Policy Research Centre.bd & NAPSIPAG
Minutes of the Meeting
Place: The Café Rio (Seminar Hall)
Date: Saturday October 26, 2019, Time: 11:00 A.M
Monthly meeting of Policy Research Centre.bd (PRC.bd) was held on Saturday (11:00 A.M), October 26, 2019 at the seminar hall of The Café-Rio, Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Dr. Shamsur Rahman (Senior Advisor, PRC.bd). The meeting was attended by a group of research experts, academicians, civil servants and ex-army personnel to discuss current activities of Policy Research Centre.bd (PRC.bd), Bangladesh and future strategies to be followed to activate the organization. The following members were present:
1. Prof. Dr. Akbaruddin Ahmad, Chairman
2. Dr. Mahfuzul Haque, CEO
3. Dr. Shamsur Rahman, Senior Advisor
4. Colonel Zillur Rahman Mohd Ashraf Uddin, Advisor
5. Dr. Nilufer Hye Karim, Senior Research Fellow
6. Prof. M. Rashidul Islam, Research Fellow
7. Prof. Md. Abdus Salam, Research Fellow
8. Dr. M. Shah Alam, Member
9. S. M. Baker, Treasurer
10. Khan Abdus Salam, Member
11. Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed, Director (Research & Media)
12. Md. Ataur Rahman, Member
13. Nur Mohammad Khan (Ph.D Fellow), Associate Researcher
14. Md. Abdul Latif Mahmud, M.Phil (Research Fellow), Associate Researcher
15. Mr. Touhid Alam, Executive Secretary & Research Associate
The meeting started with the recitation from the Holy Quran and Dua. After discussion, some of the points raised are as follows:
SAARC has been a non-functional organization. Moreover, BIMSTEC activities are also slowing down. Another initiative, namely Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal (BBIN) Sub-regional Cooperation, promoted by India with assistance of some development partners is in progress. The initiative is looking at collaboration in the field of road connectivity, energy, hydro-power, environment and climate change.
• Collaboration with Chinese Universities/Institutions: Chinese government is keen to promote Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with around 152 countries of the world involving infrastructure development and investments. PRC.bd could explore collaboration with Chinese universities and some strategic institutes. In this regard, Shanghai Institute of International Studies (SIIS) could be contacted. Chairman, PRC.bd is expected to attend the 3rd Global Conference on International Network of Disaster Studies (INDS) to be held at Shanghai, China on 21-23 July 2020.He could find an opportunity to visit the Institute.
• Collaboration with Japanese Universities/Institutions: PRC.bd could establish contact with Iwate University at Morioka, Japan while attending the 2nd Global Conference on International Network of Disaster Studies (INDS) in 2017. Hopefully the forthcoming 2020 conference at Shanghai would be another opportunity to rejuvenate our earlier contact.
• Collaboration with Indian Universities/Institutions: Through Network of Asia-Pacific Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Governance (NAPSIPAG), PRC.bd has been in the fore front developing connections with Indian and Sri Lankan Universities. PRC.bd had the privilege to host the 11th conference in 2014 in Bangladesh. In this regard, Special Centre for Disaster Reduction (SCDR) at JNU has been a pioneer. It is expected the forthcoming Global Symposium on “Disaster Resilient Smart Cities” at SCDR, JNU, 4-6 December 2019 would be another opportunity for the PRC.bd delegates to revitalize the contacts. It could be mentioned here that by now a good number of books published by noted publishers like Springer, Routledge, Francis and Taylor have been jointly edited by PRC.bd members. On tourism sector, the International Conference on “Responsible Tourism Practices in India: Issues and Challenges” organized by the University of Pondicherry, Poducherry, India on 7-9 December 2019 would enable the PRC.bd delegation to open another window of collaboration with the regional universities.
We have very recently started joining Psychological Association of Asia Pacific countries. Couples of such conferences are to take place in Gujrat and Colombo in November and December 2019.
• Sectoral Issues: There were discussions on various sectoral issues. The participants observed that instead of trying all issues, perhaps, it would be wise to put emphasis on some of the issues. There was emphasis on agriculture, education, disaster risk reduction, environment and climate change. Participants observed that a small group may work on this issue to identify focus of this organization.
• Achievements and Failures: There are many achievements as well as failures. The Organization could not generate a stable fund in order to make it a self-sustaining one. The meeting thanked Prof Akbar Ahmad for generating required funds single-handed, in order to continue activities of this organization. Many studies, publications took place by PRC.bd. So far the recommendations could not be implemented because of lack of ownership of the government. Linking policy recommendations into action has been a gray area all along. The Finance World has been irregular. Everybody observed that the newspaper should commence publication soon.
• Future follow-up actions: It was agreed upon that efforts would be made to meet regularly once a month.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks from the chair.
Prof. Dr. Akbaruddin Ahmad
Chairman, PRC.bd & NAPSIPAG (Admn)