The Dhaka University admission bent the rules for Golam Rabbani, the general secretary of Dhaka University Central Students Union, to get him admitted to the MPhil programme. He contested in the DUCSU election as an MPhil student of the criminology department of the university.
Rabbani was admitted to the university’s department of law in the 2007-08 session and completed his masters in 2013. Then on 11 March he was admitted to the MPhil programme, thus qualifying to contest in the DUCSU polls.
On 14 September this year, he stepped down from the position of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) general secretary, accused of demanding commission from Jahangirnagar University development projects and other irregularities.
Admission to the Dhaka University MPhil programme entails first applying to the relevant department. Then recommendations are made by academic committee of the department, the faculty and the board of advanced studies. The final decision is then taken by the academic council.
Prothom Alo has confirmed that Golam Rabbani’s admission to the MPhil programme was not approved at the faculty meeting. His name did not even appear on the regular agenda of the Board of Advanced Studies and the Academic Council.
Speaking to Prothom Alo on 11 September, Golam Rabbani said he was admitted in keeping with the university rules. About his name not appearing on the agenda of the Board of Advanced Studies and the Academic Council, he said he would look into the matter. Attempts were made several times on Monday to clarify if he had ‘looked into the matter’ and, if so, what he had found. However, he could not be reached.
Rabbani’s criminology department MPhil course admission papers show that according to decisions taken at the meeting of the Board of Advanced Studies on 22 January and the Academic Council on 24 January, he was given permission to be admitted to the MPhil first year for the 2018-19 academic year. Two others were also admitted to the department’s MPhil programme with him. Their supervisor is the department chairman professor Zia Rahman.
The agenda of the Board of Advanced Studies and the Academic Council for the 2018-19 academic year has no approval for any MPhil admission to the criminology department.
Deputy registrar Sheikh Md Jamal, who signed Rabbani’s admission papers, told Prothom Alo that on 24 January, a few minutes before the Academic Council meeting, the criminology department chairman Zia Rahman approached the vice chancellor regarding the admission of Rabbani and the two others. When they were informed that the admission had been given approval, they attached a copy of the approval to the admission papers.
However, when a copy of the decision was collected from the administrative building, it was seen that there was no signature on the page for approving the admission of Golam Rabbani and the other two. Neither was any decision taken about their admission at the social science faculty meeting held on 16 January.
Dean of the social science faculty Sadeka Halim told Prothom Alo, according to the rules, a decision is taken about those getting admission to the MPhil programme and this is sent on to the Board of Advanced Studies. But, the names of those three were not sent to the Academic Council and no decision was adopted.
When asked, then, if they were admitted or not, she replied that she was not informed about the matter.
Criminology department chairman Zia Rahman claims that there were no irregularities in these admissions. Speaking to Prothom Alo on 22 September, he said that one of the three applicants had delayed in submitting the research summary that that is why he submitted the papers for approval without the faculty meeting. This, he said, is referred to as ‘table agenda’. Asked whether this was legitimate, he said that this was a well-practiced procedure.
However, acting dean of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Md Hasanuzzaman, said that it was a violation of the rules to bypass the Board of Advanced Studies and the Academic Council in this regard.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Ayesha Kabir.