Perspective | The Daily Star
  • What is the best indicator of development?

    Countries across Asia have been affected by serious floods, earthquakes and other disasters and the first question that many journalists, economists, policymakers and the business community would like to ask is whether these disasters will have any effect on a country's GDP growth.

  • Looking Back

    It's been one year since the world was horrified by images of emaciated women, men and children walking with just their worldly possessions into the safety of Bangladesh.

  • The ethics of documenting sexual violence

    "These women are carrying on with their lives. The injury of what happened is coming up in different ways—it need not be something sensational like the understanding we have of the birangona. Otherwise we would never understand what happened to the birangonas in terms of their experiences of the war."

  • Are Bangladesh's expectant mothers being coerced into unnecessary, dangerous operations?

    The phrase “too posh to push” was first used by British tabloids in the 2000s highlighting the trend among celebrities choosing to have their babies by caesarean section, as opposed to natural childbirth.

  • An education system that divides the nation

    Our vision and aspiration as a nation is expressed in Vision 2021, marking 50 years of independent Bangladesh, and objectives set for 2041, when Bangladesh aims to become a developed nation.

  • Building the city building by building

    All cities change, and better cities—those that are not at the lowest rung of “most liveable cities”—change through careful planning and crafting of its assets. Dhaka is changing through radical norms, in a fury of demolition and building.

  • Bimstec at a crossroads

    As top leaders from five South Asian and two South East Asian countries gather in Kathmandu under the banner of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Initiative for Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) on August 30 and 31 for their fourth summit, it faces certain fundamental challenges. Set up in 1997 in Thailand with 14 priority sectors of cooperation...

  • Repression in Rakhine, and the principle of the 'responsibility to protect'

    In my previous avatar as a diplomat, like much of the rest of the world, I saw myself as an ardent advocate for change in Myanmar. It was in the grip of Generals who ran a horrendously repressive regime.

  • Aid management in Rohingya camps

    UN agencies leading the Rohingya crisis response appealed for USD 951 million for humanitarian assistance covering the period from March to December 2018.

  • A thriving friendship

    Vietnam and Bangladesh share many similarities in economic, cultural and social background, and are located at two vital locations in South East Asia and South Asia respectively,

  • The cost of a heavy-handed approach

    As we mark the end of one month since a unique children-driven movement caused by a traffic accident stopped a city of 18 million, an 18th-century quote by the English poet Alexander Pope hits home.

  • Politics of climate change, sinking Bangladesh and floating houses

    Climate change is real and it is here to stay. There is no turning around because we have already gone too far. It will only get worse from here. Climate change is, therefore, an existential threat for our children and grandchildren for whom time is running out fast.

  • The strategic importance of Rakhine State

    While the media spotlight on Rohingyas has primarily focused on religious persecution and ethnic cleansing, the strategic importance of Rakhine State of Myanmar needs to be articulated.

  • Understanding the rise in divorce in Bangladesh

    A divorce takes place every hour in Dhaka. This was one of the startling findings in an exclusive report published by Prothom Alo recently. The report states that in the last seven years, the divorce rate application has increased by a massive 34 percent throughout the country according to data compiled by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

  • Can't kill a good idea

    Suppose Antony had a TV channel at his disposal and Brutus didn't. Would that change the course of history? Difficult to say, but experience shows that TV is overrated for its prowess, more so in a democracy. People win elections without the support of TV and they lose them despite all the help they get from the media barons.

  • Making Dhaka liveable

    Bangladesh is progressing, and it has fulfilled the eligibility criteria to become a developing country for the first time this year. Yet, its capital city, Dhaka, continues to be ranked one of the least liveable cities in the world, including in 2018.

  • Suu Kyi's continued denial and Bangladesh's response

    Following the election triumph in Myanmar of Aung Sun Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in 2015, the world, especially the Western world, went into overdrive heralding in the rebirth of democracy in this hitherto reclusive and military controlled country, a neighbour of Bangladesh.

  • Sylhetis, Assamese, 'Bongal Kheda', and the rolling thunder in the east

    In these Trumpian times, the northeast of the South Asian subcontinent does not grab headlines. Nothing of significance usually happens there to warrant that. Particularly when the idiosyncrasies of the lead global personality, Mr Donald Trump himself, are so preponderantly dominating in that regard.

  • Turkey drifting in the Bosporus!

    Turkey's dream of joining the European Union (EU) has never seriously crossed the Bosporus. Following an abortive coup in July 2016, President Erdogan's colossal task to force an exit of armed forces from politics is quivering Turkey.

  • Education as the freedom to create and to construct

    The theme for this year's International Literacy Day, “Literacy and Skills Development”, speaks of a pressing issue of our time, as the rate of job creation in the country struggles to keep pace with the number of people joining the workforce every year.

  • Welcome Higher Education Commission!

    Recently the government took a significant step to transform the existing University Grants Commission (UGC) into an autonomous Higher Education Commission (HEC).

  • In Asia, the future is female

    Asia is a powerhouse of growth in the global economy. From the 1980s onwards, economic development across the region has lifted millions out of poverty and doubled Asia's share of the world economy. However, signs are there that things are moderating.

  • AI in RMG: What's in store for Bangladesh?

    As I began to write down my thoughts on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI), I instinctively turned to the biggest AI engine: Google! Its powerful, AI-enabled search engine led me to the Deloitte Insights website.

  • US-India relations reach 'unprecedented heights'

    Soon after the signing of the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with her American counterpart James Mattis in New Delhi on September 6, Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman termed the deal as elevating bilateral ties to “unprecedented heights.”

  • NRC issue in Assam and our security concern

    The ongoing registration of citizens in Assam first came to the limelight during the Indian national election campaign in 2014, when BJP Chief Narendra Modi announced in election meetings that if voted to power, the BJP would evict those he called “Illegal trespassers from Bangladesh”.

  • A case for cautious optimism

    Recent reports in the media have suggested that retail giant Walmart and e-commerce heavyweight Amazon are expected to enter the Bangladeshi market in the next couple of years.

  • Of political parties, general elections and RTI in Bangladesh

    A positive outcome of the contemporary trend towards authoritarian rule by democratically elected governments around the world is that it is providing a welcome boost to the limping Right to Information (RTI) or Freedom of Information (FOI) movements globally.

  • A case of laudable progress

    The 2018 update on the global human development indices and indicators was released on September 14. Covering 189 countries of the world, the update has revealed for these countries the levels of human development in different dimensions, their progress, the inequalities in human development achievements and the extent and nature of deprivations.

  • Technology can help close the gender gap in Bangladesh

    Each morning at 6am, across from the American Embassy in Dhaka, hundreds of day labourers wait in hopes of finding an employer. Garments, domestic, and hospitality workers walk on either side of the street toward factories, homes, and hotels.

  • Sustainable pricing is crucial for our apparel industry

    The ready-made garment (RMG) sector in Bangladesh has enjoyed rapid growth, with the country now well established as the world's second largest supplier of apparel and with the industry accounting for 83 percent of Bangladesh's exports, employing some 4.4 million people.