasing number of people and the huge congestion of vehicles used in relief programmes. Many college students and teachers got the opportunity to join the various organisations involved in the relief programme. From one school, seven out of ten teachers quit and joined another job.
The statement stated that only 2.6 percent of global relief programme has been allocated to the education sector.
The CCNF said although Rohingya children aged 6-14 years have been included in the non-formal education programme initiated by the Bangladesh government and various organisations, 83 percent of adolescents and youth aged 15-24 years do not participate in any education programme.
Education programmes up to level 1-4 are currently being conducted for more than 300,000 children and adolescents in approximately 6,000 learning centres. There is a sense of frustration among students and their parents about the lack of educational opportunities for those over 15 years of age and the lack of education in the Myanmar curriculum.
Pressurising Myanmar for resolving Rohingya crisis
Rohingyas want to return to their homeland, but there is also enough interest in higher education among students. But students have been deprived of their regular studies for the last three years. They fear that their educational life will become uncertain if they return.
The CCNF’s recommendations include infrastructural development of local educational institutions, recruitment of skilled and trained teachers should be ensured and stakeholders including donors should come forward to ensure special incentives for local students. Technical curriculum in local education and establishment of technical college can be effective in this regard.
Diplomatic initiatives are needed to ensure that the Rohingya curriculum and that educational activity adopted here are recognised by the Government of Myanmar. The international communities, including the UN, need to put pressure on Myanmar.
The CCNF urged the UN and international donors to take effective action to ensure the recruitment of adequate teachers and training for them. Many Rohingyas are educated in Cox's Bazar camps and they can be trained as teachers.
Involvement of local and foreign educators in the creation of a new and effective curriculum and teacher training is needed. Our universities can play an important role in this respect, the CCNF says.
The body of an Indian student of Barind Medical College in Rajshahi was recovered from his dormitory room on Friday.
Iqbal Zafar Sharif, 24, son of Mojammel Hossain Pintu, hailed from Murshidabad of West Bengal.
Also read: Indian teen 'ends life' at juvenile centre
Golam Mawla, the superintendent of the dormitory, claimed that the 5th year student had taken his own life around 9am.
His friends saw his body hanging from the ceiling. They broke the door open and took him to hospital where doctors declared him dead, Mawla said.
It was not immediately clear why he had apparently killed himself.
The body has been sent to a morgue for autopsy, Sirajul Monir, Officer-in-Charge of Chandrima Police Station said.
Four bodies were recovered after a fishing trawler capsized with 25 people onboard in the Bay of Bengal on Saturday.
Thirteen others were rescued by another fishing boat while eight fishermen remained missing, Coast Guard headquarters Media Officer Lt Commander Amirul Hoque told UNB.
Fishing trawler ‘FB Janjabin’ capsized some 34.5 nautical miles (about 64km) off St Martin’s island around 5am. Sources at the Coast Guard headquarters said their rescue ship “Shyamal Bangla” reached the place of occurrence at around 10:30am.
Four bodies were recovered before the rescue ship had reached the spot, Amirul said.
Inter Service Public Relation (ISPR) said a AW-139 Search and Rescue Helicopter of Bangladesh Air Force took off from BAF base Zahurul Hoque, Chattogram, to conduct a search and rescue operation.
Mohammad Ali, owner of ‘FB Janjabin’, said the trawler went out in the sea about a week ago from Karnafuli.
Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) hosted a virtual graduation ceremony on Friday.
The programme was for the 2020 batches of Building Bridges through Leadership Training (BBLT) and Building Bridges through Leadership Training Junior (BBLTJ) supported by Manusher Jonno Foundation and UK Aid, said a press release.
Students from different socio-economic backgrounds and communities, ethnic minorities and persons with disability, a total of 199 students from English and Bengali medium schools and Madrassas graduated from the BBLT and BBLTJ programmes last year from Chattogram and Chattogram Hill Tracts.
Participants selected for the programmes went through rigorous sessions of virtual training on the theoretical and practical concepts of leadership, critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication.
In her speech as the chief guest at the ceremony, Shaheen Anam, Executive Director, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), said: “What BYLC is doing with young people is most important to our society because they are working to build social harmony, teach young people to be responsible citizens and help them develop a mindset of accepting different views.”
“Seeing the graduates of our leadership programmes gives me hope that Bangladesh has a bright future. Through their practice of leadership, these young men and women will surely take our nation forward,” said Ejaj Ahmad, President of BYLC.
Aside from leadership training, students also worked in small groups to apply their lessons in social service projects.
They designed and implemented small but realistic, measurable, and results-driven projects to serve impoverished communities.