Sunday, May 29, 2011

Digital Bangladesh & The Future Leader

Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed put his 1st political statement .Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, the son of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, in his first overtly political comments since joining the party of his mother and founded by his grandfather, blamed the “post ’75 governments” for the poor image of Bangladesh.

Internationally reputed IT Specialist and Computer Scientist Sajeeb Wazed Joy on Saturday underscored the need for turning the concept of digital Bangladesh as a ‘Nation Brand” for the county to revive its image in the international arena.
“The government is working for making Digital Bangladesh as a “Nation Brand” to create positive image of Bangladesh abroad,” he said while speaking at a seminar on Developing a Positive Image of Bangladesh’ the first ever digital innovative fair at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theater here.
The budding politician, who became a primary member of the ruling Awami League last month, was speaking on Saturday at a seminar on ‘Developing A Positive Image of Bangladesh’, at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre, named after his grandfather, the country’s founding president who was assassinated in 1975.
Post-’75, it took Awami League 21 years to come to power again.
Sajeeb said the governments in that time were only concerned with keeping a hold on power, but building a positive image of Bangladesh was a priority for the present Awami League-led government.
“To build a positive image of the nation we need three things: stability, continuity and commitment,” he told the seminar, which also marked the end of a three-day Digital Innovation Fair in Dhaka.
“The present government with its slogan of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ is committed to take the advantages of digital technology to the door-steps of everyone,” Sajeeb added.
Answering questions in the seminar, he said the government would ensure better and cheaper internet bandwidth by this year.
Professor Syed Ferhat Anwar, of Dhaka University’s Institute of Business Administration, presented the keynote paper on ‘Branding Bangladesh’.
“Bangladesh is attaining growth and has lots of potential to become a popular destination for investment and tourism.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Commit to Nation to present a better dignified Nation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urge patience, cooperate of the people in realising her government’s Vision-2021 programme as she addressed the nation marking completion of two years of the Awami League-led grand alliance in office.
“We may not reap immediately the benefits of the programme we undertook in the past years . . . as we had to start everything afresh because our preceding governments had left no development programmes for us to follow,” she said.
She, however, said people will see the results of her government’s development programmes in course of time while she listed the sector-wise achievements in the past two years.
“I urge the countrymen, have a little patience, cooperate with us, Insha Allah (Allah willing) we will definitely fulfill our commitments,” the premier said.
Hasina said being a party of general people, Awami League intends to ensure optimum development of the country through the promotion of ordinary people and the past two years of development initiatives carried the testimonies to its commitments.
But she said a quarter that had amassed wealth looting people’s money and siphoned out a huge amount of money abroad was now trying to obstruct the progress of the country.
“They earlier tried to foil the Bangabandhu murder trial and now they want to obstruct the war crimes trial. We seek countrymen’s support in this regard,” Hasina said.
The premier said her government will continue to work to fulfill the electoral pledges discarding the obstacles as “we are working for the benefit of the people, not for personal gain.”
She urged all irrespective of political affiliation to join hands leaving aside the petty differences and work for the country’s welfare.
“We have already passed 40 years since the independence, the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for an exploitation-free society, the ‘Golden Bangla’ is yet to be realised,” Hasina said.
She expected Bangladesh to be as the most peaceful and dignified nation in South Asia.
Since taking office, the premier said, “My colleagues and I are frantically trying to change the lot of the common people.”
Requesting the countrymen to compare the first two-year tenure between the present government and the BNP-Jamaat alliance government, she said, “You will see how much success we achieved in the last two years.”
Hasina said all democratic institutions of the country were destroyed during the seven-year rule of the four-party alliance government and the caretaker government.
Bangladesh, she said, was known abroad as the country of terrorism, corruption and extremism and it was a very difficult task to keep the country functional by removing the maladies left by them and fighting global recession.
“I can firmly say we are trying our best and we also achieved many successes and infused dynamism into economy,” she said.
The PM said her government has taken a tough stance against terrorism and corruption and became successful in restoring peace in the life of the people.
On price of essentials, the PM said, “When we formed the government, the prices of essentials including rice were skyrocketing. But we were able to bring them down significantly.
“Due to our pragmatic steps, price of rice per kg was reduced to Tk 18 to 20 from Tk 45,” she said.
Later, the price was increased to Tk 28 to ensure that the farmers get a fair price, she said.
“We are investigating why the price of rice went up in the peak season and taking proper steps in this regard,” she added.
The prime minister said her government is concerned as the prices of essentials increased to a great extent internationally influencing the local market.
Calling upon the countrymen to raise agriculture production, she said, “Do not leave a single inch of land uncultivated, the government will assist you.”
The premier said her government has raised salary of the government officials and employees as well as the working class people, while the income of the people went up to one-and-a-half to two times.
Hasina said Bangladesh has been established as a liberal, democratic and economically potential country.
“Bangladesh achieved United Nations MDG Award for its significant progress in reducing child and mother mortality rate. And it is an achievement for the entire nation,” she said.
The PM said international journals — The Economist and The Wall Street Journal — and different organisations highly praised the current activities of the government. “In the UN Human Development Report 2010, Bangladesh has been placed third out of 95 countries,” she said.
When the previous AL government completed its five-year term in 2001, all sectors, including economy, agriculture, industry and power, were in a strong position, she said.
“Inflation was 1.59 percent; the country became self-sufficient in food; literacy rate was increased to 65.5 percent, while power production went up to 4,300MW from 1,600MW during the past AL government,” she said, adding that her government had also undertaken many projects in these sectors.
But after assuming office in 2001 through a rigged election, Hasina said, the BNP-Jamaat alliance government stopped their unfinished works out of vengeance. Besides, she said, they also cancelled a large number of approved projects, causing huge losses for the country.
The premier in her speech gave special focus on the economic sector, which was significantly vibrant amidst global recession.
She referred to some significant achievements in the financial sector under in the past two years.
One of the historical achievements was the highest ever reserves of foreign exchange that crossed $ 10 billion mark on November 11, 2009 for the first time in the country’s history.
The reserves, which were only $ 5.41 billion in November 2008 before the AL formed government, rose by over 91 percent in one year and stood at $ 10.09 billion on December 21.
“Bangladesh has become the third largest exporters on the global apparels market even after economic downturn in the major importing countries,” the premier said, adding that it happened because of the timely stimulus packages offered by the government to the country’s readymade garment sector.
Export sector, which also marked a phenomenal 41 percent rise in the first half of the current 2010-11 financial year, was given special attention in the past two years to cope with the recession fallout.
The other significant progress was the increase in the per capita income that rose to $ 780, an encouraging advancements towards promoting country to the middle-income group from low-level status.
Revenue income was also another area of major success, which surpassed the target by 22.6 percent in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The PM said country’s economic growth is six percent when the rest of the world faced financial crisis.
She said her government wants to increase the per capita income to $ 2,000 by 2021.
To achieve this goal, the government in the past two years created conducive atmosphere to promote both domestic and foreign investments and create employment.
“The contribution of industrial sector to GDP should be increased to 40 percent by 2021,” she said.
Hasina referred to the public-private partnership (PPP), a landmark initiative of her government, to foster large-scale investment involving government and private sectors.
“The interest rate of bank loans has been reduced to 13 percent from 17 percent to encourage investment,” she said.
She said the government allocated Tk 38,500 crore for Annual Development Programme (ADP) and streamlined the monitoring process for its proper implementation.
Hasina said the government employees also got increased salary packages when the government announced the minimum wage for the garment workers.
She said the government took various initiatives to ease the remittance process and stop money laundering. These steps include opening of money exchanges and bank branches overseas.
“The migrant Bangladeshis now can send money to their beneficiaries at home within 24 hours,” Hasina said.
Referring to the Expatriate Welfare Bank, the PM said the Bank would help people get jobs overseas without going through the pain of selling home, crop land and other assets.
She said the passport and visa process have been improved in line with the international standard.
Besides the successes in the core economic issues, the PM also cited some social-economic areas where her government gave special attention to meet the basic needs of citizens.
Major initiatives to this effect include four planned satellite towns around the capital city and one lakh apartments to meet the increasing accommodation problems of middle-income group in Dhaka.
Hasina said the government would take similar programme in every district and upazila to offer people affordable housing.
The PM said the government is working persistently towards achieving the target of Digital Bangladesh by 2021.
“Already we have formulated ICT Policy 2009 and established 1,600 computer labs in educational institutions, 20 cyber centres in different universities, 152 community e-centres and information centres in 64 districts,” she said.
Besides, she said 4,501 information service centres had been set up at union level.
“A high-tech park will be set up in Kaliakoir and an ICT incubator will be built in Karwan Bazar to help expanding ICT industry,” the PM said.
Referring to the technology park being built in the capital city, Hasina said initiative had been taken to set up similar park at all the divisional headquarters.
She said the government also included the ICT education in the national curriculum and distributed 1,500 laptop computers to different schools across the country.
Hasina said effective measures had also been taken to produce cheaper laptop computers at home.
The PM said all the unions would have fibre optic cable connection by 2013.
Focusing on her government’s plan to solve the country’s existing power crisis, the premier said it has undertaken immediate, medium and long-term programmes to meet the present electricity demand as construction of a new power plant takes three or four years.
She said construction works of 33 power plants with a total capacity of 2,941 megawatts have already been started and tenders have been invited for setting up 24 more plants capable of generating 3,840MW.
Apart from this, the PM said her government has also undertaken a programme to set up power plants to produce 12,000MW electricity during the next five years.
Hasina said process is on to set up 2000MW Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant with the cooperation of Russia.
Besides, steps have been taken to import electricity from India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to meet the growing demand at home.
Process has been completed for importing 500 MW electricity from India by 2012,” she added.
The PM said her government has so far distributed 1.05 crore energy-saving CFL bulbs among the people free of cost to save electricity and another 1.75 crore CFL bulbs would be distributed among the consumers.
Hasina said the crisis in power sector deepened due to mismanagement and corruption of the past BNP-Jamaat government as it did not take any initiative to produce a single megawatt of electricity during its tenure.
She said her previous government during 1996-2001 had increased the country’s power generation from 1,600MW to 4,300MW and took massive projects in the interest of the people. “But, the BNP-Jamaat government after coming to power through a rigged election in 2001 suspended all unfinished and approved projects just because of its political vengeance which caused immense harm to the nation,” she added.
The premier said her government is trying its best to solve the power crisis to bring the country out of the crisis at the soonest.
She said the government has already started work to produce electricity from sources like liquid fuel, coal, duel fuel and renewable energy along with the setting up of gas-based power plants.
On the development of new gas fields and extraction of gas, she said her government is implementing various programmes to increase the country’s gas production. Besides, steps have been taken to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) equivalent to the volume of 500 million cubic feet daily by 2012.
Hasina said daily gas production in the country has increased to 2,035 million cubic feet last month while the production was 1,750 million cubic feet in 2009.
Regarding the country’s law and order, the PM said the situation is better than anytime in the past as the government has taken stern actions against the terrorist and militant groups.
“The present government believes that better law and order is the prime and foremost condition for development. We have taken measures so that people can freely move and do their business safely and sleep without any anxiety,” she said.
Extending her sincere thanks to the members of law enforcement agencies including police, RAB and intelligence services for their relentless services, the premier said people enjoyed festivity in real terms during last two Eids, Puja and Christmas. They went for shopping till midnight as the law and order was excellent, she noted.
Referring to trial of incident of BDR carnage in Pilkhana in February 2009, the PM said new law has been enacted for this trial. Necessary measures were also taken to strengthen the Border Guards and equip it with modern artilleries.
The PM highlighted her government’s initiative to maintain law and order in industrial zones and said Industrial Police has been formed to check any violence in the industries.
The process for formation of the Tourist Police, Marine Police, Security and Protection Battalion and Police Bureau of Counter Terrorism to encounter militants is now progressing.
Hasina said her government has been making relentless efforts for implementing various programmes for welfare of the freedom fighters. As part it, she said, the honorarium of the freedom fighters has been raised to Taka 2,000 from Taka 900 and 30 percent government jobs has been kept reserved for their children and grand children.
Expressing her government’s firm commitment to ensure free flow of information, the PM said the government has enacted Right to Information Act (RTA) and Information Commission to make sure citizens’ access to all information.
She said Bangladesh media is enjoying full freedom. Present government after taking power has given permission to 12 new television channels, 14 Community Radio and one FM radio. We, for the first time in the country, allowed private television channel when we came to power in 1996, the premier noted.
Hasina reiterated her electoral pledge to strengthen local government system and said Upazila Parishad Act-1998 has been amended to set up local government at upazila level. Laws related to Pourasabha, City Corporation and Union Parishad have been amended to held election at local level, she said.
The PM said 4,484 unions were allocated Taka 442 crore this year to carry out their development programme, she said.
Pointing out the vulnerability of Bangladesh to climate change, the PM said international community ranked Bangladesh as the riskiest among the ten countries vulnerable to climate change.
“We have established our own fund to face the risk and so far undertaken 134 projects to face the adverse impact of climate change,” the PM said.
The premier welcomed the decision of global climate conference to form a Green Climate Fund (GCF) to support the developing countries to address climate change and said the present government from its own fund so far allocated Taka 1,400 crore for climate change.
She said projects were taken for capital dredging of the Gorai and Jamuna Rivers and re-excavation of the dying rivers to revive their channels.
The PM said her government has made the parliament as the focal point of all democratic practice. A total of 130 laws were passed in 174 working days of the 9th Jatiya Sangsad in last two years, she said.
All important decisions of the government and issues including national education policy, poverty reduction strategy paper, nuclear power plant, climate change, proposal for making Bangla as the official language of the UN were discussed in the parliament.
She said all parliamentary committees are working regularly, despite the opposition’s complete failure to play their role in the House. The opposition was present only 44 days out of 174 working days in last two years while Leader of the Opposition attended the House only five days though they are allowed to raise any issue in the parliament.
The PM said the government has executed the National Human Rights Commission to ensure basic right of people.
The Anti-Corruption Commission and Election Commission are also working freely.
The judiciary is enjoying complete freedom and working to establish rule of law in the country, Hasina said.
Describing agriculture as the main driving force of economy, Hasina said her government has been implementing various programmes to make the country self-sufficient again in food.
She said her government has reduced fertilizer price three times during the last two years, distributed agricultural cards, provided subsidy and agri-inputs to farmers and facilitate them to open bank account with an initial deposit of only Taka 10.
She said her government would distribute Taka 12,000 crore agricultural loans among the farmers during this fiscal though it has disbursed a loan of Taka 11,117 crore in the last fiscal.
“With these initiatives, fair price of agriculture produce has been ensured,” she added.
Hasina said her government has reinvigorated the country’s dying jute industry through genome sequencing of jute, once called as ‘golden fibre’ of Bangladesh. With the government’s initiatives, farmers are now selling per maund of jute at Taka 2,000 to 2,500, she added.
Besides, she said her government has been distributing food free of cost among the poor and low-income people while a programme of selling rice through ration among the Class-IV government employees, police and village police force is going on.
Regarding ‘Monga’, she said her present government has been successful to eliminate the seasonal famine in the northern region of the country.
She said her government has allocated Taka 331 crore in providing allowances for the distressed and elderly women as it has increased the number of beneficiaries as well as the amount of the allowances.
Besides, she said Taka 1,176 crore has been spent in implementing the programme for creating jobs for the ultra poor people in the current fiscal.
Apart from this, she said her government is implementing “Ekti Bari, Ekti Khamar” (One homestead, one farm), Ashrayan (housing) projects for homeless people and providing collateral free loan to the unemployed youths.
Focusing on various programmes being implemented in health sector, she said her previous government had taken a step to set up 18,000 community clinics across the country to reach medical services to the doorsteps of people.
But, she regretted that the BNP-Jamaat government suspended the project. “After assuming office this time, we have introduced 10,000 community clinics,” she added. Besides, she said the present government has recruited 13,500 healthcare providers, 4,500 doctors, 2,000 nurses and 6,500 health assistants.
She said all upazila health complexes have been brought under internet service when maternity leave has been increased to six months.
The PM said her government is working to bring about qualitative changes in the education sector.
The government has formulated a science-based and time-befitting education policy in consultation with all, she said and vowed to remove illiteracy from the country by 2014.
She said distribution of 23 crore books among the primary and secondary school students has started and the books are also available on the website.
Holding terminal examinations for class V and class VII students have begun and the success rate in secondary and higher secondary exams in last two years was about 80 percent, she added.
Hasina said her government has raised the number of stipends for school students to 30 lakh from 17 lakh and included 1,624 educational institutions in the monthly payment order (MPO).
The present government has recruited about 52,000 assistant teachers and about 2,000 headmasters for primary schools, she added.
The PM said work has started to construct 3,000 secondary schools, academic buildings in 71 colleges and 306 model schools.
Eleven secondary schools and six colleges are being set up in Dhaka city, she said and added that one university would be established in every district of the country.
Hasina said the government has formulated a new law to enhance quality of education in private universities.
For expansion of higher education, University of Professionals has been opened in Dhaka, Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur and Science and Technology University in Pabna, she said.
Work has started for setting up six specialised universities, she said and added that initiatives have been taken to set up one technical school in every upazila.
The PM said madrasa education is being modernised and religious education has been made compulsory at the secondary level.
Thirty model madrasas have been set up, vocational courses introduced in 100 madrasas and honours courses opened in 31 madrasas, she said and urged all to educate the new generation properly in religious education and modern teachings.
The PM said her government brought about radical changes in country’s communications system in last two years.
“We have already inaugurated Sultana Kamal Bridge, Shaheed Buddhijibi Bridge and Chittagong Shah Amanat Bridge,” she said and also referred to construction of Dhaka bypass road, Dapdapia Bridge and the bridges to be constructed over the Karotoa and Tista rivers.
Dhaka-Chittagong and Chittagong-Hathajari highways are being upgraded into four-lane roads. Joydebpur-Mymensing and some other highways would also be brought under the process, she said.
The premier said the main construction work for the much-expected Padma Bridge will begin soon along with the construction of railway lines on both the sides.
About measures to ease traffic jam in Dhaka city, she said the Bijoy Sarani and Tongi Ahsanullah Master flyover have been opened and the constriction of Kuril, Gulistan-Jatrabari and Banani-Jurain flyovers is going on.
The PM said the construction of 26km elevated expressway will begin in Dhaka soon. Study on metro rail in Dhaka has also completed.
She mentioned introduction of 100 new BRTC buses in Dhaka and said 430 more buses would be pressed into service soon.
Referring to the opening of Aminbazar-Sadarghat waterway around Dhaka city, she said steps have been taken to introduce commuter trains on Dhaka-Narayanganj, Dhaka-Joydebpur and Dhaka-Mymensingh routes

Ministry of Science & ICT, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and D.Net is going to arrange the launching ceremony of the contest for National Digital Innovation Award 2011 that will be held on January 30,2011 at 10.30 am in BRAC Centre  INN, Mohakhali, Dhaka. Architect Yeafesh Osman , Honorable State Minister, Ministry of Science & ICT has kindly consented  to be the chief guest. The program will be chaired by Mr. Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director, Access to Information(A2I) program, Prime Minister’s  Office while Mr.Mahfuzur Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Will be present as Special Guest on the occasion.
The first-ever 3-day Digital Innovation Fair concluded today ushering in a new hope to reach the goal of having a digitalized nation much before the scheduled target of 2021.
Scores of people, men, women, youths and juveniles covering wider section of the society including learners and professionals thronged Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novotheater, the venue of the fair that witnessed congregation of technology-lovers during the three-day display.
Organizers said over 3,00,000 visitors representing different shades of public opinion, especially higher level learners and professionals visited the fair that indicates that the common people are highly enthusiastic and optimistic over flourishing digital technology.
All the 102 stall including 82 public and 20 private organizations were jam- packed with the enthusiastic and inquisitive visitors from 10 am to 8 pm and the stall-managements were, on occasions, faced hard time in replying their various interesting and intelligent queries.
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith attended the closing ceremony as the chief guest while Principal Secretary, Prime Minister’s office and convener of Fair Organizing Committee Md. Abdul Karim Presided.
The closing ceremony was also attended by PM’s Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, UNDP Country Director, Bangladesh Stefan Priesner, Cabinet Secretary M Abdul Aziz and National Project Director, Access to Information Program and Member- Secretary of Fair Organizing Committee Md. Nazrul Islam Khan.
The presence of internationally reputed Computer Scientist and IT Expert and Prime Minister’s son Sajib Wajed Joy at the concluding seminar on “Developing A PositiveImage of Bangladesh” added special flavor and attraction to the fair. The organizerswere also under tremendous pressures to accommodate the listeners who gathered everyday to attend seminars on related subjects of the “Vision 2021″, Digital Bangladesh and the “Change of Charter”.
The seminar held during the three-day fair were: “Taking Services to Citizens’ Doorsteps through Public Service Delivery Centers”, “e-Governance “Embracing the new Mobile Paradigm for Service Delivery”, ” Sustaining e-Service Delivery with Appropriate ICT HR in the Government”, “Implementing ICT Policy 2009 to Achieve Digital Bangladesh”, Integration of Government Agencies through Interoperability “, PPP Framework to Sustain e- Service Delivery” and “Developing A Positive Image of Bangladesh”.
Ruby Islam, a housewife from Mohammadpur, who was roaming in the fair venue carrying her 9- month old baby in her lap, told BSS that she got relived after hearing a news at the stall of LGRD ministry that she could register the birth of her kids through internet. “For registering birth of my child I have contacted one of my near relations who works in Dhaka City Corporation”, she said adding “despite his repeated commitment he could not give me the necessary birth registration form”. “Now I am happy that I could furnish birth registration of my child through internet”, an apparently happy Ruby said.
“I have come to the fair to see the reflection of government’s commitment to build Digital Bangladesh”, said Jeflin Hasnat Bipul, an NGO activist working with Action-aid, Bangladesh. “After visiting this fair I become happy and confident that the government has advanced significantly to attain that objective”
He suggested to hold such innovation fairs at divisional and district levels so that decentralization of official initiatives could be attained. Riaz, popular hero of country’s silver screen told BSS that he has come to the fair being driven by a wave of Digital technology that swept over the country. ‘I have become emotion- choked after observing the development of various government department and ministries,” he said adding that this steps should have been taken much earlier as the world is progressing vary fast in digital technology.
Reaz said, “It was witnessed in our country that after any change-over in the government all programmes of the previous administration are changed. But the programme for development of digital technology is a very positive step towards national progress and prosperity and as such I shall make a fervent appeal so that no slightest interruption is made in this regard if there is any regime change in the country.”
Kaniz Daiani Koraishi, a school teacher of Azim Uddin High School in Kishoregonj , who came to Dhaka to meet her husband working in the department of fisheries, told BSS
that she had come to the fair venue to see for herself how the ambitious Digital Bangladesh could be materialized.
“I have come to the capital with my children to meet my husband and it is always a troublesome for me to purchase rail tickets. I have become happy that henceforth I shall be able to collect not only railway tickets but also get all services like payment of utility bills sitting at my own home through internet.”, she said.
She also suggested to make technology available at the door steps of remote rural people of the country.
Four second year students of accounting department of Dhaka College- Arannya, Jewell, Shohel and Davit told BSS that they are happy hearing the news that henceforth they could collect their admission forms, know the date of their examinations and results with specific mark-sheets etceteras through internet.
‘But we have no means to have the opportunities for easy excess to internet services”, they said making an appeal to the government to make internet browsing free for students.
Law Maker Mohammad Shafiqul Islam Apu who visited BSS stall told that once we could attain full command on digital technology we could be bale to assimilate correct data and information which is very much essential to ensure accountability, transparency and good governance in the country.
“When we told about Digital Bangladesh in our election manifesto, many thought it was mere lip services. But if they today visit this fair it would be very clear to them that Digital Bangladesh is no more a dream, it’s a reality”, he said.
State Minister for Science and Information & Communication Technology Architect Yeafesh Osman said that through this innovative fair, where all the government ministries and departments have participated, it was demonstrated that the whole nation is prepared for a digitalized nation.
“Necessary mental and psychological changes have already taken place among our people ri8ght from government high-ups to the grass-root peasantry to welcome Digital Bangladesh “, he said and expressed his hope that the target of a digitalized nation could be attained before the stipulated target of 2021.
Principal Secretary, Prime Ministers’ Office Md. Abdul Karim who is also Convenor of the Fair organizing committee said that the entire perspective of digital technology programe of the government assumed a different meaning with the declaration of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of her vision to make Digital Bangladesh.. Through this fair people would get the opportunity to have an idea what kind of services they could get from the administration under digital technology.
Nazrul Islam Khan, National Project Director of Access to Information Programme said that the huge flow of visitors in the fair and their useful interactions with the stall organizers proved that the hope expressed by Prime Minister in her inaugural speech that the fair would unveil the services to be available at the door steps of the people, easily, speedily and low cost have been totally successful.
The fair organized in cooperation with the UNDP-funded Access to Information (A2I) Programme under the Prime Minister’s Office and the Science and ICT Ministry witnessed highest number of visitors on the closing day today. Among others, Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate, visited the fair this afternoon and went round various stalls and talked to the people there.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the fair on March 4 with a hope that the citizens of the country would be able to meet every basic needs through digital technology.
Digital fair’s edict: Make govt pro-people, provide transparent, quick services through digitalizing admin
The Digital Innovation Fair 2010 in Dhaka concluded envisioning an imperative for making government more pro-people providing transparent and quick services through digitalizing its administration.
“Our activities will be faster and more transparent to the people through introducing e-services in the coming days,” Finance Minister AMA Muhith said addressing the concluding ceremony of the government’s Digital Innovation Fait at the Novo Theater.
The three-day fair, first of its kind in the country, began March 4 with a view to popularizing the government’s vision of Digital Bangladesh in keeping with its election manifesto.
The fair exhibited how the use of internet and other digital technologies can ease people’s lives. Its aim was to demonstrate ways of providing extensive government services to the citizen’s doorsteps, making them aware of the extensive e-services, encouraging and promoting the current best practices in public service delivery, sharing and replicating these practices across the government organizations.
The finance minister also said the government would not be a hidebound secrete thing to the people as the fair has come with all information as to what services will be delivered to the people’s doorsteps by the government.
“The people know what services will be given and how it would be provided by the government. So, there are no secret things,” he told the function.
Muhith said the government itself would be more aware about its transparency and corruption through ensuring access to information in the future.
“Digitalization means to create competition for innovations among the people, which started off through the fair,” he said.
Presided over by fair-preparation-council convener Abdul Karim, the concluding function was also addressed by adviser to the Prime Minister Towfique-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Science and ICT Yeafesh Osman

Digital Bangladesh : CCC polls introducing 1st Digital Voting system in Bangladesh.Through Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) polls, Bangladesh will enter into the digital voting system on a limited scale - a step forward in the modernisation of the country's electoral process after the preparation of voter list with photographs. EC is going to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) as a test basis to get a quick and accurate vote count. Jamalkhan will mark the advent of the use of electronic vo ...
The Bangladeshi government will introduce online tender management system within two months as part of its drives to build a digital Bangladesh by 2021, the country's Finance Minister AMA Muhith said on Monday. Talking to reporters after a meeting regarding "Digital Bangladesh" held here on Monday, Muhith said, "We'll introduce online tendering within next two months as part of achieving our targets to build up a Digital Bangladesh." He said all tenders including local and international o ...
DHAKA,Bangladesh, May 16 (sources)- President Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today gave separate messages on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) that falls tomorrow. President Zillur Rahman said the government announced `Vision-2021' to build an ICT prosperous digital Bangladesh. He hoped that the target would be achieved through united efforts of all and observing the world telecommunication day successfully. Prime Minister ...
When Bangladesh is stepping towards Digital Bangladesh this is very important news to know the security status and Manpower we have of Our Digital Bangladesh Adminastrator. Are we fit for sucure our Digital Bangladesh can we handle this type of thread Strongly ?Bangladesh district portals were under cyber attack by "Indian" hackers on Saturday. found that 19 out of 64 district web portals had been hacked by "MIL INDIAN HACKER", threatening "cyber war" in retaliation to ...
Diary :16 oct 2009 :The use of information and communication technology has been playing a vital role in the 21st century due to globalization and the government is encouraged to adapting with the coming future. The democratic government has declared the ??Vision 2021?? in the election manifesto which targets establishment of a resourceful and modern country by 2021 through effective use of information and communication technology-a "Digital Bangladesh". ??Digital Bangladesh?? does not on ...
1 sms has changed the life. 
"I have been delivering sugarcanes habitually in the Faridpur sugar mill since 1976. Like the other 10 farmers around, I also have got the opportunity of getting loan without interest, fertilizers, pesticides and elements for irrigation. When the sugarcanes are grown enough to be crushed, we deliver them in the sugarcanes after receiving the purjee and when the crushing season is over we get our money. Though we faced a lot of troubles, we were used to the purjee system. But getting purjee through SMS service has created a revolutionary effect among the sugarcane growers. Half of our sufferings have been reduced. We no more have to wait for the purjee or to plead with other people. One single SMS has changed our way of life." –this is how Mohd. Shahidul Islam (53), a sugarcane grower of the Magura district was describing the beneficial effects of the e-purjee service. 
Industries minister Dilip Barua underscored Wednesday the need for political stability to draw more investment from home and abroad for industrial growth in Bangladesh.
"Both domestic and foreign investment is a must for industrialisation. We need political stability and unity to win investors' confidence," Mr Barua said while launching the online investment registration system of Board of Investment (BOI) in the city.
Lauding the present Awami League-led alliance government's pledge to ensure more industrial contribution to gross domestic product, the minister said establishment of industrial units is a long-term process, it can not happen in a year or two.
To this end, the minister said that the government was trying to ensure an atmosphere conducive to businesses, especially for the private sector growth.
The minister said the online registration of the BoI would help create an enabling atmosphere for business and investment in the country.
"It will attract more investors from home and abroad and prop up the investment activities in particular."
The new system will simplify investment registration procedures for local and foreign investors with a new online registration service system by reducing time and unnecessary documentation and hassle.
The minister referred to the government's issuance of guidelines for formulation, appraisal and approval of large, medium and small projects under Policy and Strategy for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) 2010 for accelerating economic growth.
He said the growth target may not be achieved unless the industrial activities are boosted and unless the regulatory agencies like BoI, BEPZA, BSCIC and Ministry of Industries provide prompt services to investors and remain accountable.
Image: ICT award for e-content and development-2010(Left)  and Nomination for Manthan Award (Right)

Using Information Technology for development though not up-to-the-minute in the international perspective, it is not so getting on as well in the perspective of Bangladesh. In the leadership of the honorable Prime Minister, with the maximum use of Information Technology the 'Vision-2021' is moving forward to its triumphant accomplishment. To ensure service at the doorstep of common people innovative ideas of e-service have been implementing constantly. E-purjee is such an innovative step through which 1.5 lac sugarcane growers will be benefitted directly. The implication of the pilot project of e-purjee service last year in the two sugar mills has been appreciated on both national and international level. The SMS based e-purjee service has achieved recognition worldwide as well.

With the success of the implication of the pilot projects, the e-purjee service has won in the e-seba category, in the Digital Innovation Fair-2010. Along with this, it has also achieved the national award in the e-inclusion and livelihood category, in the "ICT award for e-content and development-2010". D-net, a private corporation for development organized this award program in assistance with the Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology. Moreover, e-purjee service has been nominated in the e-agriculture and livestock category for the "Manthan Award South Asia-2010" arranged by India.

But the most effected award is the recognition purjee as a life betterment tool form the 1.5 lakh Sugarcane farmers.  
Promised digital Bangladesh and the young generation
 Md. Anwarul Kabir

The honeymoon period for the newly installed Government led by Awami League is yet to over. The landslide victory of Awami League in the last election has given the new government of Sheikh Hasina an enormous task of meeting people’s aspirations. Different analyses of the electoral results have revealed that the young generation who consist of more than one third of the voters had indeed brought this overwhelming victory for AL. With many other reasons, implicitly it can be inferred that voters of this generation while exercising their franchise considered party manifestos seriously. Presumably the visionary approach of AL’s manifesto, entitled ‘a charter for change’ might have allured the young voters much, especially its ‘Vision 2021′ which envisions a ‘digital Bangladesh’.
Let us now explore the buzzword digital Bangladesh. What does it really mean? Moving towards digital Bangladesh does not imply that the urban young groups of the country will be more sophisticated consumers of high-tech devices like computers, digital cameras, latest model mobile sets or camcorders etc. based on high-speed Internet infrastructure and promote the dejuice culture. Rather discarding this superficial notion, we need to consider the term ‘digital Bangladesh’ objectively.
Broadly speaking, a digital society ensures an ICT driven knowledge-based society where information will be readily available on line and where all possible tasks of the government, semi-government and also private spheres will be processed using the state of the art technology. So, a digital Bangladesh must guarantee efficient and effective use of modern ICT in all spheres of the society with a view to establishing good governance. In other word, making Bangladesh a digital one, we have to establish technology driven e-governance, e-commerce, e-production, e-agriculture, e-health etc. in the society emphasizing the overall development of the common people, the major stakeholders of the country.
Due to globalization, more specifically due to booming of ICT like most of the countries on the globe, Bangladesh has already been connected with the outside world. Yet in the field of ICT, our only grand success lies in Mobile telecommunication which has brought an abrupt change in telecommunication scenario of the country. However, in the other spheres of ICT, our achievement is very insignificant and we are still far away from transforming ourselves into a knowledge-based society.Building strong ICT infrastructure is the pre-requisite for making Bangladesh a digital one. For this, we need to focus on the following relevant issues assessing the harsh reality that hinders our development in this context.

a) Power deficit: Latest statistics reveal that Bangladesh faces a power deficit of up to 2000 MW against a demand of 5000 MW daily. It may be noted that for proper ICT development an uninterrupted power supply is a must.

b) Network infrastructure: Outside Dhaka, at present a few computer network infrastructures have been developed so far. Apart from some educational institutes outside Dhaka, observation finds that most of the LAN setups are Dhaka centric. This observation reveals the reality of the digital gap even within the country.

c) Use of Internet: For the ICT development Internet users of the country must be increased. In this case our position is the worst one among the South Asian countries. The latest statistics (ITU, 2007) revealed that Internet penetration in our country is only 0.3%. Whereas, in Pakistan and India, it is 7.3% and 5.3% respectively.

d) Under sea submarine cable: Since 2006, Bangladesh has been connected to worldwide Internet Super High Way through an under sea submarine cable. But this single submarine cable frequently faces disruption resulting in slow bandwidth.

e) Network Readiness: Networked Readiness Index (NRI), developed by the University of Harvard, measures the propensity for countries to exploit the opportunities offered by information and communications technology. The NRI seeks to better comprehend the impact of ICT on the competitiveness of nations. The NRI is a composite of three components: the environment for ICT offered by a given country or community, the readiness of the community’s key stakeholders (individuals, businesses, and governments) to use ICT, and finally the usage of ICT amongst these stakeholders. Unfortunately, the latest survey (2006-7) revealed that Bangladesh’s NRI ranking is one of the lowest among the Asian countries.

f) Use of open source software: Many countries (e.g. France and Malaysia) have started to use open source software in ICT development projects for cost effectiveness. Unfortunately, in our ICT development domain the culture of using open source has not yet been introduced.

g) English literacy rate: From different sources, it has been learnt that, English literacy rate in Bangladesh is less than one percent. Whereas, English literacy rates in India and Pakistan are 60% and 20% respectively. There is a strong correlation between English literacy and ICT development in the present context of globalization. In the arena of ICT English has become the Lingua-Franca. On the other hand, we have not localized Bengali in the domain of computing. Hence, English literacy is a must for our ICT development. Unfortunately, in this case our position is the worst in the sub-continent.

Though the above accounts seem to be frustrating one, these can be easily overcome within a reasonable span of time if we can establish good governance in the country. Since independence, Bangladesh has been critically suffering from poor governance. Lack of vision, corruption, lack of transparency, weak coordination, undemocratic decision making were the salient features of our past governments. These can also be marked as the major barrier to the overall progress of Bangladesh. However, the newly installed government which has called for changes, hopefully, will establish much expected good governance to keep up with people’s aspiration.

For making a digital Bangladesh by 2021, the government must address the above stated issues effectively and efficiently in transparent manners. In many cases we need to reformulate our national policy (e.g. education policy, ICT policy) in accordance with the Millennium Development Goals. In reformulating the ICT policy, we will need to take a pragmatic and visionary approach so that it can curb the prevailing digital gap in the society. Moreover, the journey towards a digital Bangladesh needs the incorporation of the technologically solvent innovative younger generation. If the leaders of our country objectively guide this generation, they can do wonder for the nation. After all, the young generation always looks forward and they can help bring about positive changes in the society.


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