The golden jubilee of the independence of Bangladesh would be observed in 2021. The country has already fixed its target of achieving ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by that time. It is a timely expectation for proper positioning the country among other hi-tech countries globally. A country goes digital means it will be an e-state means all its activities of governance, commerce, education, agriculture etc. , will be powered by computer and internet. Today information communication technology (ICT) drives the technological and economic advancement of the developed as well as emerging economies.
The goal of establishing such digital country would bring success in the ICT sector, which cannot be ignored in this 21st century. Heading towards that target will link every device such as cell phone, internet, computer, e-learning, e-governance etc. Today the entire world is gradually becoming a Digital Planet. Almost every state is heading towards a knowledge-based society and Bangladesh cannot stay away from the advantages out of it. Though it is very easy to speak about such a dream, i. e. making a country digital, but at the same time it is very difficult to implement it.
For implementation, it is basically the government who will take initiatives while the other political parties also need to play important role. For more than decades we are in the user level of computer, but we failed to develop better ICT infrastructure and not able to provide digital devices to the common people. A very first step for ‘Digital Bangladesh’ would be to spread the ICT education throughout the country. Internet facilities should be made available to the remotest corner of the country at a cheaper rate. The speed of the internet must be made maximum to get the benefit of the time.
Boosting up the ICT industry deserves huge investment as well as care by right ICT policy. A comprehensive plan and effort through a holistic approach needs to be made. Market needs to be broadened both in and outside the country for software, outsourcing and programming. Hardware plant needs to be established in the country. Bangladesh as a country with 150 million population has huge potential, despite having many problems. It is very important to create skilled manpower educated in science and technology. Currently, the people of Bangladesh remain far away from using ICT, when the whole world is getting developed with the blessings of ICT.
Though late, but Bangladesh is already connected with SEA-ME-WE4 submarine fiber-optic cable connection. The government needs to adopt a viable ICT policy and set up a state of the art Hi-Tech Park with a view to flourishing the ICT sector. At present, the ICT sector falls under three separate ministries, namely post and telecommunication, science and technology and information. For obvious reasons, there is a need for bringing the ICT sector under a single umbrella to ease policy formulation and realize the potential.
A holistic approach needs to be taken by all the stakeholders to reach the ICT facilities to the doorstep of the common people. It is the time to take initiative to hand over a computer to every child of the country. The broadband internet charge needs to be reduced at minimum level. Therefore, it is the expectation of the mass people that the government will take all possible steps to create a SMART (simple, measurable, accountable, responsive and transparent) ‘Digital Bangladesh’ and establish a knowledge-based society within 50 years of her independence in 2021.