Bangladesh Agricultural University
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) the premier seat of higher agricultural education and research in the country. Its activities cover all the domains of agricultural sciences having direct bearing on terrestrial and aquatic productivity.
The university was established in 1961 on the basis of the recommendations made by the Commission on National Education and the Food and Agriculture Commission in 1959 under the East Pakistan Agricultural University Ordinance, 1961.
The Prime Minister of the Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh is the Chancellor of the university and the Vice-chancellor is the executive head. The BAU campus, with an area of about 1200 acres is located on the western bank of the old Brahmaputra river, 3 km to the south of Mymensingh town. The campus also houses two national research institutes, namely, bangladesh institute of nuclear agriculture (BINA) and bangladesh fisheries research institute (BFRI).
Objectives The main objectives of the university are: (i) to provide higher education in all branches of agricultural sciences; (ii) to conduct basic and applied research on various aspects of agriculture; (iii) to organise and supervise extension and related nation-building activities at different levels and in different forms; (iv) to provide training for personnel of different government and non-government organisations and also for farmers and farm-leaders on various aspects of agriculture and rural development; and (v) to provide facilities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation and collaboration with institutes or organisations within and outside Bangladesh.
Academic programmes The University started functioning in 1961 with only 23 teaching departments under 2 faculties (Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture), having a total of 30 teachers and 444 students. The Faculty of Animal Husbandry was added a few months later. The Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, and the Faculty of Fisheries began to function with effect from the sessions 1963-64, 1964-65 and 1967-68 respectively. At present, the University has 41 teaching departments in six faculties.
The University at its Bachelor degree level offers post-HSC courses of 4-year duration leading to the degrees of DVM, BSc Ag (Hons), BSc AH (Hons), BSc Ag Econ (Hons), BSc Ag Engg and BSc Fisheries (Hons). At the Master's degree level, a total of 35 teaching departments are engaged in conducting course-credit and research based programmes in 3 consecutive semesters. Doctoral programmes are of full-time 3-year duration. At present, PhD programmes are ongoing in 34 departments. During 1999-2000 the faculty strength of BAU was at 404.
Enrolment The enrolment (1999-2000) of students in six faculties of the University was 3565, 938 and 128 at bachelor, master and PhD levels respectively with a total of 4631. Female students constitute about 15% of the total enrolment.
Research achievements The University manages two main streams of research, namely, the degree research and the project research, the former being supervised by the teachers for postgraduate students at both MS and PhD levels while the problem-solving research projects are conducted with sponsorship accorded either by the University or some external agencies. The Committee for Advanced Studies and Research (CASR) is responsible for coordinating both the streams of research. However, for proper coordination and management of research projects, BAU Research System (BAURES) was established in 1984. Since its establishment, BAURES has successfully completed 322 research projects and has at present 112 ongoing projects. The University has succeeded in developing and releasing a number of important crop cultivars, techniques and technologies which have direct bearings on nation's agricultural growth. They include: two modern varieties of rice under the name BAU-63 and BAU-16, two HYV mustard seed under the name of 'Sampad' and 'Sambal', four soybean cultivars named as Devis, Bragg, 'Sohag' and G-2, two sweet potato cultivars named as 'Kamala Sundari' and 'Tripti', three Mukhi Kachu (Colocasia esculenta) cultivars in the name of 'Latiraj', 'Bilashi' and 'Dowlatpuri' (in collaboration with Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute), techniques of producing rhizobial biofertiliser, soil testing kit, techniques of controlling guava wilt, improved production technology of banana and pineapple, production of poultry vaccine, fish and shrimp culture in paddy field, development of fish feed for 'magur' (Clarias batrachus) culture, artificial breeding technique for 'magur' and 'shing' (Heteropneustes fossilis), grafting of African 'dhaincha', cultivation of perennial leafy vegetables, development of vaccine for poultry against Ranikhet disease and fowl pox, improved varieties of scavenging poultry, balanced poultry feed, artificial animal insemination, urea-molasses treated straw blocks as cattle feed, development of modern methods for preservation of fruit juice, improved plough, seed drilling machine, fertiliser spray machine, solar dryer, low-cost irrigation channel, soil-cement and ferro-cement grain storage structure, development of biogas plant etc. A Central Laboratory to strengthen the research activities of BAU and specially, to enhance its research capability in the field of genetic engineering and biotechnology, is being set up.
Extension activities With a view to evolving an extension approach that can be replicated in all areas of Bangladesh with necessary adjustment and making a bridge between the farmers and BAU teachers, researchers and students through extension activities with the local people for development of their farm, home and community, BAU Extension Centre (BAUEC) was established in 1976. The activities of BAUEC include training of farmers and extension workers.
Training As an integral organ of the University, Graduate Training Institute (GTI) was established in 1976 primarily to impart in-service training to the graduate officers and researchers engaged in agricultural research and development activities.
The Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology through its Bureau of Socio-Economic Research and Training, established in 1965, also conducts research and training programmes in the areas of resource allocations, economics of agro-technologies, pricing and marketing of agricultural products, agricultural credit and financial management, rural institution with emphasis on cooperatives, etc. The Bureau also conducts action research programmes on various aspects to test various hypotheses for solving rural problems.
The Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultation attached to the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering and Technology has been designed to stimulate research and training on agricultural engineering and to render expert service in the form of testing and consultation in the field of agricultural engineering.
Physical infrastructures Necessary physical infrastructures to accommodate the university activities have also been built up in campus, which include: 2 administrative buildings, 6 faculty complexes, Teacher-Student Centre Complex, Extension Complex, GTI Complex, 10 halls of residence for students (including one for female students), a two-storied central library (with a collection of 168277 volumes and 400 current journals), a modern auditorium (named as the Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Auditorium with sitting capacity of about two thousand), a conference hall, a gymnasium, a stadium and sport complex, a health centre (with facilities of free medicare service for all students, university staff and their families), a project complex, 657 units of residential facilities for teachers, officers and employees and a number of other official and community units and facilities. The campus has a rich botanical garden with rare collection of flora. An indigenous fruit garden is being maintained in the campus in order to conserve the national plant resources. The campus has also a central Shaheed Minar and a mausoleum for the martyrs of the war of liberation.
Students affairs The university has a students' affairs division, headed by the Students' Affairs Adviser to take care of all affairs related to welfare and guidance of students. The division maintains a Teacher Student Centre (TSC) which provides opportunity for friendly association among students, faculty members and University-alumni and foster social and cultural life of students through different cultural organs.
Supporting staff At present, the supporting staff of the University stands at a total of 2198. Of them, 237 are officers and 718 and 1243 are class III and class IV employees respectively. [Muhammed Hussain]