In order to survive in this age of globalization, we must focus on information technology. It is almost impossible to keep pace with the current world without the development of information technology. Bangladesh is a developing country and the concept of digital Bangladesh is a dream for us. Digital Bangladesh Day will be celebrated on 12th December and extensive preparations are being made for this. The Bangladesh Awami League announced in their election manifesto that by 2021, 50 years of independence, Bangladesh would be digital and in continuation of this Digital Bangladesh was declared on December 12, 2008. A developed country, a prosperous digital society, a transformed production system, a new knowledge- based economy are the key points of Digital Bangladesh. Digital Bangladesh is the first step towards building a science based society. The core commitment of Digital Bangladesh is to use digital tools to alleviate poverty and reduce corruption. Its main goal is to bring every home under the digital network. Many of the steps taken to build a digital Bangladesh by 2021 have already been implemented. The main goal of digital Bangladesh is to digitalize government services.
Notable digital services are E-Commerce, E-Banking, E-Education, E-Book, E-Voting, E-Health service, E-Filing, E-Mutation, E-Paper etc. Now a lot of work can be solved online at home. Electricity, gas and water bills can be paid online. Even online registration, online income tax return, online public exam result, transportation tickets are at hand today. Money can be easily transferred from one place to another within seconds through Bikash, Rocket and Nagad. An E-Book platform has been opened to spread the light of education. Arrangements are being made to read all types of textbooks through internet. The government has already started implementing the National Information and Communication Technology policy extensively to build skilled human resources. 39 Ministries have been involved in the implementation of 306 action plans. The country’s first high-tech park has been constructed on 202 acres of land at Kaliakair in Gazipur to strengthen the IT sector. A project called Bangladesh E-Governance has been launched to establish a network in all parts of the country.. A company called ICT Corporate City Development has been set up to train ICT graduates. The government has started work on the Rooppur nuclear power project to provide uninterrupted power supply..
A country can only be called a digital country when the country becomes e-state and all the activities of the country are conducted through the internet. Internet service is becoming more accessible today with the addition of submarine cable. Digital passport, digital national voter ID, digital land survey, digital land development tax, mobile banking, online shopping, online admission, telemedicine, are no longer a dream, now these services are in our hands. The classes of school college and university are being conducted digitally at present. All the official activities can be done in a beautiful and easy way through Video conferencing and Zoom meeting.
Union Digital Center (UDC) has been set up in each union to ensure online government services. Each of the 64 district Deputy Commissioners of the country has a facebook page where they listen to common people. Work on the Access to Information Programme (a2i) is underway to implement digital Bangladesh. Its primary goal is to ensure easy affordable and reliable access to quality public services for all citizens of Bangladesh. The government has a plan to bring 90 percent of the country’s people under internet service by 2021. At present the people of the village are getting 200 types of services from 5865 centers. More than 6 million people are receiving services from those centers and most of them are from rural areas. Specialized digital centers have been set up for the Municipality, City Corporation, and garment workers. More than 1 crore 23 lakh people of the country get medical advice by calling 16263. Emergency services are available only by calling 999. According to the government estimates, more than 10 crore 12 lakh people currently use the internet. The government has also a plan to bring 2800 services of 56 Ministries on digital platform by 2025. 385 land offices have already been digitized. 3800 unions have been brought under high speed internet facility through Digital Center Optical Fiber. The remaining 700 unions will be given optical fiber connections by 2021. Digital labs have been set up in 8000 educational institutions to create ICT employment and more than 5000 labs will be set up soon. According to the ICT Ministry, about 11000 youths have been employed in 5865 Union Digital Centers. About six and a half lakh IT Freelancers have been created. 50000 young men and women are being trained under the Learning & Earning project. Already 250 Agriculture Information Centers have been set up. A pilot project called Digital Village has been taken up in 100 villages to digitalize agriculture. During the corona epidemic, the Prime Minister has already given 2500 taka to each of the 50 lakh helpless families through mobile banking. More than 10 lakh garment workers have been paid through mobile banking. State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak has said, 18000 offices up to the Upazila have been brought under fiber optical cable and there are plans to bring 1,15000 organizations under it.
In order to provide digital services, people need to be brought under the Internet service and for this some measures need to be taken. 1. The cost of internet needs to be further reduced. 2. There should be more emphasis on broadband internet. 3. It has become urgent to increase Desktop Internet service. 4. The ability to browse various matters of the internet on mobile phones should be increased. 5. Technology education should be spread even in the most remote areas of the country. Digital services have made our lives much easier. In a moment, people are able to take advantage the Uber, Pathao and others. At present birth and death registration is being done through digital process. We have to fulfill the dream of digital Bangladesh but some issues can not be avoided. 1. People may lose the ability to do physical work due to the extra reliance on technology. 2. Many people in rural ares may become unemployed due to the widespread use of technology. 3. Students may lose the attraction of reading their original textbooks. 4. Cyber and White collar crime may increase. 5. Excessive use of technology takes away emotion and it can affect our culture. Technology has taught us a lot but it has taken away a lot of things like ethical norms, family bonding etc.Various types of crimes such as blackmailing, violence, hacking are being commited using information technology. Technology is essential for the well-being of civilization but we must be aware of its harmful aspects, otherwise we have to pay compensation.We will build a technology based society but we will do so by upholding our own culture, tradition, values and ideals.
We need development but in the tide of it we should not lose our own identity and vision. We need to be careful that the pressure of excessive technology may lead the young generation again. Keeping in mind the above issues, we have to move forward to fulfill the dream of Digital Bangladesh.
B A F Shaheen College Kurmitola