Khandaker Jafor Ahmed, Research Associate, Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University participated in a Forum on Bringing Together EHS Professional in Bangladesh, on 7 October 2017 which was held in Long Beach Suites, Gulshan, Dhaka. The Forum was organized by the Institute for Sustainable Community’s (ISC) EHS+ Center, North South University in Bangladesh which is working to improve awareness and knowledge of Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) professionals and factory managers on the benefits of improved environmental management, occupational health and safety, and energy management practices by industry. The center has a strong curriculum, master trainers, and a pool of experts who provide advisory services to companies and factories.
The ISC’s EHS+ Center arranged the Forum to bring together the EHS researchers and practitioners around the country. The Forum was inaugurated by the welcome speech of Rita Lohani, Bangladesh Country Director, ISC. Rita Lohani demonstrated the overview of the EHS Center Project conducting 110 projects in 30 countries. Afterwards, there was an open discussion regarding the network of EHS professionals and researchers in Bangladesh. Researchers and professionals shared their opinions about the EHS network’s prospective objectives, procedures, and implementation in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, there was a concurrent training on Clean Energy after the lunch break. The training was facilitated by A M Shahed Iqubal, Faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT).The training focused on energy efficiency and energy management by which the environmental quality and sustainability can be improved and sustained.
BRAC University in collaboration with the University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh successfully organized a half-day workshop on “Building Resilient Universities: Promotion of Civic Values and Media Literacy” on Saturday, October 07, 2017 at the BRAC University Savar Campus.
The core objectives of the workshop were to promote the idea of civic education, media literacy and emotional health to the faculty members of BRAC University. Twenty five faculty members from BRAC University joined the workshop where Professor Sumon Rahman, Department of Media Studies & Journalism, and Director, Office of Faculty Research, ULAB were some of the key speakers.
The project “Building Resilient Universities: Promotion of Civic Values and Media Literacy”, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USA, is framed for twelve months that includes various activities such as ‘developing curriculum’, ‘student survey’, ‘faculty workshops’ and ‘co-curricular student projects’.
The workshop started with Dr. Ansar Ahmed’s, Pro Vice-Chancellor, BRAC University delivering a welcome speech. Dr. Ahmed also ended the workshop with a ceremony of handing over crests to the visiting team from ULAB and to Fahmida Rahman, Special Projects Officer, Office of Vice-Chancellor, BRAC University for coordinating the workshop.
Dr. Md. Mamun Habib, Associate Professor of BRAC Business School (BBS) and Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Supply Chain Management (IJSCM) – Scopus Indexed, as an invited guest joined MECCELERATION 2017, a Business Case Study Competition, organized by Department of Mechanical Chemical Engineering (MCE) of Islamic University of Technology (IUT) on October 6, 2017 at IUT campus, Board Bazar, Gazipur, Bangladesh.
Dr. Habib delivered a welcome message in the competition among the participants, judges and others. Dr. Habib highlighted the patronization of competition in academic learning. He also pointed out the how competitions help to learn the practical implementation and gather experience of corporate world. Out of more than 100 groups, 12 groups were qualified to join the final competition. It’s noted that one group comprised of BRACU students.
In addition, Dr. Habib inaugurated the program with other distinguished guests. Honorable Professors and faculty members of different universities across the country were present in the program. Dr. Habib was invited by Prof. Dr. Md. Zahid Hossain, Head of the department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering (MCE), Islamic University of Technology (IUT).
On October 5, 2017 BRAC Business School’s students had a factory visit. It was one of the factories of country famous Super Star Group (SSG). The main objective behind the visit was to make student aware about how various works are done in a factory. This study tour was a part of BUS101 (Introduction to Business) course. The faculty Ms. Tania Akter along with the students left for visit at 10 a.m. and took about an hour to cover the distance. The factory is located in Narayanganj.
As soon as we reached there one of their managers name Mohammad Aulad Hossain, Group Chief Technical Officer, came to help us to visit the factory. The students had no idea about the type of the factory and how they produce this products. But once students entered there, they have seen the production of different kinds of switches, lights, machineries for making this, raw materials and so on. Actually, SSG is an electrical & electronics conglomerate in Bangladesh. They produce various types of electronic product such as fan, light, switch, television etc.
After that the manager brought students each and every floor of the factory and explained how everything works.
There were more than 300 employees who work in this factory, among them 70% are female workers. They basically do physical work like jointing parts, packing the product, moving things one place to another. In this factory, they have some rich quality machine and those are brought from abroad for tasting the product so that they could give their best quality.
After seeing everything in the factory the manager brought in a room where they served some delicious food and gave a presentation on their company. The SSG team shared that now they are exporting their product in abroad which is a proud thing for the country. At 3pm students reached at the University. Later, students shared, that Factory visit was a great experience for them and they could not able to know such important lessons without visiting there.
The orientation session of Professional Skills Development Program (PSDP) Fall 2017 was held on 5th October, 2017 in BRACU Auditorium. Out of total 132 registered students, almost all of the students were present in this program; showing a great level of enthusiasm to the revamped program.
At the beginning of the session Mr. Kazi Shahnoor Kabir, Senior Officer, OCSAR, welcomed all students and described the components of the PSDP which is designed to develop Professional Skills within students who are on the verge of entering into the professional world. He explained the objectives of the program which is to equip all graduating students with the necessary skills for job search, individual portfolio development and interview preparation.
As special guest of the event Mr. Sayeed Nasir (General Manager, Human Resources), Bkash, encouraged the students to prepare themselves for the professional world. He focused on the importance of having a good CV and how essential it is to make the first impression to the employers. He also discussed employment opportunities and job market conditions and prospects. In his speech he emphasized on developing business communication skills which will help students to climb at the top of management.
The event concluded with a vibrant interactive Q & A session in which students raised queries about different aspects of the career and professional development process.
The Department of English and Humanities (ENH) held a colourful event celebrating the pleasures provided by the text. The programme “TEXTRAVAGANZA!” was held on Wednesday, 4th Oct, 2017.
The event was arranged very thoughtfully to reflect how books can truly be man’s best friend and provide great and inspiring companionship. Students read out carefully selected passages from James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Shakespeare, Haruki Murakami, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Hermann Hesse, Humayun Ahmed and many other authors. The use of musical scores, video clips and dramatic performances made the readings captivating for the audience.
The second half of the literary event was a fun and entertainment one, as there was hip hop rendition of Shakespearean passages, reggae performance from Linton Kwesi Johnson, a graphic film adaptation, demonstration of the sufi dance form and its connection with poetry, a dancing interpretation of modernist paintings and even a magic show revolving around the text!
Using only a projector and the simplest of costumes, students of ENH read, sang and acted out words that were deeply inspiring and thought provoking. The text truly was the hero of the event as pointed out by Rukhsana R. Chowdhury, senior lecturer of the department.
The Chairperson of the department Professor Firdous Azim appreciated the zeal and talent of the ENH students in her closing remarks.
The thunderous applause of the audience which had been cheering the performers on stage throughout the programme was a marker of the success of the event.
Ms. Sharmin Nahar Nipa, Lecturer of Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER) attended Bangladesh National Conference on Disaster Risk Management on 3 and 4 October, 2017 organized by the Department of Disaster Management in collaboration with key humanitarian NGOs in Bangladesh. Md. Reaz Ahmed, Director General (Additional Secretary), Department of Disaster Management inaugurated the conference where more than 200 delegates from different NGOs, INGOs and private sector actively participated in the event. The conference contained five Thematic Sessions and two Plenary Sessions mainly focusing on the Sendai Framework, resilience buildup, knowledge management, innovation, digitization and ICT for DRR, professionalization of DRM and humanitarianism, risk financing, risk reduction for Bangladesh perspective. The participants and panelists discussed about the success stories as well as pointed out the constraints in the national risk management system. In addition, different humanitarian organizations also shared their project findings which mainly focused on the urban resilience, digitization of DRM and importance of governance and accountability for DRM, etc. The declaration issued after the conference was, "We urge all stakeholders to promote and invest in knowledge management, innovation, human resources capacity development and ICT for humanitarian and disaster risk management in Bangladesh".
A Sub-national workshop for the project titled “Advancing Water Security of Marginalized Communities Living along Karnali-Ganges River Basin in Nepal, India and Bangladesh” was held on 3rd October 2017 at the DC office in Satkhira district, Bangladesh. It was organized by Shushilan and the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER), BRAC University and was supported by WaterAid, Bangladesh. In the half day-long event with over 70 participants from different public, private and non-government organizations engaged in dialogue towards transboundary river issues and water scarcity.
The DC, Mr. Abul Kashem Md Mohiuddin, graced the inaugural session of the workshop as chief guest, after which all the participants present introduced themselves. In his speech he said,“Fresh water sources are depleting in the coastal regions of Bangladesh and salinity intrusion in Satkhira is the most concerning issue.”The key note speech and presentation was given by Dr. Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus, BRAC University. He said“It is imperative for countries to talk about Transboundary River issues as ignoring this could lead to immense sufferings for the future generations.” Dr. Nishat ended the presentation by sharing the learning of the exchange visit to Kanpur and Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh, India by the Bangladesh team to understand and learn the mechanisms of Jal Chaupal related to water management and transboundary river issues.
During the open discussion session, four UP Chairman from Padmapukur, Kashimari, Kaikhali and Nurnagar unions: SM Ataur Rahman, SM Abdur Rouf, Shaikh Abdur Rahim and Md. Bakhtiar Ahmed and Shyamnagar Upazila Vice Chairman: Nurjahan Pervin, voiced their concerns and learning from the exchange visit to India. They collectively shared their views on water scarcity and water crisis in Uttar Pradesh, India. They mentioned how India has recently started to apply the technique of rain water harvesting to store water which people in Satkhira have been doing for decades. The Chairman also appreciated the waste management system in Uttar Pradesh and spoke about the waste water treatment plant they visited which refines waste water for reuse in agricultural purposes. As for suggestions in their own unions, they focused on excavating ponds, increasing PSFs and using plastic tanks to store water. A few Union Parishad members shared their concerns about their respective unions. From Kaikhali and Gabura, the members spoke on how salinity could be and must be reduced in the area for sustainability of livelihoods. Drinking water scarcity could be reduced through storing water in plastic tanks for drier seasons. They suggested making embankments stronger and ensure proper polder management.
Mr. Mostafa Aktheruzzman, Deputy Director, Shushilan also shared his views regarding WAI’s work and Jal Chaupal. He mentioned how similar issues regarding water are present in both the countries; India and Bangladesh. Drought, scarcity of safe drinking water, groundwater depletion and contamination etc. are all major issues in the study areas for this project in these neighboring countries. Dr. Mohammad Rezaur Rahman, Professor, Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) was also present in the event and shared his views on transboundary river issues and the project in general. He said, “Solutions to these water issues could be learned from each other (countries sharing transboundary rivers) and communication between these countries is crucial.” Special guest Mr. Abdul Hannan, ADC, Satkhira said “Land use management is a huge factor in dealing with water issues in Satkhira and local authorities are to be more involved and active regarding this matter.”
The Conference Secretariat of 1st International Conference on Business and Management (ICBM 2017), organized by BRAC Business School (BBS), had a post conference meeting with Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG, the Founder and Chairman of BRAC and Chairperson of Board of Trustees, BRAC University on Monday, 2nd October, 2017 at his office. ICBM 2017 was held at Westin Hotel, Dhaka on September 21-22, 2017.
The discussion focused on aims and objectives of ICBM 2017 and how those were accomplished successfully. Dr Md. Mamun Habib, Program Chair of ICBM 2017 focused on how great ideas and thoughtful solutions developed through key note speeches, various parallel sessions, academia-industry discussion, Industry Talk and many more group discussions led by top notch academicians and industry experts from local and international level.
Sir Abed, the Chief Patron of ICBM 2017, expressed his satisfaction and thanked all the associated organizing committee members for their generous efforts for producing the ICBM 2017 as a successful event. During the meeting, Conference Secretariat handed over conference kit, including conference proceedings, crest, etc. to Sir Abed. He expressed his intuition to BBS to continue their best efforts for the 2nd International Conference on Business and Management (ICBM 2019).
From left: Mr. Zaheed Husein Mohammad Al-Din, Dr. Md. Mamun Habib, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Mr. Shamim Ahmed Mr. N. M. Baki Billah
BRAC-Kumon has been formally launched at BRAC Centre on September 18, 2017.
Kumon is a comprehensive method of learning mathematics, which was developed by Japanese mathematics teacher Toru Kumon and formally introduced in his country in 1958. Originally named after its developer and initiator, Kumon method is now being introduced in Bangladesh as a BRAC-Kumon initiative.
The first BRAC-Kumon centre has begun their trial operations on September 19, 2017, in Dhanmondi (House 8, Road 14, behind Sobhanbag mosque) and the second centre is expected to open in Uttara in November.
Hidenori Ikegami, President of Kumon Institute of Education Co. Ltd., Japan, attended the launching ceremony as the chief guest, while Dr. Muhammad Musa, Executive Director of BRAC, was present as special guest.
During the event, Mr. Ikegami said, “Students cannot utilize their potentials owing to two main reasons: a lack of learning-friendly environment and a lack of proper learning method. The BRAC-Kumon partnership will be able to ensure both the needs.”
Dr. Safiqul Islam, Director of BRAC Education Programme (BEP); Hitoishi Ara, Senior Representative of Japan International Cooperation (JICA); Diasuke Arai, Country Representative of Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO); and Nehal Bin Hasan, Project in-Charge of BRAC-Kumon Team, also spoke at the event.
In 2014, BRAC ran the pre-pilot project on Kumon method for the first time. The method is currently being run in 50 countries.
Dr. Jia Uddin (Assistant Professor, CSE) and his MSc. thesis student, Mr. Rubayat Ahmed Khan received Dr. Fatema Rashid Best Paper Award in IEEE sponsored 4th International Conference on Advances in Electrical Engineering (ICAEE), 28-30 September 2017, IUB Campus, Dhaka, Bangladesh (http://icaee.net/). On behalf of the team, Dr. Jia presented the paper on: Real Time Fire Detection using Enhanced Color Segmentation & Novel Foreground Extraction. In the conference, the conference committee selects three best student papers based on the reviewers and session chair scores. Among 150+ accepted papers from 12 different countries including USA, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Dr. Jia and his graduate student paper won Best Paper Award. At the end of conference, on behalf of the team, Dr. Jia received Dr. Fatema Rashid award from Prof. Saiful Islam, Vice Chanchellor, Bangladesh University of Engineering, &Technology, BUET and Prof. M. Omar Rahman, Vice Chancellor, Independent University, Bangladesh, IUB. Mr. Rubayat is currently working as a Lecturer in CSE department and another co-author, Ms. Corraya (recently joined at Jagannat University).
On 28 September, 2017, Ms. Farrah Jabeen, Senior Lecturer at BRAC Institute of Languages (BIL), has left on study leave to pursue her PhD in ‘Education in Centre for Learning and Research’ at University of Auckland, New Zealand. She previously earned her M.A. degree from University of Liverpool, UK, and has been teaching at BRAC University since 2007.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), BRAC University (BRACU), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Daffodil International University (DIU) on September 28, 2017, through which all parties agreed to a collaborative cooperation in the implementation of a national IT/ITES sector skill gap survey to identify interventions in national policy for planning of efficient, equitable and high-quality computer science and engineering education at the tertiary level in Bangladesh.
For successful implementation of the survey, BRACU will work with ADB and DIU to develop employer survey questionnaire in close consultation with University Grants Commission (UGC), other selected universities and industry associations such as Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS), Bangladesh Association of Call Center & Outsourcing (BACCO), and Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB). The three parties will also work together to analyze the data. The findings of the survey are expected to be jointly disseminated to the public in consultation with related industry associations.
Professor Md. Abdul Mottalib, Chairperson of Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), signed the MoU on behalf of BRACU, Mr. Ryotaro Hayashi, Social Sector Specialist of Human and Social Development Division, signed the MoU on behalf of ADB and Professor Syed Akhter Hossain, Chairperson of Department of Computer Science and Engineering, signed the MoU on behalf of DIU University.
An article review session took place on September 28, 2017, at BRAC University Savar Campus. Ms. Shahinur Bashar, faculty member of Bangladesh Studies, discussed the article titled "Political Parties and Good Governance: Bangladesh Perspective” by Md. Rajib Hasnat Shakil and Kaniz Marzia.
The article mainly focuses on the political parties of Bangladesh and discusses how a democratic political party could ensure good governance in Bangladesh. Most of the political parties in Bangladesh have affiliation with business people who are not involved with politics and yet they get nomination for running the election. These political parties also have a tradition of following nepotism in politics, which prevents intellectual people from participating. The article further explores the reasons behind the failure of political parties. At the end, it concludes by stating that to ensure good governance it is necessary to impede the wrongdoings of the political parties, which could be achieved through institutionalization.
After the discussion, faculty members who were present in the session shared their opinions regarding the article. They also agreed that this article would facilitate students’ understanding of how the actions of political parties lead to either good governance in the country or the downfall of the country.
The pre-departure orientation of the Professional Exchange Programme funded by the US State Department was held on 28 September 2017 at GDLN Centre. The programme was organized by Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), BRAC University. Representative from Oklahoma University Dr. Elanie Steyn along with five current professional fellows shared necessary information through Skype with the participants. Three participants from different backgrounds selected for the professional exchange and to visit USA in fall 2017. They are: Mr. Affan Mahmud, CEO, Boomerang Digital; Mr. Shah Poran, CEO, Handymama.com; and Ms. Nasima Siraji, Managing Director, Florel Baby Care. Professor Dr. Rahim B. Talukdar, Adviser, CED chaired and Mr. Shamim Ehsanul Haque, Assistant Professor, BBS coordinated the event. Other CED officials were also present in the programme. The program started at 6:30 PM and ended at 10:10 PM followed by a dinner.
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