Ms. Jebunnesa Chowdhury was nominated by the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS) to attend “Nobel Prize Dialogue Tokyo 2017” held at Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan on February 26, 2017. Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Nobel Media AB were the organizers of the event. The event aims to stimulate discussion at the highest level on a topical science-related theme by bringing together Nobel Laureates, the world’s leading scientists, key opinion leaders, policy makers, different interest groups and the general public, online as well as on site. By bridging science and society, it is an opportunity to stimulate thinking, excite imagination and inspire greatness. Ms. Chowdhury actively joined the event by asking questions at the Q&A sessions after the lectures and a panel discussion on “The Future of Intelligence”. Presence of Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado, at the evening reception on 26 February, was a great honour for the participants.
The British Academy has recently awarded a prestigious research grant entitled “The last 100 metres: Safeguarding potable water provisioning to urban informal settlements” under its Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) Sustainable Development scheme to a Bangladesh-Tanzania-UK collaborative team of researchers.
Dr. Mohammad Faruk of the Department of Architecture, BRAC University has been nominated as the project’s Bangladesh coordinator for the ‘Settlement characterization, mapping & social survey’ component.
He has participated a five-day project inception meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania hosted jointly by the Ardhi University and BRAC Tanzania, during 19-24 February 2017. During his visit Dr. Faruk also visited five key informal settlements in Dar es Salaam as part of the research and also attended the Management board meeting of the ' last 100 metres' project.
BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL) faculty members Mr. Md. Shams Ud Duha, Mr. Kushal Das and Ms. Adrita Mulk accompanied two groups of interested students from ENG091 and ENG101 sections to Ekushey book fair on February 23 and February 24, 2017. On both days, students met and exchanged views with a writer and a publisher, visited different stalls, and bought several books.
On February 23, students met prominent cartoonist Mr. Ahsan Habib and publisher Ms. Aditya Antor from Ittadi Publication. They were also interviewed by Independent TV and the interviews were broadcast the next day. On February 24, another group of students met Mr. M. A. Matin, editor of one of the little magazines Amoraboti, and Mr. Osman Gani, renowned publisher of Aagami Publication. They shared their recent projects and future plan with the students on both days.
The trip was arranged as part of BIL’s new initiative to encourage experiential learning.
Department of Architecture Self Assessment Committee (SAC), BRAC University has organized a three day long program along with IQAC(Institutional Quality Assurance Cell) on the visit of external peer reviewer (EPR) team to assess the final self assessment report of Architecture Department held from 20 to 23 February 2017. In this program, Dr. Iftekhar Ahmen and Dr. Nandini Awal were present as the member of SAC. A team of three quality assurance (QA) experts reviewed the report among whom Dr. Mahbub Rahman as foreign expart (Professor and Dean, College of Engineering and Design, Kingdom University Bahrain), and Prof. Dr. Mushfique Ahmed (Department of Geology and Mining, University of Rajshahi and Director, Institutional Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh) and Prof. Dr. Farida Nilufar (Professor Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)) as local experts joined the program.
Rukhsana R.Chowdhury, Senior Lecturer, delivered the key-note speech at a book launching ceremony organized by the Bangla-Urdu Sahitya Foundation on Feb.11, 2017. It was the launching of a collection of short stories written in Urdu language by a Bengali writer. Besides the heavy presence of local poets and writers, the programme was attended by representatives of the Bangla Academy, a delegation of European poets and academics and researchers from around the world. The ceremony was presided over by renowned poet and cultural activist, Asad Chowdhury. The book launch was followed by a poetry recitation session where Bangla, Urdu, English, Norwegian, Italian and French poems were read out by their authors.
Nawshaba Ahmed, Lecturer, department of English and Humanities, attended a 3 day full fledged workshop organized by the James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University from 12th to 14th February. This workshop, titled “Transforming SRHR: Transgender Diversities in Bangladesh” was held with a view to raise awareness on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights issues in Bangladesh and to create a pool between the activists, the communities of sexual minority of Bangladesh and South Asia, researchers and the Law practitioners. This workshop was also attended by 8 students who were nominated from the BRAC University, Scholars’ Program.
Faculty Members attended International Conference on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Institute (IMLI) organized a two-day international conference, titled The Language Documentation and Multilingual Preservation on February 22 and 23, 2017 as part of the institute's four-day programme to commemorate the International Mother Language Day 2016. The conference brought together linguist experts, academics, researchers and minority language activists to discuss issues of minority languages' use and preservation in different multilingual countries. Dr Rifat Mahbub, Dr Asifa Sultana, and Muhammad Mahmudul Haque from the department attended the conference as select delegate of BRAC University.
Two researchers from the James P Grant School of Public Health attended a symposium on Community Health workers and their contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Kampala, Uganda. Sushama Kanan (Senior Research Associate) and Tamanna Majid (Research Associate) from the REACHOUT Bangladesh project gave an oral presentation on the abstract titled “Close to community (CTC) providers role in strengthening reproductive health service provision: lessons from an implementation research, REACHOUT Bangladesh” and a poster presentation on the abstract titled “Close-to-community (CTC) health providers in the complex adaptive health system in Bangladesh”. The team also took part in a panel discussion on “What does trust have to do with Community Health Workers and the Sustainable Development Goals?” with the wider REACHOUT consortium.
Held from 21-23 February, the symposium was organised by Makerere University College of Health Sciences, School of Public Health, Uganda in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, UK and Ministry of Health, Uganda. Over 450 participants from over 20 countries attended the symposium, taking part in in-depth discussions, knowledge sharing, and networking.
A blog has been published on the basis of this panel discussion which can be found at http://reachoutconsortium.org/news/what-does-trust-have-to-do-with-community-health-workers-and-the-sustainable-development-goals/.
The Department of Pharmacy organized a seminar on “Career Development in Pharmaceutical Industry” on February 23, 2017 at the BRAC University auditorium. The speaker of this seminar was Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, Senior Manager, Manufacturing, Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd.
Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed started the seminar by giving a brief history on Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd. to the students of the Department of Pharmacy. In his speech, he introduced the students to the diversified sectors of the pharmaceutical industry in which they can develop their careers. He also highlighted the basic difference between a job and a career. He continued the seminar by discussing the basic skills required for getting job offer, tips for preparing curriculum vitae and reviewing the interview process for a job etc. The seminar ended with a question answer session with the students.
Representatives from Kikid and Ranj – partners organisations for the research project “Psychodrama as transformative intervention in the SRH of young men in urban slums in Dhaka; proof of a novel approach” – visited Bangladesh from 19 – 22 February for a content development workshop on psychodrama. They visited an urban slum (Bhashentek) in Dhaka where they saw activities from the theatre group, one of which showed part of a play on intimate partner violence.
The workshop with young men from urban slums was held on 22 February where they played theatre games and discussed four statements with the group and listened to their reactions and opinions on these statements: “if a girl wears sexy clothes she wants more”; “if women do not listen, they deserve to be beaten”; “I brag about my sexual performance”; and “not using condom is OK”. After the workshop there was a debriefing session for further planning and implementation.
On 21st February, 2017, BRAC University (BRACU) observed “অমর একুশে (Amar Ekushey)”, remembering the martyrs of 1952 in a befitting manner.
BRACU, represented by Jabed Rasel, Md. Akhterujjaman and SK Tareq Hossain, along with BRAC University Heritage Forum (BUHF) members, marched towards the Central Shaheed Minar at the capital to pay homage to the language heroes who laid down their lives on this day, 65 years ago.
Since it was also the International Mother Language Day, this year a singing performance of ‘আমার ভাইয়ের রক্তে রাঙানো একুশে ফেব্রুয়ারি (Amar vai er rokte rangano Ekushe February)’ by foreign students enhanced the celebration of International Mother Language Day at BRACU. The performances by the foreign students were a collaborative effort of Office of Co-curricular Activities, students from BRACU Cultural Club and BRACU Film Club.
In February, the members of BRAC University Pharma Society (BUPS) participated in the Probhat Feri of Ekushe February. On February 21, 2017, twenty students of the Department of Pharmacy started off from BRAC University at 7.00 am and went to the central Shaheed Minar to pay their respects to the martyrs of Ekushe February with a banner and a flower bouquet.
BIGD, as part of the Public Procurement Reform Project (PPRP, phase 11) has been supporting the Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU), IME Division, Ministry of Planning to pilot test a third-party monitoring system (model) of infrastructure projects, involving the beneficiaries/citizens at the Upazila level. BIGD team has been involved in implementing the project in four Upazilas of Rangpur and Sirajganj for the past 18 months. The essence of the project is to establish greater transparency and accountability in public procurement through citizens’ engagement.
This pilot project has received the World Bank's South Asia Procurement Innovation Award for 2016-2017 at the fourth South Asia Regional Public Procurement Conference, hosted by the Sri Lankan Department of Public Finance at Sri Lanka, on February 20-23, 2017.
The theme of the conference was "e-GP in South Asia: Achievements, Opportunities and Challenges". Director General of CPTU Md Faruque Hossain, the current chair of the South Asian Public Procurement Network (SAPPN), represented Bangladesh in the conference.
The SAPPN is a platform of heads of public procurement regulatory bodies in South Asian countries. They exchange ideas and experiences to innovate good practices to improve public procurement management in the region in general and their own country in particular. The SAPPN for the first time declared public procurement award under some categories. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank were the sponsors of the conference.
BRAC University (BRACU) and Advanced Chemical Industries (ACI) Ltd. signed a MoU on February 19, 2017 to work in target oriented research and development projects especially in the field of agriculture through collaborative programs.
The function was held at GDLN Conference Room of BRACU where Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor, BRACU and Dr. F. H. Ansarey, Executive Director, ACI Ltd. signed the MoU on behalf their respective institutions. Professor Lutfur Rahman, Advisor, ACI Agribusiness, Professor A. A. Ziauddin Ahmad, Chairperson, Mathmatics and Natural Scinces (MNS) Department, Dr. Aparna Islam, Coordinator, MS Biotechnology Program and Professor Mahboob Hosain, Coordinator, Microbiology Program of MNS Department were also present on the occasion.
- 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.
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