On Wednesday, February 7th, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed the importance of regularly organizing sports tournaments at the inter-school, college, and university levels. Inaugurating the final round of the 52nd National Winter Sports Competition for schools, madrasas, and technical institutes, the Prime Minister virtually joined the event from her official residence, Ganabhaban. The competition, organized jointly by the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (BISE), Rajshahi, and Bangladesh National School, Madrasha, and Technical Institutions Sports Association, is set to take place from February 7 to 12 at Muktijuddho Smriti Stadium in Rajshahi.
Prime Minister Hasina highlighted the significance of creating an environment for regular inter-school, college, and university sports tournaments, including those at the upazila and district levels. She expressed the belief that organizing various tournaments throughout the year would contribute to the physical and mental strength of young people, fostering creativity, love for society and country, and bringing honor to their families.
Emphasizing the importance of local games, Prime Minister Hasina urged authorities to make them more attractive. She acknowledged the positive impact of sports on creating unity, fostering friendship, instilling a competitive spirit, and enhancing psychological strength through the development of sportsmanship.
The Prime Minister underscored her government’s commitment to sports development, mentioning initiatives such as football tournaments for primary school students. Responding to the education minister’s suggestion, she supported the introduction of secondary school-level tournaments for various sports. Prime Minister Hasina outlined plans for intensive training and the establishment of sports training centers in every division to enhance children’s skills in competitive tournaments.
She disclosed the government’s construction of mini stadiums in each upazila for year-round sports competitions. Present at the Rajshahi end were Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairuzzaman Liton and Education Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury.
The National Winter Sports Competition, initiated by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1972, involves 824 students participating in 13 different sports events in the final round. The competition, which commenced on January 11, 2024, faced interruptions in 1998 due to floods and in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BGB Equipped for Transnational Crime Combat, Says PM Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated on March 4 that the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) has been equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure foolproof security at the frontiers and combat transnational crimes.
Addressing the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Day-2024 function as the chief guest at Bir Uttam Anwar Hossain Parade Ground at Pilkhana headquarters in the city, Sheikh Hasina highlighted the implementation of smart digital surveillance and technical response systems at the borders. The aim is to ensure foolproof security and address the challenges of inter-country terrorism.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned the establishment of a rudder at Shahparir Dweep in Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar, to enhance surveillance along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. The implementation of state-of-the-art, modern technologies is expected to enhance the operational capacities of the BGB, increasing their eagerness for work and skill manifold.
The Prime Minister emphasized the adoption of the ‘Border Guard Bangladesh Vision-2041’ to transform it into a world-standard and modern force. She expressed her vision for the BGB to become a world-class border protection force, symbolizing the trust of the people. Sheikh Hasina reiterated her government’s commitment to realizing Vision 2041, aiming to build Bangladesh as a developed, prosperous, and Smart Bangladesh by 2041.
“We will build BGB as a smart force,” she assured.
Two-Day Zakat Fair 2024 Begins in Dhaka
The two-day Zakat Fair 2024 commenced at Dhaka’s Aloki Convention Centre, urging the affluent to contribute through zakat for poverty eradication.
Eminent economist and former advisor to the caretaker government, Professor Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, highlighted zakat as an ethics-based instrument for transforming financial inclusion into the financial empowerment of the poor during the inaugural seminar, “CZM’s Zakat-based Programs: A pioneering Innovation for Poverty Alleviation.”
Organized by the Centre for Zakat Management (CZM) under the theme ‘Making a Difference with Zakat,’ the event aimed to explore the potential of zakat in addressing global financial inclusion and empowering impoverished individuals.
Professor Hossain Zillur Rahman emphasized the need for cautious management of zakat to lower costs, enabling the funds to serve a larger population.
The inaugural function, chaired by Md Shahjahan Mia, Prof Emeritus of the University of Southern Queensland, included addresses from former Chief Election Commissioner Justice Abdur Rouf, former Executive Director of Bangladesh Bank Abdul Awal Sarker, Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadek Ahmed (Deputy Managing Director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation), former government secretary Arastu Khan, and Islamic scholar Prof Mokhter Ahmed.
Several leading business houses, including Rahimafrooz, Khadim Ceramics, Kohinoor Chemicals, Rahim Steel, South Bridge, and Hajj Finance Company Limited, sponsored the Zakat Fair, facilitating discussions on business zakat calculation methods.
Justice Abdur Rouf emphasized that zakat in Islam aims to prevent wealth accumulation in the hands of a few and promote equitable distribution.
CZM CEO Dr. Mohammad Ayub Mia revealed that the organization has assisted 15 lakh people in the last 15 years, with 12,000 individuals currently receiving regular food support.
Abdul Awal Sarker highlighted that proper zakat collection could generate an annual fund of Tk 80,000 crore, sufficient for poverty alleviation in the country.
The Zakat Fair, open from 9 am to 7 pm, features stalls from various financial and zakat institutions, including a zakat consultation desk and stalls with Islamic books.
The event will host six sessions, including a seminar on the ‘Importance of Zakat, Ushar, and Waqf in Human Welfare’ for Khatibs and Imams and a round table session on the ‘Role of Islamic Social Finance in Reducing Inequality.’ The latter, chaired by former caretaker government advisor Abdul Mueed Chowdhury, will have Prof. Wahiduddin Mahmud, Chairman of the Economic Research Group, as the chief guest. Eminent personalities like former Chief Election Commissioner Justice Muhammad Abdur Rauf and former Minister M Nuruddin Khan are expected to attend as special guests and speakers.
Digital Media Workshop in PR Department Observed
In Dhaka, a workshop titled ‘The Role of Digital Media in the Department of Public Relations’ was organized by the Digital Media Forum, hosted by the renowned University. The event featured a workshop, certificate distribution, and a panel discussion.
On Friday, March 1, at 2:00 PM, the workshop was organized at R C Majumdar Auditorium, Kola Bhaban, Dhaka University. The Private University Public Relations Officers Association-PUPROA collaborated as event co-organizers.
The chief guest at the event was Jafar Wajed, the Director-General of the Press Institute of Bangladesh. Despite his absence at the workshop, he conveyed his congratulations to the organization for its success through a message. In his message, he extended appreciation to all the guests, participants, officials from the Department of Public Relations of various private universities, and sponsoring organizations.
Special guests at the event included Dr. Mizanur Rahman, former Vice-Chancellor of Jagannath University, and Professor Robaet Ferdous, from the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University.
Distinguished journalists and media personalities graced the event as guests of honor, including Syed Ishtiaque Reza, CEO of Global TV, Lutfor Rahman Himel, Editor of Daily Swadesh Protidin, Rajeeb Khan, Digital Head of Channel 24, Ruhul Amin Roni, Senior Manager (Lead) Business Development at Prothom Alo, Saroj Mehedi, Lecturer in the Journalism Department at Green University, Nahid Jahan, Head of Media at Pran RFL Group, Mobarak Apu, Business and Growth Lead at Adfinix, Zakaria Hossen Joy, Assistant General Manager at NewsBangla, and Benjir Abrar, CEO of Excellence Bangladesh, among many others.
The workshop had various sponsors, including Qcoom as the title sponsor, G and M Gadget and Mobile Care as the gadget partner, Tenision as the gold sponsor, Texort as the IT partner, Nutriplus as the nutrition partner, Studio Velvet as the content production partner, Limerence Creations as the creative partner, and co-sponsored by The Premium Homes Limited and WeSellBD. The knowledge partner for the workshop was JCI Dhaka West.
The workshop consisted of five sessions led by experienced professionals in the media and corporate sector of the country. Abdul Wadud, the Business Lead at Purple Patch, took the lead in facilitating the workshop. He delivered his presentation using a projector, showcasing various informative content. Wadud emphasized the crucial role of the Public Relations Department, likening it to a mirror for an organization. According to him, the department’s proficiency directly influences the organization’s progress, and there’s no alternative to skillfulness.
In the second session, Tithi Chowdhury, the Client Partner Lead at Meta Aleph Lead, shared insights into social media usage. He stressed the importance of understanding social media dynamics to effectively utilize the platform. Chowdhury highlighted the need to know which medium can rapidly deliver the message to the audience, aligning advertising strategies accordingly. He emphasized that mastering such technical aspects, including data analysis, is essential. Throughout his presentation, he used slides to convey information and conducted training on data-related topics.
During the workshop, Md. Faruk Khan, the founder of Khan IT, shared his insights, stating, “The organization of this event on digital media is highly relevant. It will help everyone develop a clear understanding of digital media usage. By becoming proficient, we can ensure the perpetual relevance of such events.”
He further emphasized the significance of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) marketing for businesses of any scale, saying, “For small or large businesses, SEO marketing is crucial. It works to create your business brand, which is the primary goal in this era of digital marketing.”
Palash Mahmud, the Head of the Online Department at Daily Kalbela, delivered the fourth session’s speech at the workshop. Expressing the importance of self-promotion, he mentioned, “Everyone wants to promote themselves. However, the key is how effective your promotion is. Traditional ways won’t make a lasting impact. You need to think differently to catch people’s attention. It requires thoughtful consideration and visible results.”
Rajeeb Khan, the Digital Head of Channel 24, expressed his thoughts during the event, stating, “The progress of the Digital Media Forum in a short period is remarkable. The workshop on ‘The Role of Digital Media in the Department of Public Relations’ was a precursor to such initiatives. These events will bridge the gap between media and university, creating a strong connection.”
Ruhul Amin Roni, Senior Manager (Lead) Business Development at Prothom Alo, shared his thoughts during the workshop. He mentioned, “The workshop on ‘The Role of Digital Media in the Department of Public Relations’ is a well-organized initiative. Such workshops are crucial in the present time. The more the professionals in the Public Relations Department of universities know about digital media, the more adept they will become in utilizing this medium.”
Lutfor Rahman Himel, Editor of Daily Swadesh Protidin, expressed his sentiments, saying, “There’s no end to learning. As days go by, the thirst for knowledge increases. If you’re not updated, even if you’re young, you’ll fall behind. I hope such educational workshops by the Digital Media Forum continue.”
At the beginning of the workshop, Abu Sadat, the General Editor of Private University Public Relations Officers Association (PUPROA), offered an introductory speech. He extended his greetings to all the guests and participants in the workshop, expressing gratitude to the sponsoring organizations.
Sadat emphasized the significance of adapting to the digital era, stating, “The current era has become smart by embracing digitalization. If we cannot keep up with the pace of time, we will be left behind. Hence, the organization of this workshop by the Digital Media Forum and the Private University Public Relations Officers Association is a timely initiative. Such initiatives will propel us forward towards building a smart Bangladesh.”
Syed Ishtiaque Reza, the CEO of Global TV and a prominent journalist, highlighted the challenges faced by those in public relations, emphasizing the importance of crisis management in the digital media age. He encouraged participants to understand and effectively utilize digital media for creating a positive organizational image.
At this moment, Professor Robaet Ferdous, in his special address, expressed the tremendous success of the Digital Media Forum’s workshop. He emphasized the bridging of gaps between universities and media through the collaboration of the Public Relations departments. Professor Ferdous urged the organizers and collaborators to continue conducting such workshops.
As the main guest, former Vice-Chancellor and current Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman of Jagannath University, delivered the keynote address in the absence of the chief guest, Jafar Wazed, the Director-General of the Press Institute of Bangladesh. He extended his greetings to the workshop participants and the staff of the Public Relations departments of various universities.
Dr. Mizanur Rahman stated, “Differentiation is essential; otherwise, one might go unnoticed. Without uniqueness, one is lost in the crowd. With the abundance of content on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, why would people choose to watch yours? People will seek what sets you apart. In a market with 75 brands, if yours is number 76, there is no gain – you will lose.”
The professor further emphasized, “Language is not a barrier; what’s crucial is distinctiveness and quality. Only then will your brand stand out. The more updated you are, the more value your brand gains in the market. You cannot afford to lag behind.” He supported his point with various examples and congratulated the success of the Digital Media Forum’s workshop.
The President of DMF, Delowar Hossain, expressed gratitude and appreciation to everyone present. He highlighted the research and exploration conducted by DMF in the digital sector since its establishment. Delowar mentioned the importance of such workshops in providing training to experts in the sector, ensuring continuous efforts in organizing similar events. He acknowledged that due to time constraints, they couldn’t allocate sufficient time to many distinguished guests, expressing regret. Delowar recognized the potential of today’s workshop to contribute to the vision of a Digital Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He thanked the co-organizer, Private University Public Relations Officers Association (PUPROA), and expressed gratitude to the sponsors. Delowar urged everyone to maintain such collaborative efforts for the development of a Smart Bangladesh.
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