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Academic Entrepreneur


The 1970s produced a number of social science institutions named after doyens like V K R V Rao, K N Raj, C T Kurian, and D T Lakdawala. India was a pioneer in the craft of academic institution-building, often from a limited resource base, and the country’s experience has immensely inspired scholars in the rest of Asia. One among them was M Alimullah Miyan.

A pioneer of the non-government university in Bangladesh and founder vice chancellor of the International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT), Miyan passed away on 10 May 2017. ​A brilliant scholar of migration and small business studies, his untimely death is a great loss to the Institute of Small Enterprises and Development (ISED), Cochin, and, personally, to many of his admirers.

My association and interaction with Miyan dates back to 2005, when I was based at the Development Research Institute, University of Tilburg, on a short assignment. Since then, Miyan and the university he nursed became intimate partners of the ISED. Serving as a member of its International Advisory Group, he subsequently extended his services to the institute, and to the cause of small business and entrepreneurship in Asia. Miyan was also a partner in the ISED Project on “Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship in South Asia,” and played a key role in organising two international conferences in Cochin and Colombo, respectively.

Besides the IUBAT, which he founded in 1991, Miyan was the founder of the South Asian Disaster Management Center (SADMC), which is involved in training, research, and publication on disaster preparedness and mitigation. He was invited as an expert to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDR) in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005.

Miyan’s contribution to migration studies stands out. Titled “Dynamics and Diversity: Employment Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region,” his contribution has triggered widespread debates on the subject, especially in Asian countries. He has published extensively on family planning, human resources and business management, industrial relations, marketing, social development programmes, disaster management, and energy policy. In addition, he has undertaken research and evaluation on public administration, management strategies for small business and government, as well as training needs of the health and family planning sectors.

After completing his honours and masters degree from Dhaka University, he received an MBA from Indiana University in the United States (US), and a doctorate from the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom.

Miyan was the chairman of the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development, Greater Dhaka; founding executive board member, Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia (AMDISA); executive member, International Society for Labour and Social Security Law; member, International Labour and Employment Relations Association, Geneva; member, Society for International Development, Rome; and, regional chair, International Association of University Presidents, US. 

P M Mathew


Updated On : 16th Jun, 2017


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