The International Conference on Biotechnology organized by the Committee of Action for Research, Extension and Services (CARES) was held successfully in Westin Hotel, Gulshan 2, Dhaka on 25-26 May at Westin Hotel, Gulshan 2, Dhaka. To see conference program, click here. The conference was inaugurated by Begum Matia Chowdhury, Agriculture Minister. Other dignitaries present were: Mr Abdur Razzaque, Minister for Food, the Bangladesh Bank Governor, Dr. Atiur Rahman, Professor Shamsher Ali, The Conference began with a famous Nazrul song by Mr. Mustafa Zaman Abbasi. After the welcome speech by Professor Shamsher Ali, the conference was addressed by several distinguished and eminent scholars including Dr. Tissa Vitharana, Prof. Dr. Md. Rafiqul Hoq, VC, BAU. In various sessions that followed the inaugural function. Those who deserve special among them are: Distinguished Professor Rita Colwell, Univ. of Maryland, USA, Prof. S. K. Sopory,
Vice Chancellor Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Dr. Asis Datta at Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, Distinguished Kasturi Datta, Dr. Firdausi Qadri at ICDDR,B. Prof. Ahmad Islam who spoke on “Biotechnology of Bangladesh. He mentioned about the 2007 biggest ever International Biotech Conference held at ICDDR, B. He regretted over the fact that none of the major recommendations prepared by a committee of experts drawn from both expatriate and local scientists were approved by the S&T Ministry. For instance the committee reported the formation of an autonomous body under the title of National Commission for Biotechnology and an independent National Institute of Biotechnology backed by an International Advisory Committee. The committee also recommended holding of a seminar inviting scientists affiliated to different universities and Res. Institutes in order to select areas of Biotechnology in which research needs to be carried out on a priority basis. Unfortunately none of considerations were accepted by GoB although it was pointed out that both in India and Pakistan research in biotechnology takes precedence over other pressing needs of the country. Besides the dinner at the hotel and cultural evening, a few distinguished scientists were awarded fellowship. The GNOBB coordinator was one of them. More information including the recommendations by the expert committee will be published in due time.