“Settlement in trade” is an ancient proverb. Wealth can be gained in trade. Lakshi, the goddess of wealth. So Lakshidevi settled in trade. There is no other way to get rich except through trade and commerce. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself was in the business of trade for some time and he went on to say about its importance.
Trade has been an important economic activity and occupation since ancient times. The trade is being made by buying more from one person at a lower price and selling it at a lower price to many people. The task is simple. But experience is needed to make a profit by trading. Once upon a time there was no education to be engaged in the trade profession – there was no need. Over time, trade has expanded and become more complex. So trade became a subject of education at one time.
The history of business education in Bangladesh is not so old. At the time of the establishment of Dhaka University in 1921, there was a Department of Commerce and a degree in Commerce was started under the name of B.Com. After that B.Com was also introduced in the college. At one time HSC Intermediate level I.Com and later Commerce education started at Commerce level. Much later, in 1966, the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) was established at Dhaka University and a two-year MBA degree was conferred here.
Trade education was mainly about accounting, buying and selling and some of the related services, policies and procedures. MBA mainly teaches different techniques of business management. The concept of business is very broad here. It provides detailed education on all the tasks and services required in the business in addition to customer marketing and post-marketing services. But the main thing that is different from business education is that every business is taught how to manage properly. Special importance is given to practical education in MBA. Even students are employed in business for six months to learn hand-to-hand management.
The kind of meritorious students that were initially required for the MBA program were not getting the required number of students from the conventional pass course degrees. Meritorious students of Bangladesh are admitted in Medical, Engineering, Agriculture or Honors after passing HSC. Those who do not have this opportunity or those who cannot afford it go to pass courses. In this situation, the decision to introduce BBA was taken at a meeting of the IBA in the late nineteen seventies. For this, a committee was formed with IBA teacher Muhammad Alimullah Mian as its chairman. The committee discussed various issues and decided to start work on developing BBA curriculum.
But when the war of liberation started in 1971, the work was postponed. The matter was further delayed due to various problems at a later stage and due to the disinterest of those who were IBA directors even after that. Those of us who did a master’s degree in commerce and also an MBA could understand the importance of the subject and that is why we were particularly interested in introducing BBA. So when Dr. Alimullah Mian took over as director in 1987, preparations were made to start BBA. Professor Anwar Hossain was given the responsibility of creating the BBA curriculum.
I was given the responsibility to start tests and other work for admission.
The task was not very easy. Because BBA will be a four-year American-style degree program. Bangladesh then had a two-year pass course, a three-year honors course and a one-year master’s course. There were no four-year degrees except engineering and agriculture. The medical degree was five years. The first push came with a four-year bachelor’s degree course. Although the IBA had a law of its own, there was no mention of doing a four-year bachelor’s course. There was no disagreement at the time about introducing a two-year MBA degree instead of the previous one-year Masters. In 1919, the BBA curriculum was prepared and passed in various committees and in the same year, applications were invited for admission in BBA. But a jealous quarter managed to close the admission test at the last minute.
The allegation that there is no four-year bachelor’s degree at the university and no mention of it in the IBA Act prevents them from starting a BBA. It took four years to resolve this complication. Finally BBA was started in IBA in nineteen hundred and ninety three
Professor Alimullah Mian has been thinking of setting up a private university since 198 and asked me to create a BBA curriculum. The curriculum was presented to academics, directors of business and government officials at a seminar at the Planning Academy. The curriculum is revised to take into account their views. After retiring from the post of Director of IBA, Professor Mian established a private university called International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) in 1991 and started BBA in January 1989. The following year, in 1993, North South University introduced BBA. Then other private and public universities started giving BBA degree. BBA is now a very popular and interesting educational activity. That is why all the universities and colleges are now giving BBA degree. Meritorious students with BBA degree are successfully leading various organizations which are making significant contribution to the economic development of Bangladesh. The role of IBT in initiating BBA and IUBAT in initiating BBA and the contribution of Professor Alimullah Mian in both will always be remembered.
Dr. Abdur Rob
Former Professor and Director,