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6 November, 2019 10:31:58 AM

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Research must get due emphasis in the universities

Experience shows that a healthy and respectable developed nation cannot be built through buying scientific and technological know-how for an indefinite period of time
Prof. Sarwar Md. Saifullah Khaled
Research must get due emphasis in the universities

Promoting research activities in public and private universities is very important to improve the quality of education and the standard of Bangladeshi universities which ranks very low in the world ranking of universities. It is unfortunate that in the universities of Bangladesh research is hardly a priority even, perhaps especially, in the public ones not to mention about the questionable quality private ones.

Moreover, there is also a glaring lack of appreciation for budding scientists to improve knowledge in different public universities of the country. It is in every body’s knowledge that appreciation and suitable environment in universities is very important to promote and nurture the budding indigenous scientific minds of the country. The universities across the country should take initiatives to build scientists and technologists and provide well-equipped laboratory facilities and guidance for students and young teachers to work there for advanced specialised scientific and technological knowledge.
Unfortunately, we see that most of the science and technological graduates that are being trained in research these days, however small they are in numbers in comparison to the requirement of the country, are employed in bureaucratic and other administrative posts in both public and private organisations. Moreover, in most of the cases inadequate or insufficient necessary scientific equipments and access to relevant data also reduces scientific and technological output of researchers in the country. Side by side the lack of institutional incentives to publish and the absence of quality doctoral programmes discourage the prospective researchers in different disciplines of knowledge.

Under the circumstances, the government should come forward to extend adequate financial and other relevant supports to the prospective and capable scientists and technologists and researchers in all branches of knowledge. There is a national science policy in place but it will be effective only if it spurs positive change in providing respectable and relevant jobs to the trained scientists and technologists and researchers so that they can suitably use their scientific knowledge within the country otherwise they will flee the country for better job abroad.
Usually we see that on certain occasions the government’s high officials’ involvement in science and technology is an inane exercise in mouthing platitudes. Instead well-focused government initiatives in the entire relevant field are essential instead of some piecemeal measures now and then that are usually taken. We want to believe that certainly there is no shortage of brilliant scientific minds in the country now. But we know that what is absent is encouragement and proper funding, sufficiency of which may ensure an innovative and technologically advanced future for the country. The only way to make any science policy a success in the country today is real political and financial support to that end. But unfortunately we have sufficient ground to doubt whether the authorities are totally committed towards this end.  
While we continue to see, unfortunately, sheer wastage of public money in inconsequential projects and activities, promising scientific and technological endeavours are being forced to abort for lack of allocation of adequate funds. In a country like Bangladesh today it is sufficient number of scientific and technological know-how that can determine the future development of this socio-economically growing undeveloped country. Bangladesh a developing country which has limited known natural resources and an ever burgeoning population on a small piece of land, which cannot be enlarged, can only be developed through applying up-to-date scientific and technological means and knowledge to its various sectors of the economy.
Experience shows that a healthy and respectable developed nation cannot be built through buying scientific and technological know-how for an unlimited period of time from outside a country. Rather there must be adequate development of scientific and technological knowledge and increase of scientists and technologists and the use of such expertise within the country itself by giving them satisfactory emolument so that they do not leave the country for better remuneration. We are to keep in mind and never forget that this is an age of science and technology. There is no alternative path for development saving mastering in these disciplines.
Therefore, our universities as well as the authorities concerned needs to realise and give importance to and prioritise the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge and research to utilise the tapped and untapped resources of this advancing country.
If in this particular area the country develops satisfactorily and for that congenial peace is maintained in the university campuses, it is hopefully bound to develop eventually in all other relevant

The writer is retired professor of economics

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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