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Bangladeshi NRBs in the field of STEM and Startups

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Sheikh Rafi Ahmed

11 August, 2021, 10:20 am

Last modified: 11 August, 2021, 12:58 pm

A 23-year old Bangladeshi entrepreneur making food-delivery robots in South Korea

Labib Tazwar Rahman is a 23-year-old Bangladeshi tech entrepreneur, founder of InclusionX and one of the co-founders of Neubility, a Seoul-based company that develops autonomous food-delivery robots



Neubility develops autonomous food-delivery robots using vision-based localisation and path planning technologies. Photo: Courtesy

Labib was only a 20-year-old undergraduate student at Stanford university when he, along with his friends, began meeting investors from prominent companies like Amazon, Hyundai etc. in different parts of the world, starting from South Korea, to Spain, and the US. 

"When we used to organise debate competitions in school, we had to move from one potential sponsor to another, in search of funding, and convince them why it was in their interest to sponsor our event. It's quite the same with Neubility, but on a much larger scale," Labib said.

Labib Tazwar Rahman is a co-founder of Neubility, a Seoul-based company that develops autonomous food-delivery robots using vision-based localisation and path planning technologies. Neubility has already secured funding from the likes of Hyundai Motors.

"Basically, Neubility develops robots for last-mile delivery. That is, our robots will collect your food orders from the restaurants and then deliver on their own to your doorsteps without requiring any human intervention," Labib explained.

Labib wears many hats: he is the founder of InclusionX, a mental health and disability inclusion service in Bangladesh, the Co-President of the Stanford University Physics Society, and the author of the Stanford Disability Language Guide, which has been featured in The Smithsonian Institution and is currently used as an academic reference in many US universities. 

Labib met Andrew Lee and Cheongho Cho (the two other founders of Neubility) back in 2015 when he was in class 10. They all participated in the Conrad Awards held at the Kennedy Space Centre in Nasa. They were all finalists and became friends during the competition.

"We kept in touch long after the competition and we were always wondering about something we could do together. Eventually, we came up with Neubility," Labib recalled. 

"Initially, we wanted to make gaming accessories and we worked on this idea for one or two years. But eventually, we pivoted towards making delivery robots since South Korean corporations were looking for an alternative to human delivery services," he added.

Using robots for food delivery sounds quite futuristic. So, I wanted to know how this idea could be feasible.


Labib Tazwar Rahman

Apparently, South Korean citizens are more accustomed to using e-commerce sites. Because of the extremely high demand and booming global e-commerce market, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Korean e-commerce companies to use human labour for delivery, and they are looking for more efficient alternatives, particularly in the form of automation.

In the words of Labib, "Currently, this idea is only feasible in meticulously planned cities like Seoul. Even many American cities are not as well-planned as South Korea's capital. But we are planning for the long-term."

"These robots can carry any goods from one place to another at any stage of the supply chain. Currently, we are only manufacturing these robots for companies like Hyundai for their internal usage. Eventually, we will move on to producing food-delivery robots around Seoul and hopefully beyond," he added. 

Labib and his friends are now developing the software required to make sure that these robots can autonomously deliver food to people's doorsteps. 

This software would create designated paths for the robots around the city. Using these paths – much like Google Maps – the robots would deliver your orders to you. 

These robots would be programmed to follow Traffic signals and tackle other complicated situations a human delivery man would have to go through every day.


Photo: Courtesy

The most difficult challenge for any start-up is sustainability and Labib agreed.

"Yes, it is very difficult. But we are given a set of milestones by our partners. As we reach each of the milestones, we can ask for more funding from them," Labib said.

"While it is challenging to sustain a startup, it is also quite exciting. Reaching every milestone, overcoming every challenge motivates you even more to face the next challenge," he added. 

Labib also took the opportunity to share the story behind InclusionX.

"InclusionX is quite personal to me. My late brother had Cerebral Palsy and I used to go to his school where I made a lot of differently-abled friends. But as I grew up I realised that my friends were quite insensitive about disability and used to make fun of my brother,", Labib said.

After his brother passed away, Labib decided to take his friends to some of the schools for differently-abled people so that they could better empathise with them.

"I prepared a google form and shared it on Facebook groups. Lots of people signed up on the form. Over the next two months, 250 people signed up and I took them to these specialised schools. The kids in those schools also liked our presence. They used to call us and ask when we would come again," Labib recalled.

Through these visits, Labib realised that lots of youngsters like him were interested in interacting with persons with disabilities. But he wanted to do something for them in a more formal manner; something that would integrate children with disabilities into the mainstream discussion. So, Labib came up with the idea of InclusionX. 

Initially, InclusionX launched a computer training programme for children with disabilities. Later on, they became partners in many events organised by different schools and colleges where these children would participate with other kids from the so-called prominent institutions in Dhaka. 

Later, InclusionX expanded their area of work to include adolescent reproductive health as well as mental wealth.

They have also made several videos showcasing the talents of differently-abled children one of which has gotten over 2 million views. 

They also organise events for these children on every special occasion like Eid, Pahela Baishakh etc.

Finally, I wanted to know how Labib managed to juggle so many ventures at the same time, especially as an undergraduate student at a very demanding university like Stanford. Labib agreed that it was extremely difficult. 

"But the key is to manage time meticulously. The academic workload is extremely brutal. So, I have to allocate my time accordingly. Project management software does help sometimes. Yes, it's a work in progress. Sometimes, I feel burnt out. However, it is just one of the sacrifices that must be made in order to bring about positive change in the world," Labib concluded.

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Wonder nasal vaccine knocking on the door

Swedish drug awaits human trial in Bangladesh; successful test may see it available for use at start of next year


Mohammad Al-Masum Molla

Sat Aug 14, 2021 12:00 AM


One sniff, and you're vaccinated against Covid-19! Almost 100 percent protected against almost all variants.

It could be just that simple. No hassle for registration, hospital visit, cold chain storage or inoculation by medical staff. Just vaccinate yourself, at your convenience.


"The results of the Swedish vaccine's trial on mice are very promising as those show efficacy rate close to 100 percent, and there is no side effect of the vaccine."

Prof Dr ABM Abdullah Renowned physician

And that's the promise an under-trial powdered vaccine is showing in which Bangladesh can be a part. A potential game-changing vaccine, as dubbed by Swedish researchers, now awaits human trial -- the third and final phase of vaccine research and development before approval for use -- which can be conducted right here in Bangladesh from next month.

If the government weighs in to ensure a smooth research and approval process, the nasal vaccine could be available for use by the start of next year.

And, if the trials get a clean chit, Bangladesh is free to buy the vaccine at production cost or even produce it on its own for being a party to the development of the vaccine, planned to be named after the Father of the Nation -- Bangabandhu ISR.

Swedish research organisation Holding AB (ISR) is closing in on conducting human trial of its invented vaccine in Bangladesh, thanks to intense engagement of some Bangladesh-born doctors and scientists living in Sweden, the USA and Canada.

To conduct the human trial, the ISR signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Clinical Trials Ltd as its Contract Research Organisation (CRO) earlier this month.

Renowned physicians Prof ABM Abdullah and Prof Ahmedul Kabir are the principal investigators of the CRO, which plans to conduct the trial at Mugda Medical College Hospital in the capital.

They are planning to carry out the Phase-I trial on 180 healthy persons.


Contacted, Prof Abdullah said that after taking the first sniff, one has to get the second one within three to four weeks like any other double-dose Covid-19 vaccine.

"The biggest benefit of the trial is that Bangladesh will be able to purchase the vaccine at production cost. Even the government can produce it under its own arrangement if it wants to."

Prof Dr Ahmedul Kabir Secretary general, Bangladesh Society of Medicine

"The results of the Swedish vaccine's trial on mice are very promising as those show efficacy rate close to 100 percent, and there is no side effect of the vaccine.

"The prime minister knows everything about the vaccine. We have proposed naming it Bangabandhu ISR," he said.

Talking to this newspaper, Prof Kabir said they have already prepared the protocol and are likely to submit it to Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) in the last week of this month for ethical permission to hold trial in the country.

Prof Kabir, secretary general of Bangladesh Society of Medicine, said that if phase-I trial is successful, phase-II and III trial will also take place here.

"The biggest benefit of the trial is that Bangladesh will be able to purchase the vaccine at production cost. Even the government can produce it under its own arrangement if it wants," he observed.



According to ISR scientists, the dry-powder vaccine uses manufactured Covid-19 virus proteins and can withstand temperature of up to 40 degrees Celsius.

They also said a major advantage of the vaccine in development is the conditions needed to store it compared to the currently available Covid vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.

"The game-changer is that you could distribute the [powder] vaccine extremely easily without the cold chain, and it can be administered without the need for healthcare providers," said a BBC report on July 26 quoting ISR founder, Ola Winquist, a professor of immunology at the Karolinska Institute, one of Sweden's leading medical universities.

In a press release on the ISR website, Ola Winqvist, the CEO of ISR, said, "We are very pleased to be working with experts from Bangladesh to conduct a Phase I clinical study with our vaccine formulations designed for optimal immune response at the entry point of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the respiratory tract."

Prof Kabir told this newspaper that if they get permission for clinical trial, a local drug-maker which struck a deal with the ISR will supply the vaccine.

The ISR signed a MoU with UniMed UniHealth Pharmaceuticals Ltd on July 6 for manufacture and distribution of its Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh.

"The purpose of MoU is to agree on a long-term cooperation agreement with a licensing agreement that gives UniMed an exclusive right to manufacture and distribute ISR's vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Bangladesh," said an ISR statement on its website.

UniMed will manufacture 100 million units per year with an aim to produce 300 million units or more annually within five years, it mentioned.

Prof Kabir said if everything goes smoothly and the BMRC gives quick approval, the phase-I trial will be completed by November. And analysing the data, the third phase trial can be started by December.

"We hope to produce vaccine here from January next year," said an optimistic Kabir.


It all started when Bangladesh-born Swedish economist Shahjahan Sayeed, who is acquainted with Ola Winqvist, came to know about the invention of the dry-powder vaccine.

Shahjahan then communicated the matter to Arifur Rahman, a Bangladesh-born doctor living in Canada, to explore the possibility of a human trial of the vaccine in Bangladesh.

Arifur then asked four Bangladesh-born US citizens -- cardiologists Prof Choudhury Hafiz Ahsan and Prof Masudul Hassan, nephrologist Prof Ziauddin Ahmed Sadek and former senior UN official Mahmud Ush Sams Choudhury to contact doctors in Bangladesh for initiating trial here.

Prof Abdullah and Prof Kabir then prepared a protocol for the trial with Arifur playing the lead role and coordinating the whole thing from Sweden.

Talking to this newspaper, Arifur said they came forward as Bangladesh is suffering badly due to Covid.

"Now everything is almost ready and we are expecting to get within 15 days a toxicology report on whether the vaccine has any adverse effects. Once we get the report from a German organisation, we will send it to the CRO so that it can apply to the Bangladesh authorities for ethical permission for the trial.

"We hope the trial will be a success and Bangladesh will get the chance to become a leader in Covid vaccine production…"

Prof Masudul said, "If everything goes as planned, we will consider it a great service to the nation."

"Patriotism is the lone driving force behind our efforts. There is nothing else. We wanted to do something for the country in this moment of crisis. Earlier, we had managed ventilators and vaccines from the USA and sent those to Bangladesh."

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Govt urged to utilize Bangladeshi expatriates’ expertise in infrastructure projects


 Published at 11:31 pm August 21st, 2021

‘Non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) should be brought to one forum’

Speakers at a webinar on Saturday urged the government to create opportunities to utilize expertise of the expatriate Bangladeshis in developing infrastructure projects.

They also observed that more attention should be given to improve the country’s educational system to create skilled manpower.

“The existing educational system is not being able to produce quality youths. As a result, they are not getting jobs and remain as educated but unemployed”, said Humayun Rashid, chief executive officer (CEO) of Energypac, while speaking at the virtual seminar organized by Energy and Power magazine.

The seminar, titled “NRB’s & Local Technical Resource Integration For Capacity Development of Bangladesh”, was also addressed by Special Envoy to the Presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum Abul Kalam Azad, former power secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed, expatriate educationists Dr Habib Siddiqui, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, Abdus Saleque, and Managing Director of Summit Technopolis Abu Reza Khan. Magazine Editor Mollah Amzad Hossain conducted the function.

The speakers said that certificates of Bangladesh’s vocational institutes are not accepted abroad.

They said though many expatriate Bangladeshis want to engage themselves in the infrastructure projects to utilize their expertise, no initiative is taken by the government.

Abul Kalam Azad said the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the Finance Ministry can play a vital role in offering the expatriate Bangladeshis to engage in the infrastructure projects.

The government is executing a project to develop 100 economic zones across the country where they could be employed, he opined.

Dr Sultan Ahmed said if the expatriate Bangladeshis are employed in the country’s infrastructure projects, they could provide better services at a lower cost than that being offered by the foreign experts.

Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan said many experts in our country are more qualified than foreign consultants.

“We all need patriotism, honesty and then skills. They are qualified to give opinions on mega projects such as Padma Bridge and Metro Rail. But many times their opinion is not taken,” he added.

Abu Reza Khan said that non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) have many forums. But they should be brought to one forum.

He said if there is any database for the NRBs, then any ministry can utilize the relevant NRB experts when it comes to projects.

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Sheikh Rafi Ahmed

25 August, 2021, 10:15 am

Last modified: 25 August, 2021, 10:23 am

This entrepreneur is ready to make her Silicon Valley-designed robots in Bangladesh

Rudmeela Nawsheen wants to pioneer robot manufacturing in Bangladesh and revolutionise agriculture with a blockchain-based transparent supply chain


Rudmeela Nawsheen wants to manufacture robots in Bangladesh. Photo: Courtesy

As industries become more capital-intensive, automation is the next frontier to remain competitive in the global economy. Rudmeela Nawsheen, a Bangladeshi-born US expat, recognised this reality and wants to nurture Bangladeshi young talents and tech enthusiasts so that they can take charge in the future.

But that is not all. She also wants to manufacture robots in Bangladesh with local talent and create a hospitable ecosystem for tech and robotics enthusiasts. She wants to create a bridge for talent between Silicon Valley and Bangladesh.  

"I want to bring together the best of both countries (USA and Bangladesh) and build something that we can sell globally," Rudmeela proudly said.

But who is she? And what is her plan to pull this off?

Rudmeela Nawsheen, originally from Bangladesh, finished her A-Levels from Scholastica and went on to pursue Electrical Engineering degree at the San Jose State University in California, US, followed by Masters of Science in Digital Communication and Multimedia. She graduated with summa cum laude honours.

She built her first company in 2016. It is an XR (Extended Reality) company that, by definition, focuses on augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality as well as animation and game development. It is called ConfigVR. 

Later, she went on and founded ConfigRbot which is a Robotics and AI company. Both ConfigVR and ConfigRbot are silicon-valley based start-ups that operate in both Bangladesh and USA. She is the founder and CEO of both entities.

As of writing this feature story, Rudmeela has launched six robots. Apart from the educational robots, she has launched sanitising robots, humanoid robots, robotic arms, and so on. These robots have a wide range of applications from household hygiene to the industrial production and automation process.

At first impression, Rudmeela seemed to have an aura of optimism that is very difficult to find over here.

As soon as the conversation began, Rudmeela picked up one of the educational robots - more commonly known as STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Robots - from the table in front of her. These robots can be found at her ConfigRbot Facebook page.

"I want to encourage children in Bangladesh to take interest in the arena of robotics, programming, machine learning, and artificial intelligence from a very early age. That is why we promote and sell these educational robots and I received a great response from them as well," she explained.

"Unlike Bangladesh, here we teach coding from a very early age, when children are in the fifth or sixth grade. Bangladeshi kids - except for a few enthusiastic minds - often get introduced to the world of coding and robotics only when they are in university," Rudmeela added.

Currently, ConfigRbot manufactures their robots in China, India, and Singapore. However, Rudmeela wants to start assembling these robots in Bangladesh soon.

"I want to shift the assembly process of ConfigRbot entirely to Bangladesh. I plan to establish an assembly plant by December 2021," she said. 

But she also knows that Bangladesh does not have the necessary infrastructure to accommodate or influence its youngsters to pursue a career in technology or innovate something extraordinary. Out-of-the-box ideas often do not see the light of day. Rudmeela's primary objective is to harbour a hospitable ecosystem that would accommodate tech enthusiasts in Bangladesh.

"When I was in Dhaka, I felt like there were a lot of talented kids in Bangladesh. They were tech-savvy, broad-minded, and hard-working. We have a huge pool of talent but they do not have proper guidance from experienced mentors," Rudmeela said.

Talent, we do have. Bangladeshi universities like Dhaka University, BRAC University, BUET and MIST have a history of commendable performances in global competitions like the "University Rover Challenge." Their prototypes often blow the minds of seasoned veterans in this field. 

However, these prototypes, usually, never become full-fledged products due to lack of funding and most of these talents fly abroad and never come back. 

"This is where I come in. Many of these kids come up with innovative ideas but cannot penetrate the glass ceilings, most students do not have the experience of working hands-on in laboratories. I want to change that. I want them to work with me on their prototypes and sell these products through my company," she said.

To foster talent at the grassroots level, Rudmeela has also launched a training centre here in Bangladesh under ConfigRbot. The training centres offer courses at the grassroots level on coding, machine learning, robotics, AI as well as Chinese and Japanese language. On top of that, these courses are quite affordable and they are currently training 45 students, hailing from different parts of the country. They are also providing consultancy services to send students abroad.

"When we initiate the plant, we are going to need a lot of skilled employees that we currently do not have in abundance in Bangladesh. So, I am looking forward to hiring some of the talents we acquire through our training centres," Rudmeela said.

"I want to make ConfigRbot robots in Bangladesh, sell them locally and globally. I want these robots to read 'Made in Bangladesh'," she added.

Rudmeela also wants to revolutionise agriculture in Bangladesh, especially in terms of the supply chain. 

Farmers in Bangladesh have historically been exploited at the hands of market syndicates and profiteers, while they could barely make their ends meet. This transcending cycle of disenfranchisement has continued for too long and has gotten away, thanks to the sheer dearth of transparency in the agricultural supply chain. 

Rudmeela, with her partner company, has come up with a solution to this problem. She believes using KrishokChain - a blockchain-based technology, tailor-made for the farmers in Bangladesh, can put an end to their everlasting misery. 

Most farmers who toil day and night do not even know how their produce reaches our doorsteps from theirs. Lack of training, education, or awareness often leaves them vulnerable to the hands of market syndicates, extortionists, and other forces that manipulate the market. Since the government is a centralised authority, it is often very difficult for it to take care of these problems at the grassroots level. This is where KrishokChain comes in. 

KrishokChain is a blockchain-based, decentralised, transparent ledger that would record all the transactions taking place across the country. This would allow farmers to be more aware of the market conditions and the prices charged in city markets for their produce. 

"I recently participated in a blockchain summit with Bangladesh government policymakers where I proposed KrishokChain as a solution for Bangladeshi farmers. Using krishokChain, the end-users will be able to tell where their products come from. If you buy a tomato, you would know which farmer produced that tomato and how much he received for it," said Rudmeela.

Another major problem farmers face is an exclusive financial sector that fails to incorporate them in the process. Rudmilla has a plan for that as well.

"We will be first in the world to connect blockchain with SMS and IVR. Financial inclusion does not exclude people without data networks and literacy. Most solutions assume people have the internet and smartphones," she said.

"We would like to collaborate with different NGOs, visit centres that incorporate farming activities, create farmers' units, and train them. Then we will connect these units across the country so that farmers can communicate and trace each transaction in the supply chain."

But Rudmeela is also concerned about the poor quality of internet and electricity in the rural pockets of Bangladesh. How does she plan to deal with these issues?

Rudmeela said she has plans for it and will propose solutions in her upcoming visit to Bangladesh.

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Bangladesh’s Wahid Ibn Reza working on “Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Arts & Entertainment Desk

Wed Aug 25, 2021 01:54 PM


Wahid Ibn Reza, who has made a name for himself in Hollywood by working in several superhero films as a production manager, is now working on Marvel Studios' much-anticipated film, "Spider-Man: No Way Home." He is currently based in Canada, and working as a digital production manager at Digital Domain Holdings.

Wahid shared on his Facebook profile that he has always wanted to work on Spider-Man, and he got a taste of it when he worked on the pre-school series, "Spidey and his Amazing Friends". Now, he is excited to work on the upcoming movie.

He was associated with "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" as a project coordinator. Furthermore, he worked on Marvel Studios' "Captain America: Civil War (2016)" and "Doctor Strange (2016)" during his tenure in the Method VFX Studios. Wahid worked with the visual effects teams of "Furious 7" (2015), "Fifty Shades of Grey" (2015), "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" (2014) HBO's "Game of Thrones", and "Angry Birds 2" (2019), among other projects. In 2017, "Doctor Strange" was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best VFX, which made him a part of an Oscar nominated team.

"Surviving 71", a 2D animated short film about the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh written and directed by Wahid, revolves around three captured freedom fighters who reminisce about what brought them to the war as they prepare to face their ultimate demise, getting shot in the back and thrown out of a moving train. The voice cast of the film includes Jaya Ahsan, Meher Afroz Shaon, Tanzir Tuhin, Gousul Alam Shawon, Anik Khan, Samir Ahsan and Wahid himself.

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বাংলাদেশি প্রকৌশলীর নামে যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে ভবন


 The Rising Campus

আগস্ট ৩০, ২০২১


যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের টেনেসি অঙ্গরাজ্যের টেনেসি টেকনোলজিক্যাল ইউনিভার্সিটির নির্মিতব্য প্রকৌশল ভবনের নামকরণ বাংলাদেশি প্রকৌশলী ও ব্যবসায়ী আশরাফ ইসলামের নামে করা হয়েছে। সম্প্রতি বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের বোর্ড অব ট্রাস্টিজের সভায় এমন সিদ্ধান্ত হয়েছে বলে তাদের ওয়েবসাইটে জানানো হয়েছে।

নির্মিতব্য ভবনের নাম দেওয়া হয়েছে ‘আশরাফ ইসলাম ইন্জিনিয়ারিং বিল্ডিং’। এতে শ্রেণিকক্ষ গবেষণাগারসহ শিক্ষার্থীদের জন্য নানাবিধ সুবিধা থাকবে। আগামী মাসে নির্মাণকাজ শুরু হওয়ার কথা। এক লাখ বর্গফুটের ভবনটির ব্যয় ধরা হয়েছে ছয় কোটি ২০ লাখ মার্কিন ডলার। ৪০ জন দাতা মিলে এই ব্যয়ের অর্থ দেওয়ার কথা। সেখানে ৩০ লাখ ডলার অনুদানের ঘোষণা দিয়েছেন আশরাফ ইসলাম। টেনেসি টেকনোলজিক্যাল ইউনিভার্সিটির সাবেক এই শিক্ষার্থী যুক্তরাষ্ট্রের পরিবহন খাতের স্বনামধন্য ব্যবসায়ী।

প্রকৌশলী আশরাফ ইসলাম বাংলাদেশের শিক্ষামন্ত্রী ডা. দিপু মনির খালাতো ভাই। আজ সোমবার শিক্ষামন্ত্রী তাঁর ফেসবুক একাউন্টে এ নিয়ে একটি পোস্ট করেছেন।

ফেসবুকে শিক্ষামন্ত্রী ডা. দিপু মনি লিখেছেন, ‘মাসুম ভাই, আমরা অসম্ভব গর্বিত। আল্লাহ আপনাকে সুস্বাস্থ্য ও দীর্ঘায়ু দান করুন। আমীন। আমাদের বড় খালাম্মা আসিয়া খাতুন ও বড় খালু ইউনুস মজুমদারের প্রথম সন্তান আশরাফুল ইসলাম, আমাদের নানাবাড়ির প্রথম নাতি, আৃাদের প্রিয় মাসুম ভাই। ঢাকা কলেজে পড়ার সময় রাজনীতিতে জড়িয়ে পড়েছিলেন। বেগম ফাতেমা জিন্নাহর নির্বাচনে ছাত্রলীগের সক্রিয় সদস্য হিসেবে ব্যাপক কাজ করেছিলেন। ফাতেমা জিন্নাহর পরাজয়ের পর আর দেশে থাকতে পারেননি। পাড়ি জমিয়েছিলেন যুক্তরাষ্ট্রে। মাসুম ভাই যে বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে পড়াশোনা করে প্রকৌশলী হয়েছেন সেই বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় টেনেসি টেকনোলজিকেল ইউনিভার্সিটি তাদের নতুন ৯০ মিলিয়ন ডলারে নির্মিতব্য অত্যাধুনিক স্টেট অব দি আর্ট ইনজিনিয়ারিং ভবনের নামকরণ করছে আশরাফ ইসলাম ইন্জিনিয়ারিং বিল্ডিং। এ বছর ১০ সেপ্টেম্বরে এ ভবন তৈরির কাজ শুরু হবে।’

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Bangladeshi-origin Nusrat Chowdhury recommended to become US federal judge

Published:  September 02, 2021 20:22:43 | Updated:  September 02, 2021 22:38:35


US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday asked President Joe Biden to nominate three women experienced in civil rights litigation to serve as federal judges in New York, including one who would be only the second Muslim American on the bench in the country.

Schumer recommended Jessica Clarke, Nusrat Choudhury and Nina Morrison to serve as federal judges in the Southern District and Eastern Districts of New York. Schumer is the top Democrat in the US Senate and senior senator from New York, and Biden often follows his recommendations, as well as those from other senior Democratic lawmakers, for home state nominees.

If Biden makes the nominations they would further his goal of bringing more professional and demographic diversity to the judiciary, reports Reuters.

Progressives and judicial reform proponents have long called for more judges on the federal bench with backgrounds other than the typical mix of former prosecutors or defence attorneys from major law firms. Biden has nominated 35 judges nationally.

"These three diverse and incredibly talented women would bring tremendous expertise in civil rights, fair housing, criminal justice reform and more to the federal bench," Schumer said in a statement.

Representatives for Clarke, Choudhury and Morrison did not respond to requests for comment.

Clarke, whom Schumer recommended to serve as a federal judge in Manhattan, has served as the civil rights bureau chief under New York Attorney General Letitia James since 2019.

She has been helping spearhead a lawsuit that James filed in January accusing the New York Police Department of using excessive force against racial justice protesters after the killing of George Floyd last year. The lawsuit remains pending.

Before that, Clarke, 38, served in the US Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and worked at what was then the firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady.

Schumer also recommended that Nusrat Choudhury, 44, the legal director at the ACLU of Illinois, serve as a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, which has courthouses in Brooklyn and Central Islip.

She had previously worked since 2008 at the national ACLU, including as deputy director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program.

If confirmed, she would be the first Bangladeshi American, and only the second Muslim American, to serve in the federal judiciary. The first, Zahid Quraishi, was confirmed by the US Senate for a seat in New Jersey in June.

Nina Morrison, who Schumer also recommended serve as a federal judge in the Eastern District, is the senior litigation counsel at the Innocence Project, which helps people who were wrongfully convicted.

She has been there since 2002 and was before that also a lawyer at Emery Celli.

Her work includes litigating claims for access to post-conviction DNA evidence. Schumer's office said Morrison, 51, has personally helped free more than 30 innocent people from prison and death row.

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Bangladeshi-American Durreen Shahnaz now on Forbes 50 Over 50 list

 Tribune Desk

 Published at 03:49 pm September 15th, 2021



File photo of Durreen Shahnaz

Earlier, the Asia Society had honored her with the Asia Game Changer Award in 2016 and she bagged the Oslo Business for Peace Award 2017

Amid the continuing recognition for her priceless role as a financial changemaker, Durreen Shahnaz, a Bangladeshi-American investment banker-turned-entrepreneur, professor, and speaker, has now made it to the list of Forbes 50 Over 50.

The prestigious journal published what it termed the 50 Over 50: Investment list on Tuesday, highlighting the female investors and financial leaders who are leading high-growth businesses in the male-dominated spaces of Wall Street, venture capital, and impact investing. 

Born in Bangladesh and educated in the US, Shahnaz started her career on Wall Street in the late ’80s and saw firsthand how the financial markets can change lives—and how the vast wealth the markets were creating were not reaching the world’s women, says Forbes. 

She went on to work for microfinancier Grameen and, in 2009, founded Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a private placement platform to invest in “last-mile” female entrepreneurs around the globe. 

While IIX has invested $215 million across 53 countries and helped, by her estimate, millions of female small business owners, Shahnaz is most proud of a financial instrument she created on the cusp of turning 50: a women-focused bond series.

In 2017, Shahnaz launched the $150 million Women’s Livelihood Bond Series with a goal of using debt securities to drive more sustainable livelihoods for women in developing countries. She priced the third bond in the series in December, and is eyeing a fourth this fall.

“You can have deep impact, you can have women in the front and center of financial markets, and you can have sophisticated products that give you financial return and does good as well,” says Shahnaz, now 53. 

It is this forward thinking and this impact-driven investment thesis that have landed Shahnaz a spot on the list.

Forbes‘ “50 Over 50” platform, in partnership with Mika Brzezinski’s “Know Your Value,” is dedicated to shining a light on diverse women over the age of 50 who have achieved significant success later in life, often by overcoming formidable odds or barriers. 

It’s the third of three subject-focused lists that expand on Forbes' inaugural 50 Over 50 list launched in June, a project meant to draw attention to women achieving their greatest accomplishments at ages when some parts of society are all too quick to overlook.

Due to an abundance of interest in the inaugural 50 Over 50 list, Forbes has continued to roll out additional sub lists to spotlight women who are achieving great success after 50.

In addition to the 50 Over 50: Investment list, Forbes has published a sub-list focused on Vision, which highlights women making an impact on society through their work in art and science, and Impact, which celebrates women who are changing their communities and the world through social entrepreneurship, law, advocacy and education. 

"The women on this list are changing the face of finance and creating new ways to move and make money," said Maggie McGrath, Editor, ForbesWomen. 

"Whether working on Wall Street, venture capital or as a fintech founder, they're united by a shared mission to make finance more inclusive and increase women's economic participation. They're paving the way for other women to be leaders and make a lasting impact in a traditionally male-dominated industry."

On her 50th birthday, IIX founder Shahnaz addressed the United Nations General Assembly about impact investing and using conscious capitalism to foster peace and equality. 

She concluded her remarks by telling the audience that when she was younger, her grandfather would tell her that according to Muslim tradition and the astrological charts, she was born on an auspicious moment, something called chura moni that is said to ensure a child will reach great heights. “If only you were born a boy,” he’d continue, “then you could have reached the peak.”

“I stand here today, proudly, as a woman who is reaching her peak with defiance and with optimism,” Shahnaz told the audience. “I want the girl who is born today to know that she has already reached her chura moni because she is born in a world that celebrates her birth; a world where she, and all of us, belong; a world that is embracing a new financial paradigm to promote equality.”

Earlier, the Asia Society had honored her with the Asia Game Changer Award in 2016 and she bagged the Oslo Business for Peace Award 2017.  

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Bangladeshi's platform in top 10 London-based data mining startups


 Published at 05:20 pm July 3rd, 2021


WhadaTime is an interactive short video platform born from a mission to connect talented performers around the globe

WhadaTime, founded by Shadman Sakib, a Bangladesh-born entrepreneur in Britain, has made its room the group of top 10 London-based data mining startups and companies.

Sakib is the founder, chairman, and CEO of interactive short video platform ‘WhadaTime.’

‘Best Startup’, a United Kingdom (UK) based digital platform, has selected the top 25 London based data mining startups and companies where the position of ‘WhadaTime’ is 10th, as per the ‘Beststartup.co.uk’ website.

Earlier, WhadaTime won the Sixth Annual Technology Innovator Awards under the “Best Interactive Short Video Platform – California, USA” category. Corporate Vision, a United Kingdom (UK) based digital platform to support and guide better business practices gave the award.

WhadaTime is an interactive short video platform born from a mission to connect talented performers around the globe. It’s a destination for people worldwide to showcase, consume and engage with talent, ideas, creativity, and culture from anyone, anywhere. Born from Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, WhadaTime is designed to connect viewers with performers, with an integrated AI element dedicated to advanced behavioral analysis for content consumption and creation.

Innovation at WhadaTime is driven by a clear mission to empower anyone to become a performer, built on the belief that everyone is born with a talent – they need the space and the platform to discover it and display it to the world.

“Our goal is to be a stimulant that ignites that hidden ability of ordinary people to become the next global phenomenon through using the WhadaTime platform,” says Founder and CEO of WhadaTime, Shadman Sakib.

“And to realize this objective, we are devoted to inventing features that will bring communities together that support each other in growth and positivity,” he added.

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British-Bangladeshi scientist gets £10m in orders after inventing spray to fight Covid

 Md Serajul Islam, Sylhet

 Published at 02:52 pm July 7th, 2021


Sadia is a young scientist who was about to take a PhD in Alzheimer’s Research and Neurodegeneration when the pandemic struck Collected

The NHS, NASA and various independent peer reviewed labs have all successfully trialled Voltique – which will now be taken on by a number of governments and blue chip companies

A young British scientist of Bangladesh origins has developed a revolutionary disinfectant solution that has been deemed "ground-breaking" in the global fight against Covid-19.

After 14 months of research, Sadia Khanom, 26, developed “Voltique”, a spray that attracts and kills all pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi and other microbes) on any surface it is applied to for 14 days.

The NHS, NASA and various independent peer-reviewed labs have all successfully trialled Voltique – which will now be taken on by a number of governments and blue chip companies.

Hospitals in the UK said the spray is 100% effective in killing coronavirus and has the potential to save organizations 70% of their cleaning product bills.

Khanom has already received orders for £10 million worth of Voltique from as many as 13 countries around the world. 

The spray can be used in medical facilities, hotels, motels, restaurants, aircraft, and nuclear stations.

Khanom said: “I have been obsessed with science from an early age. My passion piqued at the age of 14, when my grandfather developed Alzheimer’s, and from then on I have made it my mission to prevent the disease.”

She was about to pursue a PhD in Alzheimer’s Research and Neurodegeneration when the pandemic struck.



Sadia Khanom with her Covid-19 fighting device | Collected 

“I have a strategy to find an early intervention for Alzheimer's, however, my restriction has been lacking funding. By creating something like Voltique, I could create a solution for Covid-19 whilst funding my Alzheimer’s research at the same time,” she added.

Khanom used her parent’s restaurant, Café India, as her initial case study and tested her invention on different services.

“I have studied Covid-19 extensively and have also conducted a great deal of research on all common disinfectants on the market. After months of research, I finally found the perfect formula and called it Voltique,” she said.

Alongside scientific innovation and development professional Colin Hagan, Khanom plans to roll out the potentially life-saving invention on a global scale. 

Her father Kabir Ahmed is a proud man now. "There is nothing more joyous than knowing we can help people around the world with this discovery of my daughter," he said.

The family lives in Chester, UK. Her father is a restaurateur, and her grandfather Azmat Ali migrated to the United Kingdom from Sylhet's Bishwanath back in 1964. 

Her father first admitted her to the local Blackburn Madrasa, as he wanted his daughter's education to start with lessons on religion.

From Blackburn Madrasa, she successfully passed her GCSE and Alima course. She went on to study at Holy Cross Sixth Form College, Manchester, and eventually earned a Masters in Genetics from Chester University.

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