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Call for easing VoIP rules
Five-day Bangladesh International
Telecom Fair launched

Staff Correspondent

Former chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Sayed Marghub Morshed on Monday called for freeing the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) for further expansion of the telecommunication sector.
   ‘The government should ease the rules of VoIP for further expansion of the telecommunication sector,’ he told the inaugural function of the five-day Bangladesh International Telecom Fair.
   Marghub along with CM Shafi Sami, former adviser to the caretaker government, inaugurated the fair at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.
   Twenty-eight telecommunication companies, including the telecom service providers, phone and accessories manufacturer and importers, are participating at the fair organised by the Weekly Financial Mirror.
   The participating companies and service providers have been offering attractive discounts and other prizes on their products and services.
   The aim of the five-day fair is also to offer better services to the consumers and give chances to telecom companies to showcase their products.
   Marghub Morshed said the telecommunication technology is changing rapidly these days and consumers should know about the latest technologies.
   He said the consumer could know about technology from this kind of fair while the exhibitors could approach their services and products directly to their customers.
   CM Shafi Sami said, ‘development of telecommunication sector is directly influencing the country’s growth engines. In last recent years, local and foreign investments in telecommunication sector have gone up a lot, added Shafi Sami.
   The Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd and the Flora Telecom are the co-sponsors of the fair while participant companies include CMPL (Nokia), Maple International (I Mobile), Flora Telecom (Sagem), Electra Telecom (Samsung) Anik Telecom, CBC Marketing, Siemens Bangladesh, Sony Ericsson, Alap Communication, People’s Tel, ICT Associate, Rosenberger Asia Pacific (China), Integra International Ltd. (Motorola) and Electromart (Konka).
   Flora Telecom is offering discount on LG and Sagem mobile phone sets.
   The LG mobile phone set KG-110 price is sold at Tk 3,590, Dynamite 300 at Tk 12,500, Chocolate at Tk 17,000 while the Sagem sets are selling between Tk 2500 and Tk 13,250 with one year warranty.
   Sony Ericsson is offering Tk 200 to 500 discounts on Sony Ericsson sets which vary between Tk 3,085 and Tk 38,150 at the fairground.
   Fatema mobile house is giving free Bangla Link SIM card with all the phone sets.
   The Daffodil International Professional Training Institute is also exhibiting their courses on ICT at the telecom fair and offering 20 per cent discount on the IT courses for the students during the fair time.
   The Maple International is giving discount on their new products and selling i-mobile 802 at Tk 6,500, i-mobile 510 at Tk 7,300 and the i-mobile 100C at Tk 2900.
   The fair will remain open to all between 10:00am and 7:00pm till April 20 and the entry ticket price is fixed at Tk 20 for each.

UGC asked to sue West Coast
University of Panama

Siddiqur Rahman Khan

The education ministry has asked the University Grants Commission to sue West Coast University of Panama for offering bachelor’s courses without official permission.
   The ministry in a letter issued on April 10 asked the commission to file a case with the local police station or the court against the university under Article 13 of Private University Act (amendment) 1998.
   Signed by a deputy secretary, the letter said, ‘The Bangladesh centre/Khulna campus of blacklisted West Coast University has been enrolling students and running illegally.’ In response to a query of the ministry about the West Coast University’s centres in Bangladesh, the commission in a letter to an assistant secretary to the ministry, Hafiz Ahmed, on March 21 urged the government to take necessary steps to close down the centres.
   Sources in the ministry and commission said that West Coast University has been offering courses in electrical and electronic engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering and architecture.
   ‘The Khulna campus has been running under the Dhaka-based AMDA Foundation since December 2006 and the classes started on February 19,’ an education ministry document says.
   An UGC official said the authorities of AMDA Foundation started selling certificates in the name of running study centres. Earlier, the UGC published a notice in different dailies, warning against launching courses by any private university or institution without approval from the commission.
   According to the Private University Act 1998, no private university can be established or run and no undergraduate, postgraduate, diploma or certificate course can be offered, and no degree, diploma or certificate can be provided in Bangladesh by any foreign university without authorisation or certification from the government.

Grameenphone re-launches djuice
with more attractive offers

Zahed/staff correspondent

Mobile phone operator Grameenphone on Monday re-launched djuice, GP’s first Bangladeshi youth lifestyle brand, with new logo, features, services and call rates.
   ‘The new logo reflects the different segments of youth lifestyle, including music, friends and messaging,’ said Rubaba Dowla Matin, deputy commercial director of Grameenphone at a press conference. The djuice has more than 2 million customers, said Erik Aas, managing director of the Grameenphone at the conference held at Hotel Sonargaon in the city.
   On the occasion of re-launching, Grameenphone offers several features, including 200 free SMS (djuice to djuice) for limited period on buying every new connection. Also, from now on, djuice subscribers will be able to talk to two ‘friends and family’ GP or djuice numbers only at 90 paisa per minute.
   Community pricing for more than two million djuice members has also become more attractive as every djuice to djuice call is now only Tk 1 per minute and djuice to djuice SMS is only 50 paisa per message.
   Moreover, djuice subscribers can now call any number for only 80 paisa per minute during the off-peak hours (12 o’clock at night to 6:00am).
   Djuice is also introducing peak-hour bonus talk time — djuice subscribers will enjoy 20 per cent bonus talk time during the peak hours against their off-peak hour usage.

One sentenced to life in Barisal
for fake marriage

Our Correspondent . Barisal

The Women and Children Repression (Prevention) Tribunal, Barisal on Monday sentenced one person to life for cheating a woman out of a fake marriage in January 2004.
   The tribunal also fined Milon Howladar, 35, Tk 50,000 for continuing sexual relation with Shamima Akhter, 22, of Rice Research Institute Road in the city after the fake marriage. In case of failing to pay the fine, Milon has to suffer one year more in jail.
   According to the prosecution story, Milon, who had a love affair with his neighbour Shamima, had introduced a person as marriage registrar and done the fake document of marriage in presence of the latter’s family members on January 2, 2004.
   As Shamima gave birth to a child the same year, Milon stopped communication with Shamima and also denied the marriage as well as parenthood of the son on August 26, 2005.
   As all the family level negotiation efforts failed, Shamima lodged a case with the Barisal sadar upazila magistrates’ court on August 30, 2005 and magistrate Tanima Jesmin framed charge against the lone accused on January 05, 2006 after investigation.

IARU aims to allow youth
to connect the world

Staff correspondent

World Amateur Radio Day will be observed tomorrow in Bangladesh and over 150 countries represented by the International Amateur Radio Union and its member societies.
   The theme of the day this year is ‘Amateur radio: Allowing youth to connect the world.’
   Bangladesh Amateur Radio League, an association of ham operators affiliated with the IARU, will hold a discussion and exhibition of ham equipment in Dhaka to mark the day.
   Despite the internet and cellular phone, amateur radio continues to attract people worldwide by providing free international communications and friendships.
   As it does not need pre-established supporting infrastructure, amateur radio, also called ham radio, reaches into every corner of the world and into space too.
   With the help of amateur radio clubs and operators, space shuttle astronauts and crewmembers of the International Space Station have been speaking to youth around the world over the ham airwaves while in orbit.
   They are talking directly with schools, showing teachers, students, parents and communities how amateur radio energizes youngsters about science, technology, and learning. The program is called Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), and is an opportunity for the students to experience the excitement of amateur radio by talking directly about science, technology, and learning.
   Speaking to the ISS crewmembers is a unique educational experience.
   Members of the Bangladesh Amateur Radio League also talked to the astronauts when they passed over the country’s space territory, officials said.
   Hundreds of amateur radio operators, including those from NASA Amateur Radio clubs at Johnson Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center, work behind the scenes to make these educational experiences possible.
   Recently, a Wisconsin teacher tuned to the ISS frequency. His students were excited to hear Astronaut Suni Williams, KD5PLB, talking to another school.
   One comment about traveling ‘over 17,000 mph’ in the ISS really got the kids. The teacher reported, ‘The class made a collective `Ohhhhh’ sound... That’s interested students!’
   Similar youth programs are available through Scouting as each year more than many thousands of Scouts ‘get together’ over the airwaves for their Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA). Modern radio technology offers Scouts the exciting opportunity to make friends in other countries without leaving home.
   JOTA is an annual event in which Boy and Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world speak to each other by means of amateur radio. Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared via radio waves.
   Since 1958 when the first JOTA was held, millions of Scouts have met each other through this event.
   Many contacts made during JOTA have resulted in pen pals and links between Scout troops that have lasted many years.
   The radio stations are operated by licensed ham radio operators. Many Scouts and leaders hold licenses and have their own stations, but the majority participates in JOTA through volunteering stations operated by local radio clubs and individual radio amateurs.
   Calling ‘CQ’ on the amateur shortwave bands can result in a contact with other amateurs across town or far across the oceans.
   Hams have repeatedly been in the news for their life-saving communications services in disasters, a large part of their activities remains the excitement and joy of contacting distant and remote areas of the world, learning directly about each others’ regions and lives and trying different ways to make radio contacts around the world.
   It is through this enjoyable radio hobby activity that the hams learn the skills which, in other situations, have earned them world praise for their responses in emergencies.
   In addition, leading electrical engineers are able to draw from their practical, hands-on experiences gained as amateur radio operators while they develop the inventions that are today’s necessities.
   The MK QTC, Polish Radio Amateurs’ Journal with the support of PZK, Polish Amateur Radio Union based in Tolkmicko, Poland has introduced World Amateur Radio Day Award.
   Recognising and encouraging international conversations over radio on April 18, the award is available for amateur radio operators, who are successful in making multiple contacts.
   Since 1925, the IARU has been instrumental in coordinating and representing amateur radio to the world.

DU to probe admission scam . Dhaka

The Dhaka University authorities have formed a probe body to investigate the allegation of corruption in the admission of students in excess to 19 departments for academic years 2005-06 and 2006-07.
   The university pro vice-chancellor, AFM Yusuf Haider, heads the investigation committee, formed recently, for the admission process into arts and social science faculties.
   Some teachers termed the action of the committee in the admission process borders on gross irregularity.
   There is scope for corruption, they alleged, in the admission process even if the order of merit is followed since pressure for admission is always there.
   They said the allegations should be investigated. The teachers were wondering whether money changed hands for admissions in excess of available seats.
   Transparency in the admission process at the university has come under question following the admission of a large number of students through corruption this year.

Rain or thunder showers likely
Metro desk

Rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind is likely at one or two places over the six divisions till 6:00pm today, a Met Office forecast said on Monday.
   The day temperature may rise slightly over the country, it said.
   The country’s highest temperature on Monday, 35.8 degrees Celsius, was recorded in Rajshahi and the lowest, 22.0 degrees Celsius, at Srimangal.
   The sun sets in the capital today at 6.20pm and rises tomorrow at 5:35am.
   The Met Office predicted a little change in the outlook for subsequent two days.

Juba Dal leader sentenced to life
Our Correspondent . Jessore

A Jessore court on Monday sentenced to life in jail the Jessore district unit   Jatiyatabadi Jubadal president Ehsanul Haq Munna and acquitted 17 others for killing Juba Mairti leader Ayub Hossain on February 23 in 1993.
   The Additional Jessore District and Session Judge – 3 Md Ashiqur Rahman pronounced the verdict   on Monday.
   According to the prosecution story, Juba Maitry leader Ayub Hossain was gunned down by some miscreants in fron of Naba Kishalaya School in the town on February 23 in 1993. Then a case was filed with Jessore Kotwali police station in this regard.
   Later the investigation officer of the case handed over the chargesheet to a Jessore court accusing 18 persons including Ehsanul Haq Munna.After long hearing the court gave the verdict on Monday.
   In the meanwhile the prime suspect of the murder Sagar was killed.
   The acquitted are Shishir, Agni, Selim, Pappu, Masum-1, Masum-2, Kuasha, Tamal, Mofiz, Firoj, Amir, Murad, Azam, Khokon, Sabu and Milon.

NUB launches certificate
course on tourism

Staff Reporter

The Northern University of Bangladesh launched the certificate course on tourism and hospitality management for its second batch students on Friday.
   The vice-chancellor of the university, Dr M Shamsul Haque, inaugurated the course at a function held at the university’s business campus at Dhanmondi in the city in the evening.
   Chaired by the Md Ahsanullah, the function was addressed by the dean of the business faculty, Professor Azhar ud-Din, the chairman of business administration department, MA Razzaque, the deputy registrar, Md Faizullah Kawshik, the manager of the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, Rokeya Haider and Sharmin Akhter, ex-student of the university.
   In his speech, Shamsul Haque called upon the students to enhance their skill in the service sector and also advised them to receive training on professional subject aimed at boosting country’s economy.

Lutfor Rahman gets Mother
Teresa Gold Medal

Staff Reporter

Professor Lutfor Rahman Joy has been awarded Mother Teresa Gold Medal 2006 in recognition of his contribution to the fields of literature and research.
   The former chairman of the Bangladesh Press Council, Justice Habibur Rahman Khan, handed over the award to Joy at a function in Dhaka on April 9.
   Six other receipents of the award are Dr Rehman Sobhan, Dr Mozzafer Ahmed, poet Al Mahmud, Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, Prof Abdullah Abu Syed and Md Nazrul Islam.

Procession in Khulna to encourage NSV
The Khulna family planning department and Marie Stopes, Khulna brought out a procession in the city on Monday to raise awareness about non-scruple vasectomy (NSV). Government officials, NGO representatives, family planning workers and a large number of NSV takers took part in the procession that started from the circuit house premises. The deputy commissioner of Khulna, SM Firoz Alam, the deputy director of family planning department, Shahnawaz Khan, Dr Mohsin Alam, journalist Mollick Sudhangshu, Md Al Amin and Atiar Rahman of Marie Stopes led the procession. The procession was followed by a discussion held at School Health Clinic in the city. The speakers stressed the importance of NSV for family planning, saying it is a permanent birth control method for men having no health risk.
— New Age

176 held in capital
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested 176 people from different parts of the city during the 24-hour period till 6:00am Monday. Twenty-two of the arrested are warranted accused. Of the remaining, 54 people were arrested in regular cases, nine on suspicion and 89 under the DMP Ordinance (excepting for section 86), said a DMP release.
— New Age

Agitation halts production in 2 Khulna jute mills
Production in two state-run jute mills in Khalishpur area of the Khulna city remained stopped since Sunday evening amid agitation by the workers for arrears. Mill sources said about 8,700 workers of the Platinum Jute Mills and Crescent Jute Mills abstained from their work from the evening shift and staged demonstration demanding immediate payment of all outstanding dues. Workers’ leaders said some 4,500 workers of the Platinum Jute Mills and 4,200 workers of the Crescent Jute Mills were not getting their salaries, festival allowances and overtime bills for the last six months.

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