Smart Bangladesh-2041 and the 4IR

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Published on September 13, 2022
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Hiren Pandit: 

The Smart Bangladesh Task Force was formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the Smart Bangladesh-2041 vision to establish Bangladesh as a knowledge-based economy and an innovative nation to implement Smart Bangladesh-2041.It is being implemented by the ICT Division.Building inclusive digital societies and falling behind undertake self-employment-based training programs under the Digital Inclusion for Vulnerable Exceptions initiative to bring marginalized communities into the mainstream of development. Implementation is the responsibility of the ICT Division.

To ensure the online activities of the students, to continue the laptop support program of the students under 'One Student, One Laptop, One Dream. Which will be implemented by the Secondary and Higher Education Department, Madrasa and Technical Education Department, Primary and Mass Education Ministry and ICTDivision.

Setting up of Digital Leadership Academy to build a smart and ubiquitous government. It will be implemented by the ICT Division. To prepare enterprise-based businesses as investment-friendly startups to increase the GDP contribution of the micro, cottage, small, and medium enterprises. The Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Commerce and ICT Division are involved in the implementation of this initiative. Establishment of the International School for Startup Educators of Tomorrow (ASSET). Bangladesh Computer Council will implement it. The construction and management of Bangladesh Knowledge Development Parkare being implemented by the Hi-Tech Park Authority. Establishment of Center for Learning Innovation and Creation of Knowledge (CLICK). Bangladesh Computer Council is in implementation. Establishment of Agency for Knowledge on Aeronautical and Space Horizon (Akash). ICT Division in implementation. Setting up Self Employment and Entrepreneurship Development (SEED) platform. It will be implemented by the Hi-Tech Park Authority. Setting up Content Engineering and Linkage Lab (CELL). It will be implemented by the Directorate of Information Technology. Creating government service and infrastructure-dependent entrepreneurs on Service Aggregator Training (SAT) model. Bangladesh Computer Council in implementation.

Bringing all digital services into a centrally integrated cloud. It will be implemented by all ministries and departments. Data Security Act, Digital Services Act, Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology (SHIFT) Act, Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) Act, Agency for Knowledge on Aeronautical and Space Horizon (Akash) Act, Digital Leadership Academy Act and National Startup Policy formulation These issues will be implemented by the Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Department and the Information Technology Department.

Although there are such business incubators in various reputed universities of the world to create entrepreneurs and build knowledge-based companies, this is the first time in Bangladesh. Here university students will be given the necessary training-infrastructure support to implement their ideas and become an entrepreneur. Through this incubator, a bridge will be created between industry and students.It is said that infrastructure like IT Business Incubator will play a leading role in the implementation of the promise of building Smart Bangladesh by 2041. IT Business Incubator will be developed as a center for the development of talent, intelligence and knowledge in the future young generation.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021 on December 12, 2008. Digital Bangladesh Vision-2021 is a reality today. In this context, the ICT Division and the organizations under its jurisdiction are moving forward with the conviction to establish a developed and prosperous country by 2041 and make Smart Bangladesh through the transformation to a knowledge-based economy and have already achieved significant success. The Digital Bangladesh Award Policy 2021 has been formulated by the Cabinet Division with the aim of awarding the Digital Bangladesh Award to individuals, teams and organizations for making special contributions in the Information and Communication Technology sector along with carrying out important programs on December 12th every year.

In 1999, the cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina decided to build a hi-tech park at Kaliakore in Gazipur. Currently, the number of hi-tech parks is 39. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina broke the monopoly of cell phones and made them available to people. In 2015, he took various effective steps including tax reduction in computer imports, and providing subsidies and incentives to hardware and software industry producers. As a result of various policies and support of the government, currently, 14 local and foreign companies including Samsung, Walton, Symphony, My Phone, and Xiaomi are producing mobile phones and laptops in Bangladesh in various places including hi-tech parks, exporting to different countries of the world and meeting 70 percent of the country's mobile phone demand. Before the current government assumed office, the cost of internet bandwidth per Mbps was 78 thousand taka. Currently taka 60 per Mbps.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on November 11, 2010, inaugurated the Union Information and Service Center in 4,501 Unions of the country through a video conference, which is now well known as the Union Digital Center (UDC), with the aim of delivering government services at the doorsteps of the people easily, quickly and at low cost. From this center, the people of rural towns are getting life and livelihood-related information and necessary services very easily in a familiar environment near their homes. Currently, people can receive more than 300 types of public and private services through 8,280 digital centers across the country. Currently, the number of mobile phone connections in the country is more than 18 crore. Internet users are currently around 13 crores. An integrated and world-class data center has been developed in the country under the Four-Tier National Data Center scheme.

A positive trend is being observed in the country in the field of the digital economy as well. ICT exports exceeded USD 1 billion in 2018 alone. Currently, exports in the ICT sector are 1.3 billion US dollars. Bangladesh ranks second in the online workforce. About 650,000 freelancers are earning about 500 million US dollars from the outsourcing sector. 166 domestic and foreign companies have started business activities in 9 of the 39 hi-tech or IT parks already built. In this, the investment is 1 thousand 500 crores and employment has been 21 thousand, human resource development has been 32 thousand. Training has been provided to 10 thousand 500 women through the women empowerment project. 20 lakh jobs have been created through information technology. By sending the Bangabandhu-1 satellite into space, Bangladesh today has the honor of becoming a member of the elite club of satellites. The Prime Minister officially launched the program by providing information to the enumerators using the Walton tab tagged Made in Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given 4 milestones. The first is Digital Bangladesh by 2021 which is moving towards Smart Bangladesh to be achieved today, 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. The government's current goals are to increase ICT exports to $5 billion by 2025, increase ICT-based employment to 3 million, and ensure 100 percent of government services are available online. Establishing 300 more Schools of Future and 190,000 Wi-Fi connectivity, Village Digital Center and 25,000 Sheikh Russell Digital Lab. Architect of Digital Bangladesh SajibWazed Joy has been making an outstanding contribution at a young age to implement these plans. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the visionary of Digital Bangladesh, has taken Bangladesh to a unique height by building Digital Bangladesh along the path that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman laid the foundation of science, technology and technology-dependent Bangladesh. Digital Bangladesh is a development philosophy of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which has been proven in the course of more than an era.

It has been decided to implement 14 action plans to implement the government's next vision 'Smart Bangladesh-2041'. State Minister for Information Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak presented 'Smart Bangladesh Vision-2041' in that meeting. He said that the implementation of digital education, digital health care, digital agriculture, etc. has been ensured under the vision of Digital Bangladesh 2021, similarly, the main components of 'Smart Bangladesh-2041' will be smart education, smart health care, smart agriculture, smart trade, smart transportation, etc.

The writer is a researcher and columnist

- daily asian age