M Zahidul Haque
Sher-E-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) is situated in the heart of the capital city-Dhaka. It was established as the Bengal Agricultural Institute in 1938 by the then Chief Minister of Bengal, Sher-e-Bangla A K Fazlul Haq. Since its establishment it has been functioning as the only higher agricultural education institute of this part of the sub-continent. After the independence of Bangladesh it was re-named as the Bangladesh Agricultural Institute (BAI).
Although BAI had all facilities to get upgraded into a full-fledged agricultural university, the authorities did not pay proper attention to upgrading BAI into a university. It was the then and present Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina who deeply appreciated the need for upgrading BAI to an agricultural University to opening new vista for higher agricultural education and research for the development of agriculture and for improving the lot of the farming community of the agro-based Bangladesh. At this end, on January 6, 2001 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared BAI as Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University in the grand Diamond Jubilee function of BAI. The “Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Act 2001″ was passed in the national Parliament on 09 July 2001. The foundation stone of the University was laid by the then Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina on 15 July 2001
Without Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s direct initiative, it would never be possible to convert BAI into an agricultural university. To upgrade BAI to a university was a popular demand of BAI graduates and students. Many BAI alumni had contributed their talent and time to translate the dream of BAI inmates, graduates for converting BAI to a full-fledged agricultural university. Among them, BAI Old Boys’ Association President late M Mahbubuzzamn, the then BAI Principal Prof. MD. Shadat Ulla and most accomplished BAI graduate A F M Bahauddin Nasim contributed heart and soul towards turning BAI into Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University.
At present, the University has three faculties, namely, Faculty of Agriculture, Faculty of Agribusiness Management and Faculty of Animal Science & Veterinary Medicine. A fisheries faculty will soon start functioning. The SAU is now offering under and postgraduate degrees in different discipline of agricultural science. By now SAU has achieved significant accomplishments in the field of agricultural research. A number of projects are under implementation with the funding of international agencies and collaboration of foreign universities.
Meanwhile, the SAU’s activities witnessed a sudden pause when the vital posts of the university became vacant following completion of the tenures of previous Vice Chancellor, Pro-VC and the Treasurer on June 25, 2016. However, the President of Bangladesh and also Chancellor of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University Md. Abdul Hamid was pleased to appoint Prof. Dr. Md. Kamal Uddin Ahamed, Prof. Dr. Md. Sekender Ali and Prof. Dr. Md. Anwarul Haque Beg as the Vice Chancellor, Pro-VC and Treasurer of SAU respectively.
Everyone in the SAU warmly welcomed the New Vice Chancellor, Pro-VC and Treasurer. All of them have made remarkable accomplishments in their respectable discipline, both as academicians and administrators.
The new Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Md. Kamal Uddin Ahmed after taking over the charge of his new office assured teachers, students, officers and staff of the university of his utmost efforts to making the SAU a centre par excellence and lifting SAU’s position to upper status in the international ranking of universities. The VC, Pro-VC and the treasurer sought everyone’s cooperation in realizing the mission goal of the university.
Finally, I would like to mention one thing, that is, a team of dedicated university journalists are working to airing various events of the university through print and electronic media. They have been playing an important role towards the development of SAU. Being the Chief Adviser of the SAU Journalists’ Association, I would like to advice all the correspondents and reporters of different newspapers and other media to adhere strictly to the codes and ethics of journalism while reporting various events of the SAU campus.
(The writer is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University)