Perspective | The Daily Star
  • How to think about automation

    Everyday, both in print and digital media, scary stories emerge about robots killing jobs.

  • Why digitising our public services is so important

    It is hardly a subject that is discussed in the public domain nowadays, but one recalls “Digital Bangladesh” being the centrepiece of the ruling party's electoral campaign in 2008 and onwards. The aim was to transform the bureaucracy-ridden system, making it faster, more efficient and of course less prone to graft. But such a grandiose mission, till now, remains largely unaccomplished.

  • How democracies die and economies grow

    There are two prominent themes of contemporary development discourses, both lacking a consensus, as reflected in academic research and in their popular versions in bestseller books.

  • Taking the long view of economic growth

    Two groups are now engaged in a passionate discussion regarding Bangladesh's LDC graduation and the march forward. One group clings to the idea that this changeover might prove to be way too challenging—the other group to the idea that the transition will be seamless and almost inevitable. Interestingly, both of these groups share a common handicap: too much reliance on the present, and too little reflection on the lessons of the past.

  • Bangladesh's beauty spots and how not to destroy them

    I was in Bandarban towards the end of this April. An extended holiday weekend had just begun, with fatigued tourists crossing hundreds of miles from around the country to reach this dreamy south-eastern district of Bangladesh.

  • Why it's relevant for us and how it relates to RTI

    In the days before May 25, email users all over the world were bombarded with a barrage of electronic messages updating them on something called the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Observers claim that the number of messages dispatched by businesses throughout the world on the occasion might have surpassed those sent during Christmas or New Year. On that day, Europe became subject to the GDPR, a law aimed primarily at bringing outdated personal data laws across EU up to speed with the fast-moving digital era. GDPR has an impact far beyond Europe.

  • Women-only buses can make a difference

    It felt like I was in the Ladyland of Sultana's Dream. In Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain's famous feminist utopian story, women go about doing their daily work with much ease and face no risk of being harassed or abused by men because men are kept indoors. I felt a similar sense of security when for the first time in my life I got onboard a bus exclusively for women. The experience was rather surreal.

  • Bangladesh: From a take-off stage to actual take-off

    Budget implementation capacity of Bangladesh has been falling consistently for the last seven fiscal years, exposing poor capacity of government agencies, The Daily Star reported on June 4, 2018. Despite a sustained increase in GDP growth rate for over a decade, the implementing capacity has dropped from 97 percent in 2010-11 to a mere 78 percent in 2016-17, it further adds.

  • The 'shameless' victim of the 'shameful' offence

    The courts in the subcontinent including our Supreme Court had held in a number of decisions that in case of sexual offence there is no illegality in convicting the accused on the sole testimony of the victim. But in reality, the courts have hardly applied this rule in a rape prosecution, particularly in Bangladesh.

  • What messages has the budget conveyed?

    A budget is an accounting of incomes and expenditures for individuals or families. However, it is much more than that for a country. A national budget conveys clear messages for the future direction of the national economy. What messages has the budget placed recently by the finance minister in Parliament conveyed?

  • The perils of a city divided: What Medellín's transformation can teach us about fixing Dhaka

    "We want to get into power—why? What are the problems we are going to solve? What we want to attack is inequality, violence and corruption.”

  • The perils of a city divided: What Medellín's transformation can teach us about fixing Dhaka

    "We want to get into power—why? What are the problems we are going to solve? What we want to attack is inequality, violence and corruption.”

  • The perils of a city divided: What Medellín's transformation can teach us about fixing Dhaka

    "We want to get into power—why? What are the problems we are going to solve? What we want to attack is inequality, violence and corruption.”

  • Politics of “base” and its victims

    FIFA World Cup is undoubtedly the most covered media event throughout the world. While American media covered football matches here and there, one particular story dominated the media for the past few weeks: separation of children from their parents in the US-Mexico border.

  • Bangladesh women's cricket team

    We cannot continue to neglect Bangladesh women's cricket

    USD 66,600 or approximately Tk 56 lakh—that is the difference between the yearly salary of the highest graded women cricketers of India and Bangladesh. Indian cricketers receive a daily payment, for their participation in domestic cricket, of Rs 12,500. Bangladesh's cricketers, on the other hand, get paid Tk 600 as match allowance in domestic leagues. That is basically what cricketers who aren't in the national contract play for.

  • Reflections on Bangladesh

    In May 2018, I concluded my first visit to Bangladesh in my official capacity as Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

  • The case of 'ghost' teachers and students

    Whenever there is a discussion on the budget for education, it inevitably boils down to the amount of money allocated.

  • China's assistance for Chittagong port development, not a military conspiracy

    Along with deepening the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has also accelerated its cooperation with the rest of the world in recent years.

  • Why do people evade taxes?

    In Satyajit Ray's 1980 dystopian film Hirok Rajar Deshe (Kingdom of Diamonds), a diamond miner accused of tax evasion is brought to the court of the king. The miner pleads for the king's mercy, as he confesses that he is too poor to pay taxes.

  • Ensuring inclusion of persons with disabilities

    Bangladesh has prioritised “disability” as one of the major thematic areas of its development agenda. The country has already put necessary policy frameworks in place to ensure disability-inclusive development.

  • Muhammad Yunus

    Events of January 10 and 11, 2007

    In a recent article in the Eid Magazine of the daily Prothom Alo, titled 1/11, written by Mohiuddin Ahmad,

  • Gazipur election: The apple didn't fall far from the tree

    And so, the long-anticipated election that has brought together familiar foes for yet another battle of wits and wagers is finally over.

  • Dhaka cafe attack-Holy Artisan tragedy,

    An attack to cripple Bangladesh

    The terror attack on July 1, 2016 hurt Bangladesh in a way no other incident has—it left us bare and wounded, stripping away our confidence, our image as a peaceful, hospitable nation in the eyes of the world.

  • Surviving July 1

    Don't worry, I'm also staying put. I'll just be gone for the Eid break; once I'm back, we can sing Akele Hum, Akele Tum together since it'll best describe our situation,” I told my friend in jest as we discussed the looming holidays ahead.

  • Why humans and robots together can make roads safer

    Road accidents are a major threat to human capital and economic development in Bangladesh. The economic cost of road accidents is estimated to be two to three percent of GDP in developing countries according to WHO; but the loss of human lives, and mental and physical effects on the people involved in accidents and their families are irreparable.

  • Well done, Sir!

    There are iconic pictures that sometimes capture an age, define a moment in history, exemplify beauty, tragedy, or joy, in ways otherwise impossible to evoke. Who can forget the naked, screaming Vietnamese girl fleeing the napalm attack on her village in 1972; the Chinese man standing in lonely defiance in front of a column of tanks at the Tiananmen Square in 1989; the Times Square kiss; or the raising of the US flag at Iwo Jima, heralding the end of WWII?

  • Why not 8 percent growth in the new fiscal year?

    The planning minister, during the signing ceremony of the Annual Performance Agreement (APA) for FY2018-19, expressed his hope that Bangladesh economy would be able to achieve 8 percent growth in 2019-20 and 10 percent growth by 2028-29.

  • A lament for lost space

    Last week, The Daily Star's investigative reportage exposed the work of criminal gangs and henchmen stealing rich top soil from precious arable land to sell to powerful, profiteering brickfield owners.

  • Our road to rapid industrialisation

    Experience from successful industrialised countries suggests that industrialisation brings significant structural change in the economy which leads to considerable reduction in poverty, large-scale job creation and substantial improvement in the welfare of the people of a country.

  • When does development equal freedom?

    In the more than four decades since independence, Bangladesh has made remarkable strides on many fronts. It is no longer the “basket case” as Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, had dismissively remarked about the newborn country in 1971.