Mobility up in Rasuagadhi border point for Mansarobar tour

The season for travel to Mansarovar, a popular religious destination in China, has begun. The Rasuwagadhi border point has seen increasing mobility of people travelling to the Kailash Mountain (Parbat) and Mansarovar - considered to be the abode of Lord Mahadev (Shiva) via Trishuli Dhunche and Syafrubesi. Chief of the Immigration Office, Rasuwagadhi, Murari Niraura said that on an average 40 passengers are travelling to Mansarovar via the border point every day. Mansarovar is 950 kilometers away from this border point. Chief Niraula said although there are Rasuwagadhi and Hilsa (Humla) border points to go to Mansarovar from Nepal, Rasuwagadhi has witnessed rising number of visitors to religious sites as they are geographically closer to Kathmandu. According to him, daily around 50 Chinese nationals have been entering Nepal through the border points. Source: National News Agency RSS

Country’s economy projected to grow at 5.82% in FY24: BBS

Country's economy is projected to grow at 5.82% in the current fiscal year (FY24) ending on June 30, according to a provisional estimation by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). This growth in gross domestic product is a slight increase from last fiscal year's 5.78% and aligns closely with the International Monetary Fund's forecast of 5.7% and the World Bank's 5.6%. Meanwhile, per capita income has risen slightly to $2,784 in the current fiscal year from $2,749 in the previous year, as per the estimate based on data from the first seven months of the current fiscal year (FY24). In the current budget, the growth rate was initially projected at 7.5%, which was later revised downward to 7%. Bangladesh's GDP at current prices stands at $459 billion, up from $452 billion in the previous fiscal. Sector-wise growth shows a decrease in agriculture and industry, but a slight rise in the services sector. The investment-to-GDP ratio remains steady at 30.98%, according to BBS data. In the agriculture sector , there is an estimated growth of 3.21% this fiscal year, down from 3.37% previous fiscal, marking a 0.16% decrease. The industry sector is estimated to grow by 6.66% this fiscal year, down from 8.37%, with a 1.71% decrease. The services sector is expected to grow by 5.80% this fiscal year, up from 5.37% previously, reflecting a 0.43% increase. In the current fiscal year, the investment-to-GDP ratio, domestic savings, and national savings stand at 30.98%, 27.61%, and 31.86%, respectively. Compared to the previous fiscal year, investment increased by 0.03%, domestic savings by 1.85%, and national savings by 1.91%. Private investment growth in the private sector was estimated at 23.5% this, compared to 24.18% previous year. Furthermore, the BBS estimated the consumption rate at 74.24% in FY24. It was 72.39% in the previous fiscal. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

2 die in separate accidents in city

A trader and a mentally- challenged woman died in two separate accidents in the capital today. In the early morning, a trader Jalal Mia, 41, died of electrocution at his residence located at Babubazar under Kotwali police station. Meanwhile, mentally-challenged Khajida Akter, 16, received serious injury after falling off the roof at around 7:30am. First, she was taken to a local hospital. Later, she was rushed to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) where the doctors declared her dead at around 8:45am. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Workshop on regional research-extension review begins in Jamalpur

A two-day Regional Agriculture Research- Extension Review and Programme Planning workshop began at the seminar room of Jamalpur Regional Agriculture Research Station(RARS)today. Director (Research) of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Gazipur Dr Md Abdullah Yousuf Akhanda inaugurated the workshop as the chief guest. Not only numerical but also a lot of qualitative research should be done so that a large number of people in the country could benefit, the chief guest said, adding: "Every year, the government allotted huge money in research. So, you should engage in such research which can be contributed to our national economy and nutrition." Dr Md Abdullah Yousuf said BARI has strengthened its research programme through the development of high yielding varieties and technologies. It is also working for increasing cropping intensity and productivity through proper utilization of soil and water for socio-economic development of the farmers, he added. The BARI Director further sa id researchers evolve new varieties of crops and extension departments disseminate the varieties among the farmers. He laid emphasis on research-extension workshops for increasing safe food production across the country. Chief Scientific Officer of RARS in Jamalpur Dr Md Manjurul Kadir presided over the inaugural session while Additional Director (In-charge) of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Mymensingh Region Salma Aktar spoke as special guest. A total of 70 officers of the RARS, On-Farm Research Division (OFRD), DAE, Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (BINA), Bangladesh Sugarcrop Research Institute (BSRI), Soil Resource Development Institute (SRDI), Horticulture, Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI), BARI, Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI), Agriculture Information Service (AIS), Seed Certification Agency (SCA), Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), Cotton Development Board (CDB) from J amalpur, Sherpur, Netrakona and Mymensingh and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and farmers are taking part in the workshop. The workshop will conclude on May 21. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

KU implementes TK 335cr development projects in three years

The Khulna University (KU) witnessed a massive development activities accelerating need-based infrastructural development projects worth about Taka 335 Crore during last three years. During the time, after taking charge as the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dr. Mahmud Hossain made a remarkable change by completing all the development projects, according to Md Moinul Hossain, Director (acting), Mass Communication and Public Relations of Khulna University. The main projects are to ensure international quality modern-based higher education and to create research opportunities to make the KU an international standard university. Keeping pace with the curriculum of other universities both home and abroad, Khulna University updated the curriculum of all disciplines. Khulna University (KU) has strengthened its joint research activities with other international universities and research institutes globally. Besides, KU has expanded the field of research at international, national and local levels by strengthening i ts research related multi-faceted problems like climate change adaptation in Khulna. In line with the initiatives and programmes of the government to make Bangladesh smart and Digital, the first step is to introduce an e-filing (D-document) system in all fields at Khulna University. As a result, Khulna University was listed at the top level in the international ranking, QS ranking and Times Higher Education ranking. Besides, with the overall cooperation of the teachers-students and officers-employees, Khulna University got fourth place by getting 95.47 out of 100 marks in UGC's APA evaluation last year. During the global pandemic of Corona, the Vice-Chancellor took various initiatives including making smart digital online education programmes. In the last three years, 39 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) have been signed with various universities, institutions, and organizations in the country and abroad. The research allocation cost has been increased from Taka one Crore 35 lakh to Taka 5.5 Crore from the financial year 2018-19 to the current financial year 2023-24. A total of 1,266 research articles have been published in the last year. The Research Cell has been converted into a Research and Innovation Center to accelerate research work. A total of 85 training and workshops have been conducted by Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) during last three years to improve the skills of teachers, students and officers-staff of the university. Giving thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Mahmud Hossain said, after taking charge, I presented the future plans of the 4-year tenure in a view exchange meeting. Thanking the present government, the Education Minister, UGC, all the teachers, students, and official staff of Khulna University for their cooperation in the development, Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Mahmud Hossain said, all the plans were executed successfully for their extra efforts during the last three years. Registrar (Acting) Professor Khan Golam Quddus said, the massive development of Khulna University (KU) is now visible. More than 200 up-to-date training have been arranged through the Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) to enhance the skills of the support staff of the university, he said, adding that Khulna University is now in a unique position among the universities of the country. An initiative to preserve the evidence for future generations KU made the 'torture cell' of the Pakistani invaders and genocide during the Liberation War-the 'Gallamari Genocide Memorial Museum.' Besides, a total of 2500 trees were planted last year with a view to contribute to the climate of the southern part of Bangladesh. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

770 heritage sites rebuilt

Kathmandu: The Department of Archeology has said that the reconstruction of 770 heritage sites damaged by the 2015 earthquake has been completed. A total of 920 heritage sites were damaged in the 14 highly affected and 18 affected districts. Another 70 sites are currently being reconstructed while the work on 80 sites is yet to begin, said spokesperson of the department, Ram Bahadur Kunwar. The reconstruction of 80 sites could not be started due to lack of sufficient budget, lack of technical human resource and construction materials. Yakseshwar of Bhaktapur, Pujari Math of Bhaktapur, Sattal of Changunarayan Temple, Vishnu Temple of Hanumandhoka, Degu Taleju Temple of Patan Durbar square are currently being reconstructed. The work on the Jagatnarayan Temple in Shankhamul has been stopped due to a court case. Spokesman Kunwar said that about 20 of the heritage sites that are yet to be reconstructed are in the process of budget management, with the target of beginning the work in the new financial year. The department targets to complete the reconstruction of 920 heritage sites in 32 districts by the year 2082-83. So far, the government has spent six billion rupees for the reconstruction of heritage sites, and another three billion rupees will be required to complete the remaining reconstruction work. Source: National News Agency RSS

65-day fishing ban in sea enforced last midnight

A 65-day ban on fishing in the country's maritime zone of the Bay of Bengal has been enforced last midnight aiming to preserve fish and ensure their smooth breeding and production. The fisheries and livestock ministry has already beefed up monitoring at all entry points of sea to stop operation of fishing trawlers-boats. During the ban, the government will give 86kg of rice to each of 3,11,062 fishermen in two phases under the vulnerable group feeding (VGF) programme. The Coast Guards and Bangladesh Navy have been asked to remain vigil at coastal areas to enforce the ban. The Department of Fisheries has also opened control-room and formed monitoring team in Barishal, Chattogram and Khulna divisions. Since 2015, the government has been imposing the 65-day ban from May 20 to July 23 under the Marine Fisheries Act, 2020. Fishing in all coastal countries across the world remain prohibited for two to three months during the breeding season. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Country’s 14% of health equipment remains unused

Kathmandu: As high as 14 percent of the total health equipment are left unused in the country, a study has revealed. The survey of biomedical equipment in Nepal's public health institutions conducted by the Department of Health Services in collaboration with Lifeline Enterprises showed that 2,645 health equipments in the country are still not installed in the health institutions. Chairperson of the Enterprises Anjali Tiwariwal said that data were collected from 11 hospitals of Bagmati, Koshi, Madhesh, Gandaki and Sudurpaschim provinces adding that 1,823 health equipments are dysfunctional. The study carried out from October 2023 to April 2024 surveyed the status of 19,174 hospitals. Bhaskar Rijal, a biomedical engineer involved in the study team, said that 1,174 sets of equipment are unused despite being in proper condition. "Those equipment imported in the time of COVID-19 are left unused for lack of Covid-19 patients," Rijal added. Rijal further stated that the CT scan machines of Bir Hospital, APF Hosp ital and Koshi Hospital have turned worse with severe complaints about the charger board and battery. Meanwhile, Director of Bir Hospital Dr Santosh Poudel shared his hospital lacks biomedical engineers to repair and run such equipment. Source: National News Agency RSS

Agreement to procure 200 train carriages from India signed

An agreement was signed between Bangladesh and India to purchase 200 passenger coaches for the broad gauge line in the country today. The contract was inked at the Railway Bhaban here in the presence of Railway Minister Md Zillul Hakim, a press release said. Passenger coaches for the broad gauge line will be collected from the Indian state-owned Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Limited, the release added. The project in this regard will be implemented with an estimated total cost of more than taka 1,200 crore. It is being financed by the government and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the release said. Railway Secretary Humayun Kabir, Bangladesh Railway Director General Sardar Shahadat Ali, Chairman and Managing Director of the Indian company Rahul Mittal, Additional Member (Production Unit) of Indian Railways Sanjay Kumar Pankaj and railways officials concerned were present on the occasion. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

MCAP collects over Rs 25 million in revenue

The office of the Manaslu Conservation Area Project has collected more than Rs 25 million in revenue in nine months of the current fiscal year 2080/81 BS. The office collected the amount as entry fee from tourists visiting the area from July 17, 2023-April 12, 2024. A total of 8,302 foreign tourists besides SAARC citizens visited the area during the period, according to the office. It collected Rs 24.9 million from them, he added. Similarly, 152 foreign tourists of SAARC countries had visited the Manaslu Conservation Area during this period. A total of Rs 152,000 revenue was collected from them, said MCAP Chief Santosh Sherchan. The office has determined Rs 1,000 entry fee for a tourist of SAARC countries visiting the area while Rs 3,000 for a tourist of other countries. It has already collected more revenue in nine months this year as compared to previous year as number of tourists visiting Manaslu conservation area has increased this year. Sherchan shared that more than 12,000 foreign tourists have be en expected at Manaslu conservation area this year. Source: National News Agency RSS

Weekly tea sale met with a fairly good demand in Ctg

Weekly tea sale end of season quality in Chattogram met with a fairly demand. Blenders were more active with selective interest from the Loose Tea buyers. Despite a further decline in quality, market witnessed a little more demand particularly for the cleaner varieties. BROKENS: Good Brokens met with a fairly good demand but eased slightly in line with quality. Medium varieties were also a fairly good market whilst the plainer types eased further but withdrawals were a little less. FANNINGS: Good Fannings sold well and were about steady. Mediums were also a fairly good market and sold at around last levels easing slightly. DUST: 6,142 packages of teas on offer met with an improved demand. Good liquoring Dusts sold well at around last levels. Medium Dusts sold at firm to dearer rates closely following quality. Plain/BLF Dusts met with a better demand compared to last with a few withdrawals. Blenders lent good support with fair interest from the loose tea buyers. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Humla hospital faces shortage of drugs

The Humla District Hospital, the only hospital in the district, if facing shortage of drugs resulting in difficulties in the treatment of patients, which has increased with the change in weather lately. The hospital has faced a crisis in drugs for the past one month. The patients have complained that they are obliged to purchase the drugs from the private pharmacies based on the doctors' prescriptions. Presently, the hospital is experiencing shortage of drugs for the treatment of cold, diarrhoea and all other seasonal illnesses. Dhan Bahadur Tamata, a resident from Kharpunath Rural Municipality-3, said that the patients have not been able to get the drugs even that are distributed for free. Tamata shared that he is buying drugs from the private pharmacies for his sister, who was admitted to the hospital two days ago. He argued that even the basic medicines are not available in the hospital. As the hospital lacks medicines to offer to the patients, the poor people in the district are affected as the trea tment has become costlier for them. But, the number of patients has increased since the beginning of May, Medical Officer of the District Hospital Surjan Kumar Singh said. The number of patients reaches as high as 80 on every Sunday and Monday while it crosses 50 on other days. Source: National News Agency RSS