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Composition : 50 Years of Bangladesh

50 Years of Bangladesh

There has been huge economic progress within 50 years in bangladesh since its independence. Bangladesh has achieved the highest cumulative GDP growth in the last few years and made remarkable progress in various social and economic spheres and is now being recognized as the 'development surprise' or 'role model of development'.

Bangladesh became independent in 1971 from Pakistan at the expense of 3 million lives in a bloody war of liberation. The war almost completely destroyed the physical infrastructure of the country. Bangladesh is endowed with limited mineral resources, if considered in the context of her large population. Bangladesh had, in essence, two endowments- land and labour. Capitalizing these two endowments Bangladesh its birth when U.S. Secretary of Stare, Henry Kissinger disparagingly called it a "basket gase". Bangladesh is now an emerging economy in South Asia.

Though small and still developing, bangladesh has attained international recognition for its achievement of positive changes in both social and economic indicators. In terms of Millennium Development Goals, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable progress in the areas of primary schooling, lowering the infant and under-five mortality rate and overal poverty reduction.

The Economist, a leading source of analyses on international business and world affairs has listed Bangladesh as the 9th strongest economy in its report on the financial strength of 66 emerging economies in the wake of the COVID-19 fallout. Bangladesh's several achievements in different sectors have been highlighted below.

Economy : The Country's per-capita income has increased from US$543 in FY2005-06 to US$1,909 in FY 2018-19 [FY means Fescle Year]. Its total GDP has increased from around US$72 billion to US$302 billion during the same period while exports grew from US$10.5 billion to US$40.53 billion. Again, during this FY 2006-19 period, the government budget expanded from US$ 9.1 billion to US$53.9 billion, out of which the government aggressively dedicated US$20.3 billion towards the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in FY 2018-19, which was mere US$2.9 billion in FY 2005-06. This period also witnessed an expansion of rice production by 37 per cent, from 26.5 million tonnes to 37.4 million tonnes, leading to general self-sufficiency in food. Poverty declined from 40 per cent in 2005 to 20.5 per cent in 2019.

Education : Some of the effective invitiatives undertaken by the government of Bangladesh in order to attain universal education include-distribution of free textbooks among 100 per cent students and introduction of scholarship schemes from primary to secondary level to encourage female participation. The present government has nationalized 26,193 primary schools and a large number of teachers' jobs. The enrollment rate in primary schools has jumped from 61% in 1990 to 97.7% at present.

Health : Bangladesh has made its mark in the global arena through remarkable progress in child immunization. The National Health Policy 2011 has been implemented to modernize the health sector. Community clinics have been established to reach quality healthcare at the grassroots leave, Upazila Health Complexes have been upgraded to 50-bed. New 2000 beds have been added to medical college hospitals and district hospitals, Matemal and infant mortality rates have been slashed by a great extent. Infant mortality has dropped from 149 in 1990 to only 53 at present.

Women & Children Affairs : A wide range of multi-faceted measures have been initiated to ensure women's equal participation at all social tiers. A National Children policy 2011 has been adopted to protect children's rights. One-stop crisis cells have been set. up in 40 district sadar hospitals and 20 upazila health complexes. Besides 15 child development centres have been established to rehabilitate street children.

Women Empowerment : With a cultural past of worst women deprivation, Bangladesh came a long way in empowering women in a great way. Bangladesh is now the second largest manufacturer and exporter of garments and apparels. Approximately 80 per cent of the garments workers are women. Microcredit has flourished the rural economy in a great way in empowering women in Bangladesh. More than 80% of the microcredit beneficiaries are women. Women entrepreneurship is highly encouraged in Bangladesh. As a recognition Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was honoured by global women's Leadership Award in 2018 for outstanding leadership in women education and women entrepreneurs. Bangladesh is an exception in the global trend where the Prime Minister, head of the opposition, and the Speaker of the Parliament are females.

Social Security Sector : Bangladesh has increased the amount and scope for various social security allowances which are targeted for poor, distressed, and vulnerable citizens including senior citizens, widows, abandoned wives, distressed women, poor handicapped citizens, pregnant women, etc. Total allocation in this sector during 2008-2009 was 138.45 billion, but in recent years the allocation increased to 253.71 billion. In a survey, it was found that 24.5% of the population has been brought under social security allowance.

Food Security and Success in Agriculture : Bangladesh has been the focus of global discourse time and again for some remarkable achievements in the agriculture sector. Even with a population of 160 million, Bangladesh has managed to achieve comprehensive food security. For a few years, rice production has increased to 5 million metric tonnes. Bangladesh scientist Dr. Maksudur Alam has decoded the genome sequence of jute fibre, a pride for the entire nation.

Migration : Labour migration is an important sector that made major contributions towards achieving Bangladesh's dream of transforming itself into a middle-income country. Bangladesh has recorded an increase in the volume of foreign remittance. Currently, 8.6 million Bangladeshis are working in 157 countries. Bangladesh has shown outstanding achievements in expatriating in various countries.

Bangladesh in UN peacekeeping Mission : Since joining UN peacekeeping mission in 1988, Bangladesh has effectively and successfully been conducting various peace missions in different countries. Bangladesh rank top among the 120 plus countries participating in UN peace mission and has been praised by the UN.

Infrastructure Development : Bangladesh has made significant progress in infrastructure development. The development of a number of infrastructures projects in Bangladesh represents a positive shift in the country's future progress. Such as :
With the completion of the projects the devastating traffic congestion in Dhaka city, which takes up 3.2 million work hours everyday, would be over.

Digital Bangladesh Revolution : The government of Bangladesh has undertaken revolutionary measures in order to realise the vision of a Digital Bangladesh. One-stop information and services kiosks Union Information service Centres (UISC) have been set up in 4500 plus Union Parishads. All the upazilas of the country have been brought under internet connectivity through the world's largest National Web Portal. E-payment and mobile banking facifities have been initiated to make service delivery transparent and easy. Bangladesh being a least developed country with meager natural resources is facing tremendous problems due to increasing population pressure. Country's geographical location also contributes to vulnerability to natural disaster. Despite such problems and challenges, Bangladesh's progress in socio-economic and environmental sectors have drawn worldwide attention. We should frame long term strategies in line with relevant action plans of sustainable development and implement those in a sustainable manner for continuing the progress.

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