Bangladesharchives


Report on A Day Long Seminar on The Present State of Archives & Records Management in Bangladesh and the Future Plan held on 8th December, 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh
January 8, 2011, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Barrister Shafiq Ahmed, Honorable Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh remarked that the public record management in Bangladesh at the moment is very unsatisfactory. Even important state documents from the public archives are missing. This sad state of affairs is affecting the governance as well as undermining the history and heritage of the country. He also added that it was disturbing to note that Bangladesh has no Archival law, and that no budget is allocated for the management and development of the country’s record rooms, the principal depositories of official records. This is a situation which no modern country or government can tolerate for proper record keeping ensures socio-economic development of a country, provides information necessary for a transparent and accountable government, and preserves sources of history and cultural heritage.

Barrister Shafiq was making these statements as the Chief Guest of a Day Long Seminar held on 8 December 2010, at Dhaka, Capital of Bangladesh organised by the Bangladesh Archives and Records Management Society (BARMS). The Society was founded in 2009 by a group of archivists, historians, academicians, administrators, media personalities and members of civil society to increase awareness in the proper developments of archives and records management in Bangladesh, and help in the general development of National and Municipal archives of the country. The Day Long Seminar on The Present State of Archives and Records Management in Bangladesh and Future Plan was a part of the continued efforts of BARMS. Among other dignitaries present on the occasion were the former Advisor of the Caretaker Government Dr. Akbar Ali Khan, Secretary, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs Mrs. Suraiya Begum and Professor A. A. S. M. Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor of the University of Dhaka. The inaugural function of the Seminar was presided over by BARMS President Dr. Sharif uddin Ahmed. Dr. Akbar Ali Khan reiterated that the country’s archives and record rooms must be manned by professional archivists and record managers. Educational and Training programme in this connection for the development of professional archivists should be more extensively undertaken. The Secretary for Cultural Affairs emphasized that the government officials should follow more seriously the official instructions and existing laws for the management of public records. She however observed that in recent time efforts have been made to develop and modernize the National Archives of Bangladesh. She also drew the attention of the audience that more and more public records are being created through electronic medium and soon clear policies should be laid down for proper Electronic Record Keeping.

During the paper reading sessions, experts and academics presented a total number of seven (7) papers on Archives and Records Management in Rajshahi (Professor Dr. Mahbubur Rahman), How to preserve Records in Archives (Mrs. Salma Islam), Right to Information Act and its Relevance to Records Management (Lt.Colonel (Retd) Lutful Huq), Attitude of government officials to Records Management (Mr. Suhel Ahmed Choudhury), Cataloguing and Arrangement of Records (Mr. Elias Mia), Experiences of Records Collection in Bangladesh (Mr. Ali Akbar), Electronic Records Keeping (Mr. Habibullah Karim). The key-note paper entitled The Present State of Archives and Records Management in Bangladesh and the Future Plan was presented by Dr. Sharif uddin Ahmed. The papers generated lot of interests among the participants present, and questions were put to paper presenters by them. Two topics particularly drew the attention of the participants namely the attitude of government officials towards public records keeping and the electronic record keeping. The unanimous opinion was that the government officials should be given more training and made familiar with the record keeping in practical fields. The other area was the electronic record keeping. In Bangladesh now the practice of keeping records electronically is increasing fast but no defined systems or policies have yet been adopted in this regard. This might lead to chaotic situation in future. Hence the government should step in immediately to control the situation.

The electronic and print media were present in big force, and they reported the event in extensive way in newspapers and televisions.

The seminar on the whole was a great success, and will go a long way to increase awareness in record keeping in Bangladesh, and enthuse the government to adopt proper policies and measures in this connection. BARMS will continue to pursue these goals.

Professor Sharif uddin Ahmed
President, BARMS

Law Minister Barrister Shafiq Ahmed

Law Minister, Cultural Secretary, Vice-Chancellor receiving crests from President, BARMS

Participants of the Seminar (1)

Participants of the Seminar (2)

Audience (1)

Audience (2)

Young Participants with President

BARMS President delivering inaugural speech

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