Wednesday March 21, 2018 11:21 AM

  • Amended PSC to aid drill bids

    Amended PSC to aid drill bids

    To ensure more participation in the next tender, the government has already updated the model PSC and discarded some previous provisions
    The cabinet has approved the revised model Production Sharing Contract (PSC) on September 3.

    To explore oil and gas in the deep sea areas of the Bay of Bengal, Petrobangla at first invited tenders in December last year.

    Until April this year, bidding response was poor. Only two companies submitted bids separately.

    However, in a call for re-tender from April to July this year, Bangladesh also received a poor response; only one international company submitted a bid for a single shallow water block on the closing day of submission.

  • A tale of two dates

    A tale of two dates

    Bangladesh does not have enough usefulness to warrant it not be deemed expendable by the US in the future should it be gripped by extremism. It is precisely the sort of thinking that oversaw Kissinger’s posturing in 1971
    The 11th of September is a date seared into the minds of every single person alive since 2001. It reshaped the geopolitical climate, made “fundamentalism” and “terrorism” everyday words that everyone had an opinion about, and dictated the lives of all those alive and all those born thereafter.

    Forgotten, however, is the very fact that the day already bore significance. Going back 28 years in history provides context for what came to pass.

  • Blowing in the wind

    Blowing in the wind

    Improving infrastructure and extending cost effective technology oriented towards wind turbine components and better utilization of grid connections and distributions should be a way to the future
    Wind power is clean, safe, without carbon emissions, and is the most attractive renewable solution for improving supply trends.

    The viability of wind power lies at the plentifulness of wind, cost effectiveness, long-term usage, ease of deployment and for the significant role it plays in reducing Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

  • Return to the fold

    Return to the fold

    Modi began his career helping his brother run a tea stall in Gujarat, servicing attendees at the RSS political rallies. Within 40 years, he has risen, through his own assiduous efforts, to head the BJP
    Obviously everyone has an ancestry; it is only a matter of rummaging deep enough into the past to discover who one’s forebears were.

  • About respecting and protecting our women

    It’s highly probable that our sons and daughters will become victims of this trend if not an active participant in such a tragedy
    The United Nations in a recent study which surveyed around 10,000 men from nine sites in six countries, including Bangladesh and excluding India, found the prevalence of rape and violence committed by men on women to be a staggering 23% at the low end, amounting in 1 in 4 men admitting to have committed at least one rape.

    In Bangladesh the numbers are chronically mortifying; incidences of physical and sexual violence were found to be at 57% to 55% of those surveyed on a rural-to-urban ratio.

  • Israel challenged by Iran charm offensive

    Israel challenged by Iran charm offensive

    ‘Israel’s government and prime minister are facing difficulties convincing the international community to treat Iran the same way it has treated it before’
    As Iran’s new president reaches out to the West with a message of moderation, Israel’s hawkish approach on Tehran’s nuclear programme looks likely to come under pressure, experts say.

    President Hassan Rowhani on Tuesday emphasised the peaceful nature of the Islamic republic’s atomic programme, telling the UN General Assembly that “nuclear weapons have no place in Iran’s security and defence doctrine.”

  • The minimum wage begins at home

    The minimum wage begins at home

    If we raise the floor, and domestic work is the floor, make no mistake about it, then we make things better for everyone
    Once again, the issue of a minimum wage for garment workers is front and centre. But tucked away amidst all the blaring headlines about garment workers demonstrating for a hike in the minimum wage and the attendant chaos on the streets and hand-wringing as to what will become of our cash cow RMG industry, there is another story that should have also grabbed our attention.

  • Our present political scenario

    Bangladeshi politics has been characterised by a bitter struggle between the BNP and the Awami League obstructing the other while in opposition
    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again asked all to watch out for any undemocratic usurping of power. “It is normal to have differences of opinion in a multi-party democratic system. But an undemocratic power should not assume office and play with people’s fate,” she said.

  • Keeping sight of the bigger picture

    Keeping sight of the bigger picture

    A new paper by scientists from the UK and the US provides evidence that human influences on the climate played a role in the severity of a number of these events
    We are living in a changing world. 2012 was among the ten warmest years on record continuing the long-term trends we have seen in our changing and varying climate. As carbon dioxide levels continue to climb, these changes are not just confined to global temperatures. Keeping sight of the bigger picture shows evidence of a changing world in rising sea levels, melting Arctic sea ice, and shrinking ice sheets.

  • Wages in the RMG industry

    Wages in the RMG industry

    While our workers in the RMG industry do deserve a respectable wage, preliminary studies suggest that the present condition of the industries may not be supportive of a minimum wage hike to more than Tk5,200 or $65 per month
    My friend, a ready-made garment industry owner sounded annoyed: “Madam prime minister is visiting New York with a 150 member entourage. From where is the money coming?’’ Further asking: “And it is not just any money, it is hard currency in US dollars. Who earns this? Our exporters and wage earners?”

    He seemed furious to see the BGMEA president himself joining the prime minister on her New York trip, which he thought of as nothing but a pleasure trip just before the expiry of her term in the government.

  • The open source solution

    The open source solution

    Why reinvent the wheel?
    Most Bangladeshis reading this article on the web are probably using a PC loaded with a pirated copy of Microsoft Windows. Are there any legal options to use similar software without paying $500 per PC for MS Windows and MS Office?

    Yes there are. Open source software can be downloaded for free and used legally instead of pirated software. This can and will protect companies and government departments in Bangladesh from future software piracy lawsuits.

  • Green growth is good growth

    Green growth is good growth

    Green energy would bolster the economy, generate green jobs, reduce carbon emissions and reduce long-term energy costs. Additionally, Bangladesh currently produces about 75 megawatts of electricity from green energy sources
    Green growth is growth that fosters economic growth and development while ensuring that environmental resources are not harmed. According to the World Bank Group, green growth is efficient in its use of natural resources, clean in that it minimises pollution and environmental impact, and resilient in that it accounts for natural hazard.

  • Promises, old and new

    Promises, old and new

    Given the benefit of the doubt at the last general election, Awami League has since followed in BNP’s footsteps on this point, at least so asserts the World Bank
    Mario Cuomo, America’s greatest president who never was, observed: “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.” With the next general election possibly, hopefully just around the corner, and the Dhaka air thick with deja vu, Cuomo’s quote is what Bangladeshis ought to be reminded of.

    Except, in Bangladesh, governance has always been devoid of poetry, prose, theme, diction and all other literary constraints, save for metaphor. Specifically, a metaphor for failed promises. 

  • Nairobi mall attack: A strike on Africa’s boom image

    Nairobi mall attack: A strike on Africa’s boom image

    Something is fermenting in the world. There is a religious factor, an Islamic factor, but it is not mainstream Islam
    When Islamist fighters from Somalia’s al-Shabaab group stormed a Nairobi mall at the weekend, they knew they were hitting a high-profile symbol of Kenya’s economic power in booming Africa.

    The Israeli-built Westgate mall offering multiple levels of shops, cafes and restaurants epitomised the African consumer bonanza that is drawing foreign investment – from West and East – to one of the world’s fastest growing continents.

  • Roots of regional and Bangladeshi militancy

    Roots of regional and Bangladeshi militancy

    No country in the Muslim world is safe from their operations, as they always aim to terrorise their opponents and arouse the admiration of their supporters
    Bangladesh is still recognised by the world community as a moderate Muslim country and rightly so. Muslims, Hindus and other communities have lived harmoniously in this part of the sub-continent for centuries.

    However, it appears that the tag “moderate Muslim country” has started to wane fast, thanks to Islamist radicals and fundamentalists flexing their muscles all over the country.

  • The age of fundamentalism

    The age of fundamentalism

    The attempt to combat religious fundamentalism has given rise to fundamentalist responses from the secular, liberal forces
    Fundamentalism is a topic that occupies a large part of the collective consciousness in most parts of the world today. Earlier this month we had the 12 year anniversary of 9/11, an event that arguably had the biggest impact on the global political landscape in recent memory, and that brought the issue of terrorism, and Islamic fundamentalism along with it, to the forefront.

  • Syria casts shadow over UN amid Iran hopes

    Syria casts shadow over UN amid Iran hopes

    US officials say a meeting is possible between President Barack Obama and Iran’s newly elected centrist President Hassan Rouhani
    A slew of international crises takes centre stage this week as the UN General Assembly meets in New York – Syria’s bloody civil war, the possible appearance of Sudan’s president despite an arrest warrant for alleged genocide, and outrage over a massive US cyberspying program.

    There are also some hopes for good news. Many of the 193 UN member states are looking for signs of a thaw in relations between arch-enemies Iran and the United States.

  • Gender equality and how Islam sees it

    There are fundamental differences, both physical and mental between men and womenOne particular issue that Bangladesh has looked pretty concerned about in the past few years is that of “gender equality.” Women and men are supposed to be equal to men in terms of “rights.”

    According to feminists, women must be entitled to play any role in society that a man is able to play. A man is not to be differentiated from a woman in terms of ability and potential. Moreover, the duties which are traditionally thought to be assumed only by women are to be shared by men as well.

  • Serpent in Eden: Saint by day, a little Satan by night

    Serpent in Eden: Saint by day, a little Satan by night

    A tale of unravelling Dhaka after dark

    The lobby of the hotel wears a totally different look after eight at night. People, who possibly won’t be able to spell the word “concierge,” smartly walk past liveried men who salute in earnest.

    As long as they can spend the money, respect and veneration are ensured. No questions asked, of course, about the provenance of their disposable cash. For those who frequent the countless seminars and workshops held in this five star establishment, this sight after dark may come as a shock.

  • What’s on the table?

    Off-shore drilling tender fails to attract IOCs
    In the ruling by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in June 2012, Bangladesh won its case relating to the demarcation of boundaries for disputed maritime-territory with Mynmmar.

    Maps have duly been revised, and calls made on hydrocarbon companies to bid for new exploration blocks in these deep sea areas.

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