State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam on Sunday called for a visa-free travel facility for students in the BBIN countries, as the country plans to become illiteracy-free by 2041.
"Let us open up the doors of the countries for students," he said while addressing the valedictory session of the two-day 'Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence' conclave in India, reports The Print.
"I am not talking about government centers or scholarship programmes. I am talking about the private sector, too," Shamsul Alam added.
The renowned economist also stated that the country will become "hunger-free" by 2041.
He suggested that the South Asia region could have a visa-free regime like the European Union, where no visa is required to visit a country that is part of the block.
"Let us allow the students to go freely for education as well as for tourism. We can start with the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) countries."
Bangladesh has around 50 public and 108 private universities. Its literacy rate has increased to 73% from 43% in 2005-06, while life expectancy has risen to 75 years from 65 years a decade ago, he noted.
The state minister asserted that Bangladesh will enter the league of prosperous or developed nations with a per capita income of US$16,400 by 2041. The current per capita income of the country is US$2,824.
"We need skilled manpower to cope with the fourth industrial revolution that is coming up. We have already created a big educational infrastructure," Shamsul Alam observed.