Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday (Mar 2) reiterated her call to put special focus on medical science research, urging all to take the country forward with fresh inventions to cope with the new global technologies. "I can't but say with a sorrow that research on agriculture and science is going on, but our research on medical science is fewer in number. So, give special attention to medical science research," she said.
The PM was distributing cheques of ‘Bangabandhu Science and Technology Fellowship,’ ‘National Science and Technology Fellowship’ and special research donations among teachers, scientists, researchers and students of different universities. The Science and Technology Ministry arranged the ceremony at the Osmani Sriti Auditorium in the capital, local media reported.
The PM expressed a bit dismay saying a section of physicians either joins the government services or politics after obtaining MBBS degrees shunning practices and research. And another section is busy with income, for which, they do government services and private practices at the same time, she said.
"Fewer people are doing research on medical sciences. Research on medical science has increased a little bit after I have told it time and again," she added.
The PM said her government aims at reaching the scientific and technological advancement to a new height. So, she wants vigorous efforts from scientists and researchers to help the country cope with newer global technologies, she continued.
The scientists and researchers will have to give commendable returns to the nation to prepare people worthy of working in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), she said.
"Technology has changed over times and we are now at the era of the 4IR as we need new technologies to be further developed and to make efficient manpower to overcome the challenges of the new era," she said.
Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman and its Senior Secretary Ziaul Hasan spoke at the function.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is doing everything possible for the advancement of science and technology, mainly to build a skilled manpower fit for work in the fourth industrial revolution.
The premier said they had given topmost importance to research after assuming power in 1996 and provided allocation (Tk 12 crore) for research for the first time in country's history and then started keeping Tk 100 crore as block allocation in the budget.
About fellowships, she said 682 persons were conferred Bangabandhu Science and Technology Fellowship and provided with an overall Tk 268.70 crore from 2010-11 fiscal year to 2022-23 FY.
Since 2009-10 fiscal year to the current FY, a total of 25,701 students and researchers were conferred with National Science and Technology (NST) Fellowship and provided with an overall 157.51 crore, she continued.
The PM said Tk 177. 54 crore was also given as special research donations to different research institutes and organisations against 5521 projects since 2009-10 FY.
She requested those who received the fellowships and donations to give more attention to research, saying, "Please do research with sincerity. I want to know what you are going to invent and how it benefits our country."
She said her government is giving the fellowships and donations to create more skilled scientists, researchers and technologists for the advancement of Bangladesh in a smarter way.
"We have taken measures to cope with the developed world as we have to take our country ahead following the way of developed countries," she said.
The premier said she doesn't want Bangladesh to lag behind in any way, for which, the country needs to build huge skilled and smart manpower with knowledge of technology.
She said the government will build a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041 by transforming every sector that includes economy, agriculture and health.
The premier extended her wholehearted greetings to the agriculture researchers as Bangladesh has achieved the most success in agriculture, making the country self-reliant in food production.
Since assuming office in 1996, she said her government made efforts to develop flood, saline and drought tolerant paddy and the country is now successful in doing so.
She said Bangladesh has not only achieved success in producing paddy, but also in production of vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, egg and milk.
"The success we have achieved is the result of research," she said.
The premier said they have also established a marine science research institute adding that it is necessary to build more such institutes for conducting extensive research to tap the potential of the blue economy for overall development of Bangladesh.
She said they are establishing Bangabandhu Novo Theatre in each of the eight divisions to enable our children to get a better education on science and technology.
In this connection, she recalled that the BNP government had filed two cases for building Bangabandhu Novo Theatre in Dhaka.
The PM said they have so far established 12 science and technology universities across the country to encourage students into science and computer study as students had once been reluctant to study science.
Noting that there was only an agriculture university in the country, she said her government established several agriculture universities.
Sheikh Hasina said her government also established the first medical university in the country confronting many hurdles.
She said they have given utmost priority on application and expansion of the locally-innovated technology.
The PM wants Bangladesh to march ahead towards a developed country from the existing status of a developing nation under the leadership of a new generation.
"The new generation will be the soldiers to ensure continuation of Bangladesh's advancement. So, we need to have confidence which will give us inspiration and power to this end," she said.