Nation this week
In a major reshuffle in the field-level civil administration, the government has appointed new deputy commissioners to 23 districts including Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal and Mymensingh. The Public Administration Ministry, in line with the directives of the president, issued a notification during the week to make the decision effective immediately. The ministry appointed new DCs in 18 districts and transferred the administrators across in five other districts.
The districts also include Cumilla, Patuakhali, Tangail, Sunamganj, Gopalganj, Kurigram, Sirajganj, Jhalakathi, Faridpur, Khagrachhari, Bogura, Kishoreganj, Nilphammari, Lalmonirhat, Cox's Bazar, Joypurhat and Magura.For the first time, the officers of the 25th BCS have been made DCs. It continues the government's spree of appointments and firings witnessed throughout 2022, with the election set for late 2023. While this was a reshuffle at the DC level more than anything else, previously we have seen the information and broadcasting secretary, as well as three superintendents of police, sent into forced retirement.
5G mobile technology is going to play a very important role in changing almost everything in Bangladesh, including industry and education, and it will connect the whole population to very high-speed internet, Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar said this week, revealing a new government scheme branded 'Smart Bangladesh', that is being incorporated into Vision 2041. The primary role of the telecommunications industry in all this, is to connect the whole population of Bangladesh. Jabbar was addressing Chinese tech-giant Huawei's global forum on sustainability, styled "Connectivity: Innovate for Impact" this year.
In the forum, Huawei signed a global commitment to join the International Telecommunication Union's Partner Connect digital alliance. This initiative will bring connectivity to about 120 million people in remote areas in more than 80 countries by 2025. Liang Hua, chairman of Huawei, said connectivity will be more than just a tool for convenient communications: "Together with digital technologies, like cloud and artificial intelligence (AI), connectivity will help bring everyone into the digital world."
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) submitted its proposal to the energy regulator seeking a Tk 1.47 per kilowatt hour (each unit) hike in the price of electricity at the retail level, official sources confirmed. "We sought to raise the retail tariff by 19.44 percent to Tk 9.03 per unit from the existing Tk 7.56 per unit," a top official of the BPDB told UNB. The retail power tariff proposal was placed by the BPDB within a day of the bulk power tariff being raised.
There are a total six power distribution entities in the country and the Power Division has asked all of them to submit their respective proposals on retail power tariff hike as early as possible, following the announcement on the new bulk power tariff. On Monday (Nov. 21), the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) raised the bulk power tariff by almost 20 percent - to Tk 6.20 per kilowatt hour (each unit) from the previous Tk 5.17.
The Election Commission (EC) has enrolled more voters than the number estimated in the voter list update programme during a countrywide campaign, including door-to-door visits. This would be the last registration process for prospective voters before the 12th parliamentary election. Enumerators of the EC visited households to complete the update in four phases starting from May 20 to November 20 this year following the terms of Section 11 of the Electoral Rolls Act 2009 Voter List Update Programme.
The EC officials said 9,870,970 people have completed the registration process in the update programme, 1,255,233 more than the estimated number. So far, 4,778,003 women, 5,092,716 men, and 251 third-gender people have been registered. The names of 1,709,321 people were removed from the voters' list after verification of the necessary documents, the commission said. The EC collected data about citizens born on or after January 1, 2005, January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007.
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