Saturday, 25 March, 2023

Youths will be the architect of Smart Bangladesh: Palak

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 6 March, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said today's youths are the architects of the government’s Smart Bangladesh vision to be achieved by 2041.

“The current government is always keen to invest in youth and took initiatives, like start-ups, to bring out innovative ideas from them using digital tools,” he said.

The state minister was speaking as the chief guest at the National Gala Round of the Digital Khichuri Challenge (DKC) on Sunday.

UNDP, in association with the ICT Division, organised the event with a promise of youth to make the digital space safer, and work towards a more tolerant Bangladesh at the BCC Auditorium of the ICT Division.

The partnership with UNDP in promoting a “tolerant and inclusive Bangladesh among our youth will continue in the future,” said Palak.

UNDP Bangladesh Resident Representative Stefan Liller said, “UNDP has been organising Digital Khichuri Challenges for the past seven years, as one of our flagship activities in support of achieving SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.”

“This year, we organised the Digital Khichuri Challenge with the theme - Pathway to Peaceful Societies: Catalysing Youth as Responsible Citizens to promote responsible/global citizenship,” Stefan added.

He said this aims to make the youth “aware of their rights and responsibilities and actively participate and contribute to their communities and the progress of their country in a constructive way.”

Deputy Head of Mission of  Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka Silje Fines Wannebo said, "Democracy without human rights is not the democracy we want. DKC is a platform to support human rights and promote cultural harmony among all."

Supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy Dhaka, Digital Khichuri Challenge is an initiative of the "Partnerships for a Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh" (PTIB) project of UNDP since 2016.

It seeks to bring together the youth in forming and creating narratives as well as platforms to launch ideas that promote peace, tolerance, and diversity to counter hateful and divisive narratives actively.

In 2022, DKC was held in five districts where 10 teams as winners initiated two-month-long social media campaigns to promote cultural diversity, tolerance, and awareness against hate speech and misinformation.

Among others, Ranajit Kumar, Additional Secretary and Executive Director (Grade 1), BCC of ICT Division, Md. Shamsul Arefin, Secretary of ICT Division, and Robert Stoelman, Project Manager of UNDP, were also present.