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Ministry cancels controversial list with 29 books of additional secretary

The Public Administration Ministry has scrapped a list of 1,447 books selected for promoting ‘knowledge and reading habit’ of government officials amid a storm of controversy over the inclusion of 29 books only of an additional secretary.

Senior Secretary of the ministry KM Ali Azam confirmed the cancellation of the list on Monday. The additional secretary in question is Md Nabirul Islam of the ministry.

Ali Azam said a committee will be formed to select a new list for this purpose.

The senior secretary said, choosing books from thousands of publications is a sensitive issue.

“Within a week we will provide the committee topics like history, literature, poems and the committee will fill up the list with appropriate books. The committee will review the process to recommend books.” he said.

He said a decision was taken by the ministry to build libraries in the offices of Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Upazila Nirbahi Officers with small allocations in the next four years to boost knowledge of the officials.

“For this purpose, a list of 1400 books was prepared by this office but it was not made mandatory to follow the list. The ministry has asked to buy books in the light of that list,” he added.

Ali Azam also said that the allocation for upazila level is 1.5 lakhs, 2 lakhs at district level and 3 lakhs at divisional level.