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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Atiur Rahman

Atiur Rahman

Governor of Bangladesh Bank
Assumed office
1 May 2009
Deputy     Md. Abul Quasem
Abu Hena Mohd. Razee Hassan
Shitangshu Kumar Sur Chowdhury
Nazneen Sultana
Preceded by     Salehuddin Ahmed
Personal details
Born     13 December 1953 (age 60)
Jamalpur, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
Spouse(s)     Dr. Shahana Rahman
Alma mater     University of Dhaka
University of London
Profession     Economist
Website     Bangladesh Bank Governor Official website

Atiur Rahman is the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country. As a development economist of Bangladesh, he is noted for writing on popular economic issues, and has written a number of books both in Bengali and English.

Early life

From a very humble background Atiur Rahman rose to the top echelon of the society. He was born in a remote village in Jamalpur district in 1951. His father who was a landless farmer had received no schooling in his life. Atiur went to the school but had to quit after grade III because of poverty. However his strong determination and will power made him conquer all the barriers. He had to sit for the grade IV final examinations without attending any class. But when the result came out, his name topped the list.


Atiur's mother came off a better background and was literate. She was Atiur's first teacher. Atiur went to the village school till grade VI. After grade VI he wanted to go to a cadet college for better education. Eventually he got admitted to prestigious Mirzapur Cadet College in grade-VII. A school teacher of the village Foyez Moulavi collected charity to facilitate his admission. Considering his financial inability, the college authority granted him free tuition. Thus he could continue at the college from where he passed the SSC and HSC examinations with outstanding results securing positions in the merit list both times. He went to the Dhaka University for studying economics. After obtaining BSS and MSS in Economics, he applied for Commonwealth scholarship and was successful. He went to SOAS, London, from where he obtained his PhD in 1977. His PhD thesis later came out as a book under the title "Peasants and Classes" published by the Oxford University Press, which is much admired by the economists worldwide and is being used as a reference book in many universities throughout the world.


On 29 April 2009, he was appointed as the governor of Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of the country, for a tenure of four years. He assumed charge on 3 May 2009. He is the 10th governor of the Bangladesh Bank, succeeding Dr. Salehhddin Ahmed. Till then he was a professor in the department of Development Studies at the Dhaka University. Before that he had worked at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies in different capacities for nearly 28 years and retired as Senior Research Fellow on 4 April 2006. He also served as director of the state-owned Sonali Bank, the largest in Bangladesh. In 2001, government appointed him as the Chairman of the board of directors of the Janata Bank, the second-largest in the country. In 1994, he established a development NGO under the title Unnayan Samannay which grew into a centre for research, development and cultural learning in Bangladesh. He was the chairman of the board of Trustees of Shamunnay till taking up the job of the governor of Bangladesh. In 2006 he joined the Dhaka University in the department of Development Studies as a professor.Also, he has played a major role in the much publicised microcredit revolution in Bangladesh, serving in Mohammed Yunus' National Task Force on Poverty Eradication. He worked as Project Director or Team Leader of as many as twenty international and fifty national development projects of the country. He was also involved in the management of a number of socio-cultural organisations including Credit Development Forum, Monajatuddin Smriti Sangsad, Bangladesh Economic Association and Asiatic Society and Bangla Academy.

Poverty alleviation

Atiur Rahman has distinguished himself as an expert on poverty alleviation. It is his pet area and he has been engaged in first hand research to find the causes of poverty and means of remedy. One of the most important researches is his work on char (shoal) dwellers and poverty alleviation.


Atiur Rahman is a popular newspaper columnist who often writes on poverty, public expenditure, economic development, public welfare and such other socio-economic issues. He has published 45 titles as of 2009, of which 16 are in English and 29 in Bengali. Some of his publications are as follows:

Bengali language

    Agami Diner Bangladesh: Ekusa sataker Unnayana Bhabana, Pathak Samabes, ISBN 984-8120-39-4
    Alo andharer Bangladesh: Manab Unnayaner Sambhabana O Cyalenja, Mawla Bradarsa, ISBN 984-410-337-1
    Apaunnayan: Samakalin Bangladesher Arthaniti, Samajniti, Pyapirasa, ISBN 984-8065-66-0
    Janaganer Bajet: Amsagrahanamulaka Pariprekshita, Pathaka Samabesa, ISBN 984-8120-28-9
    Susaner Sandhane Anyaprakas, ISBN 984-8682-36-8
    Svapnera Bangladesh, Khunje Phera, Dipti Prakasani, ISBN 984-8061-28-2
    Unnayan alap: Arthaniti, Paribesa O Unnayana Bitarka, Pathaka Samabesa, ISBN 984-8120-49-1

English language

    Beel Dakatia: The Environmental Consequences of a Development Disaster, University Press, ISBN 984-05-1258-7 (984-05-1258-7)
    Early Impact of Grameen, a Multi-Dimensional Analysis: Outcome of a BIDS Research Study, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and Grameen Trust, ISBN 984-31-1416-7 (984-31-1416-7)
    Education for Development: Lessons from East Asia for Bangladesh Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 981-230-132-1 (981-230-132-1)
    Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh Zed Books, Limited, ISBN 0-86232-346-0 (0-86232-346-0)
    Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh: Hardcover, Zed Books, Limited, ISBN 0-86232-345-2 (0-86232-345-2)
    People's Report, 2002–2003, Bangladesh Environment by United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh, Unnayan Shamannay (Organization : Bangladesh) Unnayan Shamannay, ISBN 984-32-0866-8 (984-32-0866-8)
    People's Report, 2004–2005: Bangladesh Environment by United Nations Development Programme, Bangladesh, Unnayan Shamannay (Organization : Bangladesh
    Sustainable Environment Management Programme (Bangladesh), Unnayan Shamannay, ISBN 984-32-3225-9 (984-32-3225-9)

Awards and recognition

Atiur Rahman was awarded the Atish Dipankar Gold Medal in 2000 and the Chandrabati Gold Medal in 2008.

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