Perspective | The Daily Star
  • When a picture is worse than a thousand words

    It used to be said that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” but in these days of ever-increasing reach and power of the social media, the image has usurped the written headline as the number one medium for grabbing the reader's attention, with various reports showing that 85 percent of social media users respond to an image as opposed to the written word.

  • Toward Great Dhaka: The value of planned urban expansion

    The success of Dhaka as a productive, vibrant and resilient city is vital to Bangladesh's future. Home to 18 million people, Dhaka is the main hub of economic activity in the country, generating a fifth of national GDP and nearly half of all formal jobs.

  • CEPA: A game-changer for Indo-Bangla ties?

    Bangladesh and India decided during a meeting between their Commerce Ministers Tofail Ahmed and Suresh Prabhu in Dhaka recently to explore a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which is an important stage in the countries' burgeoning ties.

  • We need to learn to lose

    It is fascinating how learning to lose and accepting defeat as a process starts at a young age.

  • New opportunities for India-Bangladesh cooperation

    On the evening of September 18, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held video conferences in Delhi and Dhaka respectively.

  • Testing and learning - How Singapore does it

    The cover story with a full front-page spread on the Straits Times of Singapore on September 29 was headlined “Fewer exams for students, less emphasis on grades”.

  • Achieving religious harmony in a world of fear and populism

    This is a tough time for men and women of the cloth, at least those whose message is one of peace, tolerance, mutual respect, equality and inter-faith dialogue.

  • Slavery in Bengal: A forgotten history

    Notably absent in Bengali literature and history is a rather shameful past: the existence of slaves and the significant role that slavery played in our society and economy.

  • How Bangladesh is faring

    Child mortality reduction was a crucial aspect of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is considered to be an important indicator of socioeconomic advancement under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Target 3.2 under Goal 3 of the SDGs calls for ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age.

  • Journalism's darkest hour and a roadmap to its survival

    Director Steven Spielberg's 2017 newsroom thriller The Post, set in the 1970s America when a group of journalists try to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets about the Vietnam War, beautifully captures the tension between the press and a corrupt administration.

  • To speak or not to speak?

    Currently, the trending topic is the Miss Bangladesh 2018 fiasco—both the judges and contestants have been shamed by people on social media for their ignorance of the English language.

  • From Russia with love

    Diversification of options is the name of the diplomatic game. That is the message coming out after India and Russia inked the USD 5 billion agreement for the supply of the formidable S-400 air defence system during President Vladimir Putin's two-day visit to India and his annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Remembering Murti,1971

    Just a few months into the war of liberation it became clear that the guerrilla operations would eventually have to be accompanied by warfare conducted by troops organised in regular units.

  • World needs to step up support for the Rohingya

    What I saw on my first visit to Bangladesh, as the vice president of the World Bank's South Asia Region, was a human tragedy as far as the eye could see.

  • A vibrant workplace for happier employees

    Illumination from the fluorescent lights fails to reach the cubicle at the end of the room as a girl leans over her laptop. She's scribbling over her notebook and she can only hear the faint sound of rain hitting the window.

  • Virtual play to combat mental illness

    Out of the 161 million people of Bangladesh (as of 2015), 16.1 percent of adults and 15.2 percent of five- to 10-year-olds live with mental health issues. Only 0.44 percent of our national budget was allocated for mental health in the same year.

  • World University Rankings 2018

    Bangladesh and the World University Rankings

    With unprecedented internationalisation of higher education, the world university rankings have become prominent globally and have significant impact on students' higher study decisions.

  • Creating a skilled girlforce

    International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC), is commemorated on October 11 every year, to highlight the challenges girls face, promote their empowerment and fulfil their human rights.

  • Looking at climate change from the lens of international security

    A milestone report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned the global community of the expository risks our planet faces, if international stakeholders fail to portray environmental protectionism front and centre in their policy programmes.

  • A syndicate that wreaked havoc

    The story of manpower syndication is the greatest scam that ever happened in our manpower sector, entangling politicians and bureaucrats in high-degree corruption in both Bangladesh and Malaysia.

  • SDGs and The Right to Information: We can't have one without the other

    The International Right to Know Day on September 28 was observed this year with much less enthusiasm in many countries. Though 90 percent of world population now live in countries where the Right to Information (RTI), or Freedom of Information (FOI), law exists, the promise of transparent and accountable governance presaged in the law remains a distant dream.

  • The goal of 'zero hunger' in Bangladesh

    This year's World Food Day is not a happy occasion. After many years of continual progress, the number of malnourished people has begun to rise again. Today, there are 821 million hungry people in the world, a shocking outrage on a planet where there should be plenty of food for everyone.

  • Why we need new housing philosophies in Bangladesh

    The first Monday of October each year is celebrated as World Habitat Day. More than 30 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly conceived the day to build global awareness of a basic but overlooked human right; that is, everybody deserves a decent and affordable place to live.

  • Relevant laws for candidates running for Parliament

    The 11th Parliamentary election is at our doorstep. The election schedule is expected to be declared at the beginning of November and the election to be held at the end of December.

  • Unless power is checked, you cannot have liberty

    PUBLISHED in 1748, Montesquieu's The Spirit of the Laws remains, after over 250 years, one of the seminal works of political theory. Among this Age of Enlightenment philosopher's preoccupations was the relationship between power and freedom, and how the distribution of power in a government can be the crucial factor between a state of liberty and one of despotism.

  • Harnessing the solar energy absorbed by the oceans

    The world's oceans constitute a vast natural reservoir for receiving and storing solar energy. They take in solar energy in proportion to their surface area, nearly three times that of land. As the sun warms the oceans, it creates a significant temperature difference between the surface water and the deeper water to which sunlight doesn't penetrate.

  • Why internet access is not enough

    Bangladesh is now among the top five countries in Asia when it comes to internet usage, according to Internet World Stats, a website that compiles international population, travel, and internet market research statistics.

  • The shredding of Banksy's painting

    On October 5, during an auction in London, a painting called “Girl With Balloon” by a famous yet mysterious British “graffiti” artist called “Banksy” was purchased by an unknown woman for USD 1.4 million which shred itself (the shredder was hidden inside the frame) into pieces right after the sale, surprising the world. All spotlights are now on Banksy and his shredded piece of art. Everybody is trying to grasp the message behind this act. What was the reason for this arrogant show of disrespect towards a USD 1.4 million sale which was a record for Banksy's art?

  • How rational are admission test questions in our universities?

    Each year when the admission test result of Dhaka University is published, there is a hue and cry about the poor quality of secondary education in the country—the reason being lower pass rates in the admission tests. But if the quality of education at the secondary level was so poor, then a lot of seats would have been vacant in public universities or medical colleges. Whereas in reality, no seats are vacant.

  • Power, consent, and my newsroom

    Nearly two decades ago, I was at a big party in Nagarkot in Nepal, organised to welcome the new millennium, with delegates from all over the world. I was there as the master of ceremony or something to that effect.