Bangladesh Sanskrit and Pali Education Board

Bangladesh Sanskrit and Pali Education Board an organisation responsible for conducting courses in traditional sanskrit and pali education. It was first established in 1915 in Kolkata as the Bengal Sanskrit Association and used to conduct examinations for primary, secondary and degree courses. At the time of partition in 1947, the association was divided into three: Bengal Sanskrit Education Association (west bengal), Assam Sanskrit Sabha and East Pakistan Sanskrit Sabha. After 1947, the East Pakistan Sanskrit Sabha conducted all examinations of the Sanskrit and Pali Tols in East Pakistan. In 1962 it was renamed Pakistan Sanskrit and Pali Education Board. After the liberation of Bangladesh, it was renamed Bangladesh Sanskrit and Pali Education Board. It is an autonomous body and all its expenses are met from a government grant. The government subsidises the salaries and allowances of the teachers of the colleges and schools under the board.

Since its creation, it has been operating from the Kamalapur Dharmarajika Bauddha Vihara in Dhaka. A 15-member committee has been running the board which is headed by the Director General of the Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Department. An eminent social worker or educationist holds the post of honorary secretary. The first secretary of the board was Abhayacharan Chakrabarty. He was followed by govinda chandra dev, bishuddhananda mahathera and Shuddhananda Mahathera.

The board conducts examinations for Sanskrit courses in purana, Kavya, Smriti, astrology and Ayurveda and Pali courses in Sutra, Vinaya and Abhidhamma. It awards primary, secondary and degree certificates, each course being of one-year duration. At one time, the number of toll colleges approved by the board was 110 for Sanskrit and 88 for Pali. There were 50 examination centres. The number of educational institutions has since gone down, and some of the centres have also closed. [Sukomal Barua]