Digital Bangladesh: Govt turned challenges of COVID-19 into opportunities

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Published on December 14, 2020
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There is a saying, 'Magician's task is to make the impossible possible'. The story of the current government's digital platform is much the same. When, in 2009, Bangladesh Awami League pledged to build 'Digital Bangladesh', oppositions and a segment of civil society laughed it away labeling it as 'Old Wive's Tale'. But today, Bangladesh, the champion of digital platform, proved their comments wrong. The work of the government office of the country is going on at a normal pace, starting from the work of the government to the university. It has been made possible by the welfare of the digital platform created by the government.

In 2006, the total number of internet subscribers in the country was 6 million which is now more than 100 million. In addition, in July 2008, the price of bandwidth was 26 thousand rupees, which is now 300 rupees! The number of internet subscribers is increasing in every corner of the country due to the effective role of the Ministry of ICT in bringing broadband services to the upazila level of the country as well as the reduction in the cost of mobile internet. In 2006, there were just over 4 crore mobile users in the country, which is now more than 11 crore. Apart from this, the digitization system of various government ministries and departments, which was started separately in 2010 with the aim of creating a digital Bangladesh, has now become an 'integrated' service which has benefited the people and government of the country to the maximum.

Dhaka Divisional Commissioner Mostafizur Rahman said, 'In the beginning a lot of work has been done separately. Many ministry departments or institutions have done digitization work on their own initiative. In some cases, mistakes have been made. But now there is no room for error. Everything is now being 'integrated'. From using the 'MyGov' app, to creating passports, every government job is now being done through 'integration'. In this case, the pace of work, quality and service have all improved.

"Our life did not stop because of Corona," he said.

Md. Mostafizur Rahman said, 'Corona was a challenge. Nothing stopped us at this point. Work has been and is being done in all fields of agriculture, work, education. The main reason for this is the preparation of the past years.

Since the beginning of this year, the number of customers applying for the use of government E-Nothi has increased by about 96.8 lakh. The number of users of 'My Gov' apps has increased from 4,000 to 50,613 per month. The use of '333 Information and Services' increased from 1 lakh 80 thousand to 36 lakh 92 thousand. 4 lakh 9 thousand 505 people know about Corona using this service. Among these, 31,531 people have been given e-prescriptions. More than 1 lakh people have applied for emergency medicines or daily necessities using this service.

In education sector, the number of subscribers of 'Muktapath' has increased to 16 lakh 7 thousand, which was 2 lakh 32 thousand earlier.

In Corona, 11,400 teachers have taken 35 million online classes, which have benefited 16 million students. In addition, 10 lakh 75 thousand people have been trained through 18 online courses.

For the first time in the history of the country, online justice system was started where 15 thousand 553 people applied in May. In the context of this application, the date of online hearing was fixed for 11 thousand 418 cases, out of which 9 thousand 464 cases were heard and 6 thousand 46 people got bail.

During the Corona period, 25 million people regularly received information from the 'www.corona.gov.bd' portal.

Another big change in this 'new normal' life has come in the field of banking. People have increased mobile banking instead of going to banks or ATM services. It has increased from 224 points in March to 491 points in November. Similarly, internet banking has increased by about 200 points.

Apart from this, expatriates in the country and abroad have got the opportunity to use a number of service services such as 'Prabasbandhu Call Center' and 'Farmer's Products'.

What was a fairytale a century ago, has become a reality in Bangladesh today. The young generation of the country is moving forward through the maximum use of digital Bangladesh. Apart from various government initiatives, private and foreign companies have come forward in digital training and activities. During the Corona period, more than 50,000 new jobs and employment opportunities have been created in the country's e-commerce sector. Experts believe that corona would have been much more difficult to deal with if the benefits of the Digital Bangladesh project had not been created.