PM urges scientists, researchers to work more for humanity

Publish: 6:48 PM, March 4, 2021 | Update: 6:48:PM, March 4, 2021

DHAKA,  – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the scientists and researchers to work more for welfare of mankind with more concentration, saying evolution of research and science is inevitable for the country’s development.

“We want you people (scientists and researchers) will conduct your researches for human beings’ welfare as the fellowships are being given from the public fund,” she said.

The premier made this remarks while distributing Bangabandhu Fellowship, National Science and Technology Fellowship and Special Research Grant at a ceremony held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium, joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.

She said no nation can move forward without science education and research so “you all (researchers) have to continue research and the next generation will do the same following your footsteps”.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has diversified the education with the establishment of different types of universities where students will educate themselves with their ability and competency. “We’ve put emphasis on skilled manpower and that is why we’ve established 18 new public universities so far from 2009 to develop human resources so the country is benefited through their employment at home and abroad,” she added.

She went on saying the government has also set up high-tech cities, hi-tech parks and software technology parks to attain economic development through skilled manpower.

Mentioning that her government has given education with utmost priority, the Prime Minister said assuming power in 1996 they saw that there were no allocation for research and science education, even the students were reluctant to study science.

“But, science and technology is a way of achieving progress . . . we took initiatives to establish science and technology universities and kept separate funds for research,” she continued.

Sheikh Hasina said her government set up science and technology university, agriculture university, medical university, marine science research institute, biotechnology institute and novo theatre after taking charges in 1996.

With Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman in the chair, senior secretary of the ministry Md. Anwar Hossain delivered the welcome address.

In the ceremony, 77 persons received Bangabandhu Fellowship while 3,305 persons were given National Science and Technology Fellowship and 800 persons got Special Research Grant. On behalf of the Prime Minister, Yeafesh Osman handed over the fellowship and grant to the recipients.

Laying emphasis on research for modernization and mechanization of the country’s agriculture sector and expansion of the export basket, the Prime Minister called up on the researchers to conduct study more for product diversification to add value to the export basket.

“Research is essential if we want to increase (number of) our export items and I hope you all will pay special attention so that our exports continue…,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also stressed on the necessity of making the research and development (R&D) wing of every industrial factory effective and stronger.

She said the government has been setting up 100 special economic zones across the country, where research is very essential.

“We can cut down (production) cost, increase excellence and quantity of production of goods, and diversify items to boost export, reducing dependency on one or two items through research,” she added.

The premier also suggested the inclusion of digital devices as new items to the export basket, saying now the country is “Digital Bangladesh” and it is able to do whatever is necessary.

Noting that the country’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture, she highlighted the necessity of research for accelerating modernization and mechanization in the sector to boost the production, saying Bangladesh has a small quantity of arable land against a huge population.

Sheikh Hasina said the country’s food production has increased due to research, as researchers have developed salinity-tolerant and drought-tolerant varieties of rice while research on water-logging-tolerant rice is going on.

She said Father of the Nation had told a journalist that Bangladesh has people and fertile land and he had wanted to develop the people as skillful.

“We think it’s our responsibility. Now we have been able to turn Bangladesh into a developing nation with these people and land from the least developed country (LDC) that was left by Bangabandhu after independence,” she said.

Vowing to establish Bangladesh as a developed country, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh is marching forward and none will be able to halt the progress of the country. “When coronavirus could not halt it (the progress), none will be able to do so anymore. It’s my belief,” she added.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has already sent Bangabandhu Satellite-I to the orbit, she said broadband internet connectivity is being set up throughout the country now. “We’ll move forward using sciences,” she said.

Talking about the reopening of educational institutions, the Prime Minister said the government will be able to open all educational institutes in the country at the end of this March, which remained closed for one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said teachers and employees of the educational institutes from primary schools to higher educational institutions are being given priority in the Covid-19 vaccination programme.