Speakers pay rich tribute to late Prof Nurul Islam
DHAKA, June 4, 2023 (BSS) - Speakers at a commemorative event today paid rich
tributes to the life and work of late Professor Nurul Islam saying that his
economic work always centered towards the welfare of the people of
They also said that Professor Islam, the first deputy chairman of Planning
Commission, was the forefather in the economic education and research of the
country while he played a pivotal role in the economic aspect towards the
struggle for country's independence.
They came up with such observations at a "Commemorative Event on Prof Nurul
Islam: Perspectives from Different Generations" held at the conference room
of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) in the capital.
Planning Minister MA Mannan spoke at the event as the chief guest while
Economic Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Mashiur Rahman spoke as
special guest chaired by Director General of BIDS Dr Binayak Sen.
Eminent lawyer and politician Dr Kamal Hossain, Rashed Khan Menon, MP, former
governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Mohammad Farashuddin, renowned economist Dr
Wahiduddin Mahmud, former state minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan
Chowdhury, former Director General of BIDS Dr Quazi Shahabuddin, executive
director of Economic Research Group (ERG) Dr Sajjad Zahir, director of Policy
Research Institute (PRI) Dr Ahmad Ahsan, editor of Daily Prothom Alo Matiur
Rahman and daughter of Prof Islam and senior economic adviser to the managing
director of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Dr Roumeen Islam
spoke, among others, at the event.
Recalling his interactions with Prof Nurul Islam twice -- first in Geneva in
late 90s and then in Washington DC in 2014-15, Planning Minister MA Mannan
paid rich tributes to the life and work of Profeessor Islam.
He said that Prof Islam was one of those enlightened people who often had
close contacts with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Planning Minister also supported the thoughts of Prof Islam for
developing a strong urban middle class society in the country having strong
knowledge and education.
Prime Minister's Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman said that all should recall the
contributions of Prof Nurul Islam towards the economy of Bangladesh.
"Prof Nurul Islam applied his researches towards addressing the problems of
the country," he said adding that the working arena of the Planning
Commission was huge during the tenure of Prof Islam.
Former central bank governor Dr Mohammad Farashuddin said that Prof Islam was
loved by all and was a true guardian of his students.
"He (Prof Islam) was a welfare economist and he had similarities with the
thoughts and spirit of Father of the Nation," added Dr Farashuddin.
The eminent economist said it does not matter whether Prof Islam did not get
the 'Swadhinata Padak' or 'Ekushey Padak' in his lifetime, but his followers
always placed him in the core of their heart.
Noting that Prof Islam was a sincere gentleman, Dr Farashuddin said that no
one in the country had much knowledge except Prof Islam in the fields of
trade and agriculture.
He also mentioned that the historic six-point demand was orchestrated by
Father of the Nation in his own thoughts and language.
Rashed Khan Menon, MP said that Prof Nurul Islam had always loved Bangladesh
through his works.
He also suggested the government to honour Prof Islam with national award
Country's renowned economist Dr Wahiduddin Mahmud said that Prof Islam was
the forefather of modern economic education and research in the country while
he was a teacher to many eminent citizens of the country including him.
"He (Prof Islam) was in the center of economic debate towards the struggle
for country's independence," Dr Mahmud said adding that Prof Islam was a
full-fledged economist and had vast knowledge on various aspects of
He said despite not getting the Nobel Prize, no one in the world other than
Prof Islam had 'bird’s eye view' on development economics.
Noted economist professor Dr Nurul Islam, the first deputy chairman of the
country's first planning commission, died in Washington, DC, of the USA last
month. He was 94.
Professor Nurul Islam achieved Ph.D. from Harvard University after completing
a bachelor's and master's in economics from Dhaka University. He was the
first Bangali director of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
Dr Islam was the first chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of Development
Professor Nurul Islam was serving the duty of emeritus fellow of the
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He joined the institute
in 1987 as a senior policy adviser to the director general. He also wrote
around 25 books.
In his long professional career, he served as director general of the
economic and social development department of the Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
Besides, he was a teacher at Economics Department of Dhaka University. He was
also the chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
He received Bangladesh Bank Award in 2009.
Dr Islam was born at Patiya in Chattogram. He is noted for his role in the
Independence War of Bangladesh from Pakistan in the early seventies. He was
one of the closest advisors to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh