A meeting of BIDS Senior Fellows was held on 14 January 2018. It was attended by Dr. Mohammad Farashuddin, Dr. M.A. Sattar Mandal, Mr. A.H.M. Moazzem Hussain, Professor M.M. Akash, Mrs. Rasheda K. Chowdhury, Dr. Abbas Bhuiyan, Dr. Ahsan H. Mansur and Professor S.M. Nurul Alam. DG, BIDS and senior BIDS researchers were in attendance.
The meeting began by observing a minute’s silence to honour the premature demise of two of its eminent senior fellows, Dr. Mahabub Hossain and Mr. Annisul Haque. A lively conversation then took place around research needs and gaps, and what further role BIDS could play. Some of the more poignant suggestions related to research on educational reforms, health, diversification of manufacturing, employment and agriculture. It was observed that agriculture was at a crossroad and it was important to be able to take stock of emerging dynamics with respect to land and production conditions, technology and increasing influence of agro-processing firms in the face of rising rural wages. Another important suggestion was for BIDS to take on a data validation role, especially for data generated by bodies like the BBS.
The meeting expressed satisfaction with the overall performance of BIDS and particularly commended the institute for regularly holding conferences like the BIDS Research Almanac and Critical Conversations. It was suggested that BIDS could also consider holding an annual BIDS Conference where non-BIDS research could also be included.