MPs urge banks to end ‘alpha male culture’ to close gender pay gap

Culture Desk :

‘Alpha male culture’ was the main reason women gave for not wanting to work in the financial sector. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

MPs have called on Britain’s banks and other financial firms to tackle their “alpha male culture”, in a parliamentary report that recommends measures to close the City’s gender pay gap including clearer criteria for awarding bonuses and senior male executives taking up flexible working.

The Treasury committee’s report follows its invce,estigation into women in finan and found the alpha male culture was the main reason women gave for not wanting to work in senior management at City firms.

This culture was particularly evident in bonus negotiations, in which men can receive bigger rewards by arguing more forcefully, the report said.

The report cited a “pyramid” model at financial firms, where the proportion of women to men dwindles at the upper levels of management.

It comes two months after the deadline for all UK companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap. This revealed banks are among companies with the biggest pay gaps in the UK, with Barclays’ investment banking arm reporting a 43.5% median gap in favour of men and a 73% gap for bonuses. The national average median pay gap is 18.4%.

The Women in Finance report found that the median bonus pay gap is 49% in favour of men at UK banks, and 38% at building societies. The bonus gap is 43.5% overall, meaning that for every £100,000 of bonuses handed out to men, women are only getting £56,500. The gender pay gap per hour in finance is 28%.

“The benefits of gender diversity are highlighted in the report, including better financial performance, reduced groupthink and more open discussions,” said Nicky Morgan, the Conservative MP and Treasury select committee chair.


Rajshahi ZP auditorium renovation at final stage

District News :
Falling behind the schedule for at least six

years, the work on modernization of the 800-seat Rajshahi Zila Parishad (ZP)
auditorium is now at the final stage.

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) had started the necessary renovation of the
auditorium on November 4, 2011 with an estimated cost of Taka 4.69 crore. The
project was scheduled to be accomplished in June 2012.

The then ZP administration gave the responsibility of implementing the
development work to RCC due to its shortage of technological knowhow and

Ashraful Haque, chief engineer of RCC, said work on infrastructure
development, seating installation, modern electricity supply and sound system
were completed with the allocated money. But, all the scheduled works could
not be completed within the stipulated time due to fund constraint, he

Recently, the RCC got Taka 1.20 crore from Fazley Hossain Badsha, MP, for
completing the unfinished work on commissioning air-condition and sound
system in the auditorium.

“We are very much hopeful about completion of the work within a shortest
possible time”, said Engineer Haque.

Lawmaker Badsha told local journalists that 16 projects now are being
implemented in the city at a cost of around Taka seven crore at his own
initiative. Implementation of the unfinished work on the ZP auditorium is one
of those.

Muhammad Ali Sarker, chairman of ZP, said Rajshahi people will get services
of the auditorium upon successful implementation of its modernization works.

Besides, the auditorium will reopen up doors of ZP’s income together with
contributing a lot towards flourishing cultural practice of the metropolis,
he added.

Holy Shab-e-Qadr observed in Rajshahi

District News :

The holy Shab-E-Qadr, the Night of Decree, was observed in the city and its adjacent areas last night with due religious fervour and solemnity.

The first verses of the holy Quran were revealed to Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) on the night.

According to the holy Quran, Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Decree, is superior to thousands nights as the angels and the spirit descend therein, by the permission of Almighty Allah with all decrees.

This is one of the holiest and most blessed nights which is likely to occur on one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan and most likely to be the 27th of the holy month.

Thousands of Muslim devotees offered ‘nafal’ prayers at mosques and homes and recited from the holy Quran in observance of the most meaningful night of forgiveness.

Besides, they sought blessings of Almighty Allah for long life, peace, progress, good health and happiness for them, their families, relatives and friends and offered special prayers with hopes of forgiveness from Almighty Allah.

Many mosques especially Hazrat Shah Mukhdum Dargah Mosque, Saheb Bazar Boro Mosque, New Market Jame Mosque and Hatemkha Mosque and different other religious organisations arranged milad mahfils, ‘zikr-ajkars’ and distributed tobaraks in urban and suburban areas in the city.

Special discussions were held at the mosques since Asr prayer, where the Imams delivered speeches narrating spiritual significance one of the most sacred night.

A large number of the Muslims stayed for the whole night at the mosques and offered special prayers. Besides, Muslims offered ‘ziarats’ at the graveyards and prayed for the departed soul and sought forgiveness and eternal peace for all.

Special prayers were also offered seeking divine blessings for the overall welfare, successes and good luck of the humanity, country and its people and the Muslim Ummah.

Int’l Child Labour Prevention Day observed in Rajshahi

District News :
Development activists and campaignersconcerned here raised voice against risky child labour and sexual harassment
against the children for the greater interest of giving scope of grooming
their latent talents through proper physical and mental development.

They also demanded punitive measures against the social crimes and urged
all the government and non-government entities concerned to come forward and
work together to this end.

They put forward the demand while addressing a human chain and street
corner meeting at Shaheb Bazar Zero Point in the city on Tuesday.

Association for Community Development (ACD) and Ain O Shalish Kendra
jointly organized the programme to mark the International Child Labour
Prevention Day-2018.

ACD’s project titled ‘Sexual Exploitation of Children Online and in
Travel and Tourism’ supported the meeting.

Members of the child defenders forum and community watch group were
present at the programme.

ACD Project Coordinators Meraj Uddin Talukder and Ehsanul Amin, Project
Officer Hafij Uddin and Programme Officer Ali Hossain, among others,
addressed the meeting.

The development activists urged the community people to play a strong
role in preventing child labour and online sexual harassment against

They said many children especially coming from the poor and distressed
families suffer from various physical and mental problems due to their
engagement in risky labour. So, all the authorities concerned should work
together to protect the children from their vulnerable condition.

Quoting a survey report on violence and repression against women and
children conducted in the city, they revealed that 487 incidents of
repression and violence against women and children took place during
February, 2017 to March, 2018.

The speakers urged journalists to highlight the new problem of online
sexual harassment and repression against children through their in-depth
reporting so that policymakers take the issue seriously and find ways to
address the problem.

Referring to the study findings, Ali Hossain said some children were seen
facing the problems due to the abuse of internet, which is a concern for the

Time has come to combat the crime collectively and the media have a vital
role to play in this regard, he said.

Imtu Ratish at the state invitation to Nepal

Culture Desk :

Bangladesh’s model, actor and presenter Imtu Ratish received state invitations in the Himalayan dominated country of Nepal. He went to the country on June 2. In addition to the 9-day stretch of the valley, the Himalayas, apart from various sights, Imtu Ratish has moved on. He returned home after 10 June. Nepal Tourism Ministry was under the overall supervision of ‘Himalaya and Travel Mart-2018’ and ‘East Tourism Mart-2018’. Imtu said that “I have visited Nepal several times. But I’m really proud of the state invitation. I went to Mountain View. On the special plane, I saw all the Himalayan pits at the very close, even with the pilot, the first experience of seeing the Himalayas in a cockpit. We went to the sub-Metropolitan city of Biratnagar in Nepal. It is only 150 kilometers away from the border of Bangladesh. We went up to 800 feet high.

Timeless Love by Chantilly

life Desk :
Some words become synonymous for us as reminders of grace and delicacy—and Chantilly certainly does that. Reminiscent of French style, forever at the forefront of the minds of the fashion forward, it is an apt moniker for the new endeavour by designer Selina Nusrat. Brand Chantilly is a natural progression of Selina Nusrat’s lifelong passion of making things, one she has been stoking from time to time, ever since being amazed and inspired by the beautiful handwork of the ladies in her home as she grew up in a joint family in Chittagong.

“The name Chantilly immediately creates a certain image in the audience’s mind, associated with delicate French lace and aesthetics, which is resonant of my ideal clientele,” Selina says of her inspiration.

Nusrat is not a newbie to designing, having successfully participated in the Dhaka Fashion Week in 2010, under her own brand “MATIr”, which she discontinued later to tend to family responsibilities, mainly raising her son. Chantilly is thus the outcome of the designer’s evolution, and her rich exposure to South Asian and European aesthetic sensibilities, which allows her to create a style uniquely her own—restrained yet joyous.

This is thus the designer’s second foray into the fashion scene, back to her calling, as she says she feels “happy and comfortable designing clothes.” The wealth of her experience and sources of inspiration shows in the beautiful variety that is her collection “Timeless Love,” most recently showcased in collaboration with Amishe’s jewellery.

For the collection, Selina has worked on seamlessly fusing eastern and western cuts in shalwar kameezs, keeping those mostly suitable for casual and formal day wear. Adhering to the pastel colour palettes, the shalwar kameez sets aim to celebrate young love and how it views the world as a “rosy, pretty, and cheerful” place.

The collection’s saris on the other hand, done in classic materials like muslin, silk and chamois, have the upped glam quotient with shimmering embroidery—kamdani, karchupi and dabka— while keeping true to modern and chic sensibilities. The motifs are decidedly Mughal inspired.

Selina’s collection also offers a host of Johar coats for men, the South-Asian semi formal sleeveless jackets, that she has styled to be suitable with kurta-sets and formal shirts and trousers, ideal for the debonair and romantic young men to complement the regal beauties on their arms.

Here is to wishing Selina Nusrat a grand and successful re-entry into her world of creative passions.

Eid Recipes

Life desk :

Ramadan is almost over, and we all know what that means. It is the countdown to the joyous celebration of Eid-Ul-Fitr. The festival is celebrated by preparing feisty dishes, including beef, chicken and mutton. The day starts with the morning Eid prayer, followed by gulping down delicious dishes until you can’t move a muscle. For this Eid, why not up the ante with these special dishes, designed to make anyone drool the moment they get a whiff of it.

Malai Gosht

A touch of cream and blend of spices constitute this hearty dish. Malai gosht is also known for its unique taste. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are missing out. Serve this delicious main dish with rice, roti or paratha.


Marinate meat with yoghurt, cream, papaya and salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. Now in a pan, heat ½ cup of ghee, add the marinated mutton, cover it and let it tenderise. In a separate pan, heat the remaining ghee. Add the sliced onion and fry till light brown. Now add ginger, garlic, cumin seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and black peppercorns. Fry for few minutes. Now add tender meat, let it simmer for 10 minutes. In the end give smoke of coal and serve.

Chicken Karahi

Chicken Karahi is a dish from the Pakistani and Indian subcontinent, and noted for its spicy taste. The Pakistani version does not have capsicum whereas the North Indian version uses capsicum and green chilli. The dish is prepared in a Karahi (wok). It can take between 40 and 50 minutes to prepare and cook the dish and can be stored for later consumption. This dish is one of the hallmarks of Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It can be served with rice, naan or roti.


In a large wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 10-15 seconds. Add the chicken pieces and cook for 2 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the tomatoes, chillies, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt, and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid is mostly absorbed. Remove the lid and cook uncovered until it thickens. Garnish with slices of fresh ginger, sliced chillies and fresh coriander leaves. Serve with warm rice or naan bread.

Tawa Tadka Keema

MethodHeat ghee in a skillet (tawa) and add chopped ginger-garlic and sauté for few seconds. Add chopped onions and sauté. Add all the spices, tomatoes and pickle. Mix well and cook. Then add chicken mince, cook for at least 10 minutes. Add spring onions and mix well. Remove from heat. Finally garnish with fresh coriander and serve it on sizzling platter.

Bihari Dum Gosht

MethodIn a spice mixture, add sesame seeds, almonds, fried onion and coconut, grind well and set aside. In a bowl, add beef fillet, yogurt, salt, papaya paste, ginger-garlic paste, grounded mixture, coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, and turmeric powder, mix well and marinate for 4-5 hours or overnight. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and fry until golden brown. Now add marinated beef, mix well and cook on high flame for five minutes. Add water and mix, cover and cook on low flame for 1 hour or until meat is tender and oil floats over all. Give a coal smoke for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

Parsi Mutton Cullets

MethodSqueeze the minced mutton between the palms of your hands to remove excess water.

Soak the bread in one cup of water for half a minute and squeeze to remove excess water. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil, bread crumbs and eggs. Mix well and set aside to marinate for 3 to 4 hours, preferably in a refrigerator. Divide the marinated mince into 12 equal portions, shape each portion into a ball and roll in breadcrumbs. Place each ball on a flat surface and flatten with your finger into a 4 inch patty, dusting with breadcrumbs as required. Place the cutlets in a refrigerator for half an hour. Heat oil in a deep pan. Beat eggs lightly with salt and two tablespoons of water. Dip the cutlets in the egg and deep fry on each side. Drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot.

Creamy Potato Salad


Cut the boiled potatoes into cubes. Mix mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a large glass or plastic bowl. Add potatoes, celery and onion, toss. Stir in eggs. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to blend flavours and chill. Store covered in refrigerator.


Gil-E-Firdaus is an elaborate but memorable sweet dish, made commonly in Hyderabad during festivals and weddings. Sago and coarsely-crushed rice are cooked in milk and perked up with a range of ingredients like bottle gourd, nuts, condensed milk and cashew paste to get a lusciously creamy dessert with a unique feel. Saffron, cardamom and rose water give the Gil-E-Firdause a rich flavour, which lingers on your palate long after your cup is empty.


Combine the saffron and warm milk in a bowl, mix well and keep aside. Soak the basmati rice for 10 minutes in enough water, drain and keep aside. Allow them to dry on muslin cloth for 30 minutes. Coarsely grind the dried rice in the grinder. Keep aside. Heat the ghee in a small non- stick pan, add the almond slivers and sauté on medium flame for 2 minutes, till they become golden brown in colour, drain them on an absorbent paper and keep aside for garnish. In the same ghee, add the bottle gourd and sauté on a medium flame for 3 minutes. Stirring continuously, until it becomes soft. Keep aside. In a deep non- stick pan, add the milk, sago, crushed rice, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes, while stirring continuously. Add the bottle gourd, mix well and cook on a slow flame for 2 minutes. Add the saffron milk mixture, cashew nut paste, condensed milk, cardamom powder and vanilla essence, mix well and cook for 4 minutes on very low flame. Switch off the flame, add rose water and mix well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve chilled garnished with crispy almond slivers.

Coconut Cotyledon or Coconut Apple kheer

In Bangla we call it Khopra. Generally, we use coconut for its nutritious juice and meat. However, in some mature coconuts, we will find a round, soft, spongy structure in the middle after we crack open the coconut. This spongy mass is amazingly yummy! It is sweet and moist and has very similar texture to cotton candy. In fact it is healthier than coconut juice and coconut water. Eat it raw, you will find it buttery with flavour similar to coconut tender meat.


In a pan, mix all the milk, coconut, coconut cream, mawa and sugar together. Also mix cardamom powder and cinnamon powder. Boil on high heat. When milk mixture is thoroughly cooked, add coconut cotyledon and mix well. Remove from heat and keep in a chiller till it’s time to serve. In a pan, put 1 tablespoon of sugar. When sugar starts melting, add honey, pistachio, walnut and sesame seeds. Lastly, add sliced bananas, and finish with butter. For plating, put kheer in a bowl and garnish with silver paper and pistachio slivers. Put the caramel alongside with the rose petals and serve.

Connecting dots the right way

Life Desk :

Be that one person, who shows up to an event not looking like everyone else, but rather the one whom everyone comes up to asking, “Where did you get that dress from?”/ “You look great”/ “Your outfit is so fresh and different from what we see now.”

Break away from the monotonous glitter, and all things that are trending right now. Like a delight of fresh air this summer, check out the one of a kind, never before seen, HUMAIRA KHAN’s “Connecting the dots” line, this Eid-ul-Fitr – perfect for a breezy you on what promises to be a balmy Eid morning this year.

The line embodies a selection of women’s wear that is fun, playful, fresh, youthful, but still modern with funky takes on crop tops, dresses, saris and kurtis.

Exclusively done on muslin with a primary focus on polka dotted prints, designer Humaira Khan creates modern pieces with an emphasis on cuts and styles that remain faithful to the natural fluidity of the fabric itself. The colour palette is primarily black and white with a splash of bright hues in the form of embroidered floral designs with a three-dimensional effect on them.

Many of her pieces have long trails, short fronts and long backs and also the addition of waist and side belts. The saris in this collection are designed on monotone fabrics, with the same kind of embroidered flowers and multi-coloured tassels added at the end of the anchal.

The entire collection runs on the “less is more” mantra. A primary black and white polka dotted print, that draws the eye to the cuts of the outfit, are not only complementing, but gives her line the much-needed panache with a hint of fun and flirty that is a result of Humaira Khan’s eye to the cloth’s natural movement.

Since the primary fabric for the line “Connecting the dots” used is muslin, it translates very well from attending family dinners, a casual catch-up with friends to the nightly formal event. Be the elegant and trendy deviant that inspires others to walk down the polka dot path, establishing your role as the new trendsetter of the year!

Have fun in one of Humaira Khan’s self-titled pieces, becoming the envy of every other girl’s eye this Eid. Set yourself apart and become the one that everyone keeps an eye out for at any upcoming events

Moonsighting: More than meets the eye

Life Desk :
“Chaad Dekha”, or the sighting of the new moon, plays a huge role in the lives of Muslims who follow the appearance of the moon as the criteria for determining important dates in the lunar calendar, such as the beginning and end of each month in the Islamic calendar, and thus the beginning and end of Ramadan, and of course, Eid. To this day, chaad dekha, remains a celebratory marker for the end of Ramadan, calling in Eid-ul-Fitr.

Thus the visibility of the moon always had an emphatic role in determining our main festivities, and growing up, the crescent moon has been embedded in our memories forever. A source of confusion for much of us is when a lot of people who do not wait for the sighting of the moon, and simply follow the Saudi Arabian dates of the Islamic months instead. So big was the issue, that a lot of countries, and sometimes particular regions within some countries, such as Bangladesh itself, there were entire groups of people who would follow the Saudi dates.

As Shaykh Dr. Yasir Qadhi explains, this confusion arises from the juxtaposition of a Hadith, which reads- “Observe fast on sighting it (the new moon) and break it on sighting it. But if (due to clouds) the actual position of the month is concealed from you, you should then count thirty (days).” As is evident from a literal translation of the Hadith, the idea that sparks the debate is that for centuries, Muslims have relied on their own vision to determine the date and month. The contradiction with the astronomical determination of the new moon is that it is quite impossible for anyone to see the actual new moon with their naked eye. Instead, what we witness as the new moon is in fact a further developed moon which is a day or two old. Moreover, the debate proliferates that there has been an agreement upon the idea that Muslims would do as the Hadith would guide them, that is, there has been an Ijma (consensus) in the Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), and so there is little room for going back on this tradition as the Ijma is a fixed legal binding for the Ummah (Muslim community). But as we can see from the infinite number of dates listed on the, which indicate the beginning of the month of Ramadan all over the world, with many countries having more than one particular date depending on the divided community beliefs, no such tenet of faith is followed. But the new moon at the end of Ramadan is undoubtedly the harbinger of joy.



Yami Gautam doesn`t see multi-starrer films as a threat

Culture Desk :

A film with an ensemble cast is not every actor’s cup of tea, particularly because the screen time gets divided among multiple characters. Yami Gautam, however, doesn’t see it as a threat. What she looks for in a script is that her character should be well-etched and is relevant to the storyline.
Yami, who has starred in films such as Badlapur (2015), Sarkar 3 (2017) and is presently shooting for Batti Gul Meter Chaalu (BGMC) has mostly been part of films with ensemble cast. Explaining her stand citing the example of BGMC, which also stars Shahid Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, she says, “All three of us have very defined characters. And before we started shooting, we had a discussion about our work and what we are contributing to the film. There should be no doubt when I walk into the sets and start working on the film. If you still have questions around the existence or essence of your character, then you are at the wrong place. On my part, I am pretty confident that we are doing the right thing.”