• Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019
  • Last Update : 12:56 am

Govt launches initiative for 900 digital services in villages

  • Published at 03:36 pm February 9th, 2019
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Digital media is the most effective way to ensure urban facilities in rural areas

As part of the government roadmap for further development, an initiative has been taken to make urban facilities available in villages across the country.

Since digital media is the most effective way to ensure urban facilities in rural areas, making digital devices available is of top priority in the development plan. Government sources have confirmed that an initiative is underway to manufacture digital devices, and launch 900 digital services.

Officials concerned have assured that around 200 digital services are currently ready for public use after undergoing the test phase.   

Ruling party Awami League, in their election manifesto, mentioned that the government will launch development projects to turn every village into a city, ensure urban facilities in rural areas and ensure supply of electricity in every home across the country.

The party also made pledges to build highways for connecting all villages to cities, boost the number of educational institutions in rural areas, and ensure potable water supply and sewage services.

Infrastructure for sports and entertainment will also be built, along with more industries and factories to provide more employment opportunities. Every home will get access to information and communication technology. 

Experts in the field have pointed out that digital media remains the most effective way to ensure urban facilities to villages, and there can be no better alternatives.

Initiative for digital services

According to sources, almost every form, job applications, land ownership documents, filing of general diary to police and others services available in government offices, will be digitized in rural areas.

Digital service delivery points will be introduced in villages, so that people can avail the services easily. 

Speaking on this topic, Posts and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar said: “During my previous tenure as a minister, I visited every government ministry, and made a thorough list of their services. 

“Among 1,760 services offered by the government that I identified, 900 services have been handpicked due to their direct relevance to citizens.”

He continued: “We are working to make those services available through mobile phones. A total of 200 services have been made available digitally. These services will be usable to the public after further testing.

“There are around 9 crore mobile phones currently in use in Bangladesh, and 30% of them are smartphones. We have to increase the use of smartphones among the people, because the popularity of 3G and 4G services depends on it.”

The minister mentioned that aside from services, two apps made been made- a child protection app and a digital version of the holy book Quran Sharif.

“Government services will be prioritized in the project. The ministries are aware of the services that are going to be digitally available. Union Digital Centres (UDCs) and post offices located across the country are being used for service delivery points,” he added.

Sources said those without a smartphone will be able to use UDCs and post offices to avail digital services. The government is also considering using Sheikh Russel Digital Labs, built in various parts of the rural areas, as service delivery points.

The ICT Division, under coordination and advice of the a2i (access to information), is responsible for turning the project into a reality.

Officials concerned have pointed out that is not feasible to develop apps for all 900 government services. So, one app containing 900 services must be developed and distributed to the people, either through pre-loading or through digital download.