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Rafiqul Islam is a former professor of Bangla department in Dhaka University. He was the first Nazrul Professor and first director of Nazrul Research Centre in DU.

He was a director general of Bangla Academy and vice chancellor of University of Liberal Arts (ULAB).

Recipient of Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award) and Ekhushey Padak, professor Rafiqul Islam authored at least 30 books.

The government appointed him as Bangla Academy president on 18 May 2021.

Rafiqul Islam actively took part in language movement and took some rare photographs of the movement.

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