Digital Bangladesh to Smart Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit: Nearly half a century after the victory, Bangladesh has stepped into a new journey as it qualified to graduate into a developing nation from a Least Developed Country (LDC) after 45 years under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, daughter of the Father of the nation. The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (UN CDP) recommended graduation in its final evaluation.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman planted the seeds of Digital Bangladesh to improve the living standards of the country’s people. He made Bangladesh a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 1973. On 14 June 1975, he inaugurated the Satellite Earth Center at Betbunia, Rangamati. We saw the development of the sapling born from the seed planted by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1996 when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took charge as the Prime Minister for the first time. She clearly said that she got the idea of Digital Bangladesh from her son and her IT advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy.
That digital Bangladesh is no longer just a dream but a reality. Digital services are spreading across the country at a fast pace in the vehicle of information technology. Digital touch has also taken a toll on the lives of the disadvantaged people, starting from the city to remote areas. As a result, Digital Bangladesh is now a successful adventure in changing the way of life. In this age of free flow of information technology, Bangladesh is a front-line country today. At present, the number of internet users in Bangladesh is 10 crore 34 lakh 8 thousand. In this technologically dependent world, Bangladesh is moving forward to adapt to the change of lifestyle.
At present, Digital Bangladesh has brought a touch of modernity and technology. Digital Bangladesh is resounding in the voices of generations from remote villages to cities. Current Bangladesh is a role model for development. Bangabandhu’s dream of a golden Bengal is now on the way to becoming a reality, and this dream is about to come true by building a digital Bangladesh in the hands of the younger generation. Enriching the lives of 160 million people of this country by enriching them with technology is no longer a dream. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his worthy daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have come a long way in fulfilling the dream of building a country free from hunger and poverty. It has become easier for people to get emergency services and it has already reached the people. Digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream, it is now a reality.
The advancement of technology has touched the whole world. Bangladesh is also moving fast towards ‘Digital Bangladesh’ in just 12 years. The government’s ICT and IT departments have taken 12 more initiatives, including the Center of Excellence-4IR, Agency to Innovation-A2i, Cyber Security Help Desk-104, and the National Digital Library, to complete the achievements of the last century. In the era of advancing digital Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, various initiatives have been presented in detail to become Bangladesh as digital Bangladesh, achievements, and future action plan. 3,800 unions in the country are now covered by broadband internet connectivity. Internet will be ensured for all by 2021. The topics have been recognized and applauded at the Global World Summit for Information Society (WSIS).
In the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, IT Advisor and her son Sajeeb Wazed Joy pioneered the digital transformation of Bangladesh, with less than 50,000 jobs in 2008 and more than 1.5 million in 12 years; In 2006, there were only 57 lakh internet users and now it is around 12 crore; There were only less than 50 official websites and in 2021, the world’s largest information window is in Bangladesh, with more than 51,000 official websites; The market for the IT industry was 26 million in 2006 and now 1 billion in 2021.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given 4 milestones, the first is the vision of Digital Bangladesh in 2021, the second is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in 2030, the third is to build a developed Bangladesh in 2041 and the fourth is the Delta Plan for 2100. Architect of Digital Bangladesh Sajeeb Wazed Joy has been making an outstanding contribution to the implementation of these plans at a young age.
Due to the strong foundation of ICT, it is possible to keep office-court, medical services, education, and business activities running while maintaining social distance during the Corona epidemic. The government is tackling COVID-19 using digital platforms including Corona Portal, COVID Tracer, COVID-19 Tracker, Food for Nation, and Health for Nation.
In the implementation of Digital Bangladesh, the people of the country, especially the younger generation, have been trained in IT, ensuring connectivity for every citizen of the country, delivering civic services to the doorsteps of the people to ensure transparency and accountability of the government. Bangladesh has shown.
In the age of information technology, business, trade, jobs, education, everything is moving forward with technology. With the help of digital marketing, you can now easily buy and sell products at home. Bangladesh is rapidly advancing in the field of digital communication through various government initiatives and the efforts of the youth. The use of smartphones and the internet is increasing in the country with their hands. Farmers in remote areas are getting various information related to agriculture through various mobile apps. If you are a victim of fraud or violence, you can call 999 and get emergency services immediately. Health information is now available at home and on mobile. The popularity of digital communication has risen steeply over time. Creating business, entrepreneurship, product promotion, and dissemination through digital media is very easy. Digital Bangladesh has brought a huge change in people’s lives. Money can be sent to your loved ones instantly through mobile banking like Cash, Bikash, U Cash, Sure Cash, etc. at home. Electricity bills can also be paid at home. Rural mothers are getting their child stipend money at home. Now, you don’t have to go to the bank a few kilometers away. Digital Bangladesh has undergone a big change with the launch of ride-sharing services like ‘Uber-Pathao’. This has created employment for the youth as well as increased travel facilities.
The first national commitment to the establishment of Digital Bangladesh is to eradicate poverty and inequality from the country by using digital tools and to meet the minimum basic needs including the establishment of basic rights of the people. For this, infrastructural development at the national level should be a priority. To provide uninterrupted power supply throughout the country. Each cell needs to be connected to a digital network. Equipping the people of all regions of the country with digital devices and formulating digital devices will be considered a national priority. Besides, other issues that will be considered as priorities are people’s engagement, government engagement with the people, the digital transformation of government, the digital transformation of education, the creation of suitable human resources, and the transformation of agriculture, industry, and business. These services are now at the doorstep of every people in the country. And through this Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla is going to be implemented in Digital Bangladesh.
To build a digital Bangladesh, the government has taken initiatives for the digitalization of various types of information and services to bring information services to the doorsteps of the people. All the information is available by visiting the government’s national Information Window website. Advances in the local IT sector are the cornerstone of Digital Bangladesh. The dream of Digital Bangladesh is being realized due to the contribution of the local IT sector. The event aims to highlight the capabilities of the country’s IT sector in the international arena. There are more than billions of Facebook users in the country. The Facebook-based business has developed. Apart from this, a large part of the IT sector in Bangladesh is freelancing. There are more than six and a half lakh freelancers in the country. Apart from this, there are entrepreneurs in the software sector. Great progress has been made in the information technology sector by involving women in information technology. All in all, digital communication has revolutionized entrepreneurship, both economically and socially. Digital marketing has turned every smartphone into a shopping bag. Facebook, Google, YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms have made people’s lives much easier and more modern.
All the country’s satellite TV channels use the Bangabandhu Satellite, which is a big symbol of the development of the Bengali nation. DTH service has also been launched through this satellite. On the other hand, it is imperative to achieve the sustainable development goals and build competent and skilled manpower while considering the country’s overall growth. At present, Bangladesh’s economic growth rate is above 6 percent. The industrial development activities that are going on in different parts of Bangladesh by utilizing the fallow arable land will create economic zones as well as create employment opportunities for many people. And this requires the free spread and application of technology.
However, steps must be taken to eliminate digital inequality. We have to build a just society. Steps such as making the Internet-accessible, developing technology-related infrastructure, and educating people as technology-literate will go a long way in preventing digital inequality.

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