Vol. 5 Num 432 Sat. August 13, 2005  

Softfair 2005

NSUCC brings companies closer to academia

After running successfully for three consecutive days, the sixth annual 'SoftFair 2005', organised by the 'North South University Computer Club' (NSUCC), came to an end last Saturday at the Banshundhara City's exhibition centre. The objective of the fair was to expose the unexplored talents of the new generation software developers of the nation.

Dr. Asaduzzaman Chow-dhury, chairman, University Grant Commission (UGC) inaugurated the fair on August 4. While speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Chowdhury said that he expects NSUCC to organise more programmes like this in future to facilitate the improvements of the ICT Sector of Bangladesh.

The fair, with the theme 'Experience the latest tech, Live', sought to maintain a convergence on allowing building a bridge between the nation's apprentices with the existing local corporate stakeholders. "Thus, we have invited people from both sectors, the corporate and the educational institutions," said Ashikur Rahman, president, NSUCC.

The organisers also forwarded invitations to all the leading public and private universities of the nation. "Unfortunately not a single university outside of Dhaka participated at the fair. All academic institutions should come under one roof, which would have made the objective of the fair even stronger," Rahman stated.

"We do not want to be a consumer market any more. We have the talent, and exposition of the talented is what the fair targets," said Dr SAM Khairul Bashar, pro-vice chancellor, North South University (NSU), while speaking at the ceremony. He also stated that while the world has been approaching towards a common but sophisticated tech appearance in mostly all its forms, it has become mandatory on organising such blends of interests, and for the benefit of both the students and corporate holders too, also citing that true success is always defined from benefit of both sides of the story.

Although the name of the fair limits the exhibition to software products only, the organisers managed to make it otherwise, allowing the registered universities to bring in their hardware projects along with the soft ones.

Twenty-nine participators exhibited their products and projects in forty-six stalls at the fair. The fair was kept open for all for more student show ups at the site. "Mostly students turned up at the Softfair along with the general crowd," said Rahman. He also stated how potential students of the nation are in need of financial backup to continue with their personal developments and this is where the industrialists may venture in by offering them the package and promoting such necessary growth of potential.

The fair offered free internet browsing for the visitors, the best three university and corporate projects were awarded, in which Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology (Buet)'s 'Bangla SMS' project became first in the university criteria while NSU took the second place with their 'Native Mobile' project, and from the corporate sector, Decode was awarded first for their outstanding 3D animation project.

"Students can make a difference if they are given the proper exposure, and for this matter the educational institutions should come under one roof to provide them with such an locale," Rahman cited, suggesting how more interaction among the members of the private and public university community will eventually create a standard exposure for all their students, and more interaction among students should allow for more share of their knowledge-base.

Dr Hafiz GA Siddique, vice chancellor, North South Unive-rsity was present as the chief guest at the closing ceremony. Claiming that the fair was a success, Siddique announced for a more pulsating exposition next year, and hoped for more participation from all universities of the country.