Dr Harun-or-Rashid, professor (Selection Grade) of political science department at Dhaka University and former vice-chancellor of National University of Bangladesh, has been selected for the "Bangladesh Chair: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Professorial Fellowship" at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, Germany.
The selection has been made through a collaborative process by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of Bangladesh and Heidelberg University, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen at a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
The Bangladesh Chair at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University was initiated in 1999 to disseminate knowledge on history, politics and economics of Bangladesh and continued for two years at a stretch.
Accordingly, two professorial fellows selected from Bangladesh attended the programme in the years 2000 and 2001.
"It was unfortunate that the succeeding BNP-Jamaat government terminated the Fellowship in 2002, thus foreclosing the possibility of knowledge transfer and exchange that could only be beneficial for Bangladesh," said Dr Momen.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated the process of reviving the fellowship in the second half of 2019, on the eve of 'Mujib Barsha'. We appreciate the immediate positive response we received from the Heidelberg University authorities, which led to concluding a fresh MOU with them on 11 December 2019," said the minister.
"We expect Professor Rashid to render his services under the fellowship for a six-month period this year, subject to the Covid-19 pandemic situation," he added.
Momen further said, "The fellowship will yet again enhance opportunities with Germany and other European countries for academic studies and exchange focusing on Bangladesh and South Asia.
"It is evident that the rest of the world has started looking at Bangladesh in a new light, and there is likely to be growing academic interest in our nation's history, culture and politics to understand the dynamics these phenomena bring into play across the wider region and beyond."
Among others, Professor Kazi Shahidullah, chairman of the UGC of Bangladesh, Peter Fahrenholtz, Ambassador of Germany to Bangladesh were present in the event.