Sheikh Hasina’s Indomitable Journey to Build Smart Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit: Sheikh Hasina has been sworn in as the Prime Minister of the new government of Bangladesh. Under her leadership, Awami League has taken the responsibility of running the state for the fifth time. On January 11, 2024, the swearing-in of the new members of the Cabinet took place at the Dorbar Hall of Bangabhaban. According to the rules, Sheikh Hasina is the one who first took oath from President Md. Sahabuddin as the Prime Minister Head of the government. The President congratulated the Prime Minister after taking oath. Later, the members of the Council of Ministers took oath as per the rules.The title of Awami League’s 2008 manifesto was ‘Charter for Change’, 2014 ‘Bangladesh is moving forward’, and 2018 manifesto was titled ‘Bangladesh on Prosperity and Progress’. It contained 21 special pledges. Awami League has announced its election manifesto in the 12th national parliament election under the slogan ‘Smart Bangladesh: Where Development Shines, Accelerate Employment’. In the manifesto announced by Awami League, a total of 11 issues have been given special importance, including creating new jobs, bringing the price of goods within the purchasing power, spreading democratic practices, ensuring the accountability of law-and-order forces, increasing efficiency in the financial sector, making healthcare affordable, building a smart Bangladesh based on modern technology.The manifesto also said that the government would continue to provide support and subsidies for agriculture as well as investment support in agricultural inputs to increase agricultural production. Usable agricultural machinery will be made readily available and accessible. Subsidy on agricultural machinery will continue. Commercial agriculture, biotechnology, genetic engineering robotics, artificial intelligence, and nano-technology including the development of rural non-agricultural sector and suitable strategies will be adopted to deal with globalization.Special emphasis will continue to be laid on the innovation of modern agricultural technology and the expansion of agricultural research facilities. Livestock productivity to be increased by 1.5 times by 2028 in the fisheries and livestock sector. Loans on easy terms, necessary subsidies, technical advice and policy support have also been proposed to increase self-employment and eradicate poverty through the establishment of commercial dairy, poultry and fish farms. Bangladesh has been a ‘role model’ of development to the world under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the 15 years of people’s consideration, Bangladesh requests to maintain the benefits of LDCs until 2026 due to the transition to low-middle income countries.Many mega projects have been implemented, Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Dhaka Metrorail, Commencement of Third Terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka Elevated Expressway, Rooppur Nuclear Power Project, Karnaphuli Tunnel, Matarbari Deep Sea Port, Matarbari 1320 MW Power Project, Payra Port, Payra 1320 MW Power Project, Rampal Power Project, Banshkhali Power Project. Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina started working as a guide for the overall welfare, development, and liberation of the people of Bangladesh. She has proved that he has no choice but to institutionalize and develop democracy in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina’s honesty, devotion, logical mindset, strong morale, wisdom, and extraordinary leadership have established Bangladesh at a different height in the world. She is now known as a world-famous leader.Bangladesh Awami League has been playing a politically vocal, protective role against all forms of exploitation, deprivation, injustice and oppression. Awami League has been working for the economic, social, political and cultural liberation of the people since its inception. If her party is in power, people’s fortunes improve. The history of 74 years since the founding of this party bears witness to this fact. The Awami League has been in power for 15 years under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the courageous daughter of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu, and she is working diligently for the welfare of the people.The world is amazed by Sheikh Hasina’s indomitable strength, courage, morale, and strong leadership. Bangladesh will become the 29th largest economy in the world by 2030 and the 20th largest economy by 2040. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has been declared a ‘middle-income country’ in 2026 and will debut as a ‘developed country’ in 2041. The big proof of this is that Bangladesh is moving forward, the per capita income of the country’s people has increased in the last few years. Currently, the per capita income is 2 thousand 795 US dollars. Bangladesh is one of the top local countries in the world today in terms of economic progress.Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister for the fifth time. Sheikh Hasina is the world leader despite all the bloodshot eyes. This charismatic leader brought a huge victory to Awami League in the 12th national parliamentary elections. She created another record by becoming the Prime Minister of the country for the fifth time. Sheikh Hasina, who has always put the interests of the country and the nation above all, said that I am accountable to the people of the country, and I don’t care what anyone says as long as the countrymen accept it. There were many obstacles, but the people of the country were wary of suffrage. National elections are held every five years.We have created an environment where people can vote without any hassle. It is important to me whether people accept this election or not. By forming a government with the support of the people, we will be able to realize the status of Bangladesh as a developing country. I have this faith and trust in the people. Since 2009, the country has developed so much because of this democratic system. We have more work ahead of us, which we want to complete. No one could complain about the 2008 elections. In that election, out of 300 seats, the BNP got only 30 and the Awami League got 233 seats.Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana were in Germany when the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed along with most of his family members in 1975. She returned to the country in 1981 after spending almost half a century in exile. In her political journey of 43 years, she has walked a steady path fighting for the right to vote. After 21 years in 1996, Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the country’s prime minister for the first time after winning the seventh national parliamentary election on 23 June. Awami League’s absolute victory in the 12th National Assembly elections opened the door for Sheikh Hasina to become Prime Minister for the fifth time.This will also be the record of becoming the Prime Minister of the country. All in all, Sheikh Hasina has created a new history in the new year. She served three terms as Leader of the Opposition. All speculations, and apprehensions have been put to rest and the polling of the 12th National Assembly elections has been completed in a peaceful and festive atmosphere across the country. Apart from a few isolated incidents, no major violence was reported anywhere in the country. About 8 lakh members of law and order forces including Police, RAB, Ansar-VDP, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard were deployed at the field level to ensure free, fair, and impartial elections and smooth movement of voters.About two hundred domestic and 78 foreign observers observed the 12th National Parliament election. 76 of them are journalists. In addition, thousands of local observers observed the election. Voters cast their votes smoothly. Voters also expressed satisfaction with the law-and-order situation. Apart from a few isolated incidents, no major violence was reported anywhere in the country. About 8 lakh members of law-and-order forces including Police, RAB, Ansar-VDP, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard were deployed at the field level to ensure free, fair and impartial elections and smooth movement of voters.Apart from men, the presence of women voters was noticeable. Voter turnout across the country was satisfactory despite anti-election propaganda and attempts to create panic among the public. It is a victory for democracy. The Election Commission and Prime Minister and Awami President Sheikh Hasina have announced neutral elections. Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal commented that the national elections were free, fair and impartial due to the political will, sincerity and cooperation of the government. Since the government is sincere and we have received support according to the government’s efforts, elections have been held in a free, fair and impartial manner with a concerted effort under the party government. 41.8 percent of voters voted in the election.Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina successfully countered all the conspiracies and was able to bring her party Awami League back to power by winning a large number of votes. Awami League has been able to support the people through My Village Town, All Civic Facilities in Village and My House My Farm. Sheikh Hasina has overseen herself from the grassroots to the highest levels of Awami League. Foreign observers have also expressed satisfaction with the overall situation of the elections. Observers from the USA, Germany and Ireland gave complimentary and positive feedback to the team. After visiting the polling station, they are very satisfied with the presence of so many voters and the peaceful atmosphere of the polling station and are very optimistic about the elections in Bangladesh.They congratulated the Bangladesh government after seeing a 40 to 70 percent voter turnout outside the capital. Observers from the United States, Germany and Ireland have also said the issue will be raised internationally. US Democratic Party politician Jim Batts said the vote was fair and participatory. By the hands of Bangladesh Awami League, the bearer of the spirit of the liberation war, Bangladesh will be established as a high-middle-income country by 2031 and a developed-rich Smart Sonar Bangla by 2041. The expansion of communication, electricity, and internet services has accelerated rural production and market systems. Agricultural inputs are readily available and markets for agricultural products are expanded, expansion of agricultural technology to meet rural needs and development of cottage and small scale industries is accelerating. Activities in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors have expanded manifold.Provide every village with all the facilities of a modern city through improved roads, communication, safe water, modern health care and medical treatment, quality education, improved sewage and waste management, increased electricity and fuel supply, computer and high-speed internet facilities, and expansion of markets for quality consumer goods including electrical appliances. will be improved. Relying on the success of building Digital Bangladesh, the visionary, wise, and prudent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the building of Smart Bangladesh on December 12, 2022, on Digital Bangladesh Day.We all know that Digital Bangladesh was the most sensational announcement in the history of Bangladesh. In the same way, the announcement of building Smart Bangladesh has not only created a stir in people’s minds but has spread new hope. Under the supervision of Honorable Advisor to the Prime Minister on ICT Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the government is working on a large scale to build Smart Bangladesh based on the four pillars of Smart Bangladesh Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government and Smart Society. How modern Smart Bangladesh is a program can be understood from its four pillar goals. Complete planning is organized through short, medium and long-term planning. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has become a middle-income country. Received UN recommendations for transition from least developed countries to developing countries. Digital Bangladesh has provided strength, courage, capability and motivation in the vision declared by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is vocal in favor of justice, truth and the welfare of people, to build Smart Bangladesh 2041.Bangladesh will be an intelligent, innovative and prosperous high economy modern smart Bangladesh before 2041 if it is in power again. ‘Smart Bangladesh will be the essence – every citizen of the country will be skilled in using technology, with a smart economy. That is, we will do all the activities of the economy using this technology. Smart Government; We have already lost a lot of people. I will do that too and all our society will be smart. Considering that Bangladesh has already formulated a framework plan for the development of Bangladesh from 2021 to 2041. Which will bring one of the blessings for the people. On the other hand, the Hon’ble Prime Minister said that the delta plan should be made not only in 2041, but also in 2100 so that this Bengal delta is protected from climate impacts, the country is developed, and the people of the country can live ‘beautifully, healthily and smartly’.What is Smart Bangladesh and how it can be achieved was announced by Honorable Prime Minister Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina at a function organized on Digital Bangladesh Day. She said that by the year 2041, our country will be Smart Bangladesh, after Digital Bangladesh, the plan of Smart Bangladesh is the most important and far-sighted decision of this century because the countries of the developed world have already transformed into smart countries, even many developing countries are far ahead on the path of transformation into smart countries. gone, so to maintain the development and progress of the country, the country must be taken to the ranks of the developed world. In the future, the countries that will be ahead in the use of technology will be able to create the most favorable conditions in terms of trade, international transactions and communication.A century and a half ago, the present government took up the plan of Digital Bangladesh as well as Smart Bangladesh, the hundred percent success of which is visible now. Digitization of the country is one of the many reasons why Bangladesh has been able to handle the huge losses of the past coronavirus pandemic better than many developed countries. One of the great advantages of digital Bangladesh is to make everything in the country dependent on technology like the developed world, which is called digitization in one word, the acceptance of technology-based documents is the highest in the current world. When it was converted, its acceptance also increased many times.Digital Bangladesh Government has introduced National ID (NID) for all citizens of the country, as NID is a fully technology-based document, its acceptance is high not only within the country but also outside the country, ask for a copy of NID from the government office here (for any requirement) and due to the submission of that copy, there is no need to submit many additional documents whereas earlier they did not want to trust any of the documents of our country very easily, this is where the importance and benefits of digital Bangladesh are visible. Fifteen years ago in 2008, the present government took up the plan of Digital Bangladesh like Smart Bangladesh, the hundred percent success of which is now visible.Digitization of the country is one of the many reasons why Bangladesh has been able to handle the huge losses of the past coronavirus epidemic better than many developed countries. One of the great advantages of digital Bangladesh is to make everything in the country dependent on technology like the developed world, which is called digitization in one word, the acceptance of technology-based documents is the highest in the current world. When converted, its acceptability has also increased many times.Again, in the present era, if everything is not converted to a digital system, the banking sector of our country is an example of what serious problems can be created in the international field. Even though digital Bangladesh was started a century and a half ago, the country’s banking sector could not become technology-dependent, or even if it is technology-dependent, there is a lack of coordination. Different banks are indeed using different technologies in isolation, but the banking sector of the country is far away from real digital banking.To advance the country by the hand of Digital Bangladesh, Bangladesh has to be very advanced in the use of technology and if that initiative is to be successful, Smart Bangladesh is one of the most important and timely action plans at the moment. Many may try to say that Smart Bangladesh should be promoted to advance the country technologically. Smart citizens are needed to make Bangladesh smart by taking the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. In the future, only those who have qualifications and skills will get good jobs. Those who do not have technical skills will lose their jobs.But not everyone will become unfit for work. Many more jobs will be created as a result of the fourth industrial revolution. As a result of the fourth industrial revolution, the per capita income of the people of Bangladesh may increase by 5-10 times than the current one. Everyone must participate in this inexorable advance of the future. Advanced world technology has reached the level it has reached today in our country, its work started three decades ago. However, the time has not yet come to claim that the country has become 100% technology-dependent. With that in mind, the Honorable Prime Minister has taken up the plan to build a smart Bangladesh at the right time.Now it is necessary to shoulder this initiative successfully. Bangladesh has turned around in every field including education, health, agriculture, and sports. The new smart cabinet has been formed, and all of them will take a strict stand against corruption and irregularities under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina – this is the expectation of the countrymen. Inflation of essential commodities should be controlled, irregularities in the financial sector should be eliminated and money laundering should be prevented. Sheikh Hasina is now the world’s best example and world leaders are praising her initiative to tackle the global crisis.Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher

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