Saturday, 28 January 2017
EC formation: Search body asks for 5 names
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28 January 2017 The newly formed search committee today requested 31 political parties to propose five names of Election Commission head and members to the additional secretary of the Cabinet division by January 31.

The search committee will also sit with 12 eminent personalities of the country’s civil society at the Supreme Court Judges' Lounge in Dhaka on Monday at 4:00pm, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam briefed journalists after the first meeting of the search committee.

The eminent personalities are – former High Court judge Md Abdur Rashid, Prof Dr AK Azad Chowdhury, Serajul Islam Choudhury, SMA Fayez, Sultana Kamal, former Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda, former Election Commissioner Sohul Hussain, former Election Commissioner Sakhawat Hussain, local government expert Tofail Ahmed, secretary of Shushanor Jonno Nagorik Badiul Alam Majumdar, Dhaka University professor Abul Quasem Fazlul Huq and former inspector general of police Nurul Huda.

READ MORE: EC Formation: Search committee to come up with names in 10 workdays

Earlier around 11:00am, the six-member body headed by Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain held the meeting at the SC Judges' Lounge.

The president formed the search body on January 25 after holding series of talks with 31 registered political parties including BNP and ruling Awami League.

The other members of the search committee are Justice Obaidul Hassan, a High Court judge, Muhammed Sadique, chairman of Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC), Masud Ahmed, comptroller and auditor general of Bangladesh, Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam, trustee board member of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), and Shireen Akhter, pro-vice chancellor of Chittagong University.

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RUET Credit system: Section of students go on indefinite strike

28 January 2017 A section of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET) students today announced indefinite strike demanding withdrawal of “33 credit system”.

The students decided not to attend any examinations or classes unless their demand is fulfilled, an agitating student wishing anonymity told our Rajshahi University correspondent.

University authorities introduced the “33 credit system” in 2013, where if a student fails to get 33 out of 40 credits, she or he will not be allowed to move up to next session and will have to retake the whole year again.

Whereas previously, a student could move on to the next session even if they passed less than 33 credits and were allowed to retake the subjects at a later date.

Around 150 students of 2014-2015 batches of different departments have been protesting the credit system by boycotting classes and examinations from 8:00am.

They also submitted a memorandum to the university vice chancellor in the morning.

When asked, Vice Chancellor Prof Rafiqul Alam Beg said the system was introduced in 2013 for the students' own good and their demand for withdrawing it is illogical, reports our RUET correspondent.

However, the students had not consulted him regarding the matter before starting the movement, says the VC.

“Decision on the next course of action will be made after a meeting of academic council”, he added.

Students alleged, around 150 students of ’13 and ’14 batches have failed to earn the necessary amount of credits to pass till now.

Tamim, one of the agitating students, said under the new system if a student cannot manage to secure 33 credits out of 40 in one year, he or she has to repeat the year with junior students.

He said, before the ‘33 credit system’ was introduced, students who fell short of the required credits, used to get them by completing short courses in their final year.

Another student alleged that, there is no such type of credit system in any other engineering and technology university in the country.

Though a University official anonymously said that, the RUET Chhatra League is behind this movement, the agitating students denied the allegations.

They said, they are protesting the credit system for the general students, there is no political connection to it.

RUET BCL General Secretary Topu said, “we have no connection with this movement”.

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PM again blasts anti-Rampal power plant campaigners

28 January 2017 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina once again came down heavily on the quarter campaigning against the Rampal power plant, saying that they never visited the power plant site to ascertain its impact on the Sundarbans.

Defending the construction of the power plant, she also said the Rampal power plant is being set up in Rampal, not in the Sundarbans.

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'Not the time to build walls'

28 January 2017 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticised his US counterpart Donald Trump today, saying now was "not the time to build walls between nations".

"They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed many years ago. Even if there are walls between nations, they must be removed," Rouhani said at a tourism convention in Tehran.

His remarks came after Trump ordered construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border and imposed tough new controls on travellers from seven Muslim countries, among them Iran.

READ MORE: Trump orders building of Mexico border wall

Rouhani did not comment directly on the visa ban, but said Iran had "opened its doors" to foreign tourists since the signing of a nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.

With more than a million Iranians living in the United States, many families are deeply concerned about the implications of Trump's visa ban, which also affects citizens from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

On Thursday, one of Iran's most popular actresses said she would boycott next month's Academy Awards in protest at the ban.

"Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017," tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the Oscar-nominated "The Salesman".

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