Contents: Preface. Keynote Paper: 1. Bangladesh on the threshold of the twenty-first century: an agenda for change/Rehman Sobhan. History and Politics: 1. Bangladesh: a historical ledger/Enayetur Rahim. 2. Political development/Rounaq Jahan. 3. Political parties and the future of democracy/S. Aminul Islam. Economy and Demography: 1. Bangladesh economy: performance, prospects and challenges/Wahiduddin Mahmud. 2. Agriculture sector: on the threshold of the twenty-first century/M.M. Akash. 3. Industrial development: a review of evidence and policy issues/Zaid Bakht. 4. Private sector management/Hafiz G.A. Siddiqi. 5. Poverty alleviation: changes, channels and challenges/Binayak Sen. 6. Population: dynamics and implications for the twenty-first century/A.K.M. Nurun Nabi. Society and Culture: 1. Society and culture, 1971-2000/Serajul Islam Choudhury. 2. Status of women/Shawkat Ara Husain. 3. Post-liberation Bangla literature: the state of the art/Khondakar Ashraf Hossain. 4. Visual arts/Syed Manzoorul Islam. 5. Reading Bengali nationalism through sociology of theatre/Syed Jamil Ahmed. 6. Culture, governance and underdevelopment/Taj I. Hashmi. Governance, Administration and Development: 1. Public administration in the three decades/Syed Giasuddin Ahmed. 2. Local government, 1971-2000/A.M.M. Shawkat Ali. 3. Rural development in transition: an institutional perspective/Niaz Ahmed Khan. 4. NGOs in Bangladesh: challenges on the threshold of the new millennium/Tasneem Siddiqui. 5. Laws of Bangladesh/Shahdeen Malik. Education, Science and Technology: 1. State of pre-university education, 1971-2000/Sharifa Khatun. 2. Higher education: present peril and future promise/Amirul Islam Chowdhury. 3. Science and technology/Jamilur Reza Choudhury. Environment: 1. Perspectives on the environment of Bangladesh/K.B. Sajjadur Rasheed. 2. Urbanization and urban development/Nazrul Islam. Foreign Affairs: 1. Foreign policy: a review/Md. Abdul Halim.
"Bangladesh on the Threshold of the Twenty-First Century contributes significantly to the revaluation of the country's past. Anyone interested in the future of the country will find its clear-eyed assessment of the past and vision of the future thought-provoking and noteworthy.
As Bangladesh entered the new century, as well as the new millennium, having completed thirty years of its life, the Asiatic Society invited eminent scholars to take stock of the country's situation in a two-day seminar held in the society's premises on April 27 & 28, 2001. Participants were requested to appraise Bangladesh's performance in key areas and to come up with appropriate recommendations for the future. The idea was to look at the last three decades of national life to detect significant trends and to establish signposts for the future.
Specifically, the Asiatic Society invited fifty-two leading intellectuals of the country to deliberate on the following questions: nationally and internationally what had Bangladesh achieved or failed to achieve? Was the country prepared for the challenges ahead of it? Had Bangladesh put in enough effort in the right direction? Was it on the threshold of a better future? And what could Bangladeshis learn from the last thirty years?
After the seminar was over, scholars who had read papers in it rewrote them, taking into cognisance the comments that their papers provoked, and with an eye to their publication in a volume that would be a permanent record of the deliberations of the seminar. The result is the present volume, Bangladesh on the Threshold of the Twenty-first Century.
This is a book that should be of enduring value for anyone interested in the past performance and present condition of Bangladesh, and future paths to be taken or not to be taken by the country in the new century. It is a book that should be an indispensable source of reference for all students of Bangladesh." (jacket)