Light rainfall likely in Koshi, Madhes and Lumbini provinces

Kathmandu: Light rainfall along with thunder and lightning has been predicted in some parts of Koshi, Madhes and Lumbini provinces today. It is caused by the local and westerly winds coupled with low pressure system developed in the vicinity of Bihar, India. Information to this was shared by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. The hilly regions of the country will remain partly cloudy. The hilly regions of Khoshi and Lumbini provinces are forecast to have a light to moderate rainfall along with storm and lightning today, the Department added. Source: National News Agency RSS

City dwellers urged to dispose of sacrificial animal wastes in designated places

DHAKA, The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has urged all concerned to properly clean waste of sacrificial animals and dispose of those in designated places during upcoming Eid-ul-Azha aiming to protect environment and public health. Also, all have been requested not to slaughter animals indiscriminately and ensure proper personal protection during the entire process of sacrifice during the Eid. The ministry made call at an inter-ministerial meeting held at Bangladesh Secretariat, a ministry press release said. The meeting was held on the proper management and disposal of waste of sacrificed animals on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha celebration. People have also been requested to bury the abandoned parts of the sacrificial animals in pits and use eco-friendly bags or containers for the disposal of sacrificial waste or distribution of sacrificial animal meat. Various government initiatives have been taken to create public awareness about environment-friendly disposal of sacrifici al animal waste. For this purpose, leaflets are being distributed nationwide. The Department of Mass Communication is creating public awareness in haat-bazars. Imams have been requested by the Islamic Foundation to focus on this issue in Juma prayers and Eid prayers sermons before the Eid. Chaired by Environment Secretary Dr Farhina Ahmed, the meeting was attended, among others, by Additional Secretary (Development) of the ministry Md Mosharraf Hossain, Additional Secretary (Environment) Dr Fahmida Khanam and Director General of the Department of Environment (DoE) Abdul Hamid. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

President to host reception for Buddhist leaders tomorrow

DHAKA, President Mohammed Shahabuddin will accord a reception to Buddhist community leaders at the Credential Hall of Bangabhaban here tomorrow on Buddha Purnima that marks the birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, known later as Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

“The reception for Buddhist leaders will commence at 4 pm . . . President Shahabuddin will deliver a speech to the Buddhist community across the country through media,” President’s Press Secretary Joynal Abedin told BSS today.

The president and his wife Dr. Rebecca Sultana will greet Buddhist leaders on the occasion of the largest religious festival celebrated by the Buddhist community in Bangladesh.

Buddhists in Dhaka and throughout the country will celebrate the day with reverence and excitement.

Buddhist religious leaders will also offer the president a bouquet at Bangabhaban.

More than a thousand individuals, including over 800 invited guests, are anticipated to attend the reception.

Among the attendees, there will be Religious Affair
s Minister Md. Faridul Haque Khan, State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Kujendra Lal Tripura, Buddhist community leaders, and Bangabhaban secretaries.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Bangladesh joins celebration of ’50 years of internet’

DHAKA, Bangladesh has joined a two-day global virtual celebration of the 50 years of the internet as a campaign partner.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest organization for technology professionals, hosted the event titled ‘IEEE i50: A Virtual Celebration of 50 Years of the Internet’, in collaboration with People-Centered Internet (PCI) on Sunday and Monday.

ICT Division’s a2i joined the event as the campaign partner and participated in one of the major panel discussions, said a press release here today.

Representing Bangladesh in the global event, a2i Policy Advisor Anir Chowdhury took part a panel discussion titled ‘How can we ensure AI serves everyone, everywhere?’

Other discussants were luminaries like Kate Wilson, Senior Fellow, PCI; Fei Fei Li, Co-Director, Stanford’s Institute for Human Centered AI and Keith Strier, vice president of worldwide AI initiatives at NVIDIA.

At the discussion, Anir Chowdhury highlighted the remarkable digital transformatio
n journey of Bangladesh and said, “In 2008, Bangladesh’s per capita GDP was about $650, internet penetration was less than 1 percent and mobile penetration was only 1/6 of the population.

“But now, our per capita GDP has risen to $3,000, and we have transitioned from a low-income to a middle-income country,” he added.

Focusing on simplifying public service delivery, a2i policy advisor said digital development impacts in Bangladesh are being measured through three key metrics: time, cost, and the number of visits required to access government services.

“We have digitalized more than 2,400 services out of 3,000 while services were delivered 6 billion times, saving about 20 billion working days, $30 billion cost, and 13 billion visits,” he mentioned.

Pointing the potentials of artificial intelligence and the government’s commitment in shaping the future of Bangladesh through its ‘Smart Bangladesh’ vision, Anir said, “Our journey with AI began around 2016-17, and by 2019, we introduced the country’s first AI
guideline and have already drafted a national AI policy too”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, Bangladesh leveraged AI for syndromic surveillance by utilizing data from telcos and community diagnostics, he said.

“In Bangladesh, over the last two years, we have focused on what we call ‘equality research endeavors’ to understand the digital divide better. We concentrated on three areas: Connectivity, Digital and AI Skills, and Service Design. A focus on human-centered, inclusive AI is essential,” the a2i olicy advisor added.

Speaking on the occasion, Keith Strier underscored the need for an ai-enabled computational infrastructure to protect the health of the population, improve the quality of healthcare and ultimately access to services.

Emphasizing on the importance of using AI responsibly, Fei-Fei Li said, “We want to improve wellbeing and keep the dignity and self-respect of humanity but make the world better”.

i50IEEE Chair and Co-founder of the People-Centered Internet Mei Lin Fung said, “The In
ternet has profoundly impacted people around the world over the last 50 years. If we want AI and technology to serve humanity, we must imagine, evolve and work together to achieve a future of increasing opportunity for everyone everywhere.”

2024 IEEE President Tom Coughlin and IEEE Life Fellow Vint Cerf, vice president at Google and also renowned as one of the ‘Fathers of the Internet’, also shared their insights on shaping a future digital landscape that will prioritize people amidst the growing presence of artificial intelligence (AI).

In celebration of 50th anniversary of internet, three significant achievements were celebrated that greatly influenced the development of the Internet.

These were: The TCP (Transmission Control Protocol-1974) that provided the framework for connecting diverse networks; The IEEE 802 Standards Committee (1980), which was pivotal in creating global network communication standards, ensuring seamless compatibility among devices on wired and wireless networks, and Google’s PageR
ank Technology (1996), revolutionized web search engines by employing an algorithm that analyzes web page relationships, improving users’ access to relevant information.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Rain with gusty wind likely in parts of country

DHAKA, Rain or thundershowers accompanied by gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at many places in three divisions and at one or two places in other five divisions with hails at isolated places, a met release said.

“Rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely to occur at many places in Rangpur, Rajshahi and Mymensingh divisions and at one or two places in Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram and Sylhet divisions with hails at isolated places”, said the met forecast for the next 24 hours from 9am today.

Trough of low lies over West Bengal to North-west Bay across southern part of Bangladesh.

A low pressure area is likely to form over southwest Bay and adjoining area during next 48 hours. It is likely to intensify afterwards.

Country’s maximum temperature on Monday was recorded 36.0 degrees Celsius at Mongla and minimum temperature today was 22.3 degrees at Dinajpur.

Maximum rainfall for the last 24 hours till 6 am today was recorded 121 millimeters (mm) at Patuakha

The sun sets at 06:37 PM today and rises at 05:13 AM tomorrow in the capital.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Two siblings drown in Lakshmipur pond

LAKSHMIPUR, Two minor siblings drowned in a pond at Kamalpur village of Bhabaniganj union under Sadar upazila of the district today. The deceased were identified as Nafiza Mubarak Madiha, 8, and her brother Md Omar, 5, children of businessman Raju Ahmed of Kamalpur village of the upazila. Nafiza was the class one grade student of a local school and Omar was the student of play group student. Locals said when they were playing near a pond of their house at around 12:30pm this afternoon. At point, Omar fell in the pond and Nafiza tried to save her brother Omar. As a result, both of them drowned into the pond. Later, they were rescued from the pond and taken to Sadar Hospital where the on-duty doctor declared them dead. Bhabaniganj Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Saiful Hasan Roni confirmed matter. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Voting starts in 3 upazilas of Gaibandha

GAIBANDHA, The polling in three upazilas of the district began today as a part of the 2nd phase of 6th upazila parishad elections across the country. The voting started at 8 am in Gaibandha Sadar, Palashbari and Gobindaganj upazilas and will continue till 4 pm without any break. A public holiday has been announced in those areas today to enable the voters to exercise their rights to franchise, sources said. As many as 10, 55, 613 voters including 5, 35, 875 female ones would cast their votes in 418 centres with 2883 booths in the upazilas, said District Election Officer Abdul Mottalib. Some 15 candidates are contesting the polls for the posts of chairmen. Of them, 7 candidates are in Sadar upazila, 6 in Palashbari upazila and 2 in Gobindaganj upazila. For the posts of vice-chairmen, 8 candidates are vying in Sadar upazila, 6 in Palashbari upazila and 5 in Gobindaganj upazila and for the posts of female vice chairmen, 6 in Sadar upazila, 4 in Palashbari and 7 in Gobindaganj upazila. All concerned includ ing the law enforcement agencies and other officials have been asked to discharge duties neutrally, said Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kazi Nahid Rasul. RAB, BGB and police personnel have been deployed so that the voters could cast their votes without any difficulties, said Police Super Md. Kamal Hossain. Mobile teams and striking forces are patrolling to ensure the free atmosphere of voting, he added. Mobile and summary courts in the polling centres would instantly try the law violators during the polling as a magistrate leads each team, he also said. Movement of vehicles like motor-cycle, baby taxi, microbus, jeep, pickup van, car, bus and trucks has been banned from today midnight to tomorrow midnight to ensure peaceful elections. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

2nd phase upazila polls held peacefully too: Quader

DHAKA, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said the second phase of the 6th upazila polls was held in peaceful manner too likewise 1st phase and the voter's turnout was also quite satisfactory. He said this in a press conference at AL President Sheikh Hasina's Dhanmondi political office here. Noting no polls were held without bloodshed during BNP's tenure, Quader said BNP, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and some anti-state intellectuals are making falsehood to discourage the people in casting their votes. Mentioning that BNP is making falsehood over Ziaur Rahman's joining in BAKSAL, he said Ziaur Rahman became a member of BAKSAL through application and there are evidences of the incident. Zia's name was in 71 number in the committee of the BAKSAL, he added. The AL general secretary said BAKSAL was not a unilateral authoritarian party rather it was a national party formed in the dire need of the nation considering the reality of that pe riod. There was system of election in the national party, he said. AL Joint General Secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Organizing Secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, SM Kamal Hossain, Mirza Azam and Sujit Roy Nandi and Deputy Office Secretary Sayem Khan were present in the press conference, among others. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

‘Shramadhan employment fair’ to be organized in all seven provinces

Kathmandu: The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security is set to organize the 'Shramadhan employment fair' to address multi-dimensional needs of the work and employment of Nepali nationals through one door system. At a press conference organized here today, the Ministry said that it is hosting the fair with the target to ease the access of employment seeking people to employers. Minister Dol Prasad Aryal expressed his confidence that the province-level fair to be organized is just a start which he said would ease the access of the people searching employment to employers. Minister Aryal further said an arrangement has been made to provide information about people seeking employment, employers, training providing institution and foreign employment. The two-day fair will take place in all seven provinces on different dates between May 30 to June 12. Source: National News Agency RSS

$24b requires for 24000MW power from renewable sources

DHAKA, Bangladesh will require $24 billion to generate 24000MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2041 to fulfill the government pledges for producing 40 percent of power. Speakers at a press conference said these at a 'meet the press' at Nasrul Hamid Auditorium of Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) ahead of two daylong 24th National Renewable Energy Conference and Green Expo 2024. The National Renewable Energy Conference and Green Expo 2024 will begin tomorrow with a theme 'Investing in Renewable: Fueling the Climate Revolution' at Nabab Nawab Ali Senate Bhaban, University of Dhaka. The Institute of Energy of the University of Dhaka and Green Tech Foundation Bangladesh jointly organised the conference and the green expo 2024. The theme "Investing in Renewable: Fueling the Climate Revolution" is particularly pertinent given the global urgency to transition to sustainable energy sources to mitigate climate change, said CEO and Executive Director of Green Tech Foundation Bangladesh Lutfor Rahman. He said t hen conference will delve into the opportunities presented by global climate investment and funding, emphasizing how these can be harnessed to boost the development of renewable energy in Bangladesh. This focus is vital as Bangladesh seeks to enhance its energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and foster economic growth through sustainable practices, he added. The key objectives of the conference are: highlight financial mechanisms, foster collaboration, showcase innovations and promote policy dialogue, according to him. Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud is expected to attend the conference at the inaugural session while state minister for finance Waseqa Ayesha Khan is expected to be present at the concluding day on May 23, 2024, according to him. Attended at the press conference, Engr Nurul Aktar, president of Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association said Bangladesh will require around $22 billion investment to achieve the target of 24000MW of renewable by 2040. He said the conference will dis cuss about the huge amount of funding to achieve the target. Institute of Energy Director Dr Nasif Shams also attended at the conference among others. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Publisher of Kantipur Publications Sirohiya held

Kathmandu: Chairman of Kantipur Publication, Kailash Sirohiya, was held on Tuesday by police deployed from the Valley Crime Investigation Office, Kathmandu. A team of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Sanuram Bhattarai and Superintendent of Police (SP) Rabindra Regmi nabbed publisher Sirohiya from the latter's office based in Thapathali, Kathmandu. SP Regmi stated that Sirohiya was arrested for an investigation on the citizenship issue and added that preparations are on to take Sirohiya to Janakpur. After his arrest, Sirohiya expressed his serious objection to his arrest despite his pledge to cooperate with the government agencies for the probe. Earlier on Tuesday, a single bench of Judge Chitra Bahadur Gurung of the Dhanusha District Court had ordered to issue an arrest warrant against Sirohiya. Following the arrest warrant, Sirohiya has lodged a petition at the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday itself demanding to vacate the order of the Dhanusha District Court. Information Officer of SC Govinda Prasa d Ghimire said that the decision will be taken on Wednesday whether or not to register the writ petition. The District Police Office, Dhanusha, sought approval from the court to arrest Sirohiya after the citizenship number of Sirohiya and another person was found to be the same. Source: National News Agency RSS

Empowering Bangladesh with clean energy means a brighter, sustainable future: Peter Haas

DHAKA, Empowering Bangladesh with clean energy today means a brighter, sustainable future for generations to come, said U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas. He said this today while addressing the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) at the EMK Center in Dhaka. The forum is the premier public-private U.S. government event to promote trade, investment, and economic cooperation between the United States and its partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region. This year's event will convene 500 leaders from across the region, including through a live stream for virtual participation and satellite events in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, according to a press release. The one-day event in Manila, Philippines, is co-hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the government of the Republic of the Philippines, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. IPBF connects CEOs, project developers, government officials, and sources of financing for priority infrastructure in emerging Indo-Pacific economies. T hrough speeches, breakout panels, and business matchmaking, participants will learn and share their insights on the latest trends, opportunities, and solutions to support infrastructure across all sectors. The key themes and topics for 2024 are: clean energy, digital transformation, supply chain resiliency, transportation infrastructure, and emerging technologies. Noting that the world's fossil fuel supply is finite, the US Ambassador said fossil fuels may be in short supply in the coming years. 'This underscores the urgency to advance a sustainable, equitable, and just energy transition to clean and renewable energy resources,' Citing that Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 shocked the energy market in Bangladesh, like in many parts of the world, he said countries became acutely aware of their dependencies on foreign sources of fuel. 'The impact of that act of aggression sheds light on the interconnectedness of the global energy supply.' He said all nations, therefore, must develop a plan to solidify t heir energy security based on a diversified portfolio of resources. Mentioning that Bangladesh is fortunate with its domestic supply of natural gas, Haas said, 'I'm proud to say that U.S. businesses have been instrumental in allowing Bangladesh to utilize those resources to drive its remarkable economic development over the last two decades. But, as I mentioned before, those supplies are not infinite. And while Bangladesh may soon find more gas in new locations, eventually those too will run out.' He said renewable and clean energy resources are the key to this energy transition for Bangladesh, for South Asia, and for the world. Finding ways to harness solar, wind, hydro, hydrogen, and other energy sources is the path to energy security and needed to support continued economic growth and sustainable development, he added. To help Bangladesh reach this goal, the US Ambassador said his government has been working with the Bangladeshi government, the private sector, international financial institutions, and like-minded governments to build the foundation for this country's clean energy transition. Haas also highlighted some challenges in the coming days that include: seamlessly integrating intermittent energy resources into national grids, which are already struggling to keep up with demand; Developing abundant supplies of cleaner fuel sources, such as green hydrogen; ensuring that countries have access to finance for clean and renewable energy technologies; and negotiating regional energy trading agreements where politics may trump economic advancement. For Bangladesh to achieve a just energy transition, Haas said it will take contributions from the government, private sector, and civil society. 'It will require good policies in place to incentivize smart investments and cross-border electricity trade, the privatization of underperforming state-owned assets, the adoption of new technologies, and the phasing out of the most damaging fossil fuel power generation facilities,' he added. The US Ambassador also s aid, 'This will not happen overnight. It will take years to accomplish. But we can accomplish it faster if we work together and share our collective knowledge.' Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha