- A four page interview report under the title “GDP Probridhi 7.5 Shotangsho Arjito Hobar kono Laxman Dekchi Na” was published in Arthojogat, a financial fortnightly magazine on 01 February, 2017. The interview dealt with the prospects of achieving 7.5 percent GDP growth in light of recent developments in macroeconomic indicators such as exports, remittances, exchange rate and private sector investment.
- An interview report with Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was published in the Bengali daily newspaper Prothom Alo on 4 February, 2017. The interview dealt with the recently announced Monetary Policy for second half of FY17.
02 February: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam participated in a High level Expert Consultation convened by Economic Relations Division (ERD). The Finance Minister was the Chief Guest and the State Minister for Finance was the Special Guest. Other participants included many serving and former Secretaries to the Government as well as many eminent economists. The discussion centered on the draft of National Aid Policy formulated by ERD. In the course of the discussions suggestions were offered to effect improvements in the draft.
02 February: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a discussant in a TV program broadcast by the channel DBC along with Mr. A. Mannan, State Minister of Finance and Mr. Ahsan-ul- Haque Tito, Former President of Dhaka Stock Exchange. The emerging risks in the capital market and the issues that investors should take into account were discussed.
09 February: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was a panelist in the plenary session of Asia-Pacific Business Forum organized jointly by the International Chamber of Commerce (Bangladesh), Ministry of Commerce, Government of Bangladesh and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Bangkok. The session was chaired by the Minister of Commerce, Bangladesh. Other panelists included Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Minister of Commerce, Nepal, Adviser for International Relations Affairs to the Prime Minister, Bangladesh, Secretary General, UNCTAD and Vice-President (Operations), Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The theme of the session was “Linking Business with the Sustainable Development Goals: What Can We Do?” The panelists dealt with identification of areas where private sector could contribute to the realization of Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 and the required policy support.
12 February: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was the lone discussant at a program broadcast by TV Channel 24. The discussion was focused on the implications of the recent verdict by a Canadian court which exonerated the accused persons from the charge of being involved in corruption conspiracy relating to the financing of Padma Bridge project by the World Bank.
13 February: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam was the only participant in a discussion broadcast by TV channel ETV. The subject matter of the discussion was recent developments in the capital market of Bangladesh and actions needed to deepen the market.
19 February: Dr. Mirza Azizul Islam participated in a discussion broadcast by TV channel NTV. The other participants were Mr. Md. Shakil, President of non-resident Association for Bangladeshis and Mr. Roquibur Rahman, former President of Dhaka Stock Exchange. The subject matter of the discussion was the likely developments in the stock markets in the backdrop of recent changes.
On 18 February 2017, the students, faculty members and staffs of the Department of Architecture, BRAC University organized a Departmental Picnic titled “CHOLO CHUTI” at Rangamati Waterfront Resort, Gazipur. The highlights of the event were “Traditional Pot breaking game”, ping pong race, tug-of-war matches between the different batches including the alumni and faculty members, raffle draw and lots of fun. Around 200 students, faculty members and their families, staff and alumni attended the daylong event. The event helped to strengthen the bond of the BRACU.ARCH family.
C3ER team has successfully conducted three day long field visit for the projects entitled “Achieving Resilience through Inclusive Community Based Organizations” funded by OXFAM, “Capture and assess best CwC practices in disaster response and recovery” funded by DMCC, BRAC and “Floating Houses: Community Based Flood Resilience Innovations in Bangladesh” funded by KPMG East Africa Limited at Chowhali Upazila, Sirajganj from 16-18 February 2017. During field visit, both qualitative and quantitative research tools were used to verify the output of research findings. 21 field surveyors and 8 C3ER staffs visited Sirajganj and the team was lead by Ms Roufa Khanum, Coordinator, Operations and Dr. Sajidur Rahman, Assistant Professor. This team was mainly involved in data collection. Besides, Household Survey, Focus Group Discussion and Key Informant Interviews were also conducted during these test field visits.
On the 18th of February 2017, IEEE BRAC University Student Branch attended the IEEE BDS miniPOCO Forum 2017 at the ECE Building, BUET. Lecturers of the Department of EEE, BRAC University, Avijit Das and Farhan Tasnim Oshim, along with the Treasurer of IEEE BRAC University Student Branch 2017, Hanan Ashrafi Anushka had active participation in the half-day event. IEEE Fellow, Professor of IIT Kanpur, IEEE R10 Conference & Technical Seminar Coordinator delivered the keynote speech regarding conference organization. The main agenda of this event was to make all the branches and organizers aware of the yearly increase in the number of international conferences in Bangladesh. All necessary information to successfully conduct an international conference where IEEE organizational units act as sponsors or technical co-sponsors was shared within the meeting. The conference aspirants gained a lot of knowledge to plan and prepare for successful international conferences.
On February 17, 2017, a journal review session took place at the Meeting Room of BRAC University Savar Campus. Ms. Syeda Fatima Zamila, faculty member of Bangladesh Studies, discussed the article titled ‘Perceptions of Cultural Identity’ by Salma Sobhan.
Ms. Fatima began with the focus of the article, which is on the cultural stands that are pre-requisite for understanding political history of Bangladesh. The article starts from decolonization era, gradually traces emergence of Bangladesh and ends with a brief discussion about the cultural transition of Bangladesh in post-independence era. It also emphasizes on the cultural conflict between Calcutta and Dhaka during the Second Partition rather than on the political interest. The article then highlights how politicians of Pakistan failed to perceive this conflict, which otherwise could have taught them the gravity of the assault on cultural front that they perpetrated on East Bengal just after the partition.
Moreover, the discussion included why few people of East Bengal supported Muslim League while others were focused on Bengal politics and also pointed out that Jamaat-e-Islam did not support the partition movement because of their perception of Islamic culture. West Pakistan and the Arab countries failed to understand the culture of East Bengal, which ultimately resulted in the independence of Bangladesh and also affected the politics of Bangladesh just after independence. The author concludes by reflecting on her apprehension of the assault that is coming on the political culture of Bangladesh.
At the end of the discussion, faculty members shared their opinions regarding the matter.
Four recent EEE graduates attended the “International Conference on Electrical, Computer and Communication Engineering (ECCE 2017)” held in Cox’s Bazar from 16th to 17th of February, 2017. They presented their paper: “Towards an IEEE 802.22 (WRAN) based Wireless Broadband for Rural Bangladesh – Antenna Design and Coverage Planning”, based on their undergraduate thesis research work under the supervision of Mr. Rachaen Mahfuz Huq, Lecturer, Department of EEE, BRAC University. The paper will be published in the conference proceedings and will be indexed by IEEE Xplore digital library. The conference was sponsored by IEEE Bangladesh Section, Bangladesh Computer Council, BdREN (Bangladesh Research and Education Network), HEQEP (Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project), and DPDC (Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited).
BRAC University (BRACU) is proud to be a part of New York University Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship (NYU Reynolds)/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium. Cutting-edge universities around the world have joined together to conduct their own intra-school competitions and support their students’ efforts to scale sustainable, proven poverty solutions in the developing world. The consortium does more than providing students a chance to launch a world changing venture. It also pools university resources, encourages shared value and curriculum, and multiplies the power of each university.
The partners of the consortium are: BRAC University, NYU Reynolds, D-Prize, NYU Green Grants, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, and Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
As a part of this program, the NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium hosted four (4) webinars to help the participants learn more about the competition and design their idea. All of webinars were organized and hosted online, and for BRACU students, the first two webinars were organized at GDLN Centre of BRACU.
Details of the webinars are as follows:
- Global Webinar 1: Intro to the NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Competition Consortium and Social Entrepreneurship (31 January 2017, hosted by NYU Reynolds)
- Global Webinar 2: Social Entrepreneurship in the Developing Country Context (6 February 2017, hosted by BRAC University)
- Global Webinar 3: Non-Profits, For-Profits, and Hybrids, Oh My! Choosing a Model that Works for You (9 February 2017, hosted by Institute of Business Administration, Karachi)
- Global Webinar 4: Creating a Credible Digital Presence for your Social Venture (15 February 2017, hosted by Nanyang Technopreneurship Center)
The webinars aimed at showing how to successfully design a social venture, get a brief overview of the field of social entrepreneurship, have the opportunity to workshop the idea with an international community of change agents, and ask questions participants may have.
A workshop on ‘Data Analysis and Self-Assessment Report Writing’ was held at 10:00 AM on16 February 2017 in the IQAC Conference Room. Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) of BRAC University (BRACU) organized this event. Professor Md. Tafazzal Hussain, Ph.D. director of IQAC, BRACU delivered his welcome speech at the beginning of the program.
Dr. A B M Rahmatullah, Additional Director, Institutional Quality Assurance Cell, AIUB was the key speaker on the Workshop.He discussed various methods and share his experiences on ‘Data Analysis and Self-Assessment Report Writing’ process. A total 18 members of Self-Assessment Committee of different programs/entities attended the Workshop. The Workshop was concluded with an interactive question-answer session.
Military Institute of Science and Technology ( MIST) has celebrated an architectural fest 2017 from 15 to 16 February 2017. Second day was the Design Charrette day and opened for first year and second year students of all schools of architecture of Bangladesh. 28 students from the Department of Architecture, BRACU attended the Charrette. The theme of the Charrette was " Me, Myself and I". Media was free to portray the participants. Mehonaz Afroj Yuna, a student of design studio IV, BRACU has scored the third position. The First and Second Position were scored by Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST) and MIST respectively.
On February 16, 2017, a workshop on “Bloom's Taxonomy: A Planning Tool for Crafting Effective Learning Outcomes” was conducted by Mr. Pankaj Paul, Lecturer at BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL).
Bloom’s Taxonomy is one of the most widely used frameworks to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition. In an educational setting, Bloom’s taxonomy plays an important role all the way from planning curriculum to deciding learning outcomes.
In this workshop, Mr. Pankaj highlighted the basic concept of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the different domains in the taxonomy and how the different categories in cognitive domain can be used to develop attainable, measurable and concrete ‘Learning Outcomes’. This informative session created an opportunity for the BIL faculty members to engage and involve in a meaningful discussion and explore the possible applications of Bloom’s Taxonomy in our teaching and learning context.
The session ended with a hands-on experience on crafting ‘learning outcomes,’ incorporating the ‘action verbs’ used in the different levels in Bloom’s taxonomy and illustrating the urgency and significance of establishing an alignment among issues that include learning outcomes, instructional strategies and assessment.
Another journal article review session took place on February 15, 2017, at the Meeting Room of BRACU Savar Campus. Mr. Md. Sayeedul Islam Khan, faculty member of Ethics & Culture, presented the article titled “Withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration from minimally conscious and vegetative patients: family perspective” by Celia Kitzinzer and Jenny Kitzinger.
Advanced medical technology in 21st century has created new moral dilemmas, one of them being taking decisions regarding permanent vegetative state patients. These decisions about withdrawing Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (ANH) from patients in permanent vegetative state or minimally conscious state, which is a state from where there is no hope to recover, are well-discussed issues in medical ethics. In this article, the writers explore salient ethical features from the perspectives of such patients’ family members, including those who believed that their relative would not have wanted to be kept alive, regarding withdrawal treatment.
In the research, researchers collected data from 51 participants who had close relatives in permanent vegetative state or minimally conscious state. From data analysis it has been found that many families are not willing to even consider ANH withdrawal. Philosophical debate about whether or not ANH should be withdrawn from patients will contribute most usefully to real-life situations where such decisions must be taken.
In an open discussion, faculty members who were present in the session shared their own opinion regarding the issue and provided valuable feedback about the article’s analysis concerning the views of the families.
Department of Architecture, BRAC University celebrated the fourth cycle of the ‘Noman Award for Excellence in Design(NAED) 2016’ on 15 February 2017. Through this event the department celebrated the best design from the graduating batch of 2016. The Award Giving Ceremony was followed by an Exhibition of the shortlisted projects. Ar. Khaled Noman, Dr. Mohammad Faruk, Dr. Zakiul Islam and Ar. Naim Ahmed Kibria graced the occasion along with respected faculties and guests.
Ten projects were selected from two final year studios completed in 2016. Nominated Students were Aiman Elahi, Sk. Suraiya Rehnuma, Nuran Mohammed Nur, Hasanur Rahman, SumaitaTahseen, S.M Kaikobad, Joynal Abadin, Tasmia Kamal, Priyanka Baten and Saqif Shadman.
A jury panel containing eminent architects have reviewed all the nominated projects and selected the projects titled ‘Integrated Handloom Center: A Platform for the Weavers’ by Tasmia Kamal and ‘Know Thy Neighbor: Regenerating Future Interactive Spaces to Heal a Neighborhood’ by Sumaita Tahseen as the winning projects. A commendation award was given to ‘Shanto-Marium University of Creative Technology’ by Saqif Shadman. Ar. Mustapha Khalid Palash and Dr. Zakiul Islam were the respected members of the Jury Panel. The Jury Session, Exhibition and Award Ceremony were coordinated by Saiqa Iqbal Meghna, Manal Anis and Rayeed Mohammad Yusuff, faculties of the department.
This Award is being generously awarded since 2013 by Khaled Noman AIA, an architect of Bangladeshi origin, living and practicing in Chicago, USA. The award is given once every year to a student with the best graduating design project from the Department of Architecture, BRAC University, to enhance student’s active participation in architecture design process. Final year projects are short-listed by the respective studio teachers and a Jury Panel containing external critics reviews and selects the winning project from the nominated projects.
Celebration of the fourth cycle of ‘The Noman Award for Excellence in Design’ (NAED) 2016
On February 15, 2017, the Department of English and Humanities, BRAC University and the Department of English and Modern Languages, Central Women's University jointly hosted a discussion session with Professor and translator Seung-Hee Jeon at the GDLN Conference Centre, BRAC University. A Research Professor at the Kim-Dae-Jung Presidential Library and Museum, Yonsei University in South-Korea, Professor Jeon came to Dhaka to meet noted Bangladeshi author, Shaheen Akhtar. She is translating Shaheen Akhtar's fiction on the War of Liberation, Talash into Korean language, through the book's English translation, The Search by Ella Dutta. Author Shaheen Akhtar was also present at the event and talked about her experience of writing this historical fiction. The event ended with a mutual hope to continue collaborative work of similar nature between BRAC and Central Women's University.
The steady growth of Bangladesh has been possible because of a kind of deal prevailing between the political and social elites, speakers said at a workshop in the capital on Thursday. The observation came as speakers discussed how the country maintained a ‘steady and reasonably high’ growth despite shifts in political regimes and economic policies over decades since its independence in 1971.
Representatives of administration, bureaucrats and politicians joined these elites in expanding their sources to earn more money from and the syndicate continued to grow through discoveries of new resources like new maritime boundary, they said. The experts taking part in the discussion also expressed concern that the 'deal' was not, however, enough to attain inclusive growth. They also appreciated achieving the existing growth trend, despite weaknesses in many of the market-enhancing institutions, because of a reasonably robust form of 'growth-enhancing governance'. But they also stressed the need for holding periodic, fair and contestable elections to satisfy popular aspirations, and for seeking legitimacy.
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) in cooperation with Effective States of Inclusive Development (ESID), University of Manchester jointly organised the policy workshop on 'Politics and Development, Democracy and Growth: Bangladesh and Beyond' at BRAC Centre Inn. The workshop contained three important sessions titled “Understanding the Politics of Economic Growth”; “Understanding the Politics of Social Policy”; and “The Political Settlement in Bangladesh: Past, Present and Future”.
Taking part in the discussion, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Chairman Professor Rehman Sobhan said: "The term 'ideology' is now a myth. Ideals are used to deliver speeches on the national days. Personal development is stronger than idealism. Whoever the player is now, all are motivated with this."
‘The existence of this equilibrium is related to the expansion of sources from where rents are collected,’ said Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya. ‘The question is how long will this equilibrium hold?’ asked Debapriya.
Dr. Mirza M Hassan, an adjunct fellow at the BIGD, presented the first session’s keynote paper on navigating the labyrinth of the ‘deal’s’ world and politics of economic growth in Bangladesh. He authored the paper along with Selim Raihan, University of Dhaka. ‘Ordered deal was maintained under military dictatorships, dominant party settlements exhibiting mostly centralised rent management, as well as under competitive party settlement in Bangladesh,’ read one of the points mentioned in the keynote paper referring Bangladesh as a unique case. ‘In economic domain, the elites don’t fight. They come together at the end of the day,’ said Mirza. As a result, business community has become politically stronger, said the paper. It also mentioned that the country’s growth has been a topic of surprise for many given the facts that it has a bad reputation for governance.
Dr. Sohela Nazneen, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex and Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka; Simeen Mahmud, Head, Gender Cluster & CGST, BIGD; and Dr. Naomi Hossain, IDS also presented their papers at the workshop. Eminent academics and policy experts including David Hulme, CEO, ESID; Professor Wahiduddin Mahmud, University of Dhaka; Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, PPRC; Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director, BIGD and Professor Rounaq Jahan of the Centre for Policy Dialogue and Kazi Anis Ahmed, writer and publisher discussed the papers presented at the workshop. Country Representative of The Hunger Project Badiul Alam Majumder, The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam, Dhaka University teacher Asif Nazrul, and former caretaker government adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman attended the workshop among others.
Stata is an important and widely used statistical analysis package not only for academic researchers in social science, public health, economics, and education. To meet the growing demand for skill, the James P Grant School of Public Health organised a short course from 14-15 February on “Intermediate Statistical Computing Using Stata” for researchers, market researchers, analysts and government agencies who deal with different types of data and projects in their day-to-day work. Other than this group, the course also attracted non-academic participants who apply data analysis from an econometric perspective. It was facilitated by Fahmida Homayra (Research Fellow, JPGSPH).
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