The 14th meeting of the Advisory board for SAF Bangladesh chapter was held on Saturday, March 28, 2009 chaired by Dr. Kamal Hossain, Chairperson, SAF Bangladesh chapter at the Vice Chancellor’s office, BRAC University. Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Ambassador Farooq Sobhan and Mrs. Khushi Kabir, Members and Mr. Obaidullah Al Zakir, Secretary, SAF, Bangladesh were present.
The Board approved the Minutes of the 13th Meeting. The Chairperson and Professor J R Choudhury introduced the new Secretary Mr. Obaidullah Al Zakir to the Board. The Board decided that the Secretary shall prepare a distribution list for Kashmiriyat, SASIA Story and its Bangla edition SASIAR Golpo.
It was noted that during 2008 Madanjeet Singh Scholarships were granted to only two candidates: one male and one female for the Beacon House Institute of Fine Arts. But the Bangladeshi candidates could not cope with the programme. They might have adjustment problems and apparently their inadequate knowledge in English made it difficult for them to cope with the course.
They also had complained about their being handicapped due to unfamiliarity of Urdu, which affected their interaction with teachers and students. Upon considering these matters, it was decided that these experiences should guide the selectors in formulating procedures for selection and preparation of candidates through appropriate courses in the English language, which is administered by BRAC University for students needing such improvement for their language skills.
It was also decided that a renewed approach should be made to the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai, which had offered at least two scholarships in the past for extending the same facility this year. The students from Bangladesh have greatly benefited from their course. Prof. Jamilur Reza Choudhury informed the meeting that BRAC University Institute of Governance Studies, is offering courses on investigative journalism through its Journalism Training and Research Initiative (JATRI).
He requested that scholarships be granted to appropriate candidates from the regions to avail of this course. It was urged that special effort should be made to see if from among the Salma Sobhan Fellowship Programme candidates, who are female journalists working in the districts could be found and given special training in English in order to enable them to avail the course in the Asian College of Journalism.
As a new initiative it was suggested SAF Bangladesh chapter shall recommend to SAF initiatives seek to promote an exchange programme between educational institutions in the region so that teachers and students may exchange visits for periods of one or two semesters as this would promote better understanding in the region at the people-to-people level.
Asian College of Journalism (ACJ)
It was decided by Dr. Kamal Hossain, Chairperson, SAF – Bangladesh that Mr. Mahfuz Anam, Member, SAF Bangladesh and Editor, The Daily Star shall review all applications for the SAF Madanjeet Scholarship on postgraduate diploma 2009-1010 in Asian College of Journalism. Out of 34 applicants, Mr. AKM Moinuddin Ahmed, staff correspondent, United News of Bangladesh and Ms.Shahnaj Pervin, staff reporter, Janakantha have been selected.
Beaconhouse National University (BNU)
A total of 07 (Seven) applicants were interviewed for the SAF Madanjeet scholarship postgraduate programme in Visual Art Studies at Beaconhouse National University (BNU), Lahore, Pakistan. Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, Member, SAF Bangladesh, Mr. Rafi Haque, General Secretary, Society for Promotion of Bangladesh Art and Mr. Obaidullah al Zakir, Secretary, Bangladesh were the members of the interview Board. Mr. Tamim Bin Imdad, Lecturer, Drawing and Printing, Institute of Arts, Sylhet who has all the necessary qualifications has been selected for the Masters programme.
Another student interested to join the programme, was interviewed in Chittagong but his English is very poor. If he is able to improve his English and we can not find a better student, we might nominate him. Efforts would be made to get at least one student for the undergraduate programme. Ambassador Farooq Sobhan has spoken to some of the English medium schools which offer Art as an A level subject, but it seems that the parents are reluctant to send their children to Lahore at this point. He talked to Mr. Rafiqun Nabi, the Principal of the Institute of Fine Arts, Dhaka University to find a first year student with a reasonable command in English willing to go to Lahore.
Advertisements were published in the Daily Star and the Prothom Alo for the SAF Madanjeet Scholarship programme.
A total of 05 (five) applications were received for the SAF Madanjeet scholarship for two-year postgraduate course at the Centre for South Asian Studies, Pondicherry University, India
Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Member, SAF- Bangladesh and Dr. Abdur Rob Khan, Associate Professor, North South University interviewed the candidates. Mr. Abu Salah Md. Yousuf, Research Officer, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies and Ms. Tanzia Anjum were selected for the 2009-10 programme.
Kashmiriyat reprinted in Bangladesh
Contracts have been signed between SAF and University Press Ltd, Dhaka, Bangladesh to print Kashmiriyat in Bangla and English edition: (i) print 1,000 copies of Kashmiriyat in English and (ii) to translate the book into Bangla and print 1,000 copies. The books will be ready for distribution by November 15, 2009. It has been decided that the book will be distributed among the chairpersons/guests of Annual Governing Council meeting to be held in New Delhi, India, from 20-24 November, 2009.