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Amateur Radio Exams, Licensing Return to Bangladesh

08/15/2008

Since 2004, Amateur Radio operators in Bangladesh have not been able to get an Amateur Radio license or sit for an examination. But thanks to the efforts of the Bangladesh Amateur Radio League (BARL) -- that country's IARU Member-Society -- the Bangladeshi government will once again issue ham licenses; exams will also be given on a monthly basis beginning August 13, 2008.

On July 21, representatives from BARL -- Belayet Robin, S21RB; Zahid Shipon, S21VA, and Saiful Huda, S21SH -- met with members of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) in what Robin called "a very fruitful meeting. BARL had finally been able to make the concerned authorities understand the significance of ham operators in a country with frequent natural disasters like floods and cyclones." BTRC Chairman Major General Manzurul Alam was present at the meeting, as were "almost all the senior officials, engineers and technical experts of the authorities," Robin said.

Robin, BARL's Assistant General Secretary, said that Alam "patiently listened" to the BARL team as they presented highlights of the activities of Bangladeshi Amateur Radio operators since BARL's origins in the late 1970s. In this two hour meeting, the BTRC and BARL agreed to resolve any problems arising from issues dealing with Amateur Radio, as well as promising to "promote ham radio as a scientific hobby in the country," Robin said.

The Bangladeshi government has only allowed ham radio operations since 1991, though amateurs have received special permission on a case-by-case basis to set up Emergency Communications infrastructures during natural disasters such as cyclones, tidal waves and flooding. BARL was formed in 1979 as a way to promote Amateur Radio, but on-air operations were banned due to the political climate of the region.

BARL will offer a class to prepare for the exam. Exams will be computer based with 35 multiple choice questions. In order to receive an Amateur Radio license, examinees must achieve 18 correct answers. Examinees are given one hour to complete the test.



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