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243
Ant Financial, operator of Alibaba-linked Alipay, will buy 20 percent of Bangladesh’s bKash

Selim RF Hussain, managing director and CEO of BRAC Bank, of which bKash is a subsidiary, told reporters about the development after the signing of a deal between Ant Financial and bKash at a Dhaka hotel on Thursday.

According to him, bKash will retain 51 percent of its shares and Alibaba will get the stakes from the remaining 49 percent of Money in Motion LLC, International Finance Corporation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

BRAC Bank said in a price sensitive information disclosure that its board of directors approved the share purchase proposal of bKash in a meeting on Thursday.

It said Alipay Singapore E-commerce Private Limited will purchase 20 percent of equity stake of bKash, including preference share. This 20 percent will be calculated based on post-dilution.

Alipay will purchase 10 percent of the bKash share from Money in Motion, IFC and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BRAC Bank said.

The deal entitles Alipay to subscribe for a further 10 percent share of bKash.

BRAC Bank MD Hussain termed ‘milestone’ the investment by Alibaba in Bangladesh.

“They are a big company. We will get technical, mechanical and different other sorts of help from them.

“The most important thing is that Bangladesh has advanced in strategic investment. It’s a great recognition of our economic development and digitisation,” he added.

BRAC Bank Chief Financial Officer Abdul Kader Joaddar told reporters Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation owns preferential shares of bKash while Money in Motion’s stake in bKash is 36.5 percent and IFC’s 12.5 percent.
According to him, Money in Motion is transferring 5.9 percent to Alibaba and IFC 2 percent.

Joaddar also said the entire process would take 15 to 18 months to complete.

The deal signed on Thursday was on strategic partnership. It aims to promote financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked communities in Bangladesh, bKash said in a media release. 

bKash CEO Kamal Quadir and Douglas Feagin, Ant Financial Senior Vice President of Global Business, signed the deal.

“This investment opens many new opportunities for bKash and demonstrates the confidence a world-class player is placing in Bangladesh,” said Quadir.

He also said they wanted to bring to Bangladesh the achievements of China in financial inclusion in past 15 to 20 years.

Eric Jing, executive chairman and CEO of Ant Financial said, “As part of Ant Financial’s global strategy, we are keen to share our technology know-how with partners like bKash, who has successfully brought financial services to the largely unbanked population in Bangladesh.”

bKash, launched in 2011, operates with over 30 million registered accounts, according to the firm.

Source: https://bdnews24.com/business/2018/04/26/ant-financial-operator-of-alibaba-linked-alipay-will-buy-20-percent-of-bangladeshs-bkash

244
IT / TEDx - Kamal Quadir: Audacity to take Part
« on: April 26, 2018, 11:39:55 PM »
TEDx - Kamal Quadir: Audacity to take Part

About TEDx: In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Kamal Quadir is the CEO of bKash. Kamal talks about how digital platforms are increasingly becoming available in poor countries at a reasonable cost, and so is the endless flow of innovative applications that are riding on those platforms.

TEDx video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8555gyWG0c

245
World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2018

Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity
Every April 26, WIPO celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to learn about the role that intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyright) play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

This year’s World Intellectual Property Day campaign celebrates the brilliance, ingenuity, curiosity and courage of the women who are driving change in our world and shaping our common future.

Source: http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/

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We are happy to announce that DIU Reasearch Centre is going to publish on-line publication, naming, 'THE ENTREPRENEUR'. You will shortly, find the on-line link of the publication, which will focus various issues of entrepreneurial initiatives, activities, case study of successful entrepreneurs, constructive write-ups and entrepreneurial events & activities done by Daffodil Family. We have already finalized the contents of the very first issue of the publication which is in the publication section, now.

Regards,

Nafees

247
Bangladesh receives 1st delivery of imported LNG, supply expected mid-May

The maiden consignment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached Moheshkhali from Qatar to supply imported gas to the national network.

According to official sources, the very first consignment of LNG reached Chattogram through the Excelerate Energy’s floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU).

The FSRU, generally known as the LNG terminal which was set up on a floating vessel with storage and re-gasification facilities, will permanently station in Moheshkhali.

“The FSRU reached the country at 2pm today (Tuesday), one day ahead of its scheduled arrival,” said Mohammad Quamruzzaman, managing director of Rupantarita Prakritik Gas Company Limited (RPGCL).

RPGCL, a subsidiary of state-owned Petrobangla, has been responsible for the import of LNG and supply of the gas to the national network through a re-gasification process.

The import of LNG was initiated more than seven years ago. But with the arrival of a first consignment, the government has achieved success in its LNG import efforts to meet the gas shortage.

Quamruzzaman said now it will take three to four weeks to complete some technical work to commission the FSRU for supplying the imported gas to the national network.

“We hope, we will be able to commission the FSRU by mid May”, he said, adding the next consignment is expected in the middle of June on a separate LNG vessel.

The imported LNG will be re-gasified by private FSRUs.

So far the local Summit Group, and US-based Excelerate Energy, are allowed to set up two separate FSRUs near Moheshkhali to store the imported LNG and then supply it to the national grid following re-gasification.

“The FSRU, owned by US-based Excelerate Energy Bangladesh Ltd, carried 133,000 cubic meters (CM) of lean LNG to supply to consumers,” said the RPGCL chief.

Deliveries from Qatar are part of a sales and purchase agreement with RusGas for 2.5 million tons per year of LNG, priced at 12.5% of the three-month average of Brent, plus an additional $ 0.5 per unit (1 MMBTU).

On April 19 last week, Bangladesh’s cabinet committee approved a final sales and purchase agreement, or SPA, with Oman Trading International, or OTI, to import around 1 million ton per year of LNG for 10 years.

The country is also in negotiations with other suppliers and is planning to sign binding LNG SPAs for more than 3 million tons per year shortly.

The FSRU, which belongs to US-based Excelerate, has a capacity of 3.75 million ton of LNG, and will be moored at Moheshkhali Island, near the Chattogram port.

Bangladesh’s second LNG import terminal, a 3.75 million tons per year FSRU being developed by the local Summit Group, is expected to be commissioned in October.

The country is in negotiations with four other suppliers for long-term deals and is also eyeing short-term and spot purchases.

Many consumers and energy experts believe the imported LNG will push up gas prices at the consumer end as imports will drive up the overall cost of gas.

They said with the start of LNG imports, the country’s overall energy cost will go up, even double, diminishing business competitiveness, if there is no specific plan to utilize the imported gas for any specific sector.

Source: https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/power-energy/2018/04/24/bangladesh-receives-1st-delivery-imported-lng-supply-expected-mid-may/

248
Is plastic waste the next global environmental crisis?


To celebrate Earth Day we invited Frederic Gallo, lead author of a recent study published in Environmental Sciences Europe to talk about his research on one of the most pertinent environmental issues today: marine plastic pollution. Frederic discusses the disastrous consequences of microplastics on marine life, sets out measures to prevent these, and highlights the work his colleagues are performing around the world in the fight against plastic pollution.

Plastics are useful materials with many clear benefits coming from its lightness and from being chemically inert; they can be flexible or rigid; transparent, translucent or opaque, and can be manufactured in any form or shape. They are widely used in areas like food and beverage packaging and in all kinds of everyday products and appliances.

The production of plastics in industrial scale began in the 1950’s, and since then they are increasingly pervading our society: on average plastic consumption reaches 100 Kg per person per year in Western Europe and North America and 20 Kg in Asia, and these figures are expected to grow rapidly in populated developing countries in Asia or Africa, as urban population increases.

But it is precisely its success and increasing use that is making it a threat to the environment, and specifically the marine environment — the final destination every year of more than 8 million tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste around the globe.

Once the plastic waste —bags, bottles, packaging, etc. – enters into the sea, it undergoes decades of photodegradation and other weathering processes which ends up with its decomposition into microplastics, tiny fragments of few millimeters in size, and even nanoplastics, in the nanometer scale. These may be uptaken by marine biota, from zooplankton to baleen whales.

As in any new field of research, there are currently more questions than certitudes with regard to the consequences of marine plastic pollution. Microplastics, now clearly present as a widespread and complex feature of marine pollution, can carry substantial concentrations of a range of chemical additives like endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) and also adsorbing and concentrating polluting substances in the water. They therefore contribute to the exposure of marine species to hazardous chemicals, with unforeseen consequences.

Knowing the consequences and finding the solutions
In a scenario of “business as usual”, it’s expected that in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. Our recent paper presents the consequences of the increasing presence of plastic waste in all the seas, focusing on the chemical pollution derived from common chemical additives in plastics with endocrine disruptor properties, which may affect marine biodiversity and theoretically even human health.

Solution to plastics in the oceans must include product and infrastructure design as well as consumer behavior. In our publication we propose measures like:

Encouraging plastic waste prevention and supporting development and implementation of safer or more benign alternatives to persistent plastics in the marine environment.
Promoting substitution and green chemistry to avoid harmful chemicals in plastics, especially Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals (EDCs).
Encouraging ecodesign for better packaging recyclability.
Encouraging plastic waste recycling when feasible.
Encouraging changes in consumption and littering behavior.
To assist developing countries, economies in transition and Small Island Developing States with efficient collection and environmentally sound management of plastic waste and plastic packaging, which they are unable to dispose of or recycle in an environmentally sound manner but continue to receive nonetheless, including through take-back or repatriation policies under extended producer responsibility (EPR) schemes.

Among the authors of the publication there are environmental chemists, marine scientists and environmentalists.

Dr. David Santillo, from the Greenpeace Science Lab in Exeter University (UK), who has recently conducted a study on microplastics in the Scottish Seas (photo)  affirms that “It is already clear that the presence of microplastics in seawater can have physiological and behavioral consequences for marine organisms”, and that “even in remote waters around the Hebrides on the NW coast of Scotland, microplastics have become an unwelcome part of the fabric of marine ecosystems, and this threat to marine life cannot be ignored and requires urgent investigation”.

Joao Sousa, biotechnology engineer working at the IUCN (International Union for the Conservancy of Nature) in Switzerland, has recently returned from an expedition to Sweden and Finland, where they collected ice-cores. The findings affirm that Artic Sea ice has been  shown to contain a concentration of microplastics which far exceeds the ones previously reported in highly contaminated oceanic waters, which are known as the plastic gyres.

The discovery presents a serious human health concern, as approximately 40% of the United States’ commercial fisheries (by weight) come from the Bering Sea and about 50% of the fish consumed in the European Union comes from the European Artic.

Professor Cristina Fossi, from the University of Siena (Italy), has studied the impacts of contaminants on Mediterranean marine organisms over a 20 year period and more recently, the Gulf of California.

In 2012 she published the first paper on the impact of microplastics in baleen whales, a species that can be hugely impacted by microplastics, because each time a whale opens its mouth, it filters 70,000 litters of water!

All these small pieces of plastics could be toxic for organisms, as the plastic itself is full of contaminants, particularly plastic additives, such as phthalates, biphenyl A, PBDEs.  When they are eaten by a fish and arrive in its stomach, the contaminants are released and produce toxic effects. They can impact on the endocrine system of the fish and on its sexual hormones.

Professor Fossi and colleagues are trying to identify the effects of contaminants transported by the microplastics throughout the whole food chain, using biomolecular techniques. For example: measuring the increase or decrease of the level of a protein or DNA damage, by using several techniques from PCR real time to WB and gene expression.

She is currently leading a European Union project, the Plastic Busters, in order to assess the amount, sources, pathways, distribution convergence areas and effects of marine litter on biota as well as mitigate and reduce the impact of marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea.

Source: http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-biology/2018/04/18/is-plastic-waste-the-next-global-environmental-crisis-earth-day/

249
Result of International Collegiate programming Contest - 2018 can be seen at the following web link:

https://icpc.baylor.edu/worldfinals/results

250
Time Management / Re: 21 Time Management Tips to become Successful
« on: April 25, 2018, 05:26:04 PM »
Thank you for sharing.

251
The article will really enhance the knowledge of the readers' at this domain.

252
Teaching & Research Forum / Re: Blended Learning Models
« on: April 25, 2018, 04:47:38 PM »
Please participate in the pool and select your best answer.

Thank you for showing your interest.

253
রাজস্ব আয়ে ইন্টেলকে হটিয়ে শীর্ষে স্যামসাং

সিলিকনভিত্তিক সেমিকন্ডাক্টর প্রস্তুতকারক প্রতিষ্ঠান হিসেবে ইন্টেল করপোরেশন গত আড়াই দশক একক শ্রেষ্ঠত্ব ধরে রেখেছিল। কিন্তু ২০১৭ সালে সেমিকন্ডাক্টর খাত থেকে রাজস্ব আয়ে দক্ষিণ কোরিয়াভিত্তিক স্যামসাং ইলেকট্রনিকসের কাছে অবস্থান হারিয়েছে মার্কিন প্রতিষ্ঠানটি। খবর ইন্দো-এশিয়ান নিউজ সার্ভিস।

বাজার গবেষণা প্রতিষ্ঠান গার্টনারের তথ্যমতে, ২০১৭ সালে সেমিকন্ডাক্টর বিক্রি বাবদ স্যামসাংয়ের রাজস্ব আয় ৫ হাজার ৯৮৭ কোটি ৫০ লাখ ডলারে পৌঁছেছে। এর ফলে স্যামসাংয়ের বাজার দখল ১৪ দশমিক ২ শতাংশে পৌঁছেছে। একই সময়ে দ্বিতীয় স্থানে থাকা ইন্টেলের রাজস্ব আয় ৫ হাজার ৮৭২ কোটি ৫০ লাখ ডলারে পৌঁছেছে। এতে প্রতিষ্ঠানটির বাজার দখল দাঁড়িয়েছে ১৪ শতাংশে। ২০১৭ সালে বৈশ্বিক সেমিকন্ডাক্টর খাতের বাজার ৪২ হাজার ৪০ কোটি ডলারে পৌঁছে, যা ২০১৬ সালের চেয়ে ২১ দশমিক ৬ শতাংশ বেশি। ২০১৬ সালে এ খাতের বাজার ছিল ৩৪ হাজার ৫৯০ কোটি ডলারের।

গার্টনারের গবেষণা পরিচালক জর্জ ব্রোকলেহার্স্ট বলেন, ২০১৭ সালে সেমিকন্ডাক্টর শিল্পে দুটি গুরুত্বপূর্ণ ঘটনা ঘটেছে। এর একটি হলো— সেমিকন্ডাক্টরের বাজার ৪০ হাজার কোটি ডলার ছাড়িয়ে গেছে এবং অপরটি হলো— ২৫ বছর ধরে সেমিকন্ডাক্টর বিক্রিতে শীর্ষে থাকা ইন্টেলকে টপকে শীর্ষস্থান দখল করেছে স্যামসাং। মেমোরি বাজার দ্রুত সম্প্রসারিত হওয়ায় এ দুটি ঘটনা ঘটেছে। ডিআরএএম ও এনএএনডি ফ্ল্যাশ মেমোরির মূল্য কমে যাওয়ায় মেমোরি বাজার বেড়েছে।

বৈশ্বিক সেমিকন্ডাক্টর খাতে রাজস্ব আয়ে পঞ্চম স্থানে রয়েছে কোয়ালকম ইনকরপোরেশন। গত বছর প্রতিষ্ঠানটি ১ হাজার ৬০৯ কোটি ৯০ লাখ ডলার রাজস্ব আয় করেছে, যা মোট বাজারের ৩ দশমিক ৮ শতাংশ।

গার্টনার জানায়, ২০১৭ সালে মেমোরির বাজার বেড়েছে। বছরটিতে মেমোরি বাজার আগের বছরের চেয়ে ৬১ দশমিক ৮ শতাংশ বেড়ে ১৩ হাজার কোটি ডলারে পৌঁছেছে। গত বছর মেমোরি বাবদ স্যামসাংয়ের রাজস্ব আয় প্রায় ২ হাজার কোটি ডলার বেড়েছে, যা ইন্টেলকে হটিয়ে শীর্ষস্থান দখলে সহায়ক হয়েছে।

গার্টনারের পূর্বাভাসে বলা হয়েছে, রাজস্ব আয়ে ইন্টেলকে হটিয়ে স্যামসাং শীর্ষস্থান দখল করলেও তা স্বল্প সময় স্থায়ী হতে পারে। ২০১৯ সালের আগেই স্যামসাং তার রাজত্ব হারাতে পারে বলে গবেষণা প্রতিষ্ঠানটি ধারণা করছে।

প্রতিবেদনে বলা হয়েছে, ২০১৭ সালে নন-মেমোরি সেমিকন্ডাক্টর আগের বছরের চেয়ে ৯ দশমিক ৩ শতাংশ বেড়ে ২৯ হাজার কোটি ডলারে পৌঁছেছে। গত বছর ১০টি শীর্ষ সেমিকন্ডাক্টর বিক্রেতা প্রতিষ্ঠানের সমন্বিত রাজস্ব আয় ৩০ দশমিক ৬ শতাংশ বেড়েছে।

গবেষণা প্রতিষ্ঠানটির তথ্যমতে, গত বছর ইন্টারনেট অব থিংস বা আইওটির প্রবৃদ্ধি সেমিকন্ডাক্টর খাতে গুরুত্বপূর্ণ প্রভাব ফেলেছে। ২০১৭ সালে ওয়্যারলেস কানেক্টিভিটি খাতে সেমিকন্ডাক্টরের প্রবৃদ্ধি সর্বোচ্চ পর্যায়ে পৌঁছেছে।

স্যামসাং উচ্চ প্রযুক্তিনির্ভর পণ্যের মেমোরি চিপ প্রস্তুত করে থাকে, যা ডাটা সংরক্ষণের জন্য বিভিন্ন সার্ভারে ব্যাপক পরিসরে ব্যবহার হয়। এপ্রিল-জুন প্রান্তিক থেকে রেকর্ড রাজস্ব আয় করছে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি। স্যামসাংয়ের চিপ বিক্রিও বেড়েছে উল্লেখযোগ্য। একই সময়ে ইন্টেলের রাজস্বও তাদের পূর্বাভাসের চেয়ে কিছুটা বেড়েছে। তবে মোট রাজস্বের ক্ষেত্রে ইন্টেলকে ছাড়িয়ে গেছে স্যামসাং।

বিশ্লেষকদের তথ্যমতে, কয়েক বছর ধরে মেমোরি চিপ বাজারে প্রাধান্য বিস্তারের চেষ্টা করে আসছে স্যামসাং। ক্রমবর্ধমান এ বাজারের সুফল পেয়েছে প্রতিষ্ঠানটি। যদিও বাজারটি একসময় ইন্টেলের ওপর নির্ভরশীল ছিল। কম্পিউটারের চেয়ে স্মার্টফোন ও ট্যাবলেট ডিভাইসের ব্যবহার বৃদ্ধির কারণে স্যামসাংয়ের মতো কোম্পানির কর্মকাণ্ড বৃদ্ধি পাচ্ছে।

প্রায় এক দশকের অধিক সময় ধরে স্যামসাং এবং ইন্টেল তাদের নিজস্ব সেমিকন্ডাক্টর ব্যবসার ধরন উন্নত করতে কাজ করে যাচ্ছে। ১৯৯২ সালের আগে জাপানের নিপ্পন ইলেকট্রনিক কোম্পানি (এনইসি) সেমিকন্ডাক্টর বিক্রির মাধ্যমে সবচেয়ে বেশি আয় করত। তবে ব্যক্তিগত কম্পিউটারের জন্য প্রসেসর সরবরাহকারী ইন্টেল ১৯৯২ সাল থেকে সর্বোচ্চ রাজস্ব লাভ করে আসছে। তখন থেকে ইন্টেল এ খাতে একক রাজত্ব করলেও গত বছর স্যামস্যাংয়ের কাছে তা হারিয়েছে।

Source: http://bonikbarta.net/bangla/news/2018-04-25/155729/%E0%A6%B0%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%9C%E0%A6%B8%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%AC-%E0%A6%86%E0%A7%9F%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%87%E0%A6%A8%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%9F%E0%A7%87%E0%A6%B2%E0%A6%95%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%B9%E0%A6%9F%E0%A6%BF%E0%A7%9F%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%B6%E0%A7%80%E0%A6%B0%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%B7%E0%A7%87-%E0%A6%B8%E0%A7%8D%E0%A6%AF%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%AE%E0%A6%B8%E0%A6%BE%E0%A6%82/

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Teaching & Research Forum / Blended Learning Models
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:38:14 PM »
Blended learning means a mix of learning online and face-to-face. Our students are already doing some form of blended learning, and have for years. As digital and social media become more and more prevalent in the life of learners, it was only a matter of time before learning became ‘blended’ by necessity. In view of this, the poll has been created to get the trend analysis.

Nafees Imtiaz Islam
​Senior Assistant Director
Research Centre
Daffodil International University

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