BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL) arranged a ‘Career Council Seminar’ for the Pre-University students of Summer 2017 on July 06, 2017, at BRAC University. The event was facilitated by the Office of the Career Services and Alumni Relations (OCSAR). All the Pre-University students and faculty members attended the seminar.
The program began with a brief discussion by the OCSAR officials regarding the services provided by OCSAR to the students, the activities of different clubs at BRACU and how the students would benefit from club involvement. Furthermore, the speakers discussed current trends and subject-specific opportunities in the job market, ways of developing necessary soft skills to meet job-market requirements, and also shed light on the changing career trends.
An interactive question-answer session took place at the end of the discussion. Students asked various questions regarding their subject of study and its scope in the existing job market, the part-time job opportunities at BRAC University, employability of BRACU graduates in comparison with other university graduates, and what is considered to be a competitive CGPA as well as how to achieve that at BRAC University. The seminar ended with a warm vote of thanks by the OCSAR officials who encouraged the students to visit OCSAR office for any help they may need during their journey as BRACU students.
July was quite eventful at the Department of English and Humanities as the ENH Seminar Series hosted three talks this month.
On July 06, Thomas James Newbold, a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago’s South Asian Languages and Civilization (SALC) Department delivered a lecture at the ENH Seminar room. The title was, “The Mind, the Modern and the Puthi: Historiographical questions and the narration of Bengali Muslim literary modernity- 1964-1981”. The talk was very well attended and saw an animated audience engaging with the speaker.
The second event was a sharing session held on July 13. Lubaba Sanjana, Lecturer, ENH, gave a talk titled “Student Engagement Techniques and Feedback”. Her talk was based on the experience and knowledge she had gathered from different modules of the 'Certificate in Training Strategies for Higher Education' programme run by Professional Development Centre (PDC). Mohammad Mahmudul Haque, Senior Lecturer, ENH, welcomed the audience and introduced Lubaba Sanjana. Ms. Sanjana discussed practical implication of several student engagement techniques. She also showed the importance of organized feedback, which she learned from her PDC course. An interactive Q/A session followed the talk. Prof. Dr. Ansar Ahmed, Pro-VC of BRAC University, members from the PDC team, and faculty members of ENH were present at the session.
The third and final event of the month was a talk by S.M.Mohibul Hasan, a faculty member of ENH. He is currently doing his Ph.D. at the Department of Linguistics, Dhaka University. Mohibul Hasan’s talk was entitled “The Choice of Learners’ Styles in Designing Pronunciation Instruction”. It looked at how individualizing instruction may lead to the development of a more efficient pedagogical intervention. Despite low attendance, the session was a success and audience members enjoyed the informative nature of the talk and the interaction that this session provided.
The Office of Career services And Alumni Relations (OCSAR) organized a recruitment seminar for the Last year students of BRAC University on 6th July 2017 in BRACU Indoor Games Room UB03 (9th Floor).
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) is a UK-based international development organization having operations in 26 countries around the world. It was founded in the year of 1958, headquartered in London and started its operation in Bangladesh in the year of 1974 with a vision to create world without poverty in which people work together to fulfill their potential by linking both international & national volunteers in development initiatives.
After the global success of NCS project in several operational countries of VSO, VSO Bangladesh is going to start National Citizen Service (NCS) project from September 2017 funded by UKAID, bringing together young national volunteers to make a difference in some of the poorest communities in Bangladesh starting in Gaibandha, Barisal Sadar and Satkhira. Currently, VSO Bangladesh is looking for 30 (15 Female & 15 Male) dynamic youth volunteers and youth volunteer team leaders. The project aims to create positive changes in rural communities in the area of Livelihood, Good Governance, Youth & Women Employability and Entrepreneurship and Adolescent & Youth Sexual Reproductive Health Rights by building personal development of youth and promote them as active citizens.
Mr. Mohsin Arif Reja, Recruitment Specialist, VSO Bangladesh outlined the employment opportunity and responsibilities along with the procedures of applying in the National Citizen Service (NCS) project. The event concluded with a vibrant interactive Q & A session in which students raised queries about the career and growth opportunities of the program. Mr. Kazi Shahnoor Kabir, OCSAR was present at the session and coordinated the event.
An article review session took place on July 5, 2017, at the Meeting Room of BRAC University Savar Campus. Ms. Taskina Tabassum, faculty member of Ethics & Culture, reviewed an article titled “Rawls’ Theory of Justice” by Vinit Haksar.
The author of the article discusses John Rawls’ idea of justice from a critical point of view. According to Rawls, justice and morality should not be overridden by each other; however, in some cases a certain practice in the society may have a conflict with morality while establishing justice for people or it could be the other way around. When such kind of conflict takes place there could be four types of possibilities mentioned by Rawls: a practice that is really just but on the whole immoral; a practice that is just and moral; a practice that is unjust and immoral; and a practice that is really unjust but on the whole morally desirable. Rawls also mentions that in this scenario the people in the society should decide which should be prioritized: justice or morality.
In the review session, Ms. Tabassum addressed how the author of the article found some absurdness in Rawls’ theory, for example, from the position of equal liberty an unjust morally desirable practice can be considered just according to his theory. Ms. Tabassum further elaborated how the author does not reject Rawls’ idea of justice, but suggests modification in the theory to make it less objectionable.
At the end of Ms. Tabassum’s discussion, all teachers of Ethics and Culture course shared their opinion on the topic. It was concluded that the article was relevant to the course and it will help to clarify John Rawls’ philosophy of justice from a critical point of view.
Professor Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus, C3ER, BRAC University participated the 8th round of Bangladesh-India friendship dialoguefrom 2 July-4 July 2017 at Guwahati, India. Professor Nishat joined as a member of the delegation and resource person and shared his views and opinions on water security and joint basin management; energy security and cross boarder generation and trade in power and managing peaceful and prosperous international boarders and security. The delegation team of Bangladesh with 14 members led by Honorable State Minister for Foreign Affairs from Bangladesh Md Shahriar Alam. The dialogue was organized by Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies (BFRS) a associate concern of Friends of Bangladesh, State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA) Assam, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies 9MAKALAS) and India Foundation (IF). The theme of the dialogue was “Bangladesh-India Relations: Into a Brave New World.”
The deliberations focused on bilateral relations between the two friendly countries. The dialogue also assessed the possibilities and modalities for designing sustainable and forward-looking mechanisms in joint finance and promotion of both innovative and high-end value-added products and services. It suggested a security and economic vision of South Asia for 2030.The 7th earlier sessions of the dialogue were held in Kolkata, Dhaka, Delhi and Agartola during 2013-2014-2015 and 2016. The next round of the dialogue will be held in Cox’s Bazar next year, according to the declaration.
BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL) conducted the 20th Journal Club Session on July 01, 2017, at the Listening Lab of BRAC University. Mr. Farid Ahmed and Ms. Farzana Rahman Khan, Lecturers at BIL, individually presented the article titled “Identifying second language errors: how plausible are plausible reconstructions?” written by Md. Obaidul Hamid.
In the article, the author questions whether having the same mother tongue as the students could work as a privilege for the instructors in detecting the meaning of erroneous sentences written by them. The presenters further shared information related to the author’s survey that he conducted on a number of his colleagues, which included filling out a questionnaire consisting of erroneous sentences written by Bangladeshi students. The author also asked six Australian teachers to participate in the same survey. The purpose was to see whether the Bangladeshi teachers had any advantage over the Australian teachers in case of understanding or predicting the meaning of the erroneous sentences. In addition, while conducting research, the author measured the extent to which error identifiers are able to successfully guess learner intentions in their idiosyncratic utterances by consulting the communicative context.
Overall, the session led all the faculty members present to share their views, experience, agreements and disagreements on the author’s points and also to discuss the limitation of the article. It was helpful for the faculty members to not only share their experiences but it also inspired them to reflect on how best to address similar situations they themselves confront in the course of their professional lives.
Ms. Lopita Huq, Research Fellow of BIGD presented a paper titled “Paradox of Change in Women's capabilities: Case of Two Villages in Bangladesh” in the session on "Deprivation vs. Empowerment". The paper was presented at the 26th IAFFE Annual Conference titled "Gender Inequalities in a Multipolar World" organized by the International Association for Feminist Economics at Sungshin Women's University, Seoul, South Korea from 29th June - 1st July 2017.
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.
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