Jahangirnagar University: A unique institution of education and research.On the occasion of the golden jubilee of this university, which is the same age as the independence of Bangladesh, the goals and objectives and achievements of the university can naturally come under discussion. Before that, I think it is relevant to highlight the history of the establishment of this university. During the British rule, the demand for establishing a higher education institution in East Bengal became increasingly strong.
Lord Hardinge, the Chief Administrator of Undivided India, visited Dhaka in December 1911 after the decision to partition Bengal was annulled. At this time Nawab Sir Salimullah and many others demanded the establishment of a higher education institution for the people of East Bengal. The University of Dhaka was established in 1921 by the British administration in response to the demands of the people of East Bengal. Pakistan gained independence on 14 August 1947 and India on 15 August. Then the name of East Bengal was East Pakistan.
Although the universities of Dhaka, Rajshahi, Agriculture, Engineering and Chittagong were established between 1921 and 1966, it was not possible to meet the demand for higher education in East Pakistan. Therefore, according to the plan, the foundation stone for the establishment of a university near Dhaka was officially laid at Salna in Gazipur district, 40 km away from Dhaka. But for various reasons, a new site for the university was finally selected in Savar, about 30 km from Dhaka. Asian Highway over Savar. The site of the new university is set on the west side of this highway.
On the east side there is a dairy farm, Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute, on the north-east side there is Savar Cantonment and the National Memorial. Dr. as the head of the university project. Surat Ali Khan was appointed. On 20 August 1970, the East Pakistan government issued an ordinance naming the new university ‘Jahangirnagar Muslim University’. In September 1970, the first vice chancellor of the university joined the eminent chemist Professor. Mofizuddin Ahmed. On 12 January 1971, Rear Admiral SM Ahsan, Governor of East Pakistan and Chancellor of the University, officially inaugurated the ‘Jahangirnagar Muslim University’. But before that, classes in Economics, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics started on January 4.
The number of students in the first batch was 150. The University Act was passed in 1973 in the first session of the National Parliament of Independent Bangladesh. In this act, the name of the university was changed to ‘Jahangirnagar University’. Jahangirnagar University, established on 698.56 acres of land, currently has 36 departments under 5 faculties. There are also the Institute of Information Technology (IIT), the Institute of Business Administration (IBA-JEU), the Bangabandhu Institute of Comparative Literature and Culture, the Institute of Remote Sensing and the Language Education Center. There are 16 residential halls. There are 6 under construction.
The number of students is 15 thousand. On the eve of the Golden Jubilee, the current Vice-Chancellor Prof. Under the leadership of Farzana Islam, the physical infrastructural changes of the university are noticeable. Further development projects of the university worth about Tk 1,400 crore are underway, which, if completed, will completely eliminate the housing problem of the university, which has developed into a fully residential university. Under this project 8 residential halls for students, residential towers for teachers-officers and staff, administrative building, state-of-the-art convention center, examination hall will be constructed. In addition, a few academic buildings and a central library will be expanded.
Needless to say, once the work of this project is completed, the appearance of the university will change radically. There may be differences of opinion among experts as to whether the radical change in physical infrastructure during the golden jubilee of the university is in line with the development of education and research. Nevertheless, with the development of physical infrastructure, timely opening of new departments, admission of more students, connection of sophisticated equipment in the laboratory, there is no denying that it adds a new dimension to the development of education.
The success or achievement of this university in 50 years cannot be briefly highlighted in this article. Teachers and students of this university have shone in the fields of education, research, society, culture, politics, leadership in running the state, etc. The university has a lot of fame in innovation and innovation. In this article, I am trying to highlight some of the novelties and innovations of the university in its 50th golden jubilee.
At present, the founding anniversary is celebrated in all types of public and private educational institutions. Jahangirnagar University is a pioneer in celebrating this day. In 2001, the then Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University, renowned economist Professor Abdul Bayes introduced the celebration of ‘University Day’. The current vice chancellor of the university to create a new precedent. Farzana Islam’s name has been added. Prominent anthropologist Professor. Farzana Islam has achieved the honor of being the first woman Vice Chancellor among the government universities of the country by being appointed as the Vice Chancellor of this University.
The university currently has a female registrar. Rahima Kaniz has been appointed as the Registrar, setting a precedent among government universities. The world-class research institute ‘Wazed Mia Science Research Center’ has set a unique example of science practice. The research center is funded by the World Bank and the University Grants Commission. The Department of Drama and Drama Theory and Archeology of this University was the first among the universities of the country to be opened. Jahangirnagar University’s ‘Muktamancha’ is Bangladesh, the first in South Asia, which was built during the time of Vice-Chancellor Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui.
Jahangirnagar University is called the cultural capital of the country. The journey of this open stage, known as the pilgrimage place of the cultural capital, started in 1960 with the staging of the play ‘Shakuntala’ written by Selim Al Deen. Hall named after anti-British movement leader Pritilata, language movement commemorative sculpture ‘Amar Ekush’ Liberation War memorial sculpture ‘Sangshatak’ language hall named after Shaheed Salam Barkat and Rafiq Jabbar Student Hall named after Jahanara Imam, Student Hall named after former Prime Minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, Student Hall named after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of Father of the Nation, Hall named after Sufia Kamal, one of the pioneers of women’s awakening, Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunch The uniqueness of this university has come to the fore through the naming of the student hall. Jahangirnagar University was the first of the country’s universities to launch a ‘journalist association’.
At the university level, ‘Sammilita Sangskritik Jote’ was formed at Jahangirnagar University itself, with various organizations working at the university as its partners. Everyone knows the unique contribution of Jahangirnagar University in establishing natural reservoirs and guest bird sanctuaries. Jahangirnagar University has a unique reputation for organizing bird fairs and butterfly fairs across the country. These two fairs were first introduced here in Bangladesh. The contribution of Jahangirnagar University in conserving biodiversity by setting up endangered wildlife conservation centers and butterfly parks organized by the Department of Zoology has been appreciated at home and abroad.
Another professor of zoology. Monwar Hossain has collected a significant number of butterflies and named them, which is unique. In the light of the directions of His Excellency the High Court, the first anti-sexual harassment cell was formed in Jahangirnagar University. The Puppet Drama Research Center has been opened for the first time at Jahangirnagar University to study the history and tradition of puppet dance in Bangladesh. Jahangirnagar University has opened the first school-university level ‘Anandasala’ for children with special needs. A unique precedent has been set for the production of natural gas from the collection of garbage without dumping it here and there.
We notice various types of news about Jahangirnagar University in the media at different times, especially in the newspapers. Among these news, we also notice the news of the achievements and success of the students-teachers and researchers of the university as well as the negative news about various problems and irregularities. Basically, the student journalists of this university send these news. ‘Not some good news, some bad news’ – Jahangirnagar University’s good reputation may not find a place in the media in this standard of news.
We also notice news about various groups, conflicts, quarrels and their activities in student-teacher politics. I noticed the news of delay in publishing the results of the test, but I did not see the news of quick release of the results. We see a lot of news about him when some of the teachers do not go abroad for higher studies. But I don’t see much news about someone who has returned with good world-class research. Jahangirnagar University Professor of Physics, two percent of the world’s best scientists. A. A. Mamun and Professor of Biochemistry and Anatomy. The news of Ibrahim Khalil’s unique success was expected in more and more newspapers.
Needless to say, the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Jahangirnagar University came at a time when the whole world was in the throes of an epidemic. As Corona has taken on a permanent form, people are becoming accustomed to virtual meetings, seminars and events, thinking about alternatives to their past lives. On November 24, 2020, the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dr. Farzana Islam highlighted the administration’s thoughts on celebrating the Golden Jubilee. Director of the Student-Teacher Center, Prof. The Vice Chancellor said, “We hoped to celebrate the golden jubilee of Jahangirnagar University in a very stylish manner.” But we may not be able to do that because of the bad times in Corona.
Nevertheless, sincere efforts will be made to highlight the history and tradition of 50 years of golden achievement of the university. On that occasion we will have the blessing of our lives. Corona is in fact lifeless without students in the current event. This issue will be taken into consideration while organizing the event. We will use this happiness of the fourth industrial revolution of information technology during the Corona epidemic to organize various programs online. The Vice-Chancellor said, “We are noticing that the golden jubilee of the victory of independent Bangladesh on December 16, the golden jubilee of the establishment of this university on January 12 and the birth centenary of the great leader Bangabandhu on March 16 have three special days.” The Vice-Chancellor said, “Subarna Jayanti celebrations will be organized in the next one year.”
Jahangirnagar University is moving forward by celebrating its golden jubilee. It can be said that the success or achievement of Jahangirnagar University on the eve of Subarna Jayanti is brilliant. In the future, it is hoped that the country and the nation will be richer in the practice of free-thinking and knowledge-science of this university.
Written by: Ahmed Sumon
Alumni (22nd Batch), Department of Government and Politics, JU; Former General Secretary, JU Journalists Association
Email: [email protected]