study guide

Topics: Dhaka, Politics of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Pages: 6 (1962 words) Published: November 12, 2013
Digital Bangladesh
Introduction: "Digital Bangladesh" means an ICT based modern country where there will be adequate power supply, well-networked infrastructure, use of internet, use of open-source software, e-banking, e-commerce and e-governance. Of late the phrase "Digital Bangladesh" has been much talked about especially during the election campaign of the political parties targeting the ninth parliamentary election. 

Origin of Digital Vision: On the eve of the election, Bangladesh Awami League, one of the major political parties, first declared vision 2021with the aim to turn Bangladesh into a digital country by the next decade. More than a month ago, the Bangladesh Computer Council also organized a computer fair with the theme "Digital Bangladesh". It refers to an e-state where all its activities of governance, commerce, education, agriculture etc will be powered by computer and internet. Different analyses of the electoral results have revealed that the young generation who consist of more than one third of the voters had indeed brought this overwhelming victory for AL. With many other reasons, implicitly it can be inferred that voters of this generation while exercising their franchise considered party manifestos seriously. Presumably the visionary approach of AL's manifesto, entitled 'a charter for change' might have allured the young voters much, especially it's 'Vision 2021' which envisions 'Digital Bangladesh'.

Meaning of Digital Bangladesh: To cherish such a dream is easy, but it is too much difficult to materialize this dream. Land phone, mobile, computer, laptop, e-magazine and diary, e-book reader and many more tools of information technology will be available in every nook and corner of the country. People will no more have to stand in queue to collect tickets, results etc or to deposit and withdraw money or to buy and sell things. Broadly speaking, a digital society ensures an ICT driven knowledge-based society where information will be readily available online and where all possible tasks of the government, semi-government and also private spheres will be processed using the modern technology. So, "Digital Bangladesh" must guarantee efficient and effective use of modem ICT in all spheres of the society with a view to establishing good governance.

Why Digital Bangladesh: Due to globalization, Bangladesh has already been connected with the outside world. Yet In the field of ICT, our only grand success lies in Mobile telecommunication which has brought an abrupt change in telecommunication scenario of the country. However, in the other spheres of ICT, our achievement is very insignificant and we are still far away from transforming ourselves into a knowledge-based society. Building strong ICT infrastructure is the pre-requisite for making Bangladesh a digital one. For this, we need to focus on the following relevant issues:

(a) Power deficit: Latest statistics reveal that Bangladesh faces a power deficit of up to 2000 MW against a demand of 5000 MW daily. It may be noted that for proper ICT development an uninterrupted power supply is a must.

(b) Network infrastructure: Outside Dhaka, at present a few computer network infrastructures have been developed so far. Apart from some educational institutes outside Dhaka, observation finds that most of the LAN setups are Dhaka centric. This observation reveals the reality of the digital gap even within the country.

(c) Use of internet: For the ICT development internet users of the country must be increased. In this case our position is the worst one among the South Asian countries. Latest statistics (2007) revealed that internet penetration in our country is only 0.3 whereas in Pakistan and India it is 7.3% and 5.3% respectively.

(d) Use of open source software: Many countries (e.g. France and Malaysia) have started to use open source software in ICT development projects for cost effectiveness. Unfortunately in our ICT development domain, the...
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