Photo courtesy: PM Office
BRAC University and Access to Information (a2i) Programme signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the Prime Minister’s Office on June 1, 2017.
Mr. Kabir Bin Anwar, Director General (Administration) of Prime Minister’s Office, and Project Director of the a2i Programme chaired the programme. Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor of a2i Programme, highlighted the objectives of MoU signing in his welcome speech. He stated that, the path of innovation in government services becomes more open through this MoU signing. BRACU University will get support, information and collaboration fromthe government to carry out research and to engage in innovation designing which will increase the involvement of faculty and students in research and innovation. Mr. Kabir Bin Anwar further stated that, if government and non-government organizations work jointly, the value of government services will increase tremendously to bring overall benefit to large number of the people of Bangladesh, especially the underprivileged, and save time, cost and travel related hassles of the underprivileged citizen. Such services using modern communication channels and internet will help the general people of Bangladesh.
Professor Ansar Ahmed, Ph.D, Pro Vice-Chancellor of BRAC University signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of BRAC University. Engr. N.I.M Alamgir, Head of Information Technology, Hasina Afroz, University Librarian, Md. Arifuzzaman, Senior Assistant Registrar, Md. Mahi Uddin, Assistant Registrar were also present on this occasion on behalf of BRAC University.
a2i and BRAC University will jointly implement and coordinate research, training and evaluation programs and strategies; which will help the govt. departments to work jointly for functional use and expansion of knowledge which may be used to develop the whole country, creating innovative project ideas for solving social problems. This will play a vital role in bringing positive changes in the service sector of the country. This agreement will also serve as a catalyst for creating skilled human resources by increasing the capability of the information and communication technology of various departments and institutes of the university.
The International Public Policy Organization has organized their biennial International Public Policy Conference, which was hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore on June 28-30, 2017. More than 250 panels were held in twenty topics where researchers around the world presented and discussed their work. Dr. Wahid Abdallah, Research Fellow & Head, Governance and Politics Cluster of BIGD presented two papers in the conference, one on the effect of electronic procurement and the other on public private partnership. He has also shared his research work in a session organized by UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (UNDP GCPSE).
The Master of Public Health students have been taking the health system management module from 28 May – 22 June. The module discusses the different components of health systems, explaining how these constitute a health system. The students will gain an understanding of the nature of policy, its processes and contexts in informing health systems. They will also gain a brief orientation on the nature of the research in the field of health policy and systems from national and international facilitators including Dr. Tim Evans (Senior Director of Nutrition and Population at the World Bank), Dr. Nhan Tran (Manager, Alliance for Health Policy & Systems Research, World Health Organization).
The Pro Vice-Chancellor of BRAC University, Professor Ansar Ahmed visited the James P Grant School of Public Health on 21 June to learn more about the School, our students, and researchers. He also met with key researchers and faculty from the School.
During his visit, Professor Ahmed shared an anecdote of a student who had wanted to study abroad for their postgraduate studies. He tried to apply for a scholarship, but were unsuccessful. When he heard about BRAC University’s School of Public Health, they applied and was successful in securing a scholarship. Now, he could not be happier with his decision to pursue his studies at the School; he feels little regret being unable to go overseas for his studies as he has met fellow students from across the world and has been taught by academics from renowned institutions such as Harvard University, Columbia University, World Bank etc.
Professor Ahmed also thanked the members of JPGSPH for all their endeavours, stating that what is being done at the School in public health is of utmost importance to the country and he thanked all those involved for contributing to the development and making the country’s public health scenario a little bit better.
- New Age: The Cost of Traffic Congestion By Nabila Zaman, Research Associate, BIGD, BRAC University on June 20, 2017
BIGD, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Ministry of Women and Child Affairs (MoWCA) organized a technical Consultation with the ministry and government officials of the selected sectors on 20 June, 2017 at Bangladesh Sishu Academy. The meeting was organized to finalize the Report of Gender Equality Diagnostics of Selected sectors. Ms. Maheen Sultan, Visiting Fellow of BIGD presented the findings of the report. Ms. Nasima Begum ndc, Secretary of MoWCA chaired the session.
As part of its social responsibility and commitment towards the wider community, BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL), BRAC University, has inaugurated a ‘Book Distribution Programme’ to outreach schools of rural areas.
The aim of this programme is to expose the young readers to a wider range of reading materials and inspire them to read beyond the curriculum and textbooks. BIL has taken this initiative as per its long term plan to collect books from urban schools and distribute them in the rural schools and libraries. In this endeavour, BIL plays the role of a catalyst in mobilizing resources from urban to rural areas of the country. BIL believes that this initiative of developing reading habits would make information more accessible to all and would help build a knowledge-based society in Bangladesh.
In its first attempt, 756 books were collected and given to Natore Collegiate School on June 20, 2017. Mohammad Aminul Islam and Md. Mahbubul Islam, faculty members of BIL, coordinated this distribution program. Ms. Shahina Khatun, District Commissioner of Natore, and Ms. Momena Begum, District BRAC Representative, appreciated BIL’s initiative and distributed the books to the school children on behalf of BIL.
For implementing ‘Digital RMG Factory Mapping in Bangladesh’ (DRFMB) project, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development of BRAC University has been organizing project inception workshops with participation of different stakeholders. As a part of this process, on June 20, 2017, at BRAC Centre Inn, CED organized an inception workshop on DRFM-B. Members of national/international NGOs, local NGOs, workers’ associations and donor agencies participated in this workshop.
Being implemented by CED-BRACU, the DRFM-B project is funded by C&A Foundation and coordinated by BRAC USA. Bangladesh Garments Manufacturer and Exporters Association (BGMEA) is involved as the strategic partner of this project. The main objective of this project is to supply robust data in a digital mapping scheme to enable better evidence-based decision making in the RMG sector.
The workshop started with the presentation of Ms. Afshana Choudhury, Program Manager, CED. She introduced the goals, objectives, outcomes and other activities of DRFMB project to the participants for their feedback and suggestions.
Ms. Parveen S. Huda, Project Manager, DRFM-B, moderated the discussion session which was based on the questions and suggestions of the discussants about this project. Both Ms. Afshana Choudhury and Ms. Parveen S. Huda answered to those questions asked by stakeholders. DRFM-B received a lot of suggestions from them, and to be considered while finalizing the survey tools.
Ms. Jill Tucker, Head of Supply Chain Innovation and Transformation, C&A Foundation, and Ms. Naureen Chowdhury, Programme Manager (C&A Foundation, Bangladesh) were also present in the workshop. Ms. Jill Tucker thanked everybody for sharing their knowledge and interests on the project. According to her, getting everybody’s additional inputs would be very crucial for this project.
Five students, Benazir Khandaker Hussain , Rabeya Tasfire Rudhy , Ariful Azam , Nazia Nowrid and Aqief Afzal performed their thesis presentation required under BTE 450 (Research Project, Thesis) course on Monday, 19 June,2017 in Room UB 21511 of the MNS Department. The titles of their theses were ‘Antibiogram Patterns of Staphylococcus aureus Obtained from Packaged Meat, Milk and Milk Products, Fruits and Vegetables of Various Supermarkets in Dhaka City’, ‘Isolation, Identification and Molecular Characterization of Pathogenic Organisms Obtained from Meat Samples (Cooked, Semi- cooked and Raw) of Different Areas of Dhaka City’, ‘Isolation and Identification of Coliform Bacteria from Spicy Yogurt Milk and Plain Butter Milk sold in Different Markets of Dhaka City’, ‘Phytochemical Screening and the Analysis of Antibacterial Activity in Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat’ and ‘In Silico Structural and Functional Analysis of Phospholipase D of Brown Recluse ( Loxoceles reclusa) Spider’ respectively.
The Examination Committee for the presentation was chaired by Professor A. A. Z. Ahmad and attended by Professor Mahboob Hossain, Dr. Aparna Islam, Ms. Romana Siddique, Ms. Jebunnesa Chowdhury, Ms. Kashmery Khan and Ms. Zubaida Marufee Islam. The Committee lauded the research work carried out by the students.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), UK, awarded the participants of cohort 5 & 6 for achieving the MCIPS degree. The main purpose of the ceremony was to celebrate the success of the participants that held on June 18, 2017 at a city hotel in Dhaka. A total 50 number of Government of Bangladesh officials through the Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP II) implemented by CPTU, IMED was awarded at the ceremony.
Mr. Howard James Selden, International Development Adviser of CIPS hosted the programme and delivered the welcome speech. Ms. Rajashree Paralkar, Acting Country Director of World Bank Bangladesh, Mr. Md. Faruque Hossain, Director General, CPTU, Mr. Md. Mofizul Islam, the Secretary in Charge of IMED and Dr. Rahman, ED of BIGD also spoke at the ceremony.
The post-visit debriefing session of the US Department of State funded Professional Fellows Exchange Program (Spring 2017) has been held on 18 June 2017 at Lakeshore Hotel, Banani, organized by Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), BRAC University. Three participants who attended the Spring 2017 program, were present at the debriefing along with CED personnel and ex-fellows. Mr. Ryan Kelley (Cultural Affairs Officer, US Embassy) and Ms. Parveen Elias (Cultural Affairs Specialist, American Centre) also attended the program. The program was coordinated by Mr. Shamim E. Haque (Program Coordinator of US Exchange Program; Assistant Professor, BRAC Business School, and Senior Research Fellow, CED). The session started at 05:30pm and ended with a followed by dinner at 08:00pm. During the session, the participants of exchange program shared their experiences from the visit to USA and provided quality feedback to improve the effectiveness of the program.
On June 15, 2017, the students of the Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University (BRACU) joined an iftar party organized by Pharmacist Welfare Association of Bangladesh (PWAB) at the Capricon’s World, Mohakhali. The iftar party was attended by about two hundred students from fifteen different universities of Dhaka including University of Dhaka, Jahangir Nagar University, Chittagong University, North South University, Stamford University and BRAC University as well. The program was glorified by the presence of Professor A.B.M. Faruk, former dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka. Mr. S. M. Moazzem Hossen, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy, University of Chittagong, Mr. Samiul Alam Rajib, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy, BRACU, Mr. Mohammad Kawsar Sharif Siam, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy, BRACU, Mr. Imon Rahman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy, BRACU, Mr. Ashis Kumar Podder, Lecturer, BRACU and Mr. Shoeb Ul Islam, Senior Product Executive, Eskayef Bangladesh Limited graced the event by their presence.
Lamisha Noor, a student of Applied Physics and Electronics program in the MNS Department presented hes thesis work (APE 400) and Internship Report (APE 450) on June 15, 2017. The thesis work was supervised by Dr. Firoze H. Haque. The internship work was supervised jointly by Mr. Muhammad Lutfor Rahman and Professor A.K.M. Akther Hossain, from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). The Viva Board was chaired by Professor A. A. Z. Ahmad. Professor Taffazal Hussain, Professor A. F. M. Yusuf Haider, Dr. Firoze H. Haque, Mr. Mahabobe Shobahani and Mr. Muhammad Lutfor Rahman were also present as members of the Examination Committee. The Examination Committee appreciated the quality of the work of Lamisha Noor.
- Nearly a full page op-ed interview article was published in the Bengali Daily newspaper Banik Barta dated 22 June, 2017. The interview dealt with various aspects of the proposed FY 2017-18 budget. The issues discussed included the assumption regarding growth of GDP, revenue targets, implementation of Annual Development Program, the present situation in the financial sector etc.
- An article on FY 18 budget was published in Lanka Bangla Market Pulse, Issue no. 128. The article analyzed and commented on the selected aspects of FY 18 budget. Particular attention was paid to the feasibility of achieving revenue targets, mobilizing external assistance and implementing the Annual Development Program.
- Three page interview report was published in Mukto Akash, a business journal. The interview dealt with issues such as the assumption regarding GDP growth, proposed exercise duty on bank deposits, absence of any discussion in budget statement regarding the problems in the financial sector and implications of uniform 15% value added tax.
Other Activities 2017
01 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a discussant in TV programs broadcast by TV Channels DBC News, Channel 71, Bangla Vision and Jamuna. The discussions in all these programs dealt with the proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-18.
04 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was the only discussant in a talk-show broadcast by Jamuna TV channel. The topic of the discussion was the recently announced budget for FY 18.
07 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a panelist in discussion arranged by BRAC Research and Evaluation Division. The discussions highlighted the implications of FY 18 budget proposals for poverty alleviation, equitable distribution and human resource development.
07 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam participated in a talk-show broadcast by TV Channel DBC. The discussion focused on the implications of FY 18 budget for the middle class population. The other discussant was Mr. Gulam Rahman, former Secretary Government of Bangladesh and presently President of Consumer Association of Bangladesh.
08 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was the only discussant in a program broadcast by TV Channel NTV. The subject matter of the discussion was FY 18 budget.
10 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam along with Mr. Mosleh Uddin Ahmed, Managing Director of NCC Bank participated in a talk-show broadcast by TV Channel News 24. The prevailing constraints to both domestic and foreign private investment in Bangladesh were reviewed and suggestions offered for redressing them.
11 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was only discussant in talk-show broadcast by Ekushey TV. The discussion focused on several aspects of the budget, particularly the implications of the proposed value added tax (VAT) at 15%.
14 June: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam delivered a lecture on “Management of National economy: Bangladesh Perspective” at the National Defence College. The lecture reviewed the performance of Bangladesh in respect of some key macroeconomic indicators both over time and in comparison with other Asian countries, identified the challenges facing Bangladesh and suggested policy actions required to deal with the challenges.
BIGD’s ED Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman had several meetings in June 2017 with a number of distinguished personalities such as prominent academics, policy makers and researchers regarding the research collaborations and other relevant issues of BIGD.
Dr. Rahman had meetings with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Chairperson, BRAC; Dr. Shamsul Alam, Senior Secretary, Member GED; Dr. Moinul Hafeez; Ms. Yasmina yousuf; Mr. Rajan Basak; Khandker Wahedur Rahman, lecturer of Bangladesh Army University; Mr. Ali Ahmed, CEO, Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute (BFTI); Dr. Saiful Islam, Dhaka University; Howard James Selden, International Development Advisor, CIPS; Mr. Zahidur Rahman, Senior Manager, Programmed Operation, BRAC; Ms. Hasina Mushrofa, Director, Urban Development, BRAC. He also attended several Skype and Dinner meeting.
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