Nine research centres shut: When will Dhaka University’s apathy end?

Such research centres are normally established with funding from various organisations and the departments’ own funds. After that, the norm is that these centres are then run with the university funding. There are 54 research centres presently running under the university’s funding. But these nine centres have been shut down due to the lack of funds. These centres had been opened with the approval of the university, but are not receiving any allocation as these were not included in the budget. The departments that initiated the opening of these centres have no funds in hand and so these are lying idle.

Dhaka University had Tk 110 million (Tk 11 crore) allocated in the last fiscal for research. This has been increased to Tk 150 million (Tk 15 crore) this year. This is a paltry amount for the research work of such a large seat of knowledge. The research sector lags far behind the sectors where the most budget allocations have been.

It is because of this negligence towards research that Dhaka University had not found place among the top 800 world’s best universities on the UK-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) list. While students are expressing their frustration over the issue, Dhaka University’s Vice Chancellor Md Akhtaruzzaman dismisses this, saying, “I don’t bother at all about who says what anymore.” This is even more frustrating.

Dhaka University will lose it heritage if it can’t emerge from this situation. The research centres that have shut down must be included in the budget and be provided funds. Attention must be paid to the other research centres too so that they can run effectively.