Celebrating Jahangirnagar University day
Musaddek Ahmad Boshir
The Jahangirnagar University Day was observed on 12th January marking the 38th founding anniversary of the university. The university wore a festive look as former and current students, employees, officers and teachers joined the programmes inaugurated by the acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Muhammad Muniruzzaman. He, along with the Treasurer Professor Syed Abdul Hye hoisted the university flag and released balloons at the premises of the Microbiology faculty in the morning. Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Muhammad Muniruzzamn said that the university has been contributing to educational research and cultural practice ever since it was established on this day in 1971.
Treasurer Syed Abdul Hye and the programme convener Professor Sharif Anamul Karim also spoke at the inaugural session. A rally was also brought out with festoons, banners and placards that went around the campus. JU Registrar Abu Baker Siddique conducted the inaugural programme.
Jahangirnagar University began its journey at a time when the country was going through a political upheaval that ultimately led to the birth of our nation - Bangladesh. This university was established as a residential university in 1970 under the Jahangirnagar Muslim University Ordinance, 1970. Later, it was renamed Jahangirnagar University in 1973. Its first Vice-Chancellor took up office on September 24, 1970. The first batch of students, a total of 150, was enrolled in the first year Bachelor (Honors) classes in four departments: Economics, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics. However, classes started on January 4, 1971.
The university is located beside the Asian Highway, popularly known as the Dhaka-Aricha road, and it is only 32 kilometers away from the capital city. Spread over an area of about 700 acres, the campus lies between the Bangladesh Public Administrative Training Centre (BPATC) and the Savar Cantonment, on the north of which is the National Monument.
The topography of the land with its gentle rises and plains is soothing to the eye. The water bodies sprawling around the campus make an excellent habitat for the winter birds that flock in every year in thousands, making bird watching a favorite pastime for many viewers.
There are four faculties and two Institutes at the Jahangirnagar University. Each faculty is headed by a Dean who is elected by the teachers of the respective faculty.
An afternoon with the VC of Jahangirnagar University
(Interview taken by Farhat Tasannum Farah on behalf of Star Campus)
Professor Mohammed Muniruzzaman is the Vice-Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University. His opinions were sought on the eve of its 38th Anniversary.
Star Campus (SC): Can you please give us some details about the inception of the university.
Professor M. Muniruzzaman (PMM): Jahangirnagar University was officially inaugurated on January 12, 1971. At the very beginning we started with four departments, Economics, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics. About 150 students first enrolled in this university. At present, we have 10,000 students here including the M Phil and PhD students. There are currently 26 departments in this university.
SC: What are the plans to celebrate the 38th Anniversary of JU?
PMM: Actually, we didn't get much time to hold a day-long programme with various events and after an urgent meeting we decided to hold a big rally that would start from the old Social science building (now Biology building) and end at the cafeteria. All faculty Deans, Provosts, heads of the departments, teachers and students are to participate in this rally. Ex-students were also invited through newspapers. Special transports were arranged for them.
SC: What does this day mean to you?
PMM: This is a special day where the ex-students can meet each other and reminisce about their old days. They can also compare their campus life with that of the present students.
Another important aspect I want to mention is, whether I would be able to manage the responsibilities given to me, whether I would perform my duties sincerely or not. I need to think over-whether I evaluated students by their merit or not.
SC: What do you think about the standard of studies in JU?
PMM: We started the department of physics with only three teachers but now things have changed. There are many science courses that have been added to Physics including Environmental Science and Computer Science and Engineering.
In the beginning the students didn't get all the facilities that are easily available now. Internet access is easy and you can learn many things through the world wide web.
About the students' caliber or merit, I think, students entering this university every year face huge competition in the admission test. 65,000 candidates applied for the admission in this university and only 1,500 students were selected out of them. So, if you ask me about the level of standard of the students, I'd say that they are highly talented. We have many highly qualified and experienced teachers as well.
SC: Tell me something about the future of JU.
PMM: We are planning to build two residential halls for boys and girls. We need necessary financial support to enrich the departments' seminar library and the central library as well. We need some useful equipments, instruments for higher research and learning of students and teachers.
Teachers have to create the favourable environment of studies for the students. And I'm confident if we can ensure all these necessary things for students in this university, the ranking of the standard of studies in JU will get up to the top very soon.