PM Sheikh Hasina for more research to make development sustainable

Dhaka, April 10 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed the need for conducting more research at every sector particularly on the potential ones for making the country’s overall development sustainable.

“We would have to conduct more researches in every sector particularly on the potential ones to make our development sustainable,” she said while distributing cehques among the post-graduate students and researchers under Bangabandhu Fellowship, National Science and Technology (NST) Fellowship and donation for research.

Ministry of Science and Technology arranged the ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here.

The premier asked the researchers to find out the most potential sectors and sites for research in where more investment requires, keeping the country’s climate, soil and water in mind to expedite its development.

She also put emphasizes on giving special importance on science and technology in carrying out researches, saying, “We would have to step forward in every sectors through doing research.”

To give the economic development and GDP growth a strong and sustainable footing, she said more research is necessary on marine science as the sector is highly potential for economy while Bangladesh has achieved vast maritime area through legal battle.

An oceanography research institute has already been set up at Cox’s Bazar and the subject is being taught at Dhaka University and Chittagong University which would help researchers enrich their knowledge on marine life and geography, she said.

The premier also put stresses on conducting more research on space as Bangladesh could send its own developed satellite to orbit, saying that Bangladesh has already sent Bangabandhu-1 Satellite to space.

Mentioning that a country cannot progress ignoring scientific research, she said Bangladesh’s food autarky was the results of research.

She added: “The government given utmost priority to research based education in the National Science and Technology Policy framed in 2011 and now working to formulate National Science and Technology Policy, 2018 updating the previous one.”

Sheikh Hasina said her government turned the state-financed Bangabandhu Fellowship Project into a trust so that no government in future can discontinue the fellowship programme dedicated to scientific studies and research.

She said her government after coming to power in 1996 allocated budgetary fund for the first time aimed at giving scholarship to post-graduate students for studies and research in various fields. But the next BNP-Jamaat government suspended scholarships of many students forcing them to leave their studies in the midway, she added.

“I hope that such situation will not happen again in future as we made the government financed project into a Bangabandhu Trust and accumulated ample fund so that the fellowship programme can be continued even if we were not in power,” the prime minister mentioned.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology Dr AFM Ruhal Haque attended the function as special guest while Minister for Science and Technology Yeafesh Osman was in the chair.

Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology Md Anwar Hossain gave welcome address.

Sheikh Hasina said, the present government introduced the fellowship project with an objective of creating qualified scientists, technologist and researchers in the country to building a science-friendly society and for development of scientific research in the country following the footsteps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangabandhu set up BCSIR (Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) through an ordinance in 1973 as he had wanted to build “Sonar Bangladesh” free from hunger, poverty and illiteracy using the science and technology, she continued.

The government has given fellowship of Taka 84.64 crore among 13,713 researchers and students during the fiscal years in between 2009-2010 and 2017-2018 while fellowship of Taka 17.68 crore is being given in the current fiscal 2018-2019, she mentioned.

The premier said Bangladesh would successfully celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation in 2020 and Golden Jubilee of the Independence in 2021.

Recognizing the contribution of scientists and researchers in the country’s huge development carried out by her government, she requested them to give more concentration to education and research works as well.

The government has already declared 2020-2021 as ‘Mujib Barsha’, she said.

Sheikh Hasina added: “Inshallah, we would be able to build Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty free country before celebration of the events.

There would be no hardcore poor in the country at that time, she assured.

Describing April 10 as the historic day, the premier said, “On the 10 April of 1971, the first government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was formed with Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, as the President, Syed Nazrul Islam as Vice-President and Tajuddin Ahmed as Prime Minister.”

Bangalees got prepared for independence since 1948 through waging Language Movement, the 6-point Demand of 1966, mass upsurge of 1969 and Liberation War of 1971 under the undaunted and firm leadership of the Father of the Nation, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said virtually the final chapter had been started for achieving an independent Bangladesh after delivering the Historic March 7, 1971 speech by Bangabandhu, she said.

Bangladesh has finally achieved victory over the Pakistani occupation forces on December 16, 1971 with surrender of 96,000 Pakistani troops to the allied forces, she said, adding that the victory got adequacy as Bangabandhu returned to his homeland on January 10, 1972.

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