Freshers are going to get diversified at CUET
Freshers of 2019-20 session of Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET) are going to get a diversified CUET with different visual improvements, CUET Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mohammad Rafiqul Alam said this in an interview with The Daily Observer at his office recently.
How are the new academic year students going to get a CUET?Prof Alam: Few years back, there was also a shortage of academic buildings, crisis of students' residential halls, inadequate transportation, crisis of teachers and manpower as well as laboratory and research equipment. However, soon after I took charge, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved DPP Tk 320 crore. Through this DPP, CUET is now rich in visual development through the construction and renovation of various infrastructures, including the construction of new academic buildings and residential halls, the purchase of multiple buses for student transportation and the establishment of laboratories.
As per the demands of the era, the number of admissions seats has been increased in addition to the opening of three new departments namely Nuclear Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. Besides, the central library is also working on establishing the corner of Bangabandhu, the War of Liberation and Bangladesh Independence, and e-Resource, e-Journal, enriching the digital platform for the students.
In addition to establishing Wi-Fi and broadband internet connection in residential halls and campuses, CCTV cameras have been installed to ensure overall security throughout the campus. At the same time, a new CUET campus has been created through the splendid construction of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, Independence Square and the stunning renovation of CUET Lake. So I strongly believe that new students will have a wonderful teaching environment.
How is CUET's current success in the education and research sector?
Prof Alam: CUET regularly organizes 4 international conferences and 2 national conferences, as well as numerous seminars, workshops and symposiums throughout the year by participation of local teachers, scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Establishment of world-class labs and sophisticated equipment in various departments including 3 Research Institutes, 3 Research Centres and Central Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultancy (BRTC), providing technical support and consulting services at Government-Private level in large Chattogram.
As well as initiatives such as Strong Industry-Academia Collaboration, publishing regular research articles in various reputed journals and establishing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with various reputed universities and research institutes around the world, are helping CUET to move forward.
What are the recent achievements and successes of CUET students?
Prof Alam: The academic programmes of the students of engineering universities are so tight that they are too busy with class tests and exams.
Meanwhile, two robotic research organizations, 'Robot Mechatronics Association' (RMA) and 'Andromeda Space and Robotics Research Organization' (ASRRO) have been leading nationwide robotic practices and innovations. The success of the robotic practice of CUET extends far beyond the world-famous NASA and Silicon Valley, and has brought fame to Bangladesh's young scientists from abroad and already their success in the inter-university various competitions has made us proud.
Your success in ensuring co-operation and political stability of student organizations in CUET is enviable. How is that possible?
Prof Alam: In the last 4 years since I took charge, CUET has not been in scheduled closure for a single day. I have tried to create a cooperative spirit among student organizations so that they can complete the academic calendar at the right time. That is why we often interacted with student organizations, tried to listen to their demands seriously and took the necessary steps accordingly.
Recently there have been two mega programs, CUET Convocation, and Golden jubilee. What are your expectation and attainment?
Prof Alam: Since its founding in CUET in 1968, more than 12,000 graduates have come out from university. Of these, the current number of students is around 4500. The demand of a large number of students was to celebrate the golden jubilee to commemorate our institution's 50 years of a glorious journey.
At the same time, we take steps to organize such a two-mega program in the concentration of all the teachers, officers, staff and former and current students of CUET. With almost a year's effort, we organized the fourth convocation of CUET on December 5 and the golden jubilee celebrations on December 6 last year.
CUET received a DPP Tk 320 crore approval from ECNEC when you started taking the charge of CUET. What has been done?
Prof Alam: In the approved DPP, there is a 5-storey building with 252 seat capacities, international and post-graduate student dormitory, construction of student dormitory with a capacity of 110 students of masters and PhD, Associate Professor/Professor and equivalent officer building, Lecturer/Assistant Professor/Level Officer Studio Construction of apartment building, Construction of second/third class staff quarters, a central laboratory for the students, new academic buildings, Central field development, and gallery construction projects were included. Most of the projects have already been completed.
In addition, the university purchased various laboratory equipment and modernization at a cost of about Tk 100 crore.
What is the progress of CUET's Dream Project 'IT Incubator and IT Park'?
Prof Alam: The IT Incubator project has added a new wing to the visible success of CUET's ongoing progress. This is a new concept at the university level in Bangladesh. It is sponsored by Hon'ble Prime Minister's Information Technology Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy. The first "Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator" is being set up in CUET to create entrepreneurship in the information technology sector in the country at the university level, increase its capacity to build digital Bangladesh and earn billions of foreign currency.
Last December 8, 2019, State Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated the construction of the project. The construction is expected to be completed by July 2020. The much-awaited project is being set up on a 10-storey building on a 5-acre land at a cost of around Tk 100 crore.
What are your future plans with CUET?
Prof Alam: Various Initiatives have already been taken to build a central laboratory, construct new academic buildings, construct two new student halls, establish renewable energy parks, construct own power plants and an open platform for cultural practices. We hope to start the construction of some of these projects soon.
I want to implement the government's vision by preparing dynamic CUET graduates, So that they can lead the fourth industrial revolution coming tomorrow.
Thank you for giving us your valuable time and views.
Prof Alam: Thank you too on behalf of CUET.