The government has set a target to bring 90 percent public services under online coverage alongside ensuring internet service to cent percent population of the country by 2021, aiming to check hassles, corruption and irregularities in various sectors.
It also has a plan to equip 20 lakh youths with ICT knowledge to cut poverty and unemployment and expand the country’s export earnings to $5 billion from the IT sector during the period.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak unveiled the government’s plan at the inaugural session of the annual district correspondents’ conference of United News of Bangladesh (UNB) at its Cosmos Centre conference room in the city on Thursday.
He made a presentation titled ‘Digital Bangladesh: A Story of Transformation’ at the programme outlining government’s different plans for the promotion of IT sector and its successes.
“We’ve a specific target to bring 90 percent government services under online coverage by 2021. Only 0.04 percent public services were under online coverage nearly eight-and-a-half years back. We’ve so far brought 40 percent of those services under electronic system,” Palak said.
He said they are also working to create jobs for 20 lakh youths in the IT sector, also by the 2021, through providing them with IT education, training and other facilities.
“We’ve already created jobs for 7 lakh youths. We’ve initiated a ‘Learning and Earning Online Outsourcing Training for 50,000 average students. Around 13,000 students have received the training and they’re now earning huge foreign currency through outsourcing. We’ve also taken a project for proving 35,000 IT graduates with top-up training to make them ready for the IT sector,” the state minister said.
Besides, he said, they have worked out a pyramid structure for devolving human resources for the IT sector. “Some innovators and entrepreneurs will be there on top of the structure. There’re some potential youths who will turn successful entrepreneurs if we can properly nurture and support them.”
Palak said they have set up an ‘Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy’ with a target to develop 1,000 innovative IT products by 2021.
Mentioning that the country’s IT sector is expanding fast, he said now there are over 1,000 IT companies here while 3 lakh people are directly involved with it. “We’re currently earning nearly $800 million by exporting locally-made software and other ICT-related products. We’ve a target to cross $1 billion export volume by 2018 and $5 billion by 2021.”
The way IT sector is expanding and IT experts are being developed here, the state minister said, there will be no unemployed youth in the country by 2021.
He said the country’s nearly 8 crore people are now using the Internet. “Of them, 90 percent read news online.”
Palak said they are focusing on 3As--availability of internet, making it affordable and raising awareness about it—for increasing the number of internment users. “We’ve a target to bring the country’s all citizens under the Internet coverage by 2021.”
Mentioning that the incidents of clash and violence over winning any tender used to be seen as regular phenomena nine years back, he said, “We’ve made public procurement, worth $10 billion, over the last eight years through e-Government Procurement (e-GP) system. That means the technology is helping us reduce poverty, corruption, ensure equity, parity and check violence. That’s why we say, “Digital Bangladesh’ is a philosophy of revolution.”
The state minister said many Bangladeshi IT companies are working very well getting involved with different courtiers and international companies for giving IT services.
He said Bangladeshi firm TigerIT inked a $43.7 million project deal with Nepal to provide digital registration plates of vehicles. “We’ve many potential IT firms which will turn into billion-dollar ones after 2021.”
The state minister urged UNB reporters and district correspondents to make stories on people’s successes as a success story can motivate and influence thousands of youths.
Palak said they want to have a partnership between the ICT Division and UNB. ‘Digital World 2017’ is going to begin on December 6. Ministers and many IT experts from different countries will join it and speak up. “We want UNB to present news on the event for local and foreign readers.”
He also said the ICT division can help UNB develop any mobile application and enrich its websites.