The University Press Limited today recognised 19 books, 16 individuals and six institutions with the UPL Excellence Awards 2018 on the occasion of its four-decade in publishing.
First of its kind by UPL, the awards were given to personalities with outstanding achievements, books those tremendously created impact on the society, and institutions which are paving the way as “lighthouse”.
The glitzy ceremony took place at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium of Bangla Academy in the capital. Eminent personalities from various fields graced the occasion.
Attending the ceremony, eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain said the excellence award should be given to UPL and its front man Mohiuddin Ahmed for creating opportunity for numerous authors.
UPL has the credit to publish many quality books on research, he said.
At the ceremony, a special “Extraordinary Best Seller and Outstanding Impact Award” was given to the book “Aushomapto Atmajiboni”, on the illustrious political career of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujubur Rahman.
Economist Prof Rehman Sobhan and British development worker Hugh Brammer-- two stalwarts with enormous wealth of knowledge-- received the Lifetime Achievement Awards.
On his receiving the award, Prof Rehman Sobhan said, “I am particularly appreciative of the recognition which UPL has extended to me”.
Writers who wish to write and hope to be read need publishers like Mohiuddin who takes risk to publish books, said Prof Sobhan.
At the ceremony, nine books have won the Best Seller Awards.
They are Shawkat Ali’s “Prodoshe Prakritojon”, Akhteruzzaman Elias’ “Chihlekothar Shepai”, Akbar Ali Khan’s “Porarthoporotar Orthoniti” and “Discovery of Bangladesh: Explorations into Dynamics of a Hidden Nation”, Maidul Hasan’s “Muldhara ‘71”, Basanti Guhathakurta’s “Ekattorer Smrity”, Abu Sayeed Chowdhury’s “Probashe Muktijuddher Dinguli”; Sudeep Sen, Tanvir, and Kelley Lynch’s “Postcards from Bangladesh”, and Erik G Jansen and Trygve Bolstad’s “Sailing against the Wind”.
Akbar Ali Khan, former adviser to a caretaker government, said his first book was published by UPL in 1996. Later UPL published three more books which provided him “excellent joy”.
The Outstanding Impact Awards go to nine books.
Those are Muhammad Habibur Rahman’s “Jothashobdo”, Archer K Blood’s “The Cruel Birth of Bangladesh”, Rounaq Jahan’s “Bangladesh Politics: Problems Issues”, Haroun er Rashid’s “Economic Geography of Bangladesh”, Therese Blanchet’s “Lost Innocence, Stolen Childhoods”, A Mushtaque R Chowdhury and Richard A Cash’s “A Simple Solution: Teaching Millions to Treat Diarrhoea at Home”, SA Karim’s “Sheikh Mujib: Triumph and Tragedy”, as well as “Rotting from the Head” Donors and LDC Corruption” (edited by Salim Rashid), and “Pakistanider Drishtite Ekattor” (edited by Prof Muntasier Mamoon and Mohiuddin Ahmed).
Author Niaz Zaman and politician Barrister Moudud Ahmed have been awarded with Prolific Author Awards.
Six institutions received the Support Institution Award.
They are Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies, BRAC, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, Ain O Salish Kendra, and Yunus Centre.
UPL honoured six eminent personalities with the Patron Awards.
They are Khalid Shams, former director of Grameen Shakti Foundation; Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher, The Daily Star; Waqar A Khan, founder, Bangladesh Forum for Heritage Studies; Prof GM Shahidul Alam, former head of department of Media and Communication, Independent University, Bangladesh; Rubana Huq, managing director, Mohammadi Group; and Fakrul Alam, pro-vice chancellor, East West University.
The publishing house also recognised six individuals with the Associate Awards for contribution during the four-decade journey.
They are UPL’s former chief accountant Purnendu Kumar Deb, its former publishing editor Badiuddin Nazir, proprietor of Elora Art Publicity Tofazzal Hossain Bhuiyan, founder of book binding house RA Khan and Co Rustom Ali Khan, Provincial Paper Stores owner Alhaj Monir Ahmed, and bookshop Zeenat Book Supply owner SAS Md Faisal.
Speaking as chief guest, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said UPL will be credited for creating its own style in publishing industry.
Prof Emeritus Anisuzzaman said UPL has been giving priority on quality books since its inception. “Hopefully, it will maintain such quality in future,” he said.
UPL Director Mahrukh Mohiuddin said books sold over 5,000 copies were selected for best seller category while for the prolific author, writers with having 10 or more books published by UPL were considered.
Starting from 1975, UPL has so far published around 1,500 books, she said.
On the occasion, UPL Managing Director Mohiuddin Ahmed, urged all to work to turn the society a better place.
The organisers screened an interview of former Pakistani army general Rao Farman Ali at the ceremony. It was taken for the book “Pakistanider Drishtite Ekattor”. UPL will release 28 such interviews from March 26.
A panel discussion on the topic “Higher education, research and intellectual pursuits in mother-tongue” was also part of the ceremony.