– Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman, General Secretary*
Very recently our Editor Khaled Mahmood met Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman, General Secretary, Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IDEB), at his office chamber. He had long talks with the General Secretary on the functions and functionaries of IDEB. Mr. Rahman very patiently replied to questions put to him that we publish here for our valued readers considering its significance in our national perspective.
Khaled Mahmood : Would you kindly tell me about the genesis of this gigantic institution like IDEB?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : In 1946 the Subordinate Engineer Association was formed by the qualified service holders having certificates of upper Subordinate Engineering Course of 4 years’ duration and also certificates from City and Guilds London. In 1950 Diploma Engineers organized a movement to establish the right of higher education and to promote facilities in a confidential meeting of Diploma Engineers specially attended by political leaders like Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Tazuddin Ahmed when a decision to call strike and demonstration was taken.
On 10th May 1970 in a protest meeting against the step-motherly attitude of the then Pakistan government and the atrocities perpetrated to the Diploma Engineers in Rajshahi Engineering College a decision to form a committee consisting of 11 members was taken. Later this committee was reconstructed as The Transitory Committee of the ‘East Pakistan Institute of Diploma Engineers.’ The Transitory Committee organized the first national convention of Diploma Engineers in Art Council, Segunbagicha Dhaka on 8 November 1970. The inaugural session founded ‘East Pakistan Institute of Diploma Engineers’ which was later renamed as ‘Institute of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh.’ Senior Diploma Engineer Mr. Nuruzzaman chaired the inaugural session of this convention and prominent teacher of the University of Dhaka Professor Kazi Motahar Hossain was present in this session as the Chief Guest.
Khaled Mahmood : Please tell about the objectives of IDEB in a nutshell.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB objectives in short are as follows.
• The institution as an organization shall purely be a non-political one and promote the knowledge of engineering.
• It shall work for professional development and skill of its members and foster a close relationship, patriotism and spirit of brotherhood for the sake of national prosperity.
• It shall endeavor to protect the legitimate right and interest of all Diploma Engineers of Bangladesh.
• It shall work for maintaining close brotherly relation with Diploma Engineers in home and abroad and other professionals so as to introduce modern technology for exchanging knowledge and for the welfare of human being including human resource development.
• As a professional organization it shall conduct combined activities with the internationally accepted and technology based professional organization of different countries in order to establish bilateral and multilateral relationship.
• It shall endeavor to enhance this professional knowledge, skill, outlook and moral sense of the members.
• It shall try to regenerate its members in the spirit of War of Liberation and promote and develop patriotism amongst the members.
• It shall conduct research/study on the national important issues with any organization in home and abroad.
• It shall always make efforts to achieve and preserve the legitimate demand and right of its members.
• It will work to foster co-operation and co-ordination with global similar organizations, engineering based colleges/universities, polytechnic institutes of home and abroad for mutual benefit.
• It shall assist each member with updated information, organize lecture sessions, discussion meeting, conferences relating to engineering affairs and will arrange publication of concerned materials.
• It will make endeavor in building up a society based on scientific knowledge and technology mixed with good moral feeling.
• The institution shall always be engaged in humanitarian well-being of its members and shall stand by the fellow countryman at the time of any natural calamity/disaster.
Khaled Mahmood : Please give a brief outline on the Structure and Authority of IDEB.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : More than 5 lakh engineer members who work mostly in government, semi government, autonomous bodies and private sector in home and abroad constitutes the General Body of the Institution.
The National Council consists of proportional representatives hereinafter called councilors who are directly elected from each branch and acts as the legislative body of the Institution. The organizational structure of IDEB starts from the grass root i.e., the Upazila Executive Committee and the Unit Executive Committee under the District Executive Committee (DEC) in the each administrative district. The Upazila Executive Committee consists of directly elected office bearers.
Khaled Mahmood : What are the sources of financial income of your institution?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : The IDEB operates few accounts with scheduled banks in the country. Funds are mobilized from subscriptions of the members, monthly fee, donation, Government grants, space rent charges, etc; the financial matters of the institution are looked after by the Finance Secretary, General Secretary and the President. All expenses are regulated by an annual budget approved by the National Council. All expenditure are auditable internally as well as externally.
Khaled Mahmood : What provisions are here in IDEB for education and training of the members.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : For the improvement of the professional standards, skill and efficiency of its members and to enable them face the modern technological changes continuous research and training activities and programs are required. So IDEB conducts training programs for enhancing communicative, managerial skill and also related technological skill of its members on regular basis. The Education Training Cell of IDEB conducts these programs round the year.
Recently joint training programs are also being organized with ITEC, India, Swinburne University, Australia, Melbourne Polytechnic Australia, CPC Manila, ILO, BTEB, DTE, NSDC, FBCCI and other expert organizations for advanced training in both home and abroad. IDEB is very shortly introducing a Diploma in Post Graduate Management & MBA Course exclusively for the Diploma Engineers.
Khaled Mahmood : What provisions you have in IDEB in carrying out professional activity?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB feels that in all sectors especially in development sector all activities should be done by professionals rather than amatuer manpower for facing the challenge of advancement anywhere. So with a view to improving the competence of the professionals IDEB organizes seminars, symposia, lectures on technology, workshops on various subjects as a regular practice.
Khaled Mahmood : Do you maintain international relationship?Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : Yes, IDEB is working to extend the organizational relationship abroad. In 1993 a delegate team of Institute of Civil Engineers UK visited IDEB Headquarters. In 1994 a delegate of IDEB also visited UK. IDEB has taken initiative to form SAARC Diploma Engineers Forum (SDEF). IDEB arranged a Convention of the Diploma Engineers of the SAARC countries in Dhaka in 1996; ultimately
SDEF was established in 1998. IDEB has also applied for membership to the Commonwealth Engineers Association; C.W.E.A. has already given its positive decision on the matter. IDEB has by now opened its overseas efforts in USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Libya, Singapore and Canada for relationship with them. The Welfare Associations of Bangladeshi Diploma Engineers are working abroad as an overseas entity of IDEB in several countries.
Khaled Mahmood : Does IDEB awards any honor, prize/medal to any person/institution for glorious deeds/achievements for the nation.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB awards prizes and gold medals to the journalists and writers who enlighten the people and play an important role in popularizing science and technology in the country. Every year the awards are handed over in a special ceremony. Gold medals are also awarded to the cultural personalities for their contribution in popularizing science and technology. The Institution offers IDEB Merit Medal to its student members who achieve highest CGPA in Diploma in Engineering from Bangladesh Technical Education Board in the Final Examination.
Khaled Mahmood : How IDEB represents it in various national bodies.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB provides research solution and makes recommendations on the improvement of science and technology in the country. So the Government has selected it in several entities as member in National Committee on Education, Planning Water, Power, Sewerage, etc.
Khaled Mahmood : Please focus a light on the estates and properties of IDEB.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB Headquarters are housed in 160/A, VIP Road, Kakrail, Dhaka. Total area of land measures 0.76 acres possessed by IDEB as owner. There is a Master Plan to construct a 25 storied tower building with office accommodation, auditorium, research facilities, training facilities, seminar and symposium space, etc.
Khaled Mahmood : Please mention about the assistance and co-operation that IDEB receives from the government.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : Right from the inception of IDEB it has been receiving assistance and co-operation from the government specially after the liberation of Bangladesh. The Headquarter Building construction is going on with 90% share from the govt. and only 10% by self financing as a project of planning by PWD; with basements the IDEB building would have 27 storys, 13 storys being completed by now.
Khaled Mahmood : Is IDEB financially sound.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB is the largest professional organization in the country having 5 lakh professional members and 4 lakh student members. They contribute a big amount towards the funds of the institution.
Khaled Mahmood : Please outline the present national set up of IDEB.
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : There are 35 members in the Central Executive Committee and member advisers of IDEB. There are 71 district organizational committee, 486 upazila committee, 122 service organizations which work under IDEB. 15 Industrial Belt Committees function throughout the country. There are 49 public and 463 private Polytechnic Institutes in Bangladesh. Student organization named Bangladesh Karigori Chatra Parishad (Bangladesh Technical Students Council) functions in every Institute under IDEB. They work for the welfare of the student in academic and socio-cultural affairs as an associate organization of IDEB.
Khaled Mahmood : What publications you have?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : The IDEB publishes a socio-technological monthly journal named ‘Karigar’ meaning ‘The Artisan’. The seminar papers, technical and other lectures delivered, dialogues or discussion in meetings and outcomes of conference and studies and other engineering news are mainly published in it.
Khaled Mahmood : What is the philosophy of your organization?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB was established on 8 November 1970 with the philosophy “protect the interest of the nation to establish individual rights.”
Khaled Mahmood : What is your mode of action?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : 75 percent of the activities of IDEB is focused towards the betterment of the nation and peoples’ welfare leaving 25 percent for the member engineers’ welfare. IDEB is completely a non-political professional organization. IDEB boasts of joining the great Liberation War in 1971 and hence it plans its activities on the basis of this philosophy.
Khaled Mahmood : Would you kindly mention any recent venture that you have undertaken?Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : Very recently IDEB has taken initiative to establish two Common Facility Centers – one at Khulna and another at Jashore with the co- of Bangladesh Government and the Government of India.
Khaled Mahmood : What honorarium and financial benefits you receive from IDEB as office bearers, as members of CEC and other central and local Committees?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : No elected person of any committee of IDEB receives any salary or honorarium or emolument of any kind for his service here. Everybody renders here voluntary service. Even the costs of foreign tours for participating workshop, training etc. are personally borne by the committee members.
Khaled Mahmood : Have you any Foundation?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IEDB has a welfare foundation which extends help to its members and at the time of any calamity/disaster of the country. The Foundation makes efforts for creating employment avenues for its unemployed members.
Khaled Mahmood : Would you please mention any glorious action of IDEB in the War of Liberation ’71 of Bangladesh?
Engr. Md. Shamsur Rahman : IDEB is the only single institution/organization which made a written declaration for joining Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Being inspired by the historical speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 7 March, 1971 IDEB made this formal declaration to Bangabandhu on 23 March, 1971. This event is recorded in the Liberation War Archieve, Dhaka.