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Muslim nations must regain past glory in science, tech

CA tells IUT convocation

Unb, Gazipur

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed speaks at the 22nd Convocation of Islamic University of Technology (IUT) in Gazipur yesterday. Photo: PID

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said Muslim nations must regain its previous glory, particularly in science and technology, through exchange of information and collective efforts.


"We must regain our standing in the world, which we can only achieve if we communicate with one another, share and exchange information and ideas, and cooperate (with each other) to make coordinated individual and collective efforts," he told the 22nd Convocation of Islamic University of Technology (IUT).


Addressing the function at the IUT auditorium, the CA said Muslim scholars like Al Razee, al Beruni, Muhammad Al Khwarizmi and Omar Khayyam during the mediaeval period enriched different branches of science and technology, including chemistry, mathematics, medicine, physics, architecture and literature.


He said, "They were pioneers of modern science and technology, yet today many of the OIC nations do not posses the same level of cutting-edge scientific capability due to the fact that we failed to adequately pursue and strengthen our knowledge base."


Fakhruddin said knowledge is essential for establishing peace and stability within a state as well as nation. "Our Prophet (SM) had put great emphasis on acquiring knowledge. The arrival of Islam 1400 years ago illuminated the world civilisation," he said.


"The OIC member states must commit themselves to living up to our shared scientific heritage. We must devote more resources, time and efforts to fostering excellence in science both by setting up world-class educational institutions as well as by encouraging research and development of the highest international standard," he told the function.


OIC Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Dr Ali Akbar Salehi read out the speech of OIC Secretary General Prof Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, also the IUT Chancellor, at the function.


IUT Vice Chancellor Dr M Imtiaz Hossain and IUT Registrar Ahsan Habib also spoke on the occasion.


The chief adviser distributed certificates, the OIC Gold Medal 2008 and the IUT Gold Medal 2008 among the students.


Shahidul Amin received the OIC Gold Medal 2008 while Fakhrul Hasan, Rakib Imtiaz Zaman and SM Didar Al Alam the IUT Gold Medal 2008 for their outstanding academic performance and achievements. All the four gold medal winners are Bangladeshi students.


The CA also attended a ceremonial academic procession on the campus.


Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam, diplomats, academics, IUT teachers, students, fresh graduates and post-graduates and their guardians were present at the function.


In his speech, the CA said the application of technology has dramatically changed the quality of life for human beings in the recent past.


"Furthermore, the rate of change in knowledge base is now much faster than ever before. Technology also accelerates the process of globalisation, which in turn, further accelerates technological progress," he said.


"In order to remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic world, we must ensure that we can both benefit from and contribute to the scientific and technological progress of our times, particularly in terms of practical economic applications," Fakhrudidn observed.


Today the global community is facing many crucial challenges, including volatile energy prices, scarcity of food, climatic change and environmental pollution, he said, adding that these are all areas in which the application of technology can make a significant difference indeed. Technology will have to be part of any solution.


"Energy is a key element to the economic development of any country. Technological solutions will be required to provide sustainable sources of energy for going forward, as well as to deal with the climate change that our emission of greenhouse gases has already caused," he noted.


The CA said the consequences of climate change will be catastrophic if the underlying causes are not addressed. The very survival of countries like Bangladesh is threatened by potential rises in the sea level. The global community must tackle climate change, while also ensuring that sustainable, environment-friendly energy solutions are pursued.


He also stressed that it must be ensured that female students can pursue education in the field of science and technology where they are today grossly underrepresented in the OIC member states.


He urged the graduate and post-graduate students to discharge their professional responsibilities efficiently and ethically to benefit themselves and humanity at large.


"You should remember that the pursuit of knowledge is a continuous process, and you must ensure that you remain up-to-date and competitive in this dynamic world," he told the graduates.

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