7535Published on December 26, 2022
The declaration of the 22nd National Conference of the Bangladesh Awami League emphasized the commitment to building a Smart Bangladesh. In her speech at the 22nd National Conference, the Party President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina mentioned four pillars to building Smart Bangladesh. These are Smart Citizens, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society. The government wants to build Bangladesh as a Smart Bangladesh, where every manpower will be smart. Everyone will learn to do everything online, the economy will be the e-economy, where the entire money management will be done on digital devices. She mentioned, "Our education, health, employability" will all be through e-governance. Digital devices will be used in everything including e-education, and e-health. We will be able to do that by 2041 and work is going on with that in mind.
The more our young community learns to use these digital devices, the faster they can move the country forward. Initiatives have been taken to train young people in various aspects of the fourth industrial revolution. Specialized labs will be established in every university in the country. The establishment of 57 such labs is in progress. The establishment of the Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation Center in 64 districts and 10 digital villages is in progress. 92 Hi-Tech Parks, Software Technology Parks are under construction. 6,686 Digital Centers and more than 13,000 Sheikh Russel Digital Labs have been set up across the country.
Leaders and activists from the grassroots also expressed their confidence in Sheikh Hasina to build a Smart Bangladesh. They said that Sheikh Hasina has transformed the country into a digital Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina's government will also be able to create a Smart Bangladesh. In 2008, Sheikh Hasina told us to give digital Bangladesh. Today, Bangladesh has truly become a digital Bangladesh. The Smart Bangladesh that the leader is talking about is possible only under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
Under the leadership of the father of the nation, Bangabandhu, on September 5, 1973, Bangladesh became a member of the important International Telecommunication Union (ITU) among the 15 organizations of the United Nations. The Earth-Resource Technology Satellite Program for a socio-economic survey and meteorological data exchange was implemented under his direction. On June 14, 1975, Bangabandhu inaugurated the Satellite Earth Station at Betbunia. Giving importance to science, technology and technical education the recommendations of Dr. Muhammad Kudrat-e-Khuda led the education commission report and included the aim of using technology in education in the first five-year plan of Bangladesh was his very well-thought-out and visionary initiative.
Just looking at the various initiatives and activities undertaken in the expansion and development of information and communication technology, it can be seen that the foundation of a modern science-minded technology-based Bangladesh was created by the hands of Bangabandhu, which shows the way for Bangladesh to participate in the digital revolution.
In the context of the digital revolution, it is also relevant today to highlight the foundation of science, technology and modern technology-based Bangladesh in independent Bangladesh. The digital revolution began in 1969 with the invention of the Internet. The connection of devices with the Internet began to affect people's daily life, culture, business, and production. Due to scientific, technical and technological progress, the development of the world is at a great pace. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman deeply understood its importance. Because he wanted to build Sonar Bangla. He was determined to realize his dream. Bangabandhu got time to run the state for only three and a half years. At this time, the wise and prudent statesman Bangabandhu did not implement the planned initiatives and activities, including agriculture, education, health, information and communication technology, in the construction of his dream Sonar Bangla.
The journey of the 'Digital Bangladesh' philosophical commitment began on December 12, 2008, when Bangladesh Awami League election manifesto leader Sheikh Hasina announced 'Vision 2021' with Bangabandhu's firm commitment to 'Build a Golden Bangla'. It is said in that election promise that Bangladesh will become 'Digital Bangladesh' in 2021, 51 years after independence. Bangladesh today has achieved a revolution in the spread of modern information technology. Digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream but a reality.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, under the supervision and guidance of ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy, Digital Bangladesh has been implemented by defining four specific main pillars of connectivity for all, skilled human resource development, e-government and ICT industry promotion. With honesty, courage and foresight, in just 14 years, he brought the country to 40 percent electricity under 100 percent electricity by making the whole world stand up. Where there were lakhs of internet users, ICT consultant Sajeeb Wazed's innovative plan reached crores of imagination and direct supervision to broadband connectivity at union levels. Currently, the number of internet users in the country is more than 13 crore and the number of mobile connections is over 18 crore.
More than 16,000 entrepreneurs are currently working in around 8,800 digital centers across the country to deliver services to people's doorsteps, where 50 percent are women entrepreneurs. As a result, on the one hand, the inequality between men and women, on the other hand, the inequality between the rich and the poor and the inequality between rural and urban areas are being eliminated. The government will invest Tk 500 crore in the next five years to develop the startup culture in the country and pave the way for startups to exploit innovative opportunities. Ten Startup Ecosystem has been developed by providing talented young entrepreneurs with interest and collateral-free equity investment and various facilities including training, incubation, mentoring and coaching. 2500 startups including Bikash, Pathao, Chaldal, Sure Cash, Sahaj, and Paperfly are actively working. Who created about 1.5 million more jobs. Our youth was not familiar with this culture even 10 years ago. In just seven years, 700 million dollars have been invested in this sector.
Bangladesh has a good position in the online labor force of the world. Before 2009, none of the government services in Bangladesh were digital. But currently, all the basic information and services of all government departments are available on the website. Along with this, all government information verification and storage and various services and applications are being conducted online. In the meantime, we have launched an inter-operable digital transaction platform 'Binimay'. Nowadays, banking services have reached the fingertips of every customer. Many jobs are being created through digitization. Money from freelancing is fueling our national growth. A modern digital banking system has been developed in the country through the use of information technology. All these are the benefits of digital Bangladesh.
Equal participation of men and women, ensuring access to technology for all irrespective of rich and poor, and reducing distance in access to urban and rural services were all the main objectives and goals of our Digital Bangladesh. Inclusive development in Digital Bangladesh has made it possible to reach remote villages with the internet, through the implementation of initiatives like Union Digital Centre, employment of women entrepreneurs has also been ensured. Thanks to inclusive development and technology, now anyone can work freelancing even in the village. All this has been made possible by the progressive technological, inclusive development of People's Leader Sheikh Hasina's Digital Bangladesh. That is why the theme of this year's Digital Bangladesh Day has been set as 'Progressive Technology, Inclusive Development'.
After successfully implementing the pledge to build Digital Bangladesh, we are now moving forward with new programs. That is Smart Bangladesh. A cost-effective, sustainable, intelligent, knowledge-based, innovative Smart Bangladesh will be built on the four main foundations of Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society by 2041.
The fourth revolution is underway. Where artificial intelligence is used to manage human intelligence and willpower, factory production, agriculture and all daily activities and the world. Bangladesh is not far behind. Preparations are underway to create a smart Bangladesh by 2041. But along with smart devices and technology, citizens also need to be smart in thinking, behavior and culture. Constantly we commit many mistakes, irregularities, injustices and injustices without our knowledge, which can be corrected with a little desire. I can contribute to making Smart Bangladesh. For example, many people throw garbage everywhere on the road.
On December 12, 2008, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the creation of Digital Bangladesh as the main foundation of 'Vision 2021'. Referring to the steps taken by the government to formulate one after other plans for the development of the country and implement them, he said, "The Delta Plan of 2010 and the vision plan of 2021 to 2041 have also been formulated. That is, we have formulated a structure and plan of how Bangladesh will develop from 21 to 41. Generation after generation of this delta is saved from climate shock, the country is developed and they can live smartly independently and beautifully in developed countries. I am also making that arrangement. Now everything depends on our young generation and youth society. "The power of youth, the development of Bangladesh. This was our 2018 election manifesto.
Building Digital Bangladesh is an inspiring undertaking in the political history of Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced Vision 2021 with the aim of building an information-technology-rich Bangladesh in the modern form of Sonar Bangla, the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. By implementing this concept, Bangladesh has achieved a revolution in the spread of modern information technology. The speed at which technology has developed in the world is truly incredible. But under the guidance of Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and under the supervision of ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy, Bangladesh is not behind the global digital progress. We are moving along an information technology highway at an unstoppable speed. We have a success story in this sector, which is truly a matter of pride and joy. Bangladesh has made its debut in the world as a digital country.
Writer: columnist and a researcher