Building ICT capacity in Enterprise
- The country has suffered tremendously due to the decision to
assimilate the unqualified person into the administration soon after
the independence. Now that the country has got rid of these
incompetent administrators recently after long 30 years through
their retirement we are in process of repeating the same mistake by
transferring the under qualified project staffs into the revenue
The recruitment in the project has been compromised by recruiting
candidates having inadequate qualification. The recruitment of IT
personnel in different projects has been severely undermined by the
recruiters with the pretext that qualified IT professionals do not
apply for positions in project. The result of undermining the
project by the decision makers have left the country with failed
projects in hand. For some the projects have been the means of
overseas trips. The approving authority of the projects - the
planning commission is the hub of all misdeeds. The officers of the
planning commission approves project only after ensuring their
overseas tour or ensuring job for their incompetent relatives. The
scrutiny of passports of the planning commission officers will give
the grim picture of wastage and unnecessary overseas travel at the
expense of state exchequer. The government should curtail the
overseas travel by the planning commission officers through projects
implemented by other ministries and departments without delay. This
will ensure that the projects are approved on merits not on the
associated benefit in the form of study tours or in kinds to the
The quality of human resource has always been the deciding factor
between successful and the failed enterprise. The state as an
enterprise should be run by the competent people. The vision of
competent personnel running the government is a cherished desire of
all. The ICT has changed the way of life and the ways of governance.
I do not see any wisdom in recruiting below par person to run the
ICT department of the country. The difference on the perception of
the developed world and Bangladesh is starkly opposite. The world
looks for the best to run the ICT department whereas we strive to
put our global worst in the ICT department. The world looks for
their successful bureaucrat to run the ICT ministry we look for our
failed bureaucrat to run our ICT ministry. The world looks for the
highly capable person to lead the ministry we strive to get rid of
our worst through placement in the ICT ministry.
The time has now come for the change. The bar to the excellent from
excelling must be brought down. The illogical recruitment rules for
assimilating the misfits from the project to the revenue setup
without scrutiny of the academic and other qualifications through
proper written and verbal aptitude tests should be stopped. All
process of discrimination for the ICT professional like mandatory
condition of membership to the Bangladesh Computer Society should be
scraped. The mandatory membership to any trade union or society is
also contravenes the basic law of the land.
The Bangladesh Computer Society unlike its comparable societies has
turned into a mafia, extorting the poor job seekers for government
jobs in the name of membership and associated charge. The society's
membership criterion have been compromised and the incompetents and
unqualified has been given different categories of membership to
create a loyal vote bank. The unacceptable academic qualification
backed with member certificate of the society has turned the ICT
recruitment rules into a mockery. A Harvard or MIT or Princeton
graduate with highest academic achievements is unfit for Bangladesh
of Government job unless baptized by the high priest of the
Bangladesh Computer Society. The ICT professional recruitment rule
needs a thorough overhauling to shed the mandatory baptization
requirement and make way for the Computer Science and Computer
Science and Engineering graduates to prove their mettle. I earnestly
request our honorable prime minister being the chairperson of the
ICT Task Force to immediately intervene and stop the assimilation of
the unqualified quacks from the projects into the revenue setup,
ensure selection of ICT projects on merit rather than on condition
of incentive to the approving authority and to revise the ICT
professional recruitment rules for better tomorrow.
- Dear Alochoks,
After successful (somewhat, eventual success is yet to be seen)
implementation of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), next focus of the
government should be setting up a commission to protect consumers
It should cover not only food products and services, rather the
commission should be mandated with all kinds of protecting Bangladeshi
consumers in all sectors such as food products, health products,
mobile phones and other electronics products, transportation products,
entertainment products - everything that we buy.
Following are extracts from a superb series reporting highlighting the
dismal situation in food and medicine sector by Daily Star reporter
Alochoks, please share your thoughts regarding this idea of a
Consumers' Rights Commission, whether it will be complementary to the
actions of ACC and how it could influence the overall govenance in
Bangladesh. Also, special request to the expatriates to share their
experiences and thoughts about how they have seen similar bodies in
respective countries they currently live in.
======Excerpts and links for Pinaki Roy's Report============
"Please write down that 99 percent of the food items we get for tests
are adulterated and substandard. The market is flooded with
adulterated food," Dr. Md. Zahurul Islam, head of the Public Health
and Drug Testing Laboratory, told The Daily Star.
Lack of political will, coupled with crippling manpower shortages in
inspection agencies, has resulted in a breakdown of the government's
food regulatory system, allowing culprits to flourish while the public
is slowly poisoned by adulterated food, an investigation by The Daily
It is the constitutional mandate of the government, as outlined in
section 18 (1), to ensure quality food for the public. Fulfilling that
mandate means adopting effective measures to prevent harmful foods
from the reaching the market.
Other government agencies suffer from similar staff constraints. The
Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) is responsible for
ensuring the quality of all food products throughout the country, but
has only 13 field officers to carry out this colossal duty. In Dhaka,
only 18 sanitary inspectors of the City Corporation are tasked with
ensuring the food quality for more than ten million people.
The Bangladesh Pure Food Rules of 1967, the law addressing food, is
now 38 years old, armed with such weak fines that traders are hardly
intimidated by it. The highest penalty for adulterating food is Tk
5,000. But the expenses involved in proving such cases in court and
realising the penalties are much higher.
"If we file a case, the defaulter does not even go to a pleader, as
the fees of the pleaders are much higher than his penalty," said an
official from the health directorate, requesting anonymity.
Eating dangerously - Watchdogs' role mostly missing
Consumers suffer as agencies lack manpower, political will
Fake medicines reign - Tk 700cr fake drugs smuggled into or produced a
year; link of small industries alleged
Eating Dangerously - Rotten fish, dirty plates in eateries
18 DCC inspectors left to monitor 5,000 food outlets
Eating Dangerously - Food tainted with toxic colours, risky mixings
Adulteration spree poses grave health risks; authorities lack means to
Eating dangerously - Showcased sweetmeats not what they seem
- Dear Alochoks,
Excellent writeup by Mr. Andy Mahmud !! My sentiments matched almost
The 10% where I don't agree with Mr. Mahmud is (some of it already
quoted by Mr. Hannan and others)
-- Indians in my opinion will never look upon Bangladesh favorably
as a respected economic partner if some geopolitical perceptions
prevail within New Delhi diplomatic circles. They see Bangladesh as
a mild (eventually critical) thorn on their side in the NE seven
sisters area as well as Assam and Tripura. The China equation,
chicken's neck, ISI involvement (whether real or not) will drive
this perception. But then perceptions are what drives actions in
today's world. Ergo -- have we done enough to dispel these notions
through diplomatic channels? Have we ascertained that is beneficial
to do so politically? The earlier we start -- the more pragmatic the
results. We don't need to be India's lackey or friend. If we stop
being a perceived irritation they'll be happy enough.
-- Bangladesh (has been, is now and will be) by and large a Muslim
nation-state, all pretenses notwithstanding. It may treat it's
minorities (hopefully) equally but the 150 Million muslims aren't
going to turn Hindu or Christian anytime soon -- despite the wishes
and machinations of 'Hindu Rashtra' idea-mongers. Some of the 'diet-
coke' Muslims in Bangladesh will act quite secular at times (More
Hindu or Christian in outlook, attire or lifestyle) but the
overwhelming peer pressure to conform to the Muslim 'label' (i.e.
identity) will persist for the long term -- especially as a
collective consciousness within our national entity. Look at Turkey
for example. Erdogan (Turkish P.M.) can cry hoarse on being secular
and the Turkish Govt. can try to be all European -- but who decides
where Turkey's future is? The Turks. The Islamists are edging closer
and closer to victory in that country. I think Madeliene Albright
said it best -- If there were free elections in Islamic countries
today -- We'd have all Islamist governments leading them. But I
digress. I'm sure you all get the point. The people in any country
will ultimately get their wish. In Bangladesh's case it won't be
full bore Islamist Govt. but along the lines of with other Islamic
economies like Malaysia, Indonesia and other Middle-Eastern Govts.
-- Therefore Bangladesh being a homogenous outpost of Muslim people -
- cannot peg its success by aligning its future 100% (Not even 75%)
with India which eventually will be for all intent and purposes a
Hindu Rashtra (secular pretenses notwithstanding). India is there
as a gargantuan neighbor and it is real. We will trade because of
proximity and hopefully the balance of trade will be a bit more even-
keeled toward our advantage. But -- we have to align our future
with 'level-headed' and pragmatic Asian Muslim economies (namely
Malaysia and Indonesia) because that is where I see our collective
(multi-national) future as a Muslim nation-state. I don't always
agree with Dr. Mahathir Muhammad -- however I do agree with his
pragmatic idea in having a common Islamic currency -- maybe a
common 'Dinar' among all Islamic economies (like the 'Euro') to
strengthen Muslim economies. We should think about these ideas to
let Bangladesh assume a stronger role in the larger Muslim world and
prosper together with other Islamic countries that way.
> India's portion of Muslim population is larger than totalpopulation of Pakistan and Bangladesh combined. In my humble
opinion, its wrong to approach and analyze the bilateral issues
between these two countries in context of religion. >
While I agree with the facts above -- numbers alone don't make a
political equation. Those numerous Indian Muslims do not belong now
to the Indian power-structure -- nor do I see that happening anytime
soon because of our 'subcontinental' mentality (common racial and
discriminatory practices). [Yes yes I know about Azeem Premji at
WIPRO :) -- he is one in a Million]. Indian Muslims will always be
minorities in a largely Hindu Land. I claim to have quite a few
Indian Muslim friends and they say their options are,
1. Either to migrate to Pakistan
2. Remain in India and try to 'blend in' by adopting becoming close
to a secular Hindu person (Shahrukh Khan wearing red powder on
forehead for example).
That is reality for Indian Muslims. No matter how patriotic an
Indian Mussalman is -- his credibility and his loyalty can always be
questioned in India (and often is).
> My solution is to face up to the facts, viz.mean
> (1) India is huge and powerful
> (2) It is rapidly globalising
> (3) The country has a large intellectual pool (and I don't
> poets)-- I wouldn't be so sure. True -- Indians are planning their ascent
> (4) Within the next 20 years or so, India should become a
> economic superpower
to superpower status. They'd like to be in the Security Council.
They're doing great with Call center and BPO outsourcing businesses.
But like my Asian friends say -- the true measure of a country's
economic status lies in the quality of it's airport toilets (well --
public toilets in general) and India on that count doesn't even
compare to puny countries like Singapore, much less China or Japan.
I'd advise those who are so convinced about Indian Superpower status
to visit that country (and its toilets in particular) to refresh
their memory. Indians are fond of overstating things (as all
subcontinentals are) and some of us are a little too convinced of
Indian greatness. Rest assured that all of their country does not
look a lot different that parts of Bangladesh and Pakistan
(Sometimes actually worse). The existence of one Leela Kempinski
hotel (or three) in a country does not mean the rest of the country
looks like it. Being a superpower takes more than re-engineering a
50's era US Scout rocket and then equipping it with a small nuclear
warhead or welding together Russian subs or ships from blueprints.
-- I'm also not very sure of the high-technology (Nuclear, space
technologies) status of a country when I see that most of the Indian
Pickle jars are leaking. If they can't make a proper screw-on lid
for a pickle jar then how can you be so sure of the efficacy of
their Missile technology?? :) (I couldn't resist this as I did try
some Indian pickle of late).
But seriously -- I know of at least a dozen '10 Million dollar DRDO
projects' that have simply not worked and are money wasters. The
Indian people love being duped in this fashion. Quick examples are
the Arjuna Tank Project(dud), Kaveri Turbofan engine project (dud)
and then the biggest dud of all duds, the LCA 'cheap fighter'
project, the 'gnat' of the new millenium in typical Indian 'frugal'
fashion -- which didn't end up being frugal at all!! (This is the
subject of another complete thread altogether.) I could go on and
on -- but I rest my case. On the other hand -- most Chinese projects
(the J-10 fighter for example) are technically at par with western
projects and are 'marketable' outside their country -- unlike Indian
> There is little point in grumbling about India. We should do ourbest to develop a partnership with that country. It will require
swallowing our pride, but our best hope is that when India takes-off
> we'll be firmly rooted to its tail.I agree grumbling is pointless. But we should negotiate from a
position of strength -- whether economically or
politically. 'Swallowing our pride' won't make us any deraer to
Indians. Since we _are_ buying their products -- they (Indian
Businessmen) _should_ care if we take that seven billion dollar
(unoffically) market away from them (even half of it). They _will_
take heed. This is not rogue behavior but very pragmatic behavior.
Only thing that is lacking is political will. I also don't think we
should peg our future on Indian leftover scraps they throw us on
their ascent to first-world status. We don't need to wait that long.
The premise that Bangladesh economy will not get better before
India's is a myth that we need to work hard on breaking. And we can
do it only if we stopped our infighting.
- Dear Alochoks
By now most Alochoks should be aware of the events of the last 48
hours in Bangladesh. For further information, please see the following
We would like to invite the Alochoks to consider the following
questions in the aftermath of these events:
1. Why has this happened?
2. How should the government and opposition parties respond?
3. What can be done to prevent this from happening again?
4. What are the implications of these events?
5. Where do these events leave Bangladesh in the US led "War on Terror"?
It is undoubtedly an emotive subject and many avenues of discussion
become involved, some more relevant than others but all tied in some
way to the matter at hand. For this reason, Alochona Management will
suspend its moderation policy for the next 2 weeks so that as many
viewpoints and opinions can be heard as possible.
Please note that customs of etiquette and language still apply.
We look forward to hearing from you.