Bangladesh Electronics Society: Past and Present

M Lutfar Rahman

Bangladesh Electronics Society is an association of scientists, engineers, researchers and professionals associated with electronics and its developments and applications. A large number of educationists, learners, practicing engineers and government officials working in electronics and information technology are associated with the society. Information technology is the driving force of the present information age and electronics is the root of information technology. Objectives of the society is to encourage education, research and applications of electronics for socio-economic developments of Bangladesh and to encourage interactions between professionals through seminars, conferences, publications etc.

The society was formed on 18 November 1989 in a symposium held at Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka (AECD) presided by Professor Dr. M Shamsul Huq. The formation of Bangladesh Electronics Society is the culmination of a series of discussion meetings and symposiums for encouraging education and research of electronics and developments of electronics industries in  Bangladesh. A brief background on the formation of the society and its activities are presented in the following sections.

Formation of Bangladesh Electronics Society

Use of electronics started in the country with the use of radio receivers using vacuum tubes in the middle of twentieth century. Microphones and loud-speakers were used for large public meetings at that time. In 1952, microphones and loud-speakers were used for announcements in the language movement activities. Transistorized radio receivers started to become popular after 1960. Before 1960 electronics was taught as a course of Physics in Dhaka University and it was called Wireless at that time. Department of Applied Physics (now Applied Physics Electronics and Communication Engineering) started functioning in Dhaka University in 1965 to meet the increasing demands of electronics and its applications in the country. Television transmission was also started from Rampura television station, Dhaka in 1965.

Use of electronic instruments in industries and households expanded sharply after 1960 with extensive of use of transistors in electronic instruments in general. Importance of Electronics grew rapidly after the independence of Bangladesh and a four-day long symposium on electronics was held in April 1974. Science and Technology Minister, Dr. Mofiz Chowdhury, was the chief guest in the inaugural ceremony of the event. Mr. Ziaur Rahman, the then Major General of Bangladesh Army (later Honorable President of Bangladesh), presided over a seminar on “Electronics in Government, Civil and Defense Establishments”. A list of recommendations was prepared in the symposium covering education, research, training, industry, business and it was placed before the government for consideration. But no substantial actions were taken for realization of the recommendations.

In the circumstances, the second electronic symposium was held after seven years during 12-13 December in 1981. The theme of this Symposium was “Electronics for Socio-Economic Developments of Bangladesh”. Mr. Shah Azizur Rahman, the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was the chief guest of the inaugural session, and a technical session was chaired by Air Commodore Sultan Mahmud, the then Chief of Bangladesh Air Force (later Science and Technology Minister of Bangladesh). Again, a list of recommendations was prepared and was submitted to relevant ministry for implementation. In the 1981 symposium, it was strongly felt that Bangladesh Electronic Society should be formed. However, the society was not formed this time owing to lack of integrated efforts for the formation of the society.

At last, on 18 November in 1989 in a symposium of electronics educators, researchers and professionals, convened under the leadership of Mr. Emdad Hossain at AECD, Bangladesh Electronics Society was formed. A 28-member adhoc committee was formed to formulate initial activities of the society with Professor Dr. Mohammad Shamsul Huq as president and Mr. Emdad Hossain as the general secretary. This committee tried to increase the number of members of the society and prepared a draft constitution for the society.

Under the supervision of the adhoc committee, a symposium was held on 31 May 1990; the theme of the Symposium was “Role of Electronics for Socio-Economic Development of Bangladesh”. In the general session of the Symposium in the afternoon of 31 May 1990, the draft constitution was accepted with minor modifications and Professor Dr. Mohammad Shamsul Huq was elected the first president of the society.