Dr Mohammad Tarikul Islam, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh

2020 has not been a great year for the world population. The pandemic disrupted everyday life across the globe. To control the spread of COVID-19 virus, educational institutions had to close their campuses for an indefinite period. However, for Dr Mohammad Tarikul Islam, a young scholar of Bangladesh, 2020 has been an outstanding year. All the hard work he put in to achieve the academic milestone has been amazing and rewarding. “Even, amid COVID-19 pandemic, the research works I undertook helped to me to become one of the most promising scholars in South Asia. My textbook on Local Government in Bangladesh: Contemporary Issues and Challenges is about to publish by the Routledge while two-chapter contribution to the Encyclopedia of UN SDGs is published by the Springer,” says Dr Islam. From the beginning of COVID pandemic, Dr Islam has written more than 35 articles to the English Dailies of Bangladesh, Nepal and India. His research papers are also published by the Elsevier and the National University of Singapore.

“I have contributed to the different academic blogs of LSE, Oxford and Cambridge. I am currently working with two young scholars from the University of Oxford and the University of Leeds in an edited book “COVID-19 in South Asia: It’s Impact on Society, Economics and Politics” and is expected to be published from the Taylor and Francis,” shares Dr Islam. Considering his scholarly contribution with more than 20 articles and 5 exclusive interviews in a year, Khabarhub (Kathmandu based popular English News Portal) has recently honoured Dr Islam, as the best writer award 2020.

A Scholar of Exceptional Brilliance

Dr Islam is now working as an Associate Professor of Government and Politics at Jahangirnagar University in Bangladesh. He was the Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, the United Kingdom in 2018. Dr Islam is also the Visiting Scholar of the University of Cambridge. “Before joining Jahangirnagar University in 2014, I was serving the United Nations Development Programme Bangladesh for seven years in different capacities. I had gained hands-on experiences while joining a brief mission at UNDP country office in Indonesia, Nepal and China,” recalls Dr Islam.

A regular contributor to the South Asia Blog of London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the UK and the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, Dr Islam has more than 30 publications to his credit mostly appeared in the international outlets (Routledge, Elsevier, SAGE, Oxford, Springer, BJECC and so on). His edited book ‘Human Security, Peace and Development: South Asian Perspective’ was published from Kolkata, India in July 2018.

“I have participated in a number of lectures, seminars and workshops at Cambridge, LSE, SOAS and Oxford. I also act as a research guide to different courses (SSC and ACAD) at the Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre.” His article regularly appears in the Daily Star, the Daily Independent, the Financial Express, the South Asia Monitor (leading English dailies of South Asia) and the Nepal Institute of International Cooperation and Engagement. Dr Islam is truly one of the most hardworking, dedicated, and inspiring researchers known to us.

Today, Dr Islam has boarded himself into research and teaching covering local governance and rural politics in the intellectual atmosphere of Jahangirnagar University. He says, “My interest in the subject is consolidated during my visit to the University of Oxford as a visiting research fellow in 2018, where I not only had the chance to undertake research on local governance but also had the unique opportunity of learning through a different dimension of local government in comparative perspective.”

In his textbook, Local Government in Bangladesh: Contemporary Issues and Challenges, being published by the Routledge, Dr Islam has made an effort to take on an overall view of local government and its role in sustainable development underlining the grassroots political participation. “The best writer award that bestowed on me by the Nepalese English Dailies inspired me to take the momentum forward for heightening excellence with scholarly works. Affiliation with Cambridge as a visiting scholar has greatly influenced my research undertaking. Local Government-Centre for Social Harmony and Development, which I have set up with the help of my colleagues and students, is, of course, a small effort to leverage my persistent academic endeavour in local government and rural politics,” concludes Dr Islam.

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