The Tripura University has planned to open a ‘Centre for Bangladesh Studies’ to research on Bangladesh affairs amid changing context of Bangladesh-India relations, a senior university official has said. The idea has come following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to the Indian state bordering Bangladesh, the official said preferring not to be named.
“With the recent improvement of India-Bangladesh relations, we are further emphasizing on increasing people-to-people contact by opening the centre in the Tripura University,” the official said. “A memorandum of understanding is to be signed between the Tripura University, University of Dhaka and the University of Chittagong,” he said adding that the draft of the MOU is in final stage and is likely to be signed within February.
He said that talks were going on among the universities, Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) and foreign ministries of the two nations for better cooperation in the education sector. Experts say the opening of the ‘Centre for Bangladesh Studies’ will not only mean launching courses on India-Bangladesh studies but they believe that it shall help humanities, natural and social sciences to establish a broader base for enquiries, disciplinary and independent studies.
They say the centre would offer learning opportunities along with applied studies to link theoretical understanding with contemporary issues and challenges faced by Southeast Asia and its periphery. Veena Sikri, who served as High commissioner of India to Bangladesh for four years till November 2006, appreciated the move.
Veena, currently a professor in the Bangladesh Studies Programme of Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), has said such programmes contribute toward forging a strong bonding among the new generation particularly who are the future policy makers.
“JMI was the first university to sign a MOU with Dhaka and Chittagong University on opening a Bangladesh Study Centre followed by the Jawaharlal Nehru University during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“The centre shall not only educate the new generation to become highly motivated and effective professionals, leaders, and service-oriented citizens of the region but also promote development by intercultural understanding among the peoples of this region,” she added.
Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal recently expressed his interest during Hasina’s visit to Agartala that New Delhi wish to expand educational relations with Dhaka. Bangladesh shares an 856-kilometre border with the Indian state of Tripura.