12 initiatives have been undertaken in the IT sector under the Eighth Five Year Plan
Besides ensuring internet facilities for all by 2021, the government is working on digitalising 90% of its services by that time.
State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Junaid Ahmed Palak announced this at a press conference on Saturday.
The press conference was organised at ICT Bhaban in the capital under the banner "12 Years of Digital Bangladesh Under the Leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina."
The state minister said under the Eighth Five Year Plan (2021-2025), 12 initiatives have been undertaken in the information technology (IT) sector.
"The country has built a strong ICT infrastructure in the last 12 years. The country's 3,800 unions are now covered by broadband internet connectivity. The Internet will be ensured for all by 2021," he added.
According to the ICT department, to provide 100% digitalised services, the government has prioritised several issues. These are: quality education, job creation, creating an environment for research and innovation, increasing IT-based capabilities, creating ICT infrastructure, creating a conducive environment for investment, developing branding in the IT sector, and ensuring IT-based services in rural areas.
With these plans in mind, the ICT department has undertaken 12 initiatives. These are: the Center of Excellence, the Agency to Innovate, Establishing Digital Connectivity, the Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology, the Digital Leadership Academy, the Enhancing Digital Government and Economy Project, the Interoperable Digital Transaction Platform, the Cyber Security Help Desk, the Open Data Analytics Platform, Virtual Courts, National Digital Health, and the National Digital Library.
About the overall preparation of the initiatives, the state minister said, "Centers of Excellence will be set up at multiple universities and 12 high-tech parks across the country. Work has been completed on the draft law for setting up the Agency to Innovate. The ICT department will send it to the cabinet for approval in a few days."
"Under the Establishing Digital Connectivity project, 1,10,000 internet connections will be established in rural areas by 2025. Work on the project of setting up the Sheikh Hasina Institute of Frontier Technology at Shibchar in Madaripur will begin as soon as the planning ministry gives its approval."
"Besides, the Bangladesh Computer Council is implementing the Enhancing Digital Government and Economy Project. Bangladesh Bank and the ICT Department's Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy will implement the Interoperable Digital Transaction Platform project to make mobile financial activities interoperable," he added.
"Experimental work is going on now to implement the Cyber Security Help Desk-104 project. The ICT department is working to launch '104' services in coordination with Emergency Services 333, so that anyone can get a remedy for cyber crime by calling 333," he continued.
"Artificial Intelligence, National Language Processing [NLP] and big data analytics, together, are being developed as an Open Data Analytics Platform. Work is underway on a beta version of this platform. When this platform is launched, citizens as well as policymakers will get services," he said.
"The initial work on setting up the Virtual Courts will be completed by 2021-22. The ICT department aims to take the legal process to a virtual court by 2025," he continued.
"The National Digital Health project aims to bring the patient and health management of public and private hospitals across the country onto the digital platform. This project is starting at Osmani Medical College in Sylhet. Meanwhile, work is underway on the National Digital Library project at the initiative of the National Defense College," he added.
Admitting that out of the 600 government apps, nearly 500 are problematic, Palak said, "There was something wrong with the plan. We are working to solve the problem. The company in charge of creating these apps has already been served a show-cause notice," he said.