Dr. Munaj’s digital vision in shaping BSMRDU

Publish: 8:50 PM, August 6, 2022 | Update: 8:50:PM, August 6, 2022

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University (BSMRDU), Bangladesh’s first specialized Government digital university. The university’s founding Vice-Chancellor is Professor Dr. Munaz Ahmed Noor. He has kept the sign of success in all cases. He will remain forever in the success story of BSMRDU.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamed of building a country free from hunger and poverty for the next generation through the Great War of Liberation in 1971. He wanted Bangladesh to be a role model for the whole world. Today’s digital Bangladesh is the modern version of the golden Bengal of Bangabandhu’s dream. In 1973, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started the journey towards technology by accepting the membership of the International Telecommunication Union. On June 14, 1975, Bangabandhu started the dream journey of digital Bangladesh by setting up Betbunia Satellite-Geo Center. His daughter, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is working tirelessly day and night to build “Digital Bangladesh”, the modern form of the golden Bengal of Bangabandhu’s dream. The architect of Digital Bangladesh is under the overall supervision of Prime Minister’s Information and Communication Technology Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
The 21st century world is witnessing the rise of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR). This 4IR is the industrial revolution of technology, this revolution of skill. The Bangladesh government has been taking various plans and steps to strengthen Bangladesh’s position in the fourth industrial revolution. In line with that, the Prime Minister adopted a plan to establish ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University, Bangladesh’ to play a role in creating a developed and prosperous Bangladesh through digitalization through Vision 2021, a middle-income country by 2041. In 2016, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the establishment of this university in Parliament. After the Prime Minister’s announcement, the current Minister for Liberation War Affairs – AKM Mozammel Haque MP played an important role behind the establishment of this first digital university in the country at Kaliakoir, Gazipur. The help and role of the minister in various matters related to the university is undeniable.
The Prime Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina handed over the responsibility of the university to Professor Dr. Munaz Ahmed Noor for the proper management of this specialized university established with the aim of implementing the Digital Bangladesh vision.
As the founding Vice-Chancellor of the university, information and technology professor Dr. Munaz Ahmed Noor joined on June 12, 2018. Prior to joining, he has successfully served as a Professor of Civil Engineering Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering, former Vice-Chancellor of National University and former Vice-Chancellor of Islamic University of Technology (IUT). Since joining, he has been sustaining digital Bangladesh in the implementation of the ‘Vision 2021’ of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, in keeping with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, providing teaching, research and excellence in digital knowledge at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is aimed to turn the young generation into skilled human resources and entrepreneurs. He has worked day and night to establish this university. Today’s BSMRDU was not built in a day. The story behind which is very long and self-sacrificing.
From the time he got the responsibility till the end of his tenure, he has worked tirelessly to establish BSMRDU as one of the best universities in South Asia. After joining on June 12, he sought permission from the then Vice-Chancellor of the National University, Harun-or-Rashid to set up temporary operations in three rooms at National University City Office, Dhanmondi. In November 2018, the city office of the university was established at Mohammadpur in the capital. On November 12, 2018, the Bangladesh University Grants Commission approved the establishment of two faculties and one institute to conduct educational programs. On December 18, 2018, to contribute to the fourth industrial revolution by facing the challenges of the 21st century and to implement Vision 2041, the academic journey of the university began in June 2019 by enrolling 100 students in two honors programs (Internet of Things and ICT in Education) in the academic year 2018-2019. A total of 300 students are currently studying in this university with the admission of 100 students in the academic year 2019-2020 and another 100 students in the academic year 2020-2021. It should be noted here that these subjects are new in this subcontinent and BSMRDU is the only university in Bangladesh where these subjects are being taught.
From the beginning Professor Dr. Munaz Ahmed Noor has performed honestly with his hard work, talent and wisdom.
In the Bachelor’s and Master’s level, subjects titled Information and Communication Technology, Science, Engineering and Technology and related to other fields of technology such as digital development, digital technology, robotics, cloud computing, e-commerce, information and communication technology management, cyber security and management are being taught here. In less than four years, Professor Dr. Munaz Ahmed Noor set up classrooms with ICT facilities, e-library facilities, computer and language laboratory, physics laboratory, IoT laboratory, data management and analytics laboratory, electronics laboratory, data center for conducting academic activities of students in the style of a world-class smart digital university. Board, Learning Management System (LMS), Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), My BSMRDU Mobile Apps, Exam Management System (EMS) Installation, Provision of Student Access Cards, Institutional Web Hosting and Domain, Provision of Google G-Suite for Education ,Development of proctored remote exam system software, Library setup, blended learning support by providing blended classroom solutions, Launching of live classrooms, BDREN connectivity, Online admission portal, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, Providing access to Microsoft M365-A-3 and BDU Video conferencing software developed under its own supervision. Apart from this, the admission process has been automated due to which students can sit anywhere in the world and complete the admission process on mobile. The University has its own “My BDU” mobile app to check various types of fee deposits and payment status.
Financial incentives are provided to students to purchase data packages to ensure participation in online classes at various times. There is a system of separate “Teacher Panel” where every teacher gets the facility to upload the marks obtained in the examination of the students, the system of state-of-the-art facilities like students viewing the results from their respective panels is in progress. The Vice Chancellor of the University has arranged online classes even in a disaster situation like Covid-19. Under the leadership of Munaz Ahmed Noor, “ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)” software was launched with the aim of providing digital services to the students. Through this ERP software, the complete environment-friendly activities of various departments of the university will be conducted in a paperless environment. All activities including accounts, human resources will be completed digitally.
Not only this, as a new university, to solve the problem of student accommodation, 1 for boys and 2 for girls have been arranged. There are canteen and dining facilities to solve the food problem of the students. There are buses for the convenience of students. Various competitions are regularly organized to make students interested in new subjects and acquire skills. For example, essay and quiz competitions on the life and work of the father of the nation, programming contest, Googling contest, website creation, seminars, book reviews and other types of competitions are regularly arranged here.
All of us students feel that the Vice-Chancellor has managed the University beautifully for four years through fairness and stability in the campus, academic excellence, infrastructural development and cultural activities.
Ever since he was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor, he emphasized on developing relations with various universities at the international level.
From his student life to working life, he is working for the country by keeping Mujib ideals in his chest. Munaj Ahmed Noor, the first place holder in Cumilla Board, received the President’s Gold Medal as the most meritorious student in his academic life. After completing his studies from Bangladesh University of Engineering (BUET), he obtained his PhD degree from University of Tokyo in 2000. In 2005, he participated in a short Private Public Partnership (PPP) program in the Netherlands. In 2007, he completed his post-doctoral degree on earthquake theory (seismology). In 2008, he completed his training on seismic design of nuclear power plants in Italy. He also participated in a training program on Disaster Risk Reduction by the World Bank. He has received countless awards and people’s appreciation in his career. During his tenure as the Pro Vice-Chancellor of the National University, he played an important role in digitalization of the university, elimination of session bottlenecks and creation of college education development programs. He also played an important role in the teaching-learning department of the university during his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor of IUT. He was awarded an honorary doctorate degree for his special contribution to the education and information technology sector of the Commonwealth University, especially in the digital Bangladesh vision of the government of Bangladesh in recognition of his work in the information and communication technology sector. He also received the ‘2016 Education Leadership Award’ in 2018 from the American Leadership Board in recognition of his significant contribution to the technology sector. He has expertise in Concrete Technology, Urban Safety, Climate Change, Earthquake Disaster and technology sector. Munaz Ahmed Noor got a prestigious position in the list of the world’s best scientists in the AD Scientific Index 2021 published on the world’s best researchers.

The Writer is contributor to The Bangladesh Today