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      Discussions related to Bangladesh's strategic affairs and international relations including geo-politics, diplomatic and national security.

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      Discussions related to Bangladesh Army - Its combat capability, procurement programmes, weapons systems, manpower and future planning.

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      Discussions related to defence and strategic affairs of Muslim countries including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria and others.

  4. DEFSECA Headquarters

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      Discussions related to DEFSECA website, forum or social media functions.


  • Posts

    • https://today.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/first-page/sweden-to-seek-bds-approval-for-human-trial-of-nasal-covid-jab-1642960415 Sweden to seek BD's approval for human trial of nasal Covid jab  FE REPORT |  January 24, 2022 00:00:00 https://today.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/uploads/1642960415.jpg Sweden's Karolinska Institute is set to seek ethical clearance of Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) to start human trial of its developed nasal Covid-19 vaccine here. The ISR has already assigned Bangladesh Clinical Trials Ltd as its contract research organisation. The two organisations also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier to this effect. Dr Ahmedul Kabir, principal of Mugda Medical College, and Dr ABM Abdullah, a former dean of the medicine faculty at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, will work as principal investigators if the trial gets approved. They are working on the protocol of the clinical trial. "We're in the final stage. We'll soon submit their protocols seeking ethical clearance from the BMRC," medicine expert Dr ABM Abdullah said. After getting the approval, he said, they would start trial run of the nasal vaccine here. "We want to start first phase of the clinical trial first. If it is successful, we'll start phase-2 and phase-3 trails together," he said. He also informed that they would administer two doses of the vaccine in a break of four weeks. Dr Ahmedul Kabir said a nasal spray device is used to dry up the entire proteins. "The good part in the system is you don't need to keep it in refrigerator. Even people can administer the antidote by themselves. They don't need to come to the vaccination point," he said. A total of 90 volunteers will take part in the trial run of the first phase of the nasal vaccine. Currently, the Covid-19 vaccines being used across the world are injected into the muscles of the recipients, but concern has grown over their efficacies to prevent infection with new variants amid a lack of doses while vaccines that target the mucous membranes are not new. There are many oral vaccines that are approved to combat infections such as polio and cholera. In a July 21 article, Karolinska Institute immunologist and T cell researcher Marcus Buggert said when infections take place in the mucosal surfaces of the nasal cavity and the T cells, the immune system is primed. [email protected]
    • https://www.tbsnews.net/tech/bangladesh-set-edtech-revolution-360985 Mahfuz Ullah Babu 23 January, 2022, 02:00 pm Last modified: 23 January, 2022, 04:18 pm Bangladesh set for an EdTech revolution The potential of education technology (EdTech) in the country is already attracting international investors   Bangladesh is poised for a revolution in education technology in the coming years as some start-ups are offering value propositions that address problems related to the affordability of quality education, said industry people. The potential of education technology (EdTech) in the country is already attracting international investors. In China, more than half of the students have opted for the complete academic solutions offered by EdTech start-ups, which is over one-third in India. It is still around 1% and there is every single reason for significant growth in Bangladesh, said Ayman Sadiq, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of 10 Minute School, the largest online education platform in the country which has recently raised $2 million in foreign funding. Unlike most peer countries, the use of technology in education was more an additional adoption by enthusiasts in Bangladesh, than a factor to completely rely on until Covid-19 outbreaks. The government's Shikkhok Batayon, a video platform for public school teachers to share their academic content, has been doing its job for the teachers and students since 2013. Also, education content creators such as Ayman Sadiq and Munzereen Shahid had their wide reach among internet-using learners over the recent years. Thanks to free online platforms such as YouTube and Facebook that helped the educators avert the platform costs. After the country opted for a long closure of classrooms in March 2020, teachers and students went online for classes and exams that saved academic years for several millions of students. In the meantime, some EdTech start-ups reenergised their ventures to address even bigger problems in the country's education system – the quality of education and its accessibility. "The best part of what we are doing is, students, especially SSC, HSC candidates and university admission seekers, will need not to rush to expensive urban areas for quality education," said Shahir Chowdhury, co-founder and CEO at Shikho. His start-up is offering complete academic solutions such as academic content, interactive online classes for class 6-12 students under national textbooks curriculum, alongside programmes for competitive exam preparations and skills development. "An entry-level smartphone with a decent internet connection enables you to opt for everything you need to thrive academically, regardless of where you are from," he said. The EdTech start-up founded in April 2019 has received $1.3 million from US venture capital investors Anchorless Bangladesh and Learn Capital to make the total investment $1.6 million. It is investing in its technology and content alongside expanding its team of 280 where Shahir, a former non-resident Bangladeshi banker, is leading the overall business, and his partner Zeeshan Zakaria, an overseas educator, is leading academic activities.  In November 2021, the firm acquired a popular professional courses platform Bohubrihi, the founder of which is leading Shikho's skill development programmes. Also, it bought "Mainly Coding" this month, a platform that focuses on the practical aspects of learning how to code. "We just need to communicate the advantage of our online quality education in Bengali with the masses," Shahir told The Business Standard. The 10 Minute School, co-founded by Ayman Sadiq in 2015, onboarding 9 million new learners in 2021 alone, received $2 million from a top venture capital investor, Sequoia Capital's rapid scale-up programme Surge, this month. The start-up is heavily investing in its platform, contents and brains not only to retain its market leadership but also to thrive towards the upcoming education technology revolution Bangladesh is set to see in the next couple of years, Ayman Sadiq told TBS. Securing 12 times business growth in 2021, 10 Minute School got 3.2 million app users, while the total number of its online learners is more than three times bigger. He prefers to call it a revolution as the majority of the users are rural learners. Shikho's paid user-base has been growing at a monthly average rate of 140pc since it began offering the courses in November. Co-founders of both 10 Minute School and Shikho said they are charging 75%-80% less for their academic courses than the traditional tuition by coaching centres and tutors has been costing. Tk20,000-25,000 a year is enough for an online student of SSC, HSC for everything they need. The 10 Minute School is serving students from classes 1-12 alongside its test preparation and skill development courses.  The platform got 5% of its users to subscribe for paid content and classes and the rate would be enough to help its financial sustainability if the expected revolution takes place, Sadiq said.  Bangladesh has done tremendously well in primary education and girls' enrolment that helped it beat regional peers achieving millennium development goals, now it needs to achieve the SDG-4, access to quality education, Shahir said. EdTech will be the revolution as it needs more investment in technology, getting only the best teachers and content creators for hundreds of thousands of students bypassing the conventional crying need for a better teacher-student ratio across the country, he said. Bangladesh having 43 million students amid a gap in access to quality education is clearly one of the top five grounds for an education technology revolution, said Sadiq. The market for academic solutions by the EdTech industry is estimated to grow to a billion dollars by 2025 from its current base of a few million dollars, said Sadiq. He expects, by this time, one or more EdTech start-ups will grow to unicorn status – a billion-dollar company – after already a one emerging from fintech and probably one or more from e-commerce and logistics sectors. Ostad, Esho Shikhi, Shikhbe Shobai, Sohopathi, Thrive, Upskill, EduHive are some other local education start-ups having their various focus areas.
    • https://today.thefinancialexpress.com.bd/last-page/work-on-another-meghna-bridge-due-this-year-1642871623 Work on another Meghna bridge due this year  FE REPORT |  January 23, 2022 00:00:00 The construction of another Meghna bridge through Bhulta-Araihazar-Bancharampur is expected to start this year under the government-to-government (G2G) public-private partnership (PPP) model. Bangladesh pairs up with South Korea to do the job. The feasibility study on the proposed bridge having a length of around 2.75 km ends next month. The information was shared after a visit of a delegation comprising the PPP Authority (PPPA), Korean embassy, Bangladesh Bridges Authority and Korean private investors to the project site. Local government officials and political leaders also joined them during a ferry trip from Narayanganj's Bishnandi to the other side of the river in Brahmanbaria. The delegation included PPPA secretary and CEO Sultana Afroz, Korean ambassador Lee Jang-Keun and representatives of Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation, and Korean investors, including Daewoo. AB Tajul Islam, a member of parliament from the Brahmanbaria-06 constituency, received them. The envoy says the commencement of the construction of the new bridge by the Korean Consortium will coincide with 50 years of the Bangladesh-Korea diplomatic ties. Ms Afroz says the PPPA and the bridges division are working hard to expedite the implementation of the project. The initial work is progressing fast. She believes this bridge is another step towards achieving a developed country as envisioned by Father of the Nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Lawmaker Mr Islam highlights that the project will establish a direct road link with Dhaka, reduce traffic jam on highways and improve lives of people in the surrounding areas. [email protected]
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