Banerjee, Duflo and Kremer: The holy trinity of Development Economics

Announced by the Swedish academy on Monday three economists will share the Economics Nobel Prize for their “experimental approach to alleviating poverty”.

The three economists are Indian Bengali Abhijit Banerjee of the US, his French-American wife Esther Duflo, a former advisor to ex-US president Barack Obama and Michael Kremer, the Gates Professor of Developing Societies at Harvard University.

From field experiments to Nobel Prize

In the 1990s Kremer launched a number of field experiments in the western side of Kenya, in order to improve the educational results of the area.

Banerjee and Duflo developed similar studies relating to the same subject. According to the Nobel committee, their research now “entirely dominates” development studies. The committee further mentions how their effort not only helped more than five million children but also preventive healthcare now subsidies in a number of countries.

Michael Kremer, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo

The three laureates were among the first to attempt to measure the effects of real poverty alleviation. This includes covering a wide range of areas, access to credit, preventive healthcare, and the adoption of new technologies.

This research showed how to increase vaccination rates, educational standards in schools, creating a positive purpose throughout the globe.

Youngest Nobel winner, a power couple and a triumph for aspiring economists

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, two of the three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, speaking at a news conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., October 14, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Duflo, 46, is the youngest and the second woman ever to receive the award for a prize in Economic Science. Speaking on phone moments after the awards, Duflo also mentions how the field of economics should treat women with more respect, saying

“We are at a time when we are starting to realize in the profession that the way we conduct each other privately and publicly, is not conducive all the time to a very good environment for women. Showing that it is possible for a women to succeed, and to be recognized for success, I hope will inspire many many other women to continue working, and many many other men to give them the respect they deserve, like every single human being.”

On the other hand, Abhijeet Banerjee and Esther Duflo became yet another couple to win the Nobel Prize. The committee released a “Partners in Science” list to mark and commemorate them and other couples who have previously achieved to make the same success together.

“Apart from being the power couple, let us also look at how this trio is basically a trend setter for the rest of the aspiring economists all over the world. They are great researchers, writers and economists and personally I believe its a great initiative to see someone from the developing sector to win it because, they can add more of their perspectives into work. If we notice their work we can see that it is not only about fetching data, rather it is about researching and implementing the subject with a purpose.”

Says Israr Hasan, an Economics student from Brac University.

The researches also conducted an initial study on microcredit programs or giving small loans to underdeveloped households in Hyderabad, India.

ShopUp: A Facebook entrepreneur’s best friend

With new marketing and business strategies, amateur entrepreneurs are now getting the opportunity to thrive. In Bangladesh, millions of people log into Facebook every day. For some, it’s not just about memes or just a scroll to keep updated on your friends. Entrepreneurs reach out to their customers through the help of Facebook by basing their business as an online service.

ShopUp is a platform which provides social media-based entrepreneurs to sell with better coordination and access to the financing they can afford.

Assistance is one click away

ShopUp, a messenger based cart management system was first launched in 2016. It facilitates the micro-enterprise, helping them coordinating the goods by installing a catalogue, cart and checkout system. It provides the basic features of online service through Facebook. ShopUp analyzes data points of the micro-entrepreneur and its owners by assessing their capital requirement and repayment capacity. They refer these micro-enterprises to partner with different financial institutions that expends the loans directly to the merchants.

The three musketeers of ShopUp

Afeef Zaman, Siffat Sarwar and Ataur Chowdhury are the three musketeers who have taken the initiative of it all. They have made business for entrepreneurs easy by cutting wait times by weeks and reducing loan operating costs from 18-20 percent to 3-5 percent. As a result, this also means that they are minimizing loans of $2500 to $300 approximately. In addition to loans and financial support, ShopUp also provides technical and business support through which the entrepreneurs can support their small business up and running on Facebook platforms in a successful way.

Sifat Sarwar in an interview with Dhaka Tribune mentions one of the major community they focus on is to give this platform more accessible to women.

“Millions of women in Bangladesh are unable to earn for themselves because of social and family issues. If you start a business on Facebook, you can earn lakhs of taka while changing your child’s diaper! All you need is determination. “

Says Siffat Sarwar assuring women that they can too work from home and be successful as well.

Newtons Archive, Rapunzel’s Secret, Dr Gadget and many of your daily online shops are currently partnering up with ShopUp. They have become one of the most popular and trusted services in Bangladesh.

Well deserved success one after the other

Led by Omidyar Network, ShopUp has $1.62 million in a seed round last year. The participating members angel investors from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Grab, and other banks. From other projects, ShopUp received the grant of US$25,000 as the first runner up and were awarded by Metlife foundation. With the success and profits, ShopUp has a well-deserved value in the business market. With the changes they bring for the micro-entrepreneurs in the online business, we can only hope to see more business startups developing now more than ever.

Greta Thunberg: Earth’s safe haven at work

With the heartbreaking Amazon forest loss, melting icebergs in Antarctica and many other disasters, the global crisis is increasing. According to UN demographics, one natural climate crisis is occurring every week around the world. In between all this chaos and loss, one young 16 years old stood out to aid to this endless catastrophe.

Read more: Who is Greta Thunberg and other questions you were too embarrassed to ask

Who is Greta Thunberg?

Born in Sweden, Greta Thunberg is a rising environmental activist who is spreading global awareness to the risk of climate change. She has raised questions against politicians for their lack of action against this crisis which affects the entire world.

Last year, Greta took time off of her school to demonstrate the Swedish parliament about climate loss. Soon, most of the school students, including her classmates joined the protest. They organised a school climate strike movement under the name “Fridays for the Future”. After Thunberg addressed the issues in the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, students all over the world including Bangladesh, UK, Japan, India and Germany joined the protest in their own way.

A real leader’s power of consciousness

Despite being a 16-year-old, Greta Thunberg is known for her blunt and realist responses to questions. But Great herself has her own story. She was diagnosed with Asperger’s, a form of autism four years ago. In an interview with the BBC, she mentions

Being different is a gift. It makes me see things from outside the box. I don’t easily fall for lies, I can see through things. If I would’ve been like everyone else, I wouldn’t have started this school strike for instance. We introverts can make our voices heard”

The Global Climate Strike

The global climate strike we all knew we needed is here. People from all over the world have taken to the street for a better world not for themselves, but for everyone across the world. Thunberg and her community’s voice has reached all over the world and now their demands are just as much as ours. The strike started from September 20th and will continue until 27th of September.

According to the article by The Guardian, trade unions representing hundreds of millions of people around the world mobilized in support, employees left their workplaces, doctors and nurses marched and workers at firms like Amazon, Google and Facebook have now joined the strikes.

In the estimated 185 countries, the protests are different depending upon the challenging crisis that they are having to go through. But at the end of the day, the message and the activists are united for one thing and one thing only. A safe space for nature, animals and humans.

What’s next?

The demand for ending the age of fossil fuels invested by different banks, finding a reasonable solution for a healthier environment is the most essential demands. However, what happens next is up to us. How we see the world and decide to protect it is solely upon our principle.

In a country like Bangladesh were young children still have hope and strike for a positive change, it is time to end our lack of motivation for a better country.

The unhealthy practise of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” needs to stop.

Educating ourselves with the burning questions of Sundarban, excessive use of plastic materials and polythene bags are just the tip of the iceberg.

By the words of Greta Thunberg herself which left the world in a gasp and sudden rush of epiphany:

“Adults keep saying, ‘We owe it to young people to give them hope.’ But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”  

Mahjabin Haque: Another Bangladeshi woman at NASA

From childhood dreams to the stars, Mahjabin Haque has achieved to pursue her passion for NASA. Mahjabin Haque is going to be a software engineer at NASA’s US space research firm. She is a fresh graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Wayne State University.

A brave soul with a mission

According to Dhaka Tribune, Bengali communities throughout Michigan and many more are celebrating this success with great pride. While studying at Wayne State University, Mahjabin pursued an internship at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for two terms. She mentioned that she had worked for two departments in the span of eight months and receive quite a lot of experience. She received offers from different companies across the world including NASA. However, her heart opts for NASA.

Why NASA?

“Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to work at NASA.” mentions Mahjabin Haque herself to HiFi Public.

She participated in many curricular activities like dancing, singing and organizing events for BSA in her university. While working for NASA, she realized that they do not only look for academic success, rather they seek creativity and leadership strengths. She worked hard enough while enjoying her journey to her dreams.

Her advice to the youths who want to pursue their dreams would be not to only focus on grades, rather explore and dwell in different creative options to find what interests them the most.

In the world filled with different options to engage in, it is important for us to find what interests us the most. Instead of sticking to the good old academic books, let us explore our best and worst qualities to find who we can really become.

Who is Greta Thunberg and other questions you were too embarrassed to ask

With the heartbreaking Amazon forest loss, melting icebergs in Antarctica and many other disasters, the global crisis is increasing. According to UN demographics, one natural climate crisis is occurring every week around the world. In between all this chaos and loss, one young 16 years old stood out to aid to this endless catastrophe.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the Amazon forest fire

Who is Greta Thunberg?

Who is Greta Thunberg and other questions you were too embarrassed to ask

Born in Sweden, Greta Thunberg is a 16 years old rising environmental activist who is spreading global awareness to the risk of climate change. She has raised questions against politicians for their lack of action against this crisis which affects the entire world.

Her bold actions had led her to become a global icon in the movement against climate change.

Why is Greta such a big deal?

Who is Greta Thunberg and other questions you were too embarrassed to ask

Last year, Greta took time off of her school to demonstrate the Swedish parliament about climate loss. It started as a lone fight but soon, most of the school students, including her classmates joined the protest. They organised a school climate strike movement under the name “Fridays for the Future”.

After Thunberg addressed the issues in the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference, students all over the world including Bangladesh, UK, Japan, India and Germany joined the protest in their own way.

Is climate change real?

Very much so. If you’re still not convinced enough to care about the climate, here are some statistics to help you out:

  • Carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years
  • 18 of the 19 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001
  • 2016 was the warmest year on record.
  • Satellite data shows Earth’s polar ice sheets are losing mass
  • Global average sea level has risen nearly 7″ over the past 100 years

Has her protest made any difference?

Yes. Thanks to her, the global climate strike we all knew we needed is finally here. People from all over the world have taken to the street for a better world not for themselves, but for everyone across the world. Thunberg and her community’s voice has reached all over the world and now their demands are just as much as ours. The strike started from September 20th and will continue until 27th of September.

According to the article by The Guardian, trade unions representing hundreds of millions of people around the world mobilized in support, employees left their workplaces, doctors and nurses marched and workers at firms like Amazon, Google and Facebook have now joined the strikes.

In the estimated 185 countries, the protests are different depending upon the challenging crisis that they are having to go through. But at the end of the day, the message and the activists are united for one thing and one thing only. A safe space for nature, animals and humans.

How can we help?

Who is Greta Thunberg and other questions you were too embarrassed to ask

In a country like Bangladesh where young children still have hope and strike for a positive change, it is time to end our lack of motivation for a better country. The unhealthy practise of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” needs to stop. Educating ourselves with the burning questions of Sundarban, excessive use of plastic materials and polythene bags are just the tip of the iceberg. Quote

“Adults keep saying, ‘We owe it to young people to give them hope.’ But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day, and then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”  

By the words of Greta Thunsberg herself which left the world in gasp and sudden rush of epiphany.

Mohammad Ruman Shana wins gold in archery men’s singles

Bangladeshi celebrated archer Mohammad Ruman Shana won the gold medal in the final of the Asia Cup Ranking Tournament individual event. This is yet another big win for Shana. He previously owned two more gold medals in the International Archery Tournament in Bishkek in 2017. He won the other in the 1st Asian Archery Grand Pix in Thailand in 2014.

Journey to the arch of gold!

According to UNB, the 24-year-old archer beat Shi Zhengi of China. He beat him by 7-3 set points in the final at Clark City in the Philippines on 13th of September.

Shana beat Thiha Htet Zaw of Myanmar by 6-0 sets in the round of 16, on the way to his finals. Furthermore, he beat Thepna Denchai of Thailand by 6-0 sets points in the round of eight. In the quarter-final, he outplayed Yang Huie Jhe of Chinese Taipei by 7-1 sets points.

In a post-match reaction, he talked about his experience mentioning, “This is really good. I’m so happy. It is a great achievement for Bangladesh, We are trying to promote Bangladesh on the world stage. We hope we can keep this up.”

Modhumoti Bank Ltd sponsored The Bangladesh Team conceded a 3-5 set of points defeat a 3-5 set-points defeat the Chinese team. This is a big win for Rumon Shana and hopefully many more to go!

Best home remedies and tricks to fight off the mosquitoes once and for all

The recent dengue epidemic has caused not only the city but the entire country in a chaotic situation. However as the days pass by, we have to make sure our surroundings are safe and clean. With the help safer steps and tricks, we can protect ourselves from dengue and other flu-like diseases.

Separate your indoor and outdoor plants

One of the common mistakes we often do while decorating our house with plants is we misinterpret the types of indoor and outdoor plants. Plants such as spider plant, rubber fig, devils ivy are indoor plants while verbena, coleus, sweet potato vine are outdoor plants. It is important to water and take care of both plants and clean the surrounding areas properly. Basil, lemon balm, catnip, citrosum, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, and sage are mosquito repelling plants.

DIY your own essential oil spray

Spraying coconut oil on your skin is a natural way if you want to avoid using chemical mosquito repellent creams. With the help of adding rosemary, lavender or tea tree oil can help you reduce stress add moisture to your skin as well.

Burn some incense

Burning incense around your balcony can stop mosquitoes more entering you house. While buying, do remember that some incense can smell more pungent than others. So try to find some which are more soothing and infused with essential oils.

Set out scented candles

Scented candles will not only help you release stress but it also acts as a mosquito repellent. Scented candles are easy to make at home given you have the right ingredients. However, if you want to buy candles infused with essential oils, Newton’s Archive can be your choice.

Try to keep your home clean and organised

A home with clean rooms will help the insects and mosquitoes from hiding out and building nests from time to time. Bathrooms and kitchens should be emphasized more because they are used frequently and known to be insect-prone areas. Try to keep the bathroom floors dry, the kitchen closets and sink less clotted.

If you catch experience fever for more than two days, it is essential to get a blood test or see a doctor as soon as possible.

Read more: Preventing dengue: Steps that you must take

Numair Atif becomes the first Bangladeshi to be shortlisted for Shakti Bhatt prize 2019

In honour of Shakti Bhatt, the renowned editor of an Indian publishing house Bracket Books, the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize continues to acknowledge literature from all over the South Asian continent.

Dr Numair Atif Choudhury is on the shortlist for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019 for his literature piece Babu Bangladesh! The writer passed away in an accident a few months prior to his book’s publication.

In an article written by Talita Choudhury, Numair’s sister, she remembers the memories and emotional battles the writer had to tackle all the while, to create a story which would hit home.

While self -reflecting in a conversation with her he mentions,

“I am open to criticism and have changed all the parts that were not pleasurable to read. I respect my audience. Moreover, the book that is to be published must be of mettle that justifies the claim it has made of a decade of my life.”

Another year later, only a little further along with his narrative, Numair emailed a section from the chapter ‘Bird‘ stating to Talita saying, “Here’s something I edited today, took me forever to get the right voice.”

Source: Google

Babu Bangladesh! A national superhero

Numair Atif’s Babu Bangladesh! is a biography creating a national superhero who has lived through both his country’s traumatic, bloody past and his chaotic fast-approaching future. According to the writer, his piece falls under both fictional biography and magical realism. He mentions that the five chapters contain various elements that relate to one another.

With the chaotic political situations and subtle hints of harsh realities, the writer showed the struggles the protagonist faced head-on. Numair Atif did not shy away from creating a beautiful piece by merging and making a perfect balance of imagination and reality.

The unfortunate turn of events only makes us realize the loss of our thriving culture has faced. However, like every creative artist, Dr Numair Atif has left his work for his readers to read and embark on the journey of truth.

Meet Rabbi Apa, the only woman car mechanic in Dhaka

Within the past few years, women have participated in job sectors more than ever. However, ‘Mechanic Rabbi Apa’ is an exception to it all. Breaking fences in the field of mechanic and automobile workshops, Rabeya Sultana is the only female mechanic working for CARE Bangladesh.

Started from the bottom but she’s here

Rabeya Sultana Rabbi could never attend her S.S.C examination. Growing up with extreme poverty, Rabeya Sultana learnt to take care of herself from a very young age. Her father could barely afford for his eight-member family.

The young drop out student is now earning approximately 550 dollars per month and she can comfortably afford for her husband, her young son and her parents as well. Her husband was very supportive throughout her journey and helped her pursue her career by co-parenting.

Source: Arab News

Rabbi Apa’s journey

Rabbi Apa initially started training as a driver with other female members, but she was not confident enough to drive around highways. She then took the decision to take up her career as a motor mechanic.

In an interview with Arab News, she mentions how girls in Bangladesh hardly come to a profession which is heavily dominated by men in general. However, she has always been as a kind, friendly and hardworking employee. Selim Sheikh, manager for transport at CARE Bangladesh mentions how proud he is of her. She took in the knowledge of a motor mechanic in a short period of time. He also mentions how she is always enthusiastic to learn new techniques.

Rabeya dreams of opening her own garage in her hometown and give chances to others to pursue their career with motor mechanics. She wants to help her son achieve her dreams, and help him succeed in life.

May we have more Rabbi Apas help the society construct itself into a positive space for all women.

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Abandoned WWII airbase to turn into Bangladesh’s first Aeronautical and Aviation University

With help from voice-voters in Parliament, a bill was proposed on February 19th titled, ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University Bill, 2019’. The bill passed successfully on February 25th. So, the first Aeronautical and Aviation University is now located at an airport in Lalmonirhart that has been abandoned since World War II! A fitting homage!

There will be an aircraft manufacturing factory. According to the Minister of Social Welfare, Nuruzzaman Ahmed, the Government may also establish an aircraft and maintenance repair factory. Traders in Lalomonirhat believe that reusing the abandoned airport will contribute to the academic and economic development of the country.

Source: Daily Star

The university will have both undergraduate and postgraduate levels for their students. He further noted, “Initially, the university plans to have seven faculties, four departments, four institutes.”

Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor of the University will be a member of the Air Force. As per constitutional law, Bangladesh Air Force Academy, Flying Instructor School, Flight Safety Institute Command and Staff Training Institute, Aeronautical Institute and Officers Training Institute will all be affiliated with the university.