COVID-19: Emphasis on research and use of modern technology


Published on April 25, 2020
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Professor Dr Md Sazzad Hossain:

The year 2020 is significant as we are celebrating Bangabandhu's birth centenary. But at present we are experiencing and fighting a disaster, Covid-19. Our honourable Prime Minister herself is working relentlessly and guiding us throughout the crisis. However we believe, the way we have achieved our independence collaborative under the leadership of father of the nation, we will again combat the global corona pandemic by following his daughter's guidance.

We are going through a transitional period. At present, the health workers are the frontline fighters for combating COVID-19, Kudos to their hard work and endless efforts. Next we must appreciate the efforts of the law enforcement agencies, militaries, members of the elite forces, City Corporation, health ministry, ICT ministry and also Universities who are working tirelessly to combat corona chaos. These people also deserve applaud. Again, I would like to request everyone not to get panicked rather cooperate each other.
On that note, I would like to say, I do research and study on information and technology. Here I would like to discuss 'Quantum Computing'. Amid this crisis moment this topic can be significant. So here is an excerpt from the chapter 'Swapnochari Manusher Nobodigonto' from my book, Odrissho Projukti-- "Human beings are dreamers and human civilization always longs for technological advancement. However, humans are never satisfied with his current stances. For that reason they are doing better in computing. Computer will take us to a new height. However, the aftermath will be more farsighted. For example: the current aviation facility will be more technologically advanced if we can do better in Quantum computing. Furthermore, currently the jet plane's software is not safe but in near future it would be safer. Right now the cancer detection is still quite difficult but it will be easier and many more lives would be saved. We can also detect the natural calamity before they appear and destruct human lives and wealth. Amino acid and DNA sequence analysis can help discover new medicines. This kind of revolution is only possible because of quantum computing."

Currently the developed countries too are in vulnerable situation because of the deadly pandemic. Therefore, we need to emphasis more on research and study on this issue. This can help us to combat the situation more strategically. And therefore we need to connect industry and university. At present our universities too are working and doing research. UGC has also come forward to work together. I put emphasis on quantum computing because if we had innovated quantum computing, we could have made biological sequence. With the help of quantum computing we could have defeated COVID-19. We could defeat any unseen destructive force. I believe one day we will be enriched in research and then any unseen or invisible force (like coronavirus) will not be able to defeat us. Men will not be helpless. And thus I would like to advice the students learn more and more. Don't yield to the urge for acquiring knowledge. You know the paths of acquiring were never free from obstacles even in the times of Greek Philosopher Socratics. But never give up. Be focused always. However you need to learn the language of knowledge. 

Galileo has said, "Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed." From this quote I would like to highlight, we need to put more emphasis on research oriented education. From Galileo's point of view it will help us to understand the universe. Nevertheless, for understanding knowledge we need to learn the very language and that is to study science, mathematics and quantum computing.

If we do research on quantum computing, practice science and develop technology, nothing can stop us from prospering. Another book might be familiar to your Life on the Edge written by Jim al Khalil and Johnjoe McFadden. It discusses the coming of quantum biology. What is life? To find out the answer, we must know about quantum particles. Basically, quantum particle is the constituent of every tiny, medium and large object around us. In these tough times of the nation, I would like to say that Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is governing the country skilfully. Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Health are working collaboratively in this case. In addition, I request everyone. Please do not spread any rumour. Bangladesh will not sit idly. We will surely prosper in the coming future. No one can stop Bangabandhu's Bangladesh. We will hold our heads high in the world staying undefeated. Our nation is enjoying the golden age of Democratic dividend. Eight crores of our population is aged between 15 and 35. Start up Bangladesh is emphasizing on invention. Whether you are a student, researcher, or an entrepreneur, you are requested to think about innovation. You can make use of the time you are getting now. If you are mentally distressed, you can read a book, do something creative that you like. However please maintain social distancing.. Follow the guidelines provided by health Ministry in accordance with the WHO. Now staying at home is also fighting the war. Everyone has to cooperate. We must have discipline and manners. Besides, we need to have firm determination, sympathy, and humanity. There's no alternative to unity. We have to keep our faith in our government. Lack of trust on the government in the time of calamities cannot bring any good. We are lucky that we got a leader of the leaders like Bangabondhu. Now we are getting the leadership of his daughter-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. We are a poor and populous country. We must keep this in mind and follow the rules. At the time of Liberation war, numerous freedom fighters sacrificed their life for the independence of the nation. At present many people are sacrificing their life while working for the nation. We should be grateful towards them. Please stay at home and stay safe. I firmly believe, we will all be able to make Bangladesh a developed nation by 2041. We will study more, perform more research and put emphasis on information and technology. In this way, we will be able to turn Bangabandhu's dream of Digital Bangladesh into reality where innovations and inventions will be the driving force.

Writer: Member of Bangladesh University Grants Commission (UGC) and Director, Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited (BCSCL)