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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bangladesh students protests against job discrimination

Thousands of university students in Bangladesh have taken over major streets across the country, protesting against a recruitment system that they claim favours children of war heroes and certain groups for high-paying government jobs.

The protesters described the system as unfair and demand for merit-based recruitment procedure.

As learnt, a significant portion of government jobs are reserved for the children of those who fought to win the country independence in 1971. Some are also reserved for women, ethnic minorities and the disabled.

Critics argue that the system disproportionately benefits the children of pro-government groups, including those linked to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Despite a temporary suspension of the system by Bangladesh top court on Wednesday, protests are expected to continue until it is permanently abolished. Students have blocked roads and highways, causing widespread disruptions, and vow to continue their protests until their demands are met.

The system was reinstated by a separate court just last month. It had been halted since 2018, following weeks of protests.
Government jobs are greatly desired in Bangladesh due to their stability and good pay. In total, more than half of the positions amounting to hundreds of thousands are reserved for certain groups.

Earlier this month, M.s Hasina condemned the protests, saying students were “wasting their time”, while adding there was “no justification for the anti-quota movement”.

Bangladesh, which was once one of the poorest countries in the world, is now one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia.

Its per capita income has tripled in the last decade and the World Bank estimates that more than 25 million people have been lifted out of poverty over the last two decades.

But its economy spun into turmoil in mid-2022 following the pandemic and the global economic slowdown.

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