Full Name: Professor Dr. Abul Barkat
Affiliation: University of Dhaka
Current Position: Professor
Date of Birth: September 27, 1954
Place of Birth: Bangladesh
Home District: Kushtia
Abul Barkat (born 27 September 1954) is a Bangladeshi economist and a professor in the Department of Economics, University of Dhaka. In addition to his teaching, from 2009 to 2014 he was the former chairman of Janata Bank Ltd. He is the present elected president of the Bangladesh Economic Association. He is a freedom fighter.
Barkat was born in Kushtia District to his parents Abul Quasem and Mst Nurun Nahar. He is the third child of his parents. He passed SSC exam from Kushtia Zilla School in 1970 and HSC from Kushtia Govt. College in 1973, both with first division with distinction. Barkat graduated from Moscow Institute of National Economy, now Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in 1978 obtaining highest grades in all courses with honors first class and then completed a PhD from the same institute in development economics. In 1982 Barkat started his professional career by joining the Department of Economics of Dhaka University.
Barkat is one of the most illustrious Professors of Economics in Bangladesh, awarded 2022 “the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon” of the People's Republic of Japan for his pioneer contribution to laying the foundation of Japanese studies in the academic sphere in Bangladesh. In the Indian sub-continent, Professor Barkat is popularly known as the ‘People’s Economist’ for his outstanding works on the causes of poverty, which led to the development of practical solutions for preventing and illuminating the root of poverty. He was a Professor and former Chairman of the Department of Economics, and a Professor and Founding Chairman of the Department of Japanese Studies, at Dhaka University.
Barkat’s research works and interests covers a broad spectrum of development discourse including the political economy of human development in a globalized economy; the nexus of poverty-inequality-deprivation; theory of decent society-decent economy-decent state; criminalization of economy with a particular focus on politics, rent-seeking, and inequality; informal economy, black money, and money laundering; land-water-forest rights; agrarian reform; developmental rights of marginalized peoples; governance, decentralization and development; health and population economics; economics of fundamentalism; women and gender; migration and development; political economy of tobacco-taxation; economics of inadequate sanitation; alternative national budget; economic nationalism vis-a-vis globalization; poverty of economic sciences; impacts of COVID-19 on inequality and poverty.
Barkat is one of the most reputed and respected political economists in and beyond Bangladesh. As an erudite scholar and invincible social thinker, he has over 800 high-quality research works to his credit, including research books, edited volumes, journal articles, monographs, public speeches, convocation speeches, and thought-provoking papers for national and international conferences on multidimensional issues of human development. In recognition of his path-breaking research, a prestigious award from the University of Dhaka, ‘The Justice Ibrahim Memorial Gold Medal was conferred on him twice (1999 and 2004). He received University Grants Commission (UGC) Gold Medal (2017) to recognize his ingenious contribution to the world of knowledge. Among many other notable awards include the Jahanara Imam Memorial Gold Medal 2012, recognition of his research on fundamentalism and secularism, and the Mercantile Bank Gold Medal-2008 for his original research in Economic Sciences.
Barkat is four times elected General Secretary consecutively and elected President four times (including the current one) successively in the BEA. He is the Chief Advisor of the Human Development Research Centre (HDRC), a proven leader in socio-economic research in Bangladesh since 1999. Barkat is the Founder Chairman of ‘The Abul Barkat Peace and Progress Foundation (ABPPF)’. As President of Manob Sakti Unnayan Kendra (MSUK), an NGO in Bangladesh. He is actively involved with the socio-economic analysis and free distribution of Arsenic Removing Filter designed with outstanding technology- the Sono Filter. He founded the MuktoBuddhi publishers, a publishing house dedicated to publishing the free, unfettered intellect. He was the Chairman of Janata Bank Limited, the largest State-owned Commercial Bank in Bangladesh. He is one of the founders of the Dhaka School of Economics. Currently, he is nominated for a ten-year term (2021-2030) as the Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the globally recognized think tank- Transformation, Integration and Globalization Economic Research (TIGER) chaired by the 1996-Nobel Laureate Peace Prize- Jose Ramos-Horta.Register for comment