Bangladesh Bank is in the epicenter of economic policy and planning in Bangladesh. It not only plans towards achieving major economic goals but also plays a primary role in controlling activities; namely of the monetary policy.
Many of us read in text books about what central banks are and their functions. Nevertheless, a first-hand experience of the workings of a central bank takes learning to a superior level. This was experienced by a few students of North South University who earlier this month had the enticing opportunity of a whole day visit to Bangladesh Bank. The educational visit was organized by Young Economists’ Forum (YEF), an academic club at North South University. All the students who were part of the visit are members of YEF and students of the Department of Economics and School of Business.
Young Economists’ Forum (YEF) is a platform for young economists to explore their potential and express their ideas about economics. It publishes an annual magazine called ‘The Equilibrium’, organizes events – such as policy dialogue competitions, experts’ dialogue, seminars and such. It also organizes educational visits to important national and international institutions. The latest being to Bangladesh Bank!
The daylong visit started off with a presentation on the general functions and duties of the bank, given by Dr. Md. Habibur Rahman, Deputy General Manager of Bangladesh Bank. The focus was on the successful digitalization of many functions of Bangladesh Bank which has greatly increased its efficiency in operations. The emergence and growth of Green Banking were also discussed. This is a type of banking that is involved with social causes and also with the preservation of the environment. The Government of Bangladesh is making efforts to pursue this method of banking in the country.
After the presentation the group of students was taken to visit different departments of the organization. The first department visited was the printing and minting of bank-notes and coins. The students were given a short description about the key aspects of the decision making of printing bank-notes and minting coins by Mr. Parimal Chandra Chakraborty, deputy General Manager of Department of Currency Management.. He also discussed about the counterfeiting of bank-notes and how the preventive measures taken. The members of YEF then moved onto a different section of the Bank. There, a Bangladesh Bank official explained in detail how a Clearing House operates; the many transactions that the Bank deals with were shown as well.
Once the visit to the departments of the bank were completed then came the most exciting part of the tour – – lunch with Dr. Atiur Rahman, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank! This occurred in a fine dining hall and the members of YEF got the opportunity to chat with the Governor while enjoying a traditional meal. The Governor spent his time talking about the changes he has brought and is intending to bring to the Bank. This was undoubtedly a very enlightening experience for every individual in the room as everyone learned how this vital institution of the country is changing rapidly and how it is taking the country forward with many of its activities. Dr. Atiur Rahman also shared some very interesting stories of his life.
In the end, the Governor handed the YEF members a number of copies of the Bank’s latest publications and also some rare commemorative notes.
Afterwards they were taken to the Currency Museum (Taka Jadughar) on the first floor of Bangladesh Bank’s Training Academy at Mirpur. The Currency Museum was inaugurated in October last year. It is a splendid endeavor by Bangladesh Bank towards enlightening the new generation about the evolution of monetary currency in this region.
A tour of the museum was given, which has a collection of over three thousand coins and paper notes. Bangladesh Bank officials have tried to represent the history of human civilization through coins and currencies in the Currency Museum. There were two sections to the museum; in the first section they saw the display of coins and currencies from Uari Bateshwar era to present generation. Coins of Uari Bateshwar, Sultanate, Mughal, and British colonial periods are being displayed here. The authorities have used most modern technologies including digital kiosk, LCD display, 3D television and projectors so that the visitors can gain more knowledge about the coins and currencies they are interested in. The second sections had a collection of paper notes of various countries of the world. Some of the members of YEF were also given the opportunity to take printout of souvenir note with their photos on it. Then the officials shared their expansion plans that they will have a very modern separate corner for children where video and other games will help the future generation to be acquainted with various changes in developments of human civilization through coins and currencies of various eras.
That was the end of the very enriching trip to Bangladesh Bank. The students of YEF got to learn a lot from all the officials and will remember this enjoyable educational trip for a long time.