• Dhaka Wed, 17 JULY 2024,
Curtain falls on Ekushey Book Fair 2024
Ekushey Book Fair duration extended by two more days
The deadline of Amar Ekushey Book Fair-2024 has been extended for two more days. As a result, the largest book fair in the country will continue till March 2.  According to the publishers, they will enjoy a surge in sales during two weekly holidays. The publishers could not enjoy a good strat due to earlier preparations and rain. So, many are suffering financially.  Bangla Academy Director General Mohammad Nurul Huda announced the extension date of the book fair from the announcement center at 9pm. He said the book fair has been extended by two days with the kind consent of the Prime Minister. He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has responded to the request to extend the deadline for the book fair by two days. The book fair will continue till March 2.
Some changes of this year's Ekushey Book Fair
Ekushey book fair to begin on Feb 1
Terrorism-corruption will not exist in the country: PM
Power occupiers don’t understand value of language, culture: PM
Ekushey Book Fair in a greater extent
The month long Amar Ekushey Book Fair of this year will be hold in a greater extent. Besides, the daily duration of the fair is also extended. Member Secretary of Amar Ekushey Book Fair Dr. Jalal Ahmed said that the fairground will remain open till 9 pm in this year. He said this at a press conference at the Abdul Karim Sahityabisharad auditorium of Bangla Academy on Tuesday. Dr. Jajal Ahmed said, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the book fair at 3 pm on February 1. Bangla Academy Literature Award-2017 will be handed over during the program. The fair will be opened from 3 pm to 9 pm except the holidays. It will remain open from 11 am to 9 pm in the holidays and from 8 am to 8 pm on February 21. In the press conference Director General of Bangla Academy Professor Shamsuzzaman Khan said, Bangla Academy is organizing the world’s longest duration book fair for more than three decades commemorating the martyrs of language movement. In association with it a two-day long International Literature Conference is also going to be arranged from February 22-23. This year Bangla Academy is going to publish 141 new and reprinted books.  Member Secretary Jalal Ahmed said, range of this year’s fair is extended. The participatory organizations have also increased. The book fair will take place in the 5 lakh square feet space of Bangla Academy and in its front side of Suhrawardy Udyan. 92 organizations were given 136 units in the academy premises and 363 organizations were provided 583 units in the Suhrawardy Udyan. 136 little magazines were provided stalls in the little magazine corner. Bangla Academy and other participatory organizations will sell books on 25 percent commission. 15 poets, writers and intellectuals from 8 countries including Bangladesh, France, Spain, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India will participate in the two-day long International Literature Conference scheduled to be held from February 22 to 23. AH 
SGPC with Indian govt facilitate transfer of distressed Afghan minorities
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Thursday in coordination with the Indian World Forum and the Government of India commenced the transfer of distressed Afghan minorities – Hindus and Sikhs. A special flight comprising 11 Afghan Sikhs from Kabul to New Delhi was arranged at 11.30 am today which included Raqbir Singh who was injured in the Karte Parwan Gurdwara attack in Kabul on June 18 and the ashes of Sawinder Singh, killed in the attack. SGPC provided humanitarian assistance to the Afghan minorities by paying for their airfare. Kam Air, the largest private Afghan airline, flight no 4401 is airborne from Kabul and is expected to land in New Delhi at 12:45 pm. The Sikh body also reiterated to provide financial aid to those seeking rehabilitation in India. Officials of SGPC and Afghan Hindu and Sikh Community leaders were present at the airport to facilitate the distressed Afghan minorities. After their arrival, the entire group will be leaving for Gurdwara Sri Guru Arjan Dev, K Block, Tilak Nagar. Harjinder Singh, President, SGPC, and Indian World Forum have directed their officials to facilitate these distressed persons at the highest level. Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP) attacked Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Afghanistan’s Kabul city. ISKP released a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. According to ISKP, ‘Abu Mohammed al Tajiki’ carried out the attack which lasted for three hours. The group claimed that besides submachine guns and hand grenades, four IEDs and a car bomb were also used in the attack. It further claimed that about 50 Hindu Sikhs and Taliban members were killed in the attack and the attack was conducted as revenge for the insult of Prophet Mohammed by an Indian politician. However, in the attack, at least two civilians, including a Sikh man and a Muslim security guard, died and seven others were wounded. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condemned the terrorist attack at Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Afghanistan’s capital. Religious minorities in Afghanistan, including the Sikh community, have been targets of violence in Afghanistan. In October, last year 15 to 20 terrorists entered a Gurdwara in the Kart-e-Parwan District of Kabul and tied up the guards. In March 2020, a deadly attack took place at Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Gurudwara in Kabul’s Short Bazaar area in which 27 Sikhs were killed and several were injured. Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack. Source: ZEE5
India now has nearly 27K active tech startups, added 1,300 last year
India added over 1,300 active tech startups last year, taking the total tally of active tech startups to 25,000-27,000, a Nasscom report said on Wednesday. India added over 1,300 active tech startups last year, taking the total tally of active tech startups to 25,000-27,000, a Nasscom report said on Wednesday. India continues to be the third largest tech startup ecosystem globally (after the US and China). The country also added the second highest number of unicorns in the world, with over 23 added in the CY2022. Simultaneously, the potential pipeline of unicorns expanded to over 170, growing at a pace equivalent to 2021, according to the report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom), in collaboration with Zinnov. "Despite the current downturns, opportunities abound for innovative companies that are leveraging emerging technologies to create actionable impact while prioritising business fundamentals over growth," said Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom. Despite the headwinds, while total funding in CY2022 dropped 24 per cent over 2021, the annual investments at $18.2 billion were higher than the pre-pandemic levels of $13.1 billion in 2019. The year also witnessed a significant investment focus on non-unicorns and unique startups. Almost 1,400 unique startups received funding in 2022, 18 per cent higher than in 2021. Among these, 47 per cent of startups raised their first round in 2022, the report mentioned. Both early-stage ($5.9 billion in CY2022) and seed-stage ($1.2 billion) investments grew between 25-35 per cent over 2021. In 2022, tech startups in the seed-stage secured 1,018 investments. Late-stage investments bore the brunt with a decline of 41 per cent in deal sizes greater than $100 million, due to considerable correction in the global public markets. "What is remarkable is the ecosystem's maturity, where founders are intentionally prioritising profitability over valuation and the investor trust, despite macroeconomic variables at play. This will pave the way for growth in 2023 and beyond," said Pari Natarajan, CEO, Zinnov. Tech startups are expected to continue increasing innovation and deep-tech adoption, particularly in areas related to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) that require complex solutions, the report said. Source: Business Standard
3rd Khelo India National Winter Games conclude at Gulmarg
The third Khelo India National Winter Games 2023, the biggest winter sports competition the nation has ever seen, came to an end on Thursday at the ski resort of Gulmarg. The wintersport carnival that started on February 9 saw more than 1500 athletes representing 29 States, Union Territories and Institutional teams participating in 10 sports disciplines Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Snowboarding, SnowShoe, Ski Mountaineering, Ice Hockey, Ice Skating, Ice Stock, Curling, Bobsledge and Bandy. The concluding ceremony of the event turned out a huge success, which was held on Tuesday with Union Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Youth Affairs and Sports NisithPramanik as chief guest while as Secretary to the Government, Youth Services and Sports Department SarkarHafeez, Commandant HAWS, Secretary Sports Council NuzhatGul were among other guests present. Terming the event a huge success that has paved way for the popularisation of wintersport in the Country, NisithPramanik said, “ Congratulations to Sports Council and especially LG ManojSinha and all those who made this event possible and a great success. I personally welcome and thank all the athletes and officials who have come from all over India to make this event a success. It has been only because of you and history has been created”. Nisith Pramanik said that Khelo India Winter Games are held under the direction of PM NarendraModi and this year it has broken all previous records. “The 3rd Edition of Khelo India that has just been held isn’t just winter games but it is greater than that. Khelo India Winter Games was initiated under the directions of the PM who has the vision to promote and develop wintersport in the Country,” he said. “PM has a vision that our athletes have potential and can excel in Wintersports as well. This edition of the games has broken all previous records. It had more participation and also more events,” he said. The Union Minister pointed out that J&K nowadays remains in news for all the positive reasons which wasn’t the case previously. “We know for what reasons J&K was always in news. But now, through PM’s vision and guidance, J&K remains in news because of Sports and other activities proving that J&K youth are not behind anyone. They are winning medals and making Country proud,” he said. Nisith Pramanik said that during the last three to four years massive sports infrastructure development has taken place in J&K. “In every district of J&K Indoor stadium has been developed. The vision is to develop a playing field in every village of the Union Territory. It is only after that we will see more players like Arif Khan coming out from J&K”. “Next year the event will be held in a bigger and better way. It is my promise to you as we are focused on making Wintersports as popular in the country as Summer sports. Khelo India is the flagship scheme of the Sports Ministry through which basic sports talent is nurtured. He said that currently, Indian athletes are shining on bigger stages and arenas. Since PM Modi took oath in 2014 he has made sure that Sportspersons receive the respect and facilities they deserve. “Soon after assuming office in 2014, schemes like target Olympics were launched. Whenever any athlete brings laurels for Country, PM sends a personal message to the player and even interacts with them,” he said Union Minister congratulated Secretary Sports Council NuzhatGul for the successful conduct of the event. He again mentioned that next time the event will be held in a bigger and better way that even in foreign countries it will be spoken off. Minister after his speech declared the Games as closed. Earlier Sarmad Hafeez in his address had termed Gulmarg as the Winter Wonderland which has no match. “I must thank Union Minister for being present during the closing ceremony. This is the biggest Khelo India Winter Games that we had and we have been conducting this for three straight years now. Grateful to Ministry for the support and thanks to all the visiting athletes who made this possible at this winter wonderland we call Gulmarg,” SarmadHafeez said. “This was a great event and I hope you were taken care of well. It wasn’t not just about sports, it was about sharing ideas, sharing warmth and cultural values,” Hafeez said. Sarmad said that with the announcement of establishing a centre of excellence in J&K, our athletes can make the Country proud at the International level. Sarmad said that he hopes that J&K turns into the centre of winter sports for the entire country. “It was not just about sports but much larger than that. It was to convey a message to the rest of the World where we are and bring attention towards our beautiful slopes and natural beauty. Gulmarg has the highest skiing point in the World. Next year winter sports would be expanded to more areas of J&K and even to Jammu. Later Nuzhat Gul gave a vote of thanks and thanked everyone for making the event possible. Source: ANI
South Korea ends visa limits on Chinese travelers
Seoul's decision to end visa restrictions on Chinese travelers comes after lengthy COVID related tensions between the countries. South Korea has decided to resume issuing short-term visas to travelers from China after noting the improved COVID-19 situation in China. Following an anti-virus meeting on Friday, the government decided to normalize short-term visa applications at its consulates in China from Saturday. Testing requirements were maintained but officials said that those steps could later be relaxed depending on the developments of the virus. The move marks the end of a long COVID related restriction that had sparked tensions with Beijing. Seoul and Beijing at loggerheads In December, China abruptly ended its stringent "zero-COVID" policy,  leading to a wave of infections. This raised the prospect of millions of Chinese travelers making their way abroad for the first time in three years. In January, while China battled a surge of COVID infection cases, Seoul stopped issuing most short-term visas. Beijing called the move "discriminatory" and retaliated by halting short-term visas for South Korean travelers. This raised business concerns as South Korea depends heavily on exports to China. Seoul defended their curbs saying that the spread of the virus in China was creating concern aver the possible emergence of new variants. It also accused the Chinese authorities of not being transparent with their COVID data. A noted drop in infection rate South Korea's Vice Interior Minister Kim Sung-ho, who is in charge of disaster and safety management, said the move to lift restrictions came after the number of infections among Chinese arrivals dropped significantly. When the curbs were first introduced in January, 20% of Chinese travelers to South Korea had tested positive. Last week only 1.4% of Chinese travelers tested positive on arrival. Other restrictions, including testing requirements continue to remain in place. Travelers from China have to produce a negative test before departure and undergo a PCR test upon arrival in South Korea. Those who test positive are to stay quarantined for a week.