Monday, 24 January, 2022
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DU Centenary Celebration and Our Expectation

Kawsar Uddin Mahmud

DU Centenary Celebration and Our Expectation

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In a developing country like Bangladesh, we, the students who study in a tertiary level particularly in International Relations, Political Science, Sociology and Peace and Conflict, are very fortunate to have the chance of studying these majors in a renowned university like the University of Dhaka, at the same time, we are unexpectedly forlorn not to have free subscriptions of many international political magazines like Foreign Policy, The Diplomat and the Foreign Affairs. Why the subscriptions to international magazines are vital for us?

Last time, I was reading a piece of an article published in the Foreign Policy magazine, written by a respected senior that was on the foreign relations of Bangladesh, India, China and the US. Before that, I was going through another masterpiece article of one of my respected teachers published in The Diplomat. I was lucky enough to read the first one through a Facebook link, but couldn’t read the second one.

These international magazines meet legitimacy to run their business in professional ways but their subscription alerts after a few lines of an article are undoubtedly nagging for us those who are interested in this arena. There is no room to argue about the authorities when it comes to talking about professionalism but there might have effective efforts from the correlated departments from different universities in buying subscriptions for their students to make them meet the international standard of thought.

There should have a common subscription hosted and subsidised by the departments through which every student would be able to get access whenever they want to read an article. This initiative must be taken by the departments or the universities as the students are fond of reading the different views and analyses of different international writers on international politics and relations and as they are not hemmed in the border of a particular country; rather they are the habitants of the global village.

Sagepub and Taylor and Francis publications, most of the time, ask for logging in through the institutional mail which I reckon is a convenient way of accessibility for the university students. Following the same procedure, world-renowned international relations magazines like Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs and The Diplomat could exceptionally give access to the students.

'Hunger waits for no delicacy' when our situation is like 'after meat comes mustard'. There are many possibilities in the Bangladeshi students but the blooms of roses get faded before they meet the maturity of knowledge. Impoverishment, economic crisis, socio-political instabilities and many major variables are functioning in stemming the students from an adequate growth in thoughts and minds.

Millions of money, however, got budgeted for the centenary celebration of the University of Dhaka, no penny has reportedly been paid off for the sake of the students' welfare though. The only illumination in the out limb of Dhaka University will never contribute to illuminating the mental growth of the students. Many students are intelligently prone to conducting research and innovating new ideas but they don't get enough funds or scholarships from the university. Those who get these amounts are also less adequate to the extent of conducting research or innovation.

How to stop brain-drain, nowadays, is one of the disquiet topics in conferences and seminars but the speakers often overlook the key factors that spur brain draining. They should conduct seminars covering the topic-- how to brain-gain. Without innovative minds and intellectual properties, $2,227 per capita GDP would not work aptly in the way of getting rid of LDC. Therefore, there is no alternative to the intellectual researchers when it comes to concentrating on the future stability of Bangladesh economy.

According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics data, in 2017, the number of Bangladeshi overseas students was approximately 60,390, most of which left Bangladesh only for pursuing a standard and healthy environment of higher education. Moreover, a huge number of the students don’t return to the homeland even, they don’t skimp to follow illegal migration policy for getting PR (permanent residence) in the host country.  In 2021, the number has certainly increased at an alarming rate. Why our domestic institutions are failed to gain the brains and intellects? Are there any satisfactory rationale? It is still inexplicable as always!

However, what are the factors that don't make students lucrative to our universities? Speaking of the name of Kabi Jasimuddin Hall of Dhaka University, just two days ago before unveiling the centenary celebration of the University of Dhaka, two pieces of walls have foundered in the hall cafeteria in which  two students got wounded severely. Besides, the structural condition of the Salimullah Muslim Hall building is also getting worse day by day. Why the authorities don't pay any heed to these critical circumstances? 

Looking at the last annual budget of the University of Dhaka, it uncovers that the authorities have placed nearly Tk 831.79 crore for the 2021-22 fiscal year, of which, Tk11/crore, 1.32% of the budget, was allocated for research and innovation. Therefore, the question arises that – is it precisely a palatable amount of money to conduct research for the betterment of the society and the nation? The crux of seats in the central library of Dhaka University is also a significant crisis from which we must get rid of as early as possible if we dream of a better and developed society.

Political instability, financial crisis, academic crux and many major issues may rise while we critically evaluate but at the end of the day, as a student of the University of Dhaka, during this centenary celebration, my expectation and prayer would be: may Dhaka University get back its lost glory! May Dhaka University become the Oxford of the East in its truest sense! May Dhaka University live long with glory, kudos, independence and harmony becoming the epicenter of all revolutions of this vigorous and valorous nation! Let the literal illumination of DU outside limb enlighten our thoughts and inspire us to make ourselves developed and proud not only in centenary celebration but also by our contribution to the nation and our position in the world stage.

 

The writer is a student of Dhaka University