Tuesday, December 11, 2018 | ePaper

Setting new dimension in digital campaign

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Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :
In Bangladesh digitalization started in the year 2008 by the announcement of hon'ble Prime Minister, targeting to achieve sustainable development goal by 2021. Again it was manifested in election 2014 for building knowledge based society having the status of a developed country by 2041. Digital Bangladesh is a part of election manifesto 2008. Bangladesh is going to be digitalized by 2021. Meanwhile all the fundamentals are fulfilled. Bangladesh will celebrate its 50th birth-anniversary in 2021 with the principles of digital Bangladesh. Digital Bangladesh will enter new arenas of prospects, hopes and aspriations after 2021.
The phrase "Digital Bangladesh" although is composed of the catching word 'Digital, stands for a concept which benefits the country as whole by using information and communication technology for management, administration and governance in order to ensure transparency, accountability and insurability at all levels  of society and state. Hon'ble  PM declared that at the golden jubilee, Bangladesh will be digitalized.
Digital Bangladesh will provide us an ICT driven knowledge based society where information will be readily available on time and where all possible tasks of the government, semi-government and also private sphere will be processed using the state of the art technology. So, in order to build a digital Bangladesh, we should emphasis on efficient and effective use of modern ICT in all sphere of the society with a view to establish technology driven e-governance, e-commerce, e-production, e-agriculture, e-health etc. for emphasizing the overall development of the common people, the major stakeholders of the country.
ICT is the backbone of any digital initiative. It covers the vast area of information ensuring connectivity through the information technology, communication technology and of course the telecommunication technology. Without the development of ICT sector, the dream of a digital Bangladesh would not be possible.  The main factor of ICT are the physical backbone and the intellect. Computer systems, network machineries, software, wire and wireless connectivity systems, broadcast hardware and many other hardware accessories are the physical backbone. The trained human behind the backbone are the intellect. To materialize the idea of digital Bangladesh, development of countrywide backbone and expected number of human recourses are the basic needs. On the other hand, while mass people are concerned availability, accessibility and affordability must be ensured. Otherwise the objective of building a digital Bangladesh could not be achieved properly. Due to globalization, more specifically due to booming of ICT like most of the country of the globe, Bangladesh has already connected with the outside world through the information super highway. Information technology reduces cost, saves time and increases the confidence of citizens. Hence, developing countries such as Bangladesh should leveraged the power of IT to leapfrog poverty barriers and promote economic and social development. But we have to keep in mind that technology alone cannot alleviate economy nor guarantee dynamic service delivery to citizens.
It is important to understand that ICT facilitates good governance but ICT itself do not guarantee good governance.
Over last few years, a great revolution has taken place in the cellular phone usage in Bangladesh. It is evident that the number of cellophane subscribes is growing rapidly compared with the fixed phone subscriber in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh 51% of the population does not have access to essential drugs. Further there are only 26 physicians are per one lac population compared to 279 for US and 162 for China.
ICT can help bring medical expertise to upazilla and district head quarters. Telemedicine, for instance, may linked health care center in remote locations through Satellite with super specially hospital at major towns or cities. Thus it can bring connectivity between patients at remote end, with specialized doctors for medical consultations and treatment. Different types of IT education progress could be launched for different people of different level of education.  It may be the IT discipline diploma courses, Training programmes, only the introductory courses etc.
Technology is important but not works without a person behind. Building of an IT educated workforce is the most important segment of digital Bangladesh initiative. Digitalization helps increase operational efficiency and productivity provided the supporting infrastructures work properly. This is a tool that will help accelerate economic development and increase competitive edges of Bangladesh in the world market.
The forces of globalization and technology are continuously reshaping our economy. The impact of information and communication technology is giving rise to a new type of economy- the knowledge based economy.
Our government must take proactive steps to take technology to rural citizens. However, our dreams towards digital Bangladesh has a long way to go. Digitalization of Bangladesh will depend how best the government can leverage the power of ICT to increase the access to information of its population. Ten years since the Awami League with a promise to technologically transform the nation with an agenda aptly titled "Digital Bangladesh."
The country has seen radical transformation in the arena of information and communication technology.  In a bid to fulfill the aim to transform Bangladesh into a technologically advanced nation by 2041, the country has come a long way. ICT training by the government has opened a new horizon in youth employment through outsourcing. According to study conducted by Oxford University, Bangladesh is now home to around 16.8% of all outsourced online workers in the world, a rate that is second only to India at 24.6%. Ten years ago only 20 million Bangladeshis had access to a mobile phone. As of April 2018 that number has grown to more than 150 millions.
Outline of digital Bangladesh flourished before 2008. Different articles, guidelines were published in different computer magazines and daily news papers where our honorable ICT minister was the chief accounts holder and contributor. Our hon'be Prime Minister is the chief patron. Now the whole world is realizing the revolution of digitalization for human civilization.
The 50th years celebration of independence was in the back of mind of our prime minister's declaration in 2008. Moreover 2020 will again be celebrated for nation's father one hundredth of birth ceremony. Meanwhile the road map of 2020 and 2021 is identified.
In this regard, leadership is lying with Sajib Wazed Joy who is an advisor to Bangladesh Govt. unbelieveable success is attained by his talent. What will come next of 2021? Will we sit idle? But the process of next materilization might bring to focus from now. Tools of ICT to be used as time will demand now. We are confident, with the help of high and advanced technology, the dream of digital Bangladesh will be materialized in full by 2041.

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