Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday distributed the National Film Awards among 33 recipients under 26 categories for the year 2019.
The awards were conferred upon the recipients at a colourful ceremony held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC). The Prime Minister joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
On behalf of the Prime Minister, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud handed over the awards and certificates to the awardees.
The Ministry of Information earlier announced names of the recipients of the National Film Awards 2019 to recognise the contributions of artistes to Bangladesh’s film industry.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to renowned actors Masud Parvez (Sohel Rana) and Kohinoor Akhter Suchanda.
"No Dorai" and "Fagun Haway" movies jointly won the award in the Best Film category.
Mahbubur Rahman (Producer of 'No Dorai') and Shykh Seraj, on behalf of Faridur Reza Sagar (Producer of 'Fagun Haway') received the awards at the function.
Tariq Anam Khan was given the award for Best Actor in the lead role (male) for the film "Abar Boshonto" while Sunerah Binte Kamal received the Best Actress in the lead role award (female) for "No Dorai".
Tanim Rahman Angshu received the National Film Award in the Best Director category for "No Dorai". This film has bagged a total of six awards.
The highest number of awards for 2019 has been secured by the Masud Pothik directorial "Maya: The Lost Mother". The film has won eight awards in different categories.
The Impress Telefilm production "Fagun Haway" and Desh Bangla Multimedia production "Moner Moto Manush Pailamna" won three awards each.
Documentary ‘Ja Chilo Andokarea’ of Bangladesh Television was awarded in the best documentary category, while short film ‘Nari o Jibon’ was awarded in the best short film category.
Zahid Hasan was awarded in the best villain category for the film "Shap ludu".
The best actor in supporting role award went to Fazlur Rahman Babu for film ‘Fagun Haway’ while Nargis Akhter won the best supporting actress award for film ‘Maya: The Lost Mother’.
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The Best Child Artiste Awards were given jointly to Afreen Akhter (Jodi Ak Din) and Naimur Rahman (film Kalo Megher Bhela).
Mustafizur Rahman Chowdhury Emon bagged the best music director’s award for the film ‘Maya: The Lost Mother’, while Habibur Rahman won the award in the best dance director category for film ‘Moner Moto Manush Pailam Na’.
Mrinal Kanti Das got the Best Male Singer Award (film Shuttle Train) while Momtaz Begum and Fatima Tuz Zagra Oyshee jointly received the Best Female Singers for their songs in film ‘Maya: The Lost Mother’.
The Awards in the category for Best Music Composer were handed over to Plaban Quraishi and Syed Md Tanvir Tareq, while the Best Lyricist Award was jointly given to Dr Kamal Abdul Nasir Chowdhury and Nirmalenu Goon.
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The other awardees are: Masud Patik (story writer), Mahbub Ur Rahman (screenwriter), Zakir Hossain Raju (dialogue writer), Junaed Ahmed Halim (editing), Mohammad Rahmat Ullah Basu and Md Farid Ahmed (the best art instructor), Ripan Nath (acoustic), Suman Kumar Sarker (cameraman) , Khandaker Razia Afrin (costume) and Md Raju (make-up).
Information Minister Mahmud presided over the function, while State Minister for Information Dr Md Murad Hassan was the special guest and Information Secretary Khaja Miah delivered the welcome speech.
The first session of the new year, which is also called the winter session, will begin on Monday, after a 59-day recess.
The last session of Parliament was prorogued on November 20 last.
The 11th session of the current Parliament, which was summoned by President Abdul Hamid on December 30, will go into the session at 4:30 pm.
President Abdul Hamid will address the first session of the new year -- 2021.
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The Cabinet on December 21 cleared the draft speech of the President to be delivered in.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, while briefing reporters after the meeting, had said the speech will focus mainly on 10 issues, including the country's overall scenario and macroeconomic condition; the government's measures and successes in improvement of the country's socioeconomic status; activities and programmes taken in different sectors to implement the Vision 2021 and formulation of the Vision-2041; local and overseas employment; and implementation of different ICT-related development measures to build 'Digital Bangladesh'.
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The other five issues are expansion of social safety net programmes; the progress in the trial process of war criminals; the successes achieved regarding foreign relations; the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and programmes taken for it; and administrative policies, strategies, development philosophy and guidelines for progress.
President Abdul Hamid summoned the 11th session, exercising the power bestowed upon him as per the Article 72 (1) of the Constitution, said a notification of the Parliament Secretariat.
According to the Constitution, the gap between the conclusion of one session and the first sitting of Parliament in the next session shall not exceed a period of 60 days.
During the session, steps have been taken to avoid public gathering in the Sangsad Bhaban. Besides, all employees of the Parliament Secretariat, except the most essential ones, have been directed not to be present during the session.
Temperature will be measured at the entry point of the Sangsad Bahban.
According to the Parliament Secretariat sources, steps have been completed to hold the new year's session following the three previous sessions hosted during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year, the sessions were hosted following the health guidelines for coronavirus. In those sessions, MPs were asked to join the sessions as per the lists and dates to maintain social distancing. The lawmakers had also gone through coronavirus tests.
On November 8, the special session of Parliament began on the occasion of the Mujib Year, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
President Abdul Hamid also delivered a speech in the special session.
The confirmed cases of coronavirus globally surpassed 94.4 million with over 2.02 million deaths till Sunday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The US remained the worst-hit country, with 395,650 deaths and 23,743,788 cases.
In late 2020, the coronavirus pandemic entered its deadliest phase yet in the United States, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.
The number of daily confirmed cases continued to race out of control, rising above 200,000 and then creeping closer to 300,000. Daily deaths sometimes surpassed 4,000. By mid-January, the total American death toll had crossed 375,000, with no immediate improvement in sight.
Cities and states sought to scale up their vaccination operations, opening centers designed to inoculate thousands of people a day in a single location. Some of the sites offered drive-thru injections. In New York City, the centers were scheduled to be open around the clock, the AP report says.
The pandemic, which had been tamed in some places over the summer, came roaring back in the final months of last year.
Brazil registered 1,050 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 209,296, its Ministry of Health reported on Saturday.
Additionally, another 61,567 cases were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the national total to 8,455,059.
Hospitals in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, are overwhelmed. Since Thursday, they have reported a shortage of oxygen tanks. Family members of patients have had to take to the streets in search of oxygen.
India’s total caseload reached 10,542,841 while the death toll surpassed 152,093 as of Sunday morning.
Situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s Covid-19 fatalities soared to 7,883 as the country’s health authorities confirmed 21 more deaths in 24 hours until Saturday.
As per the latest data, the daily infection rate dropped to 4.73 percent.
The country recorded a daily infection rate of 4.90 percent on January 14, 8.29 percent on January 10, 7.52 percent on January 4, and 8.18 percent on January 1.
The country’s Covid-19 caseload stood at 527,063 with 578 new cases during the period.
The fatality rate now stands at 1.49 percent, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.
The country’s infection number reached the 500,000-mark on December 20. The first cases were reported on March 8. The death toll exceeded 7,000 on December 12.
Bangladesh’s vaccine race
On January 7, the government approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The approval will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the vaccine, Mohammad Salahuddin, deputy director of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), said.
Under the deal, Bangladesh will import 3 crore doses of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine) from Serum in the next six months.
“If everything goes well, we’ll get the vaccines in mid-January,” Health Minister Zahid Maleques said.
On December 28, Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Globe Biotech got approval from the DGDA for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine for clinical trials.
Dr Mohammad Mohiuddin, Manager of Globe Biotech Limited (Head of Quality Operation), said they would start supplying vaccines following protocols after completing the trials.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to begin clinical trials in January. It’ll take five months to finish. The vaccine will be available by June if we can begin the clinical trials this month.”
Bangladesh approves Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
Bangladesh approved the emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on January 7.
This will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, which is manufacturing the vaccine.
The government signed an agreement with Serum Institute on December 13 for procuring the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Under the deal, Bangladesh will import 30 million doses of the vaccine in the next six months.
The Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Center of University of Dhaka organized a virtual webinar session on “CMSMEs in Bangladesh: Journey, Challenges and Future Direction” on Saturday as part of the REVIVE Project, its joint collaboration with UNDP Bangladesh
Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Advisor to the Hon’ble Prime Minister on International Relation Affairs was the chief guest of the session while AKM Sajedur Rahman, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank and Barrister Nihad Kabir, President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) were the distinguished guests. The session was also attended by Dr. Momtaz Uddin Ahmed, Honorary Professor, University of Dhaka and Mr. Khurshid Alam, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh.
Dr. Rizvi began his speech by congratulating ICE Center for its project REVIVE initiative that targets the CMSMEs of our nation. He said that linkage of our entrepreneurs with an international supply chain has now come to be a pressing demand of the time to maintain the rally of growth. From his experience of working with the indigenous community, Mr. Rizvi said that although training and skills development activities that are being undertaken for indigenous and marginal people are appropriate but the main problem lies in creating linkage for them with the market. Historically, entrepreneurs are inclined towards sole proprietorship of their business but in case of the indigenous tribes they think and function like a community and that is how businesses are developed amongst them. To attain the vision of 2030, it is important to bring forward the underprivileged class of citizens in the community and he hopes ICE Center would play a pivotal role. He further advised the youth to be on their toes to tackle another global pandemic if it ever does come again.
Nihad Kabir stated that it is important to address cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises individually while developing policies on different issues such as dealing with the issue like internationalization of CMSMEs sectors or bank policies in providing financial support. By applauding Project REVIVE for its district mapping initiative of the 64 districts, she emphasized on its outcome to be useful for the development and industrialization of the districts.
AKM Sajedur Rahman, the Deputy Governor of Bangladesh bank, in his speech emphasized that for the continued economic growth of Bangladesh, CMSMEs sector needs to be developed giving priority.
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Executive Director of ICE Center Rashedur Rahman in his speech shared the journey of Project REVIVE and its activities so far. He also notified the present audience of a research paper in the works that targets the topic of why CMSMES from Bangladesh are not internationalized in a larger scale and how to facilitate their internationalization.
Professor Muhammad Shariat Ullah pointed out that this project had made it possible to run a nationwide survey addressing the struggles of CMSMEs regarding different important issues. He presented some findings from the working paper focusing on the internationalization of CMSMEs sector and the extent to which their mindset is affected by various factors. He has high hopes from the resulting working papers that will help shape the future policies of the nation regarding key policy matters.
Dr. Momtaz Uddin Ahmed discussed about the necessity of cluster-based development regarding widening the window of opportunity for the CMSMEs to enter the global market. He agreed with Barrister Nihad Kabir on the topic of treating C-M-S-M as separate entities. Mr. Khurshid Alam said that for the development journey of Bangladesh, the growth and expansion of the CMSME sector is absolutely vital. Besides, he emphasized on the inclusion of youth in this project to learn the nature of the economy of Bangladesh and to fight future disasters.
The session was Presided by Dr. Khondoker Bazlul Haque, Vice-Chairman of ICE Center and moderated by Rashedur Rahman.
Speakers at a webinar on Saturday said partnership and collaboration between governments of sourcing and supplying countries, as well as brands, suppliers and workers is essential to ensuring the recovery of the apparel sector following the Coronavirus pandemic.
The global apparel value chain has experienced an unprecedented disruption in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike earlier crises, all kinds of activities across the value chain collapsed due to the pandemic, which adversely affected the up-and-down stream including apparel suppliers, workers, raw material suppliers, brands, and consumers, they also said.
The experts added that despite various initiatives at the national level, the process of recovery in the medium term in major supplying countries, including Bangladesh, is rather slow.
More importantly, existing national-level measures have a limited role anyway in ensuring smooth recovery of the apparels enterprises. Addressing medium-term challenges requires innovative strategies and tools to tackle a prolonged period of demand slump.
These observations emerged at a virtual dialogue on “Recovery of the Apparels Sectors from the COVID-19 Crisis: Is a Value Chain based Solution Possible?”, organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in partnership with Southern Voice.
Dr Golam Moazzem, Research Director of CPD, delivered the keynote in which he said the lack of initiatives from major market players has kept the suppliers and workers in a state of uncertainty to address the medium-term challenges.
“Major market players, including brands, buyers and governments of sourcing countries, will have to undertake responsible business practices (RBPs) for sustainable recovery. Framework of a value chain based distributive approach is needed to ensure the earliest recovery,” he added.
Dr Rubana Huq, President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), talked about the challenges they faced due to supply chain disruption.
“We have to have a regional collaboration to overcome our challenges. Many people claimed that many workers have been sacked and laid off but why? Our exports drop around 16.94 percent in 2020 compared to previous year. Around 4.82 percent price dropped in September to November in 2020,” Rubana said.
She requested not to be criticized for now as it’s a very challenging time for the industry. They need more financial support to repair the industry.
“Bangladesh can focus on local demand, as there is a lack of global demand. The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are financially challenged during this pandemic, and the credit programmes are not reaching these firms,” she added.
The Secretary of Labour and Employment ministry K. M. Abdus Salam opined that sudden retrenchment of workers could be prevented through stronger employment policies. The government is undertaking various social safety programmes like the workers’ welfare fund.
Syed Sultan Uddin Ahmmed, Specialist on Worker Activities at the International Labour Organization (ILO), ACTRAV-South Asia emphasised that focus should also be given to the well-being of workers who are not members of any workers' associations.
Sultan suggested forming a central security fund as a long-term solution for the labours.
Ziaur Rahman, Regional Country Manager of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Ethiopia for Swedish retailer H&M remarked that buyers are committed towards a higher minimum wage of the labours and even contribute to insurance of the labours. “Focus should be given on research and human resource development of the manufacturers,” he added.
Moderating the session, Distinguished Fellow of CPD Professor Mustafizur Rahman stated that there is a wide group of stakeholders involved in the value chain process. “To sustain the initiatives by the buyers and avoid market failure, a collaborative approach is vital” he suggested taking such collaborative approaches through initiatives like the global entrepreneur compact."
A suggestion of regional response for assisting the supplier and the supply chain came from Chairman of CPD Professor Sobhan. He also proposed a micro-insurance sxheme to ensure the security of the labours. Such social insurance programmes would also require a collaborative approach from the buyers, manufacturers and the government.
Harry Verweij, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands agreed to the findings of the study presented and expressed interest in working collaboratively with CPD further in the future.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi, MP, suggested Bangladesh should look for new markets through product diversification. He also called for a collective effort from the brands, buyers, manufacturers and the government.