Various ICT laws and regulations, policies and guidelines have been formulated and amended with the aim of speedy implementation of digital construction activities in Bangladesh. In addition, in the fourth industrial revolution, new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of things (IoT), robotics, and blockchain will affect the development of people’s lives and livelihoods and economic growth, and various strategies have been formulated for the purpose of what we should do.
Union Digital Center was established in 4550 Union Parishads with the aim of delivering government services through the use of technology at the local level of the country. One of the largest national web portals in the world has been created. The number of portals from the central level to the trade union level is about 25,000. All the Upazilas in the country have been placed under the Internet. Due to the various measures taken in the field of telecommunications, the number of mobile subscribers in Bangladesh has increased to 12.37 million and the number of Internet subscribers has increased to 4.46 million. E-payment and mobile banking services have been launched to make the service delivery process simple and seamless. Online execution of the public procurement process has been institutionalized. Commercial operation of the 3-G technology mobile network has begun.
Currently, 18,434 government offices, including 8 ministries/departments/institutions, 227 government offices, and 64 district commissioner offices have been integrated into the network. 3544 computer labs and 100 smart classrooms have been set up in various educational institutions across the country. Cyber centers have been set up in 27 universities and colleges. The 7th largest national data center in the world (Tier-IV) has been installed at Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City in Kaliakore, Gazipur. 18,434 government offices (Ministry, Division, District, Upazila) have been connected to high-speed internet through fiber optic cable. The building of the Bangladesh Computer Council was increased from 5 to 15 floors, the Bangladesh Korea Institute of ICT (BKIICT) was established in 2004 with financial and technical support from the Korean government. Training programs have been conducted continuously since 2004 in 7 modern laboratories with Internet access. 17,293 government departments have created WiFi zones and 883 videoconferencing systems have been installed.
7,728 Sheikh Russell Digital Labs have been established in selected educational institutions to spread ICT education and create jobs in the country, including 15 in Saudi Arabia. Among them, language training labs and 100 Sheikh Russell digital multimedia classrooms have been set up in 65 countries. As a result, through the laboratories set up at the trade union level, the young people of the region receive various pieces of training and use the Internet. During the period 2020-2023, the program to create an additional 5000 laboratories under the project called Sheikh Russell Digital Lab (2nd phase) is underway. 25 telemedicine centers have been set up to reduce the suffering of patients, including the establishment of 254 agricultural information centers in different districts of the country with the aim of providing agricultural information and services. The first and largest state-owned hi-tech park, Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City, was built on 355 acres of land.
As part of the Sussex Information Highway project, a regional network has been established between Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan using fiber optic cables. A 56 km fiber optic cable was laid from Panchagarh to Banglabandhar no man’s land to connect to BTCL’s NOC in Siliguri. 5 lakh 85,000 people have been trained as skilled human resources to meet the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. Bangladesh ranks second in the world for the online workforce. There are 650,000 active freelancers in the country. A total of 7 “ICT Resort Centers” have been established in 7 BCC Anjalik offices to provide ICT training to people with disabilities. Services dedicated to calling centers have launched 999 and 333 services. Which are currently very popular in the country. By launching the 999 emergency service, emergency police, fire, and ambulance services are provided to all citizens of the country. And in order for the citizens of Bangladesh to get all the information and services of National Information Broadcasting using mobile phones at home, National Information Broadcasting Helpline has been launched.
The helpline has so far received more than 2 million 14 lakh calls, through which more than 19,000 social issues have been resolved. More than 15 services have been added so far to establish the 333 helplines as a service-oriented helplines. Over 39 lakh citizen calls were received regarding Corona. Citizens are served by the Digital Security Agency via 333 to address cybersecurity issues.
In a bid to more quickly and easily extend functional e-agriculture services to the doorstep of farmers across the country, all agriculture-related advice and services have been made available through the digital platform ‘Krishi Batayan’ and the ‘Krishak Bandhu’ telephone service (call center 3331). So far, more than 1 crore 40 lakh files have been disposed of through the eDocuments system.
Each year, about 2.2 million cases are recorded in the country. The E-Namjari management system was created with the aim of providing painless services, reducing the time, cost, and travel of people by automatically handling all these cases. It is implemented in a total of 465 Upazilas and 20 circle offices in around 4,500 offices. The electronic mobile court was also launched. Thanks to the e-mobile court system, the executive magistrates can also provide all proceedings in the mobile courts online and if necessary offline very easily and quickly.
The agent banking initiative has been adopted by all digital hubs across the country with the aim of bringing financial services to the vast population outside the scope of banking services through the use of agent banking technology. As a result, citizens derive financial benefits from the digital hub like opening accounts, sending money, saving, taking out loans, withdrawing remittances sent from abroad, withdrawing money for social security, payment of various types of fees, etc. Agent banking services are provided from 8,308 digital hubs to provide banking services to marginalized citizens, through which more than 12,466 crores of financial transactions have been conducted. A digital platform called “Ekpay” has been launched to facilitate the payment of all utility bills, education fees, and other types of charges in building Digital Bangladesh.