Bangladesh Economics Summit (BES) 2018, an initiative taken by the Economics Study Centre (ESC), DU, is the first of its kind in the nation. The idea was conceived by the ESC heads who dreamed of a meeting point where aspiring economists & researchers, future business leaders, ambitious policy-makers, & general undergraduate economics students could meet, discuss, and learn from prominent leaders in the fields they desired to follow.
The 1st BES, taking place at the DU premises from 26th October till 1st November, received a warm response and was a grand success.
The summit started at 10 AM at the Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Hall, with the Inauguration Ceremony. Here, Dr. MM Akash, Professor & current Moderator of the ESC club, Department of Economics, gave a welcoming speech to the participants where he reminisced about the glorious past of the ESC and his confidence in its continued blooming success. Then, Chief Guest, Dr Barket E Huda, former Professor of the Department of Economics, DU gave a speech on the economic development of Bangladesh, the challenges it had overcome to become a rising player in the world economy today, & how it still needs to innovate to overcome the various obstacles that plague the nation. Both Professors were pleased by the organization of the summit and believed it would generate positive outcomes. They also unveiled "Ceteris Paribus", ESC's annual magazine, & Bangladesh Students' Digest on Economics & Development, (BSDED), the only student journal on economics.
Professor Dr. Shafiquzzaman, Chairman, Department of Economics, could not be present during the event, but nevertheless sent his best wishes for the summit.
Attending the Inauguration Ceremony along with the respected professors, were Omar Raad Chowdhury, President of ESC, and Sadman Raad, Secretary-General of ESC. Both gave speeches talking about the idea behind the summit, the hard work and the efforts invested in its organization, and gratitude to the volunteers and the participants.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by the main event of the day, The Paper Presentation Competition, which was arranged in two panels. Panel 1 was judged by Associate Professor Dr. Sayma Haque Bidisha & Senior Research Associate Dr. Zubair Hossain. Panel 2 was judged by Assistant Professor SM Abdullah and Dr. Farazi Binte Ferdous. Each participant had 10 minutes to present and 5 minutes for Q&A session.
The day ended with the judges evaluating each presentation and imparting valuable advice to the participants.
On 27th October, the 2nd day of the Bangladesh Economics Summit, an interdepartmental quiz competition & policy-debate was organized. The events commenced at 3 pm on that day. Quizinius final round, where 6 teams from the 97th batch participated, was held first. Ex General-Secretary of Economics Study Center, Mohammad Sadat Anowar & Alumni of the dept. Kamrul Hossain Shuvo were the quizmasters for this event. Md. Sadat Anwar now works as an executive at the Aga Khan Foundation & Mr. Kamrul Hossain Shuvo is the assistant director of D-net.
This was followed by the policy-debate. The subject of the debate was- ‘Development of Bangladesh will not stay stable over the next 15 years’. ESC moderator Prof. M. M. Akash presided over the debate. Teamed ‘for’ the motion was- Galib Ibne Anwarul Azim, Rubayat Sarwar & Nishat Tasnim. Teamed ‘against’ the motion was- Rafiqullah Romel, Anirban Bhoumik & Nazmul Hossain Ovi. They are all working in research, development or finance related fields. ESC president Omar Raad Chowdhury was in charge of running the debate.
1 November, the final day of the summit ended on a high note. Held at the TSC Auditorium from 2 pm, the event consisted of a public lecture and a panel discussion by highly respected and esteemed intellectuals, and the prize-giving and closing ceremony.
The panel discussion was conducted by Dr. MM Akash, Moderator, Economics Study Center, and Dr. Haroonar Rashid, Professor, Department of Philosophy, DU. They talked on the topic "Marxism in the 21st Century: In the Context of Bangladesh". It was an enlightening and educative session as was proved by the numerous questions asked by the audience members during the Q/A session. The whole session ended at 4 pm.
Dr. Binayak Sen, Research Director, BIDS, was the speaker for the public lecture. His topic was "Poverty & Politics in Economics: In the Light of Bangladesh". Equally engaging and enlightening as the previous session, the Q/A session had numerous audience members asking questions, which Dr. Binayak answered thoughtfully.
All the speakers were given a Crest for gratitude for giving their valuable time to the summit.
At 6 pm, the Prize-giving & Closing Ceremony commenced. The winners of each competition segment were announced. At the Quizinius 3.0, Sabrina Azad Dorin & Rakibul Islam were Champions, while Kefayet Alfesan & Farzin Mumtahena were Runners Up. All the participants were from the first year of the Economics department, and each team was awarded a crest and a certificate.
Namira Shameem, another first-year student won the Essay competition, which was on Gig Economy. She was awarded a certificate and 5000 taka.
At the Paper Presentation competition, Chowdhury Amir Abdullah & Ayesha Ahmed, from the fourth year, stood first winning 20,000 taka while Shiyan Sadik Ishti & Shahriar Ahmed, from the third year, stood second winning 10,000 taka. Both the teams were awarded certificates as well.
The Closing Ceremony was attended by Dr. Shafiquzzaman, Dr. Sayma Haque Bidisha, Mr. Omar Raad Chowdhury, Mr. Sadman Raad, and Mr. Sayantan Miskat Jami. Each gave a speech reflecting on the department, ESC, and BES. Dr. Shafiquzzaman expressed his ardent hopefulness that his students shall one day refrain from taking the traditional path of sitting for the highly competitive BCS exam, and instead fill the gaps in the skilled labor required in various industries with their talent. Dr. Sayma Haque expressed her pride at the success of the event, especially given her initial misgivings about it. She was also grateful to the current panel of ESC for the numerous initiatives it had taken throughout the year, improving its efficiency and increasing its activities - something past panels were not as successful in doing. She wished the current panels all the best.
Each of the ESC panelists gave a heartfelt speech on their days at ESC, how it impacted them and made them grow as individuals, and how they believed that this summit was only the beginning of an even brighter future for ESC. They hoped that it becomes bigger in the upcoming years and that the future ESC panelists undertake more initiatives for the students. They also welcomed students from various universities and the audience to send their write-ups on any topic to the ESC blog.
And with a rapturous applause from the audience, the curtains were finally drawn at 8 pm, marking the end of a landmark achievement for ESC.
Report by: Zakia Samin Noor
Photos taken by: Shah Jamil Niloy