Environmental development of Bangladesh

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Offline Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker

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Environmental development of Bangladesh
« on: June 10, 2013, 08:41:18 PM »
Environment and Ecosystem

Environment is surrounding atmosphere/ condition for existence. ‘Environment is an essential natural process or an outcome of occurrence". An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving, physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water, and sunlight. It is all the organisms in a given area, along with the nonliving factors with which they interact; a biological community and its physical environment.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 08:41:51 PM »
Environmental degradation

Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. It is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Environmental degradation is one of the Ten Threats officially cautioned by the High Level Threat Panel of the United Nations. The World Resources Institute (WRI), UNEP (the United Nations Environment Programme), UNDP (the United Nations Development Programme) and the World Bank have made public an important report on health and the environment worldwide on May 1, 1998. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction defines environmental degradation as “The reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social and ecological objectives, and needs”.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

Offline Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 08:42:30 PM »
Causes of Environmental Degradation

Environmental degradation is a result of the dynamic inters play of socio-economic, institutional and technological activities. Environmental changes may be driven by many factors including economic growth, population growth, urbanization, intensification of agriculture, rising energy use and transportation. Poverty still remains a problem at the root of several environmental problems.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

Offline Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 08:43:34 PM »
1. Social Factors

Population
Population is an important source of development, yet it is a major source of environmental degradation when it exceeds the threshold limits of the support systems. Unless the relationship between the multiplying population and the life support system can be stabilized, development programmes, howsoever, innovative are not likely to yield desired results. Population impacts on the environment primarily through the use of natural resources and production of wastes and is associated with environmental stresses like loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution and increased pressure on arable land.

Poverty
Poverty is said to be both cause and effect of environmental degradation. The circular link between poverty and environment is an extremely complex phenomenon. Inequality may foster un-sustainability because the poor, who rely on natural resources more than the rich, deplete natural resources faster as they have no real prospects of gaining access to other types of resources. Moreover, degraded environment can accelerate the process of impoverishment, again because the poor depend directly on natural assets. Although there has been a significant drop in the poverty ratio in the country from 55 percent in 1973 to 36 percent in 1993-94, the absolute number of poor have, however, remained constant at around 320 million over the years. Acceleration in poverty alleviation is imperative to break this link between poverty and the environment.

Urbanization
Lack of opportunities for gainful employment in villages and the ecological stresses is leading to an ever increasing movement of poor families to towns. Mega cities are emerging and urban slums are expanding. There has been an eightfold increase in urban population over 1901-1991. Such rapid and unplanned expansion of cities has resulted in degradation of urban environment. It has widened the gap between demand and supply of infrastructural services such as energy, housing, transport, communication, education, water supply and sewerage and recreational amenities, thus depleting the precious environmental resource base of the cities. The result is the growing trend in deterioration of air and water quality, generation of wastes, the proliferation of slums and undesirable land use changes, all of which contribute to urban poverty.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 08:44:47 PM »
2. Economic Factors

Market failure
To a large extent, environmental degradation is the result of market failure, that is, the non-existent or poorly functioning markets for environmental goods and services. In this context, environmental degradation is a particular case of consumption or production externalities reflected by divergence between private and social costs (or benefits). Lack of well defined property rights may be one of the   reasons for such market failure. On the other hand, Market distortions created by price controls and subsidies may aggravate the achievement of environmental objectives.

The level and pattern of economic development
The level and pattern of economic development also affect the nature of environmental problems. India’s development objectives have consistently emphasized the promotion of policies and programmes for economic growth and social welfare. Between 1994-95 and 1997-98, the Indian economy has grown a little over 7 per cent per annum: the growth of industrial production and manufacturing averaging higher at 8.4 per cent and 8.9 percent respectively during these years. The manufacturing technology adopted by most of the industries has placed a heavy load on environment especially through intensive resource and energy use, as is evident in natural resource depletion (fossil fuel, minerals, timber), water, air and land contamination, health hazards and degradation of natural eco-systems. With high proportion fossil fuel as the main source of industrial energy and major air polluting industries such as iron and steel, fertilizers and cement growing, industrial sources have contributed to a relatively high share in air pollution. Large quantities of industrial and hazardous wastes brought about by expansion of chemical based industry have compounded the wastes management problem with serious environmental health implications.

Transport activities
Transport activities have a wide variety of effects on the environment such as air pollution, noise from road traffic and oil spills from marine shipping. Transport infrastructure in India has expanded considerably in terms of network and services. Thus, road transport accounts for a major share of air pollution load in cities such as Delhi. Port and harbor projects mainly impact on sensitive coastal eco systems. Their construction affects hydrology, surface water quality, fisheries, coral reefs and mangroves to varying degrees.

Direct impacts of agricultural development
Direct impacts of agricultural development on the environment arise from farming activities which contribute to soil erosion, land salination and loss of nutrients. For example, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies agriculture as the primary source of water pollution.The spread of green revolution has been accompanied by over exploitation of land and water resources, and use of fertilizers and pesticides have increased many fold. Shifting cultivation has also been an important cause of land degradation. Leaching from extensive use of pesticides and fertilizers is an important source of contamination of water bodies. Intensive agriculture and irrigation contribute to land degradation particularly salination, alkalization and water logging.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

Offline Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 08:45:26 PM »
3. Political and Administrative reasons
Lack of visionary leadership quality, traditional policy making role of politicians as well as improper practice of environmental policy which approved by the government of Bangladesh are responsible for environmental degradation.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 08:46:22 PM »
4. Environmental Factors

Habitat Fragmentation
Habitat fragmentation carries long term environmental impacts some of which can destroy entire ecosystems. An ecosystem is a distinct unit and includes all the living and non-living elements that reside within it. Plants and animals are obvious members, but it will also include other components on which they rely on such as streams, lakes, and soils. Habitats become fragmented when development breaks up solid stretches of land. Examples include roads which may cut through forests or even trails which wind through prairies. While it may not sound all bad on the surface, there are serious consequences.

Water and Air Pollution
Water and air pollution are unfortunately the common causes of environmental degradation. Pollution introduces contaminants into the environment that can maim or even kill plant and animal species. The two often go hand in hand.

Acid Rain
Acid rain occurs when sulfur dioxide from coal plant emissions combines with moisture present in the air. A chemical reaction creates this acid precipitation. Acid rain can acidify and pollute lakes and streams. It causes similar effects to the soil. If enough acid rain falls in a given environment, it can acidify the water or soil to a point where no life can be sustained. Plants die off. The animals that depend upon them disappear. The condition of the environment deteriorates.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

Offline Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 08:47:24 PM »
The Major Environmental Problems of Bangladesh:

Because of its geographical location, Bangladesh suffers from a range of environmental problems, arising from drought, flood and other natural hazards. Frequencies of hazards are on the increase day by day. The quality of soil has deteriorated due to reckless use of agrochemicals, unplanned land use, undesirable encroachment on forest areas for agriculture and settlements and indiscriminate disposal of hazardous industrial wastes. Unplanned land use and intrusion of saline water are causing degradation of soil in the coastal area.

The surface water of the country is polluted through capricious disposal of untreated industrial effluents and municipal waste water, runoff pollution from chemical fertilizers and pesticides and oil and lubes spillage in the coastal area from the operation of sea and river ports and ship wreckage. Now in Bangladesh, presence of high-level arsenic contamination in ground water is a national problem especially at Chadpur, Shatkhira, Noakhali, Comilla, Gopalgonj and other districts.

Bangladesh has 57 trans-boundary rivers, of which 54 are shared with India and 3 with Myanmar. A significant quantity of water flow is withdrawn and diverted upstream by neighboring countries for irrigation and other purposes and thereby reducing normal flow of water. The Farakka Barrage on the river Ganges is a notable example. Desertification prevails in some northwestern areas of Bangladesh due to withdrawal and diversion of upstream water in the dry season by India. Besides, the proposed inter-basin river link project of India, if implemented, the annual water flow of Bangladesh will drastically decrease which will have profound negative impact on economy, society and environment of Bangladesh.

Air pollution is one of the man-made environmental disasters that is creating environmental hazard all over the world. There are two major sources of air pollution in Bangladesh, namely vehicular emissions and industrial emissions, which are mainly concentrated in the cities. There are also numerous brick making kilns working in dry season all over Bangladesh, which is another source of air pollution. Almost all of these kilns use coal and wood as their source of energy, resulting in the emissions of sulfur-dioxide and volatile organic compounds. An emerging issue of great concern in the cities and towns is the high concentration of lead in the air from vehicular exhausts. The high level of concentration of lead is very harmful for human health especially for child health.   

The depletion of biodiversity is the result of various kinds of human interventions that impinge on it through destruction and degradation of land, forest and aquatic habitats. These activities encompass the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, urbanization, industry, transport, tourism, energy, chemicals and minerals etc. In the fisheries sector, unplanned shrimp cultivation has negative impact on environment. These activities are responsible for destruction of fisheries diversity. 
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 08:48:21 PM »
International initiatives for sustainable environment:

Environment and human life are inextricably linked. In fact, the existence of all living being depends upon environment. The Government is giving special emphasis on environmental issues to achieve a sustainable development. The global environment is facing many threats due to various human activities. Industrialization, exponential population growth and tremendous increase in the number of automobiles and indiscriminate felling of trees, are among the root causes of today’s vulnerability of the global environment resulting in global warming. The adverse impacts of global warming are going to spread along the shoreline of countries like Bangladesh affecting their overall socio-economic condition.  The present government has undertaken integrated policy and plan to protect the country from environment pollution, global warming and protect the water resources as per pledges made in the election manifesto. 
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 08:49:48 PM »
World Environment Movement

The Stockholm conference on environment is a milestone in world environment movement. The concept of environment was expanded in the larger areas of social, economic and political sectors through this conference held in 1972. Around 113 countries, 19 international organisations and 400 non-government organisations participated in the conference. Following the decision of the conference, United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) were established. Many countries of the world formed environmental institutions (Environment Agencies / Ministry) and undertook environment management related initiatives.

Role of IPCC

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), coming into existence in 1988, has since been in relentless in undertaking research on the various phenomena related to changes in the global climatic conditions and arousing public opinion and awareness toward undertaking required steps in confronting the potential challenges.  For such an outstanding research, IPCC was honored by awarding Nobel Prize.

Various conventions and Movements

Several international conventions, viz., the Basel Convention, the Rotterdam Convention and the Stockholm Convention have been adopted to mitigate and control the adverse impacts arising from the use of hazardous and harmful chemicals substances. Various activities are being undertaken towards implementation of the recommendations of these Conventions. Besides, Montreal Protocol has been adopted to protect the ozone layer. Activities are in progress to reduce the use of ozone depleting substances. The worldwide 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle) movement for waste management has now a-days gained prominence with patronization and championship of Japan. 

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol signed to reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emission that is responsible for increasing global warming, mutation of avalanche and rising sea level came into force from 16 February 2005. As of June 2008, 182 parties have ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Till now, 137 developing countries have ratified the Kyoto protocol, including Brazil, China and India, but have no obligation beyond monitoring and reporting emissions. On December 11, 1997, the negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change Framework were completed. The Kyoto Protocol put 36 industrialized nations under obligation to meet specific legally binding targets for emissions of six-greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide etc.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Activities

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is an important part of Kyoto Protocol. As per CDM, industries in developed countries may earn Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credit by investing in the developing countries. As a result, both developed and developing countries may be benefited.  With a view to developing management of waste of the city of Dhaka under the auspices of CDM, 700 MT of decomposable waste will be collected from kitchen markets of various locations to prepare compost fertilizers. Such a programme will facilitate the Dhaka City Corporation in saving its cost in respect of waste collection and transportation and, simultaneously, ensure availability of environment-friendly organic fertilizers produced from the kitchen market wastes. 
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207

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Re: Environmental development of Bangladesh
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 08:53:18 PM »
The Government Initiatives to Address Environmental Protection and Development

Bangladesh has limitations in resources and capacities in terms of technology or money to confront massive environmental disasters. Therefore, the Government of Bangladesh has been working relentlessly to develop and conserve environment to prevent major environmental disasters. Set out below are the initiatives taken by the government to address environmental problems:

Preparation of National Land Policy

The optimum use of land and water depends on planned use of land, water resources and natural environment which are the important sources of the growth. It is possible to ensure optimum use of scarce land resources by way of integrating the uses of these three natural resources. With this end in view, the Government has approved ‘National Land Use Policy, Bangladesh’ in June 2001. The Government has adopted various other national policies and measures to prevent land depletion. Notable among them include ‘The National Environment Policy’, ‘National Environment Act and Rules’, ‘National Forestry Policy’ and ‘The National Plan for Agricultural Research’.

National Water Policy

Water resource is of immense importance for socio economic development of the nation. Bangladesh is endowed with a good number of water bodies scattered all over the country. WARPO maintains a National Water Resources Database (NWRD) established at WARPO under NWMP project that preserve and disseminate information/data of country’s water sector including information/data of other related sectors. There are analytical tools analyzing information. Different organizations use data of NWRD in their planning and research works. Updating and upgrading of NWRD will be done under Water Management Improvement Project (WMIP) to be implemented by December 2014.  A 5- tier web-enabling database has been created for coastal zones. 5 layers of ICRD include Presentation, application server, data server, web server and spatial data engine. 

Air Pollution Control

There exists a regulatory framework to combat air pollution in the country. The Department of Environment is implementing a number of projects to control air pollution. A ban was imposed on the plying of two stroke three-wheelers in Dhaka city since 1 January 2003. Instead, environment friendly 4-stock three-wheeler was introduced. Initiatives are being undertaken to promote CNG in petrol driven cars. 

Control of Pollution from Brick Kilns

To contain air pollution, environment-friendly ‘Block Bricks’ are encouraged instead of traditional bricks. Attempts have been made for demonstration and publicity of environment-friendly brick burning technologies under the project ‘Clean Air Sustainable Environment (CASE)’ being implemented by the Department of Environment.  A Draft Brickfield Policy has been formulated keeping in view the effective implementation of the Brick-burning Act 1989 (Amended in 1992 and 2001) and conservation of the environment simultaneously to meet the demand of bricks in the country.  Besides, steps are also underway towards implementing the decision to ban conventional brickfields by 2010. To implement Brick Burning Control Act 1989, Brick Burning (Control) Rules 2004 have been framed.

Conservation of Ecology     

Considering the importance of hills in protecting ecology of the country, the Government issued a notification in March 2002 banning hill razing. Awareness about the importance of hills in protection of ecology is increasing and the illegal attempts of cutting/razing of hills are on the decline.

Control of Industrial Pollution

In compliance with the Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and the Environment Conservation Rule, 1997, the mechanism for issuance of environmental clearance certificate has been introduced for the new industries or projects after assessing project area and pollutants to be emitted or discharged by the industries or projects to be set up. For the highly polluting industries, environmental clearance is given after setting up effluent treatment plant. Steps have been taken to set up effluent treatment plants for the existing industries with the support of chamber and the concerned sector-associations. 

Control of Noise Pollution    

As per the provision of the existing Environment Conservation Act 1995 which has set limit on noise pollution, the Government has formulated the Noise Pollution Control Rules 2006. Under these rules, it will be easier for the Government to control noise pollution particularly the use of mike and loud speakers. The Ministry of Environment and Forest has set a target of reducing the noise pollution level of Dhaka City of 45-55 decibel form 90-110 decibel by 2009-10 FY. Recently Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has prohibited the use of horns on several city streets to check sound pollution.

Conservation of Biodiversity 

Bangladesh signed the Biodiversity Convention at Rio in 1992. There is a focus on biodiversity in the forest and environment policy.  Under the Bangladesh Wildlife Preservation Act, 1974 (amendment Act 1994), three categories of protected areas have been identified as national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. With an aim to conserve the biodiversity, conserve and develop natural environment and eco-tourism (environment friendly tourism) and to facilitate research, the Government has declared 19 protected areas in different parts of the country. In addition, considering the importance of protecting bio diversity of the world, UNESCO has declared the Sundarbans, the single largest mangrove forest of Bangladesh, as World Heritage Site on 6 December 1997.   

The U.K. Bangladesh Climate Change Conference

Bangladesh Facing the Challenge   held in London 10 September 2008 has decided to establish a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF). The Multi-Donor Trust Fund received a commitment of US$ 97.9 million from the Governments of UK and Denmark. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) proposed to provide Tk. 490 crore as budget support during the next three years, to cope with the environment related disasters.

Protection of Ozone Layer

Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in protecting ozone layer. By now, Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) has been phased out from aerosol sector in Bangladesh. As a result, 60 percent use of ODS has been reduced in the country. Besides, in the refrigeration sector, industry-owners and technicians have been provided with necessary equipment and machineries. As many as 2000 technicians have trained on recovery and recycling toward checking unnecessary emission of clorofloro-carbon ( CFCs). Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation) Rules, 2004 has been framed under which import and use of ODSs are being controlled through licensing systems.  A plan has been undertaken toward 100percent reduction of CFC-use in the form of CFC-11/12 in Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Sector by 01 January, 2010 through the implementation of plan titled “National Phase-out Plan”. Necessary equipment and training have been provided to the sector.

Development of the National Bio-safety Framework

The Department of Environment is implementing development of the national bio-safety framework project with the financial assistance from Global Environment Facility (GEF).  The Government has taken an initiative to produce energy and fertilizer from waste. With the support from JICA, Dhaka City Corporation has undertaken a 20- year master plan for waste management. Technical assistance has been provided to DCC for taking CDM projects. With the financial assistance from UNCRD, the Department of Environment is implementing a project titled “National Strategy on Waste Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”. Preparation of 3R strategy is in progress. 

Natural Disaster Management

Various government and non-government organizations are working in the field of disaster management and mitigation. The focal point for disaster management is the Disaster Management Bureau under the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management. Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) is responsible for forecasting natural disasters, like cyclones, droughts storms and such other disasters. Bangladesh Space Research and Remote Sensing Organization (SPARRSO) is responsible for providing satellite images while the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre (FFWC) of Bangladesh Water Development Board is entrusted with the responsibility of forecasting flood.

The Department of Forest

The Forest Department plays an important role in the development of physical, socio-economic development, maintenance of environmental balance and sustainable land based production system. The forest management system of Bangladesh is an age-old system. At the beginning, the main task of the forest department was to protect the forest and to ensure sustained yield management. The present Government has taken up a plan to bring 20 percent of our land under a forestation programmes by 2015 to attain self-sufficiency in forest resources and maintain ecological balance. 

Bangladesh National Herbarium (BNH)

Bangladesh National Herbarium is a national research organization meant for conducting botanical survey. One of the main objectives of National Herbarium is to identify, collect and preserve all plant species including those that are part of national tradition and culture.

Bangladesh Forest Research Institute (BFRI)

BFRI is the only national forest research organization in the country. The main objective of BFRI is to augment and preserve forest resources through scientific and innovative use of new technologies for environmental development. The objectives also include poverty reduction and employment generation.

Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation (BFIDC)   

The main objectives of BFIDC include extraction of forest produces (timber) from the forests of the country, establishment of timber based industries, rubber plantation, productions, processing and marketing, best utilization of forest resources and processing of the extracted timber. The activities of BFIDC are divided into two sectors, (a) Industrial sector and (b) Agriculture sector.   

NGO Activities for Conservation of Environment

In alliance with the Government, a good number of NGOs have been working to address environmental problems and to improve environmental system of the country since 1980s. These are International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD), Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS), Environmental Conservation Management Centre, Waste Concern, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA) and Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers' Association (BELA) etc.
Md. Fouad Hossain Sarker
Assistant Professor and Head
Department of Development Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Daffodil International University
Dhaka-1207