BRAC University (BRACU) celebrated “Pohela Falgun”, the first day of spring at its campus on 13 February to welcome the most awaited “Season of flowers”.
Students celebrated the day singing songs, reciting poems and dancing. The campus was decorated with festoons and banners representing Bangladeshi culture. Girls wore sarees representing colours of spring while boys colorful panjabis. Dr. Ansar Ahmed, Director, Institutional Effectiveness of BRACU, inaugurated the event while Ivan Shafaat Bari, Director, Office of Co-curricular Activities (OCA), BRACU and other Heads of Departments were also present.
“Pitha Utshob”, a fair showcasing traditional cake, arranged by BRAC University Heritage Forum (BUHF) added new enthusiasm among the students. Every year, BUHF organizes this fair to introduce students with Bangladeshi culture. The venue was an open place in the campus known as “Prangon” where students brought varity of cakes. “Prangon’’ was beautifully decorated and stalls were set up. Popular Bangla songs played in the background added more delight to the enthusiasm of the fair.
At the auditorium and cafeteria areas, OCA organised several programs including magic & comedy shows and indoor games. The event was support by e-commerce site Daraz Bangladesh Ltd.
A seminar titled “Public Health’ was held on February 11, 2017, in BRACU Savar Campus. The purpose of the seminar was to familiarize students with the benefits of health and well-being and also help them gain basic knowledge regarding sexual and reproductive health. Mr. Md. Morshedul Haque, Senior Dorm Supervisor, introduced the guests at the beginning of the seminar.
The seminar was a combined session which was divided into two parts: while the female students took part in the session, the males watched a documentary in different classrooms and while the male students participated in the session, the females watched the documentary.
One of the sessions was facilitated by Mr. Kuhel Faizul Islam, Program Coordinator of James P. Grant School of Public Health (JPGSPH). Few common but vital factors were covered in the session such as basic hygiene, consequences of junk food, smoking, drug abuse and others. The other session was conducted by Ms. Tasfiyah Jalil, Project Coordinator of JPGSPH, which focused on how to live a sound sexual and reproductive life and take decisions independently. After each discussion, students took part in a question/answer session.
Overall, it can be deemed as an effective session in terms of sharing knowledge and being conscious about 'health and well being’.
The James P Grant School of Public Health, along with BRAC, and BRAC Institute of Governance and Development signed Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. The MoUs will consolidate partnerships between these institutes and will be the foundation for future joint research ventures while endeavouring to produce mutually beneficial framework for future collaborations, with the over-arching goal of reducing poverty and inequality.
Ahmed Mushtaque Raza Chowdhury (Vice Chair, BRAC; Advisor to JPGSPH); Sabina Faiz Rashid (Dean, James P Grant School of Public Health); Sultan Hafeez Rahman (Executive Director, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development); and Melissa Leach (Director, Institute of Development Studies) officially signed the MoUs.
The MoUs were signed as part of a wider series of events taking place at IDS and in the UK parliament, looking at the rapid progress of development in Bangladesh over the last forty years.
Bangladesh has successfully taken to scale a number of interventions that have brought innovative changes in the social sector. However, there is a lack of documentation on lessons learned from previous experiences of adopting and scaling-up interventions. To address this gap, the James P Grant School of Public Health and UNICEF, under the patronage of Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the Government of Bangladesh, have partnered to form the Centre of Science of Implementation and Scale-Up.
The new Centre was officially launched on 13 February and will endeavour to document best practices, conduct evidence-based advocacy and institutionalise capacity-building on the science of scaling up interventions, bridging the worlds of academia and policy-making for increased evidence-based decision-making on scaling up proven interventions.
Conference on Asia-Pacific Conference on Education, Society and Psychology (APCESP) 2017 was held in the Seoul, South Korea from February 07-10, 2017. One member from the Counseling Unit, Ms. Anne Anthonia Baroi, Psychosocial Counselor and Lecturer attended the conference where she orally presented her article on “Impact of Psychological Counselling on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Victims of Rana Plaza Tragedy”. The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of psychological counselling on victims with PTSD from the Rana Plaza tragedy. This piece of research also indicates that psychological counselling can effectively reduce the trauma of the victims of the Rana Plaza Tragedy. Especially to show that if skills training and psychological treatment could be combined, the impact will be strong and positive. The paper was also published in the conference proceedings.
Moreover, Ms. Anne Anthonia Baroi also participated as a Chair of a session in the conference. In this conference, presenter got the opportunity to know about various theories of Psychology and the new advancement in the areas of Psychology. Besides that, this conference brings the chance to exchange knowledge with the other participants of the conference.
Dr. Khan Md Raziuddin Taufique, Asst Professor, BRAC Business School has participated in a five-day research methodology workshop on ‘Impact Evaluation of Climate Change’ from 5 to 10 February 2017. The workshop was organized by Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) which is affiliated with International Society for Ecological Economics. Dr. Khan Taufique is also a life member of INSEE. The workshop was funded by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and hosted by Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi, India.
As it was a fully funded conference, the selection process was very competitive where only 19 percent of the applicants were invited to participate in the workshop. The workshop covers a range of research tools for impact evaluation with special focus on basic econometrics, randomized control trials (RCT), Difference-in-Difference (DID), sampling and experiment design, instrumental variables and application of impact evaluation tools in agricultural research. A total of 35 participants from different countries attended the workshop. All participants presented their research proposals at the end of the workshop and certificates were distributed accordingly.
Office of Career Services & Alumni Relations (OCSAR) arranged a seminar for Marico Bangladesh on 9 February, 2017 at the Indoor Games Room of BRACU. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss about the Recruitment Process to apply for any positions in Marico Bangladesh for fresh graduates from BRAC Business School.
A great number of enthusiastic students showed up at the event. Speakers at the event explained the entire recruitment & selection process of the Program. They also discussed how this program will help to enhance their personal effectiveness and improve the competencies and performance to create sustainable value.
The event concluded with a vibrant interactive Q & A session in which students raised queries about the career and growth opportunities of the program.
C3ER, BRAC University arranged a certificate course on Introduction to Climate Change, which was designed to focus and develop the intellectual and practical skills for the application and advancement of the climate change science and subsequent adaptation and mitigation policies. The five-day long training started from 05 to 09 February 2017 at C3ER. Eight participants from different national and international organizations, i.e. BRAC, WaterAid Bangladesh and C3ER attended this course. The course was conducted by a pool of nationwide renowned academicians and reputed professionals from various organizations such as BUET, DU, BRACU, Begum Rokeya University, and BRAC under the supervision of Dr. Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus of BRAC University. As a part of this course, the participants went on a field trip to Gazipur district led by Sharmin Nahar Nipa, Training Coordinator to practically highlight the different issues of climate change.
A certificate giving ceremony was arranged at the conference room of C3ER of BRACU, and the participants were awarded the certificates of this course by Mohammad Abdul Qayyum, Director General, Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB). He gave a motivational speech to the participants and encouraged them to use the knowledge of this course in their working domain as well as research activities. He also congratulated C3ER team for organizing such an effective certificate course and inspired the team for carrying out such wonderful initiatives along with research activities.
Dr. Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus, C3ER, BRAC University Participated in UNESCAP Asia-Pacific Business Forum (APBF): Regional Integration to Achievement Sustainable Development on 9 February 2017. Asia-Pacific Business Forum 2017 was jointly organized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Bangladesh and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The forum held under the patronage of the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of Bangladesh. The theme of the Forum was Regional Integration to Achieve Sustainable Development as envisaged by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDHs). The mission of APBF is to provide the best platform for regional public-private dialogue on the role and needs of business in achieving inclusive, resilient and sustainable development. Dr. Nishat was invited as a honorable Guest Speaker at the Session on New Energy Realities: Buillding a Resilient and Low-carbon Future.
"The lion's share of the budgetary allocation is spent for maintenance. We have to reduce wastage and show zero tolerance. We must focus more on quality than quantity of development works to avoid higher maintenance cost,” said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. He advised to replicate citizens' engagement in public procurement process in at least 50 representative upazilas out of the total 491. He also pointed out that effective monitoring through citizens' engagement can reduce project cost and ensure quality. The Planning Minister also called for forming area-wise citizens' committee where community and opinion leaders will be the members to monitor various government projects. He was speaking at the 11th meeting of 'Public-Private Stakeholders Committee' (PPSC) under Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP, phase II) of the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) at the NEC conference room in the city on 9 February 2017. BIGD, in association with the World Bank (WB) and Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) of IME Division, Ministry of Planning, organised the programme. At present, the project has been piloted in four Upazilas of Sirajganj and Rangpur districts. As the broad objective of the PPRP-II is to improve performance of the public procurement system, the meeting discussed learning from the national seminar ‘Citizen Engagement in Public Procurement’ and provided a final update on the field activities.
Mr Kamal said the Prime Minister (PM) has the directive regarding citizens' engagement. There should be a signboard with description of all development projects, he suggested referring to the PM's instruction. Ruling out various objections about projects of the government, the minister said no project plan is approved without feasibility study and much discussion. "First we see whether the project is in conflict with the 7th five year plan or not," he said, adding, needs assessment is of course done for any project. "If we can start this practice, this will bring benefit and no harm," he said.
BIGD adjunct fellow Dr. Mirza M Hassan made a presentation on experience of pilot projects in four upazilas. He said citizens' engagement needs to be formalised under a legal framework to avoid unnecessary harassment of any party during the project work. It was also observed during the discussion meeting with engineers that project specification was not followed meticulously during implementation stage. Mr. Hassan proposed that the pilot projects should be scaled up to district level to ensure quality of project implementation and needs assessment.
Chief Procurement Specialist of the World Bank, Dhaka Zafrul Islam said that citizens' engagement was a new concept although it was thought to be a buzz word a few years back. He noted that citizens' engagement in projects can ensure good governance. There are problems at grassroots level while implementing policy-level decisions, he said. It is necessary to know what the field-level people think about projects and awareness should be created among the field-level officers, he added.
Among others, Md. Faruque Hossain, Director General, CPTU; Syed Rashedul Hossen, Deputy Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance; Md. Mahmudul Hoque, Joint Secretary, IMED; Md. Rois Uddin, Additional Secretary, LGD; Md. Nazrul Islam, Member, Planning Commission; Md. Fazlur Rahman, Director Programme, DPE; Brig. Gen. Md. Parvvez Kabir, Director, CMSD; Munshi Basher Ahmed, Director, Project Planning, PDB; Mohammad Eklas Uddin, Director of Finance, EWU, Abdul Ahad, Director, Finance and Admin, TIB and Engr. S M Khorshed Alam, Vice President, BACI also shared their observations and suggestions at the meeting.
PPSC is largely focusing on the key sectoral ministries and targeting their implementing agencies, including Roads and Highways (RHD), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Rural Electrification Board (REB) and Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB). The PPRP-II has four components: 1) furthering policy reform and institutionalizing capacity development, II) strengthening procurement management at sectoral level and Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU)/ Implementation Moni-toring and Evaluation Division (IMED), III) introducing e-Government (e-GP) behavioural change communication and social accountability.
The BRAC University Pharma Society (BUPS) organized an orientation program “Disco Capsule” for the students of Spring 2017 semester on February 9, 2017 at the BRAC University auditorium. The fresher were welcomed by greetings cards and flowers. The program started with an introductory session on the department and the prospects of Pharmacy by Dr. Sharmind Neelotpol, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University. The students were also introduced to the BUPS and IPSF (International Pharmaceutical Students Federation) by the Advisor of BUPS Md. Samiul Alam Rajib (Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy), Co-advisor Mr. Imon Rahman (Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy) and Md. Arifur Rahman (Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy). The program continued with a small cultural program arranged by the members of BUPS. Refreshments were arranged at the end of the event for the guests as well as for the students.
The 2nd IQAC survey findings sharing workshop was conducted on 9th February, 2017 at BBS Conference Room, BRAC University. The analysis and report was prepared by Associate Professor Dr. Mohammed Tareque Aziz, Assistant Professor Mr. Md. Tamzidul Islam and Former Assistant Professor S.M. Arifuzzaman; three of the members of Self Assessment Committee (SAC) of BRAC Business School under IQAC.
This workshop was presented by Mr. Noman Hossain Chowdhury, Senior Lecturer of BRAC Business School. It was based on the survey conducted on BBS Alumni and the sample size was 110, where 80, 25 and 15 graduates were surveyed from BBA, MBA and EMBA respectively.
The session was chaired by the Dean of BBS, Professor Iftekhar Ghani Chowdhury, Ph.D. and 30 faculty members from BBS attended the session. After sharing insightful survey findings, it was concluded by lively Q&A session.
On February 9, 2017, BRAC University Electrical and Electronic Club (BUEEC) arranged a seminar on a very widespread topic, “Internet of Things” with guest speaker, Dr. Reduan Hasan Khan, Deputy General Manager and Head of Circuit Switching System, Grameenphone Ltd. Internet of Things (IoT), refers mainly to the fastest growing network of internet connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. Dr. Khan mainly discussed about the structure of IoT, architecture, components and engineering in details. IoT is used in both engineering and research based works. This seminar intended to provide some guidance on this new challenge and it was a successful one as it encouraged people to think more.
The Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations (OCSAR) BRAC University in collaboration with Teach for Bangladesh successfully conducted a seminar on 8th February 2017 at 3.30 pm in BRACU Auditorium UB02 on the recruitment process of fellowship program 2017 in Teach for Bangladesh.
It was an informative event where Ms. Nusrat Nabi, Director of Fellowship Recruitment & Selection, TFB and Mr. Arnob K. Saha, Associate, Fellowship Recruitment and Selection, TFB conducted the session and encouraged the young students to join and take the challenge of serving the country through the volunteering profession. Through the informative session she expressed that their Fellowship Experience includes leadership development fellowship, teaching core subjects such as English, Science and Mathematics in low-income primary schools in urban Dhaka. Seventy students were present in the event. The program came to an end with question-answer session.
Ms. Samiha Nusrat, Officer, OCSAR supervised the event.
Cancer is one of the most prevalent disorders in recent times. The treatment of cancer is painful, expensive and yet, in most of the cases, unsuccessful. However, an early screening can help people to diagnose cancer and help them to enhance the efficacy of the treatment. It can also help one to prevent the spread the cancer tumors to other tissues, which otherwise may complicate the treatment further. Keeping in this mind, BRAC University Pharma Society (BUPS) organized a “Cancer Awareness Program” on February 7, 2017 at BRAC University. In this occasion, they distributed 200 brochures on cancer awareness to the students as well as to the general public. They also arranged a projector to show video regarding cancer awareness. The club members also gave information about cancer to the visitors. A poster on cancer was also arranged for the visitors in order to take comments from them.
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