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Ministry of ICT Bangladesh
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9/7/2012

Musfeka Iffat-093011061
Mohammad Saif Salah Uddin-093011054

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Md.Shahjalal islam Tuhin- 093011071

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Project:1
Development of National ICT Infra-Network for Bangladesh Government (BanglaGovNet)

What is BanglaGovNet?

BanglaGovNet Stands for Bangladesh Government wide Network.

It is a Public Network to connect all the Government entities throughout the country
under a single Network.

It is a dedicated Government Intranet.

Why BanglaGovNet?

To ensure a Basic Infrastructure for

e-Government.

To ensure a Secured Connectivity among all the Government entities.

To ensure e-Governance through an integrated common platform.

To provide vast free Bandwidth for data Communication within the Government.

Bangladesh to become a middle income country by 2021

To improve Government efficiency and promote interaction between governments


Ministry/ Divisions, Departments, Districts and Upazillas by construction of Government
network infrastructure

To use ICT system within the public administration to improve efficiency and
transparency, reduce wastage of resources, enhance planning and raise the quality of
services.

To construct a public network as a backbone for the effective implementation of e-


Government

To maximize the computerization of work processes and resources through integrated


information management system enabling real time administration.
Master Plan for Government Wide Network

Estimated Budget
Phase Year wise Plan Scope of Work
(US Dollar)

- National ICT Center( NICTC)

- Ministries/Divisions(45)
Apr 2010 ~ June
- Major Departments ( >100) 40.21 Million
2014
(BanglaGovNet)
- District Offices(64 DICTC)

- Upazila Offices(64 UICTC)

- Expand Network to Upazila level

- Interoperability between Central


and Local Govt. Administration

- Development of Bangladesh
July 2011 ~ Dec Education Network (BanglaEduNet) 150 Million
2015
(Info-Sarker)
=> Primary & Secondary level Education

- Connecting High level education Institutions

- Making an ICT-driven society

- Final preparation for Digital Bangladesh


Location of the Project

Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), Dhaka

All Ministries and Divisions in Dhaka (Capital City).

Major Departments and Corporations under Ministries and Divisions in Dhaka.

64 Deputy Commissioners Offices.

Minimum 64 UNO Offices.

Scope of the Project

Construct Government Data Resource Centre (Data Centre) which will be the core part of the
network to interconnect every government Ministry/Division, Department, District and
Upazila administration to provide :

Centralized Control and Management of the Network (NOC);

Secure Single Point of Entry/Exit to the Internet;

Secure Communication;

Broadband Connectivity through IP Backbone;

Centralized Government-wide Secure e-mail System and IP-based Voice


Services;

Open Interoperability Standards;

Virtual Private Network (VPN) Connection for authorized agencies;

Hosting of Government Websites etc.

Construct District Data Resource Centre (DICTC) in each of the Deputy


Commissioner (DC) offices which will be connected with the NICTC.

Construct Upazila Data Resource Centre (UICTC) in 64 UNO offices in Dhaka,


which will be connected with the NICTC and DICTC.

Provide the government-wide intranet enabling government agencies to access


and share their information and data.
Develop the centralized government-wide electronic mail and filing system to
provide an electronic mailbox and storage to the registered government users.
(Gov e-Mail)

Develop and install related applications such as interactive websites, e-Approval,


Electronic Document Management System etc. (Web Portal, Groupware)

Supply and install comprehensive security solution such as Firewall, Anti-Spam


Filters and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) in order to ensure identification of
hackers and abuses of government network and intruders into privacy of users.
(UTM, Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam, Physical Security, etc.)

Training & Visiting Program for enhancing ICT Knowledge & Skill

The project scope might be adjusted to accommodate the results of detailed site
surveys, engineering requirements or as per demand.

Major Components:

Equipments and Machineries 41.15%

Furniture 2.26%

Software 6.75%

Software 6.75%

Motor Vehicles 0.23%

Installation & Services 10.75%

Connectivity (Line rent, Bandwidth Cost) 4.48%

Manpower 1.85%

Foreign Training and Visit 2.40%

CD/VAT 13.11%

Consultancy 2.49%

Operation & Maintenance 3.45%

Contingency/Others 11.08%
Concluding Remarks

To have a Government wide Network to ensure delivery of citizen services through the effective
implementation of e-Governance towards achieving a

Digital Bangladesh by 2021.


Project: 2
Developing HRM through ICT
Introduction

Information & Communication Technology has been identified as an important tool to achieve
prosperity though improved quality of management and efficiency in public and private sectors.
The government of Bangladesh in an effort to harness the power of ICT formulated its National
ICT Policy in year 2002. The government in year 2008 formed a committee to review the
achievements and formulate a new National ICT Policy. The committee after meeting with the
stake holders proposed a new National ICT Policy to the government. The proposed policy is
now in the final stages of approval.
The new policy took account of all the technological and socioeconomic development to
propose the policy incorporating the governments declared policy on Poverty Reduction
Strategy Paper based on the commitments made in WSIS and the mandates of MDG.
Accordingly, development of Human Capacity has been given high priority in the National ICT
Policy.

Initiatives Regarding Human Capacity Building

National Policy on ICT: Capacity building, in general, is identified as a key element to\
achieving national goals. While human capacity building was given the top priority,
infrastructure building was also considered vital as a prerequisite of the other ICT activities.
Important objectives pertaining to the human capacity building declared in the proposed National
ICT Policy under Education and Research are:
Assess skills of ICT professionals and meet gaps with targeted training programs to overcome
the shortterm skills shortage in the ICT industry and adopt continuing education and
professional skills assessment and enhancement programs.
Encourage closer collaboration between academia and industry to align curriculum with market
needs.
Establish an ICT Centre of Excellence with necessary longterm funding to teach and conduct
research in advanced ICTs.
Extend the reach of ICT literacy throughout the country by incorporating ICT courses in
secondary education and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programs
Enhance the quality and reach of education at all levels with a special focus on
Mathematics, Science and English
Ensure ICT Literacy for all in public service
Boost use of ICT tools in all levels of education including ECDP, mass literacy and lifelong
learning
Ensure access to education and research for people with disabilities and special needs using
ICT tools
. Ensure that all universities provide global standard ICT education and introduce

Postgraduate Programs in ICT education to encourage research and innovation

. Besides, the Government has taken various initiatives in this area.


Creating Institutional Framework: ICT has been declared as a ethrust sectorf by the
Government. A national ICT Task Force has been constituted with a view to provide the

Top level guidance for initiating and coordinating ICT activities. The Government, in 2003,
launched a program called Support to ICT Task Force (SICT) at Ministry of Planning for
providing administrative and secretarial support to the ICT Task Force in planning, designing,
and implementing various ICT projects, particularly e]Governance projects.

Government also has reorganized the former Ministry of Science & ICT as the Ministry of

Science and ICT and taken measures to strengthen Bangladesh Computer Council, the apex body
of the Government that works for promotion and adoption of ICT in the country.

Human Resources Development: Since early 90s, tremendous enthusiasm has been generated
among the new generation about ICT. Since then public universities have started to offer
undergraduate, post graduate and postgraduate diploma courses in ICT.

Information technology has been introduced as a subject in the mainstream educational tracks in
secondary and higher secondary levels.

As a result, many ICT training institutes have started operating in the private sector. In the public
sector, BCC is one the bodies mandated to carry out human resources development activities.
BCC carries out its training programs through its central office in the capital city and six
divisional offices. In the capital, South Korea through KOICA has built a training facility named
Bangladesh Korea Institute of ICT in the BCCfs head office. The training programs are carried
out in Bangladesh]Korea Institute of ICT, an institute built with a grant assistant from Korea
Government. Till now about 35,000 people have been trained in various ICT applications by
BCC. The training programs are being organized by BCC and various government and donor
projects. Besides, BCC has launched 1 year Diploma and

Post graduate diploma courses for developing skilled manpower for the ICT industry.

With a view to develop ICT capacity of the public sector for making the Governmentfs e]

Government initiatives a success, different ICT training for government officials was organized
by BCC. It started in September 2005. The e]Government training is designed to prepare the
officials to handle the e]Governance activities of varying complexities. Till now

800 government officials have received this training.

National ICT Internship: The Government also funded a program called National ICT Internship.
This is intended to develop the skills of the ICT graduates required for the highly competitive
global market. Under this program selected ICT graduates are placed in different ICT companies
to get the opportunity to become ready for the global ICT market.
In the last two years about 600 ICT graduates have been trained under this program.

ICT Professional Skill Assessment and Enhancement Program (IPSAEP): The industry,
academia and the government after long deliberation on expanding the employment opportunity
through growth of local industry developed a plan to make the fresh graduates ICT industry
ready through ICT Professional Skill Assessment and enhancement Program.

The government has already approved the program and is scheduled to begin very soon.

3. Country Needs

Bangladesh has already started using ICT in various arenas. The country has successfully
developed National Voter Roll with photograph and National ID Card using indigenous design.
Public procurement reform is taking place and methodology for e] procurement is now being
framed. The government has initiated project for Machine Readable Passport and Machine
Readable Visa. All these activities has generated demands for better Infrastructure and human
capacity. In order to achieve the demands the government has taken to connect all government
offices in the country through a secure government network. In this regard the government has
signed a loan agreement with South Korea for financing under EDCF scheme.

Judging by the number of the development projects and the demand for skilled manpower
requirement in public and private sector Bangladesh needs to train large number of fresh
graduate on ICT skills. These skill sets have to be accredited to make the skill sets acceptable
globally. The government of Bangladesh looks forward for cooperation in this area.

4. Advice on the national roll out of the Academy of ICT Essentials for

Government Leaders in your country

The UNAPCICT can consider Bangladesh Computer Council, Public Administration Training

Center and Jatiyo Sangsad (National Parliament), Ministry of Local Government and Rural
Development for rollout of Academy of ICT Essentials for Government Leaders.

5. Focal Points for cooperation with APCICT

(1) Ministry of Science and ICT;

(2) Bangladesh Computer Council;

(3) Ministry of Planning;

(4) Ministry of Education;


Others

BRIDGING the digital divide is a serious problem but it is not an insurmountable one. Private-

public partnership is a crucial issue for information and communication technology (ICT)

development and application. Private enterprise and capital can lead ICT revolution in

Bangladesh. This, however, would require the government to provide the enabling environment.

The supportive role of the forward-looking government in Malaysia is known to all).

Rapid growth in ICT is not possible without massive investments for ICT infrastructure and

human resource development through quality education. The southern states of India, specially

Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, are the examples. The corresponding figures for Dhaka and

Bangladesh, although it has started to increase recently, are not comparable at all. Human

resource development in ICT is not easy. It requires many years of training in institutions of

higher education. The Indian experience in this respect is very interesting. A vast number of

Indian graduates with proficiency in English language and mathematics or statistics became ICT

specialists after doing their MCA (Master in Computer Applications) degree. Now over 550

institutions of higher education in India, including 163 in Andhara Pradesh alone, offer MCA

studies. Over 50,000 students get MCA degree per year.

In Bangladesh only a few universities are offering the MCA programme. The Dhaka campus of

the University of Comilla, the pioneer in the field of offering MCA programme in Bangladesh, is

closed now due to management problems. The graduates with background in mathematics or

statistics in Bangladesh should quickly become ICT workforce through after doing MCA.

Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET) is also providing Master's degree

course in Information Technology, in addition to offering regular courses in computer science.


Dhaka University is also going to introduce Master's degree programme to non-computer science

background students. Greater emphasis should be given on proficiency in English, considering

its value in the global context.

A Software Technology Park can promote and boost software export of the country. The

Software Technology Park of India (STPI) in Bangalore, the biggest of that country, accounts for

about one-third of its software exports. Software exports earned India US$ 1.14 billion in

September, 2003, an increase of 33 per cent over that of the same period in the previous year.

ICT incubator has been established in the heart of the Dhaka city. But the software firms in

Bangladesh are not in a position to contribute to the national economy as they are yet to reach the

take off stage. However, according to BASIS, in the International Software and ICT market,

Bangladeshi companies have started to make their presence felt. Bangladesh now exports

software and ICT services to 23 countries and last year, the sector's exports grow by 43 per cent.

Grameen Bank has come forward to remove digital divide in the rural areas. Grameen

Communications has been involved in developing rural technology centers, as it is committed to

help create rural people new opportunities through technology intervention. They established two

rural centers under the project "Village Computer and Internet Project" in Madhupur and

Sharishabari. The connectivity, established using land and mobile phones and being expensive,

increase the operational expenditures. A third option, connecting a rural center via Microwave

Link needed to be tested as its operational expenses are expected to be lower. With the financial

assistance from Grameen Trust, Grameen Communications launched another center in Mirzapur,

Tangail under the project "Grameen Digital Center". The center is connected on-line with head
office in Dhaka via Microwave Link.

Bridging the digital divide between the rural and urban areas which is urgently required, can be

achieved by creating low cost community information and communication centers (CICCs) in

the rural areas. Such centers can later be upgraded into community networks. Cyber cafes may

not be economically viable in the rural areas now. Special measures, supported by public

funding, are necessary for encouraging access to ICT in the rural areas. The CICCs, which can

play the role of a catalyst, can be set up with minimum possible equipment like personal

computers with colour monitors, 132-column printers connected to land or mobile phones for

internet connectivity. An off-line UPS could solve the problem for the places with no electricity.

Dial-up telephone connectivity through modem can provide internet connectivity.

A CICC at the union level, with financial support from the government, and trained personnel

can do the job. The CICC can provide printing, e-mail and entertainment to local population.

After a year, the CICC can be transferred to private ownership or to operators on lease. Facilities

can gradually be expanded to cover land records, other online services, rural e-learning, farming

and non farming activities including small business, matrimonial alliances, weather reports,

transparency in government services, transport and traffic information, emergency information

services, rural democracy and what not.

Private entrepreneurs in Bangladesh can approach donor agencies for financial support for

projects relating to human resource development and removing the digital divide in Bangladesh.

But before that, they should be cautious about the need assessment analysis. Otherwise, donor-
driven fund may not be properly utilized.

Globalization is influencing the socio -economic and political development in Bangladesh.

Telephone density should be rapidly increased to 50 per cent by 2010 and steps should be taken

to spread telephone usage across the country. Moreover, mobile phone charges should be

drastically reduced. Even charge of Bangladesh Telephone & Telegraph Board (BTTB) mobile is

also high in comparison to India.

High-speed fiber optical data communication infrastructure should be set up all over the country

for speedy data communication internal as well as outside the country.

Public and private participation (PPP) for ICT use should be encouraged for rapid expansion of

e-commerce and e-governance.

The education system should be able to generate computer and ICT-literate manpower at the

grassroots.

The quality of ICT education should be improved by improving lab facilities, Internet access and

access to on-line digital libraries across the country.

Web culture should be encouraged across the country for transparency, eradication of corruption

and removal of strikes and criminal offences and thereby improving the civil society.
An effective information technology policy should be adopted to foster the information

processing activities across the country.

Research should be conducted to study the consequences of digital divide between different

segments of the society.


Project: 3
South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Information Highway

Introduction

South Asia Sub regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Information Highway Project aims for
cross- border optical fibre connectivity among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. The project
was initiated with Asian Development Bank (ADB)s assistance following the SASEC ICT
Working Group meeting decision in 2006. Bangladesh government signed a loan agreement with
ADB on 15 March 2009 to finance the SASEC Information Highway Project (Bangladesh
Component). The project has three components: 1) SASEC Regional Network: An optical fibre
network across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal will be built to exchange internet and voice
traffic among the four countries and beyond. Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited
(BTCL) will build and maintain the network in Bangladesh. 2) SASEC Village Network: 25
(twenty five) community electronic centres (CeCs) will established in rural Bangladesh. The
CeCs will be connected to the regional network. 3) SASEC Research and Training Network:
Capacity building of four institutes from the four SASEC countries will be done to facilitate ICT
research and training with a special focus on community ICT centres in rural areas. Bangladesh
Computer Council (BCC) has been selected as the RTN institute from Bangladesh. The four
RTN institutes of four countries will be connected to each other through the regional network.
The first two components are financed by ADB loan and GoB fund while the third component
will be financed through piggybacked Technical Assistance (TA) fund from ADB. The ADB
loan amount for the Bangladesh component is US$ 3.1m and GoB fund is BDT 895.95 lakh. The
TA amount is US$ 4.4m for the four SASEC countries.
This article discusses about the Regional Network component of SASEC Information Highway
Project.

Regional Vs Sub regional Cooperation

Regional cooperation is not a new concept. ASEAN, SAARC and ECO are examples of the
forums for regional cooperation in Asia. However, regional forums sometimes become not much
effective in terms of cooperation in real sense due to geographical distance and/or political
divide. For example, the first SAARC Communications Ministers Conference held in Colombo
in 1998, adopted the Plan of Action on Telecommunications in the region. The Plan of Action
calls for a reduction in telecommunication tariffs within the SAARC region, special rates for
transiting regional traffic, cellular roaming, liberalized leased lines and human resources
development. However, no appreciable progress has been made on these important issues till
date. Subregional cooperation, on the other hand, involves a group countries in geographical
proximity with common or nearby international borders. Slow multilateral and regional
processes help to spur subregional cooperation, which is more effective in dealing with
immediate problems. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal are close neighbours with potential
for effective subregional cooperation in areas such as trade, energy, transport, environment and
ICT. The mission of SASEC is From poverty to growthtransforming challenges into
opportunities. The lead activity of the SASEC program is the identification, prioritization, and
implementation of subregional projects involving four countries with support from development
partners such as Asian Development Bank.
SASEC ICT Program and Strategy

The SASEC ICT Working Group (ICTWG), comprising of secretaries of ministry of ICT of
SASEC countries, agreed to develop SASEC ICT Development Master Plan (the Master Plan) at
the first ICTWG meeting held in India in March 2004, to lay down the strategy, framework and
priorities for SASEC ICT regional cooperation. The Master Plan, prepared with ADB assistance
and accepted at the second SASEC ICTWG held in Bhutan in January 2006, formulated the
SASEC regional ICT strategy in a way to coordinate and consolidate individual countries
national leadership, vision, and strategies, and identified the following common areas: (i) global
positioning of the SASEC sub region in ICT; (ii) regional opportunities for ICT professionals
and local ICT industry development; (iii) skills training, accreditation and mutual
recognition; (iv) regional affordable broadband capacity, reliability, and quality; (v) investment,
regional trade and employment; (vi) cross-border community participation and benefits; and (vii)
contribution to the achievement of MDGs.
In all SASEC countries, there is a considerable recognition of the benefits of broadband capacity
and a growing awareness of the issues and opportunities emerging from convergence. The
regulatory environment for each SASEC member varies substantially but all members have
recognized the need for independent regulatory authorities to oversee the opening up of ICT
infrastructure to competition. The need to foster local ICT industry development has also been a
common agenda. There are other considerations as well, including for example the structure and
governance of the internet and the global positioning of the region. There is also a common
recognition to the need for skills development at all levels, including on the one hand community
e-literacy, and on the other hand accredited graduate qualifications. Further all SASEC members
have identified extensive requirements for service applications, including for government
services, such as e-education, e-health and e-culture as well as the potential for new governance
structures to improve community participation. All members have also recognized the need for
either new institutions or enhanced capacity and course offerings of existing training institutions.
These common interests and policies define a broad scope for priority areas of collaboration and
regional ICT development strategy in the Master Plan.
Among others, the Master Plan, along the regional ICT strategy, proposed three most urgent
areas for improvements in ICT: (i) cross border connectivity, (ii) rural information access, and
(iii) human resource capacity. At the third ICTWG meeting held in Dhaka in September 2006, in
order to address such needs, the SASEC countries agreed to develop the concept of SASEC
information highway which would deliver modern affordable and reliable broadband
information, communication, and knowledge services within and across borders to business, and
to the rural and remote communities. During the implementation of an ADB-approved project
preparatory TA on SASEC information highway in 2007, the concept of SASEC information
highway has been crystallized and related investment package has been formulated and agreed
by the SASEC ICTWG. The SASEC Country Advisors Meeting held in June 2007 and
participated by secretaries of ministry of finance of the SASEC countries also endorsed the
concept, and thus further processing, of the SASEC information highway project.

SASEC Regional Network (Bangladesh Component): Technical Design


The Bangladesh component of the SASEC Regional Network mainly consists of a core IP
Router, four numbers of new multi service optical transmission nodes and a part of the existing
transmission network of BTCL. The core router will be installed at Moghbazar, Dhaka and will
function as the Gateway router for connecting other IP networks of Bangladesh and the other
gateway routers of SASEC Regional Network to be installed at different places of India, Nepal
and Bhutan. The core routers will be MPLS enabled and will have both PoS (STM-1/STM-4)
and Ethernet (GE and FE) interfaces. Besides the core router, there will be an aggregation switch
at Moghbazar. Also, there will be a NMS, a Bandwidth Management Gateway and Operation
Support System (OSS) at Moghbazar for ease of operation and maintenance.
Core Router at Moghbazar will have the provision to connect the SASEC Community E-
Centers (CeCs) and SASEC Research & Training Network (RTN). These SASEC CeCs and
SASEC RTN will be established as part of the SASEC project.
For transportation of IP traffic between Panchagarh and Dhaka, and between Panchagarh and
Shiliguri, two numbers of Multi Service optical transmission equipment (MSPP) will be
required, one for Panchagarh and the other for Thakurgaon. To provision an alternate path for the
IP traffic between Dhaka router and the Shiliguri Router of the SASEC Regional network two
additional MSPP will be required, one of which will be installed at Chuadanga and the other at
Meherpur. The initial capacity of these transmission equipments will be STM-16 but can easily
be upgraded to STM-64 capacity. From Dhaka to Dinajpur and Dhaka to Kushtia, BTCL has
optical transmission system of STM-16 or higher capacity. The existing optical transmission link
of BTCL in Dinajpur-Thakurgaon-Panchagarh and Kushtia-Meherpur-Chuadanga routes are of
STM-1 capacity. BTCL have enough fibers in the above mentioned routes. Hence, the STM-16
optical transmission equipment proposed for Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Chuadanga and Meherpur
will operate over the fibers of BTCL. For connecting the optical transmission equipment of
Panchagarh to Shiliguri, India, around 56 km OF cable will be laid from Panchagarh BTCL
station to Indian border at Banglabandha. There is optic fiber cable connectivity between
Chuadanga and Kolkata which is operated by BTCL in Bangladesh and BSNL in India. There
will be STM-1/STM-4 PoS and GE interfaces in the router to be installed at Dhaka to connect
the routers at India, Nepal and Bhutan. The transmission equipment at Thakurgaon will provide
STM-16 connectivity for the Panchagarh transmission equipment and to the BTCLs existing
optical transmission equipment at Dinajpur. Similarly, the transmission equipment at Meherpur
will provide STM-16 connectivity for the Chuadanga transmission equipment and to the BTCLs
existing optical transmission equipment at Kushtia.

Present status of SASEC Information Highway Project

a. Regional Network: Bilateral Interconnection Agreements under SASEC Information


Highway project were signed by four SASEC countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal)
on 26 April, 2012 at ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines. On behalf of Bangladesh
Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL), the service agency from Bangladesh, Mr.
Asaduzzaman Chowdhury, company secretary of BTCL, signed the agreements. The Bangladesh
delegation was headed by Mr. Shyama Prasad Bepari, Joint Secretary and Project Director,
SASEC Information Highway Project, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
ADB gave concurrence to the Regional Network bidding document on 27 April, 2012 submitted
by the SASEC project management unit. BCTL will invite the tender for this component in June,
2012. The expected date of completion of works for the Regional network is June, 2013.

b. Village Network: Out of 25 CeC locations, 15 locations have been selected for setting up
CeCs. The rest 10 locations will be selected by June, 2012. The tender will be invited in two
packages: first for 15 locations and the second for the rest 10 locations. The expected dates of
floating tenders for the two packages are August and October, 2012 respectively. The expected
date of completion of works for the Village Network is December, 2013.

c. Research and Training Network: This component is financed by TA from ADB. However,
no TA agreement was signed with ERD for this component and therefore TA PP was not
prepared by MoICT for this component. The issue was raised by the Bangladesh delegation in
the bilateral interconnection agreement meeting (25-27 April, 2012) in Manila. ADB
representatives present in the meeting told that ADB will initiate necessary communication with
ERD, Ministry of Finance to streamline this TA component of SASEC Information Highway
Project.

Conclusion

SASEC Information Highway Project has ushered a new era in subregional cooperation among
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. While SAARC could not deliver the results as expected,
SASEC platform may be explored to expedite subregional cooperation in areas of energy, trade,
transport, tourism, environment and ICT. For example, hydro-energy in Nepal can be utilized
for power generation through cooperation among SASEC countries for mutual benefit. Peace,
stability and mutual trust are preconditions for successful subregional cooperation. The recently
approved Perspective Plan of Bangladesh 2010-2021: Making Vision 2021 a Reality strongly
emphasizes on positive steps relating to globalization and subregional cooperation. The
governments of other three SASEC countries have similar stance on subregional cooperation.
Against the backdrop of congenial political environment prevailing in the SASEC subregion, it is
up to the bureaucrats and business leaders to take cooperation among the SASEC countries to a
new height.
Project: 4

Leveraging ICT for Governance, Growth and Employment Project

Project Name Leveraging ICT for Governance, Growth and Employment Project

Region SOUTH ASIA

Sector Information technology (40%); General industry and trade sector


(30%);General education sector (30%)

Project ID P122201

Borrower(s) PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH

Implementing Agency Ministry of Science and ICT

Environment Category [ ] A [ ] B [X] C [ ] FI [ ] TBD (to be determined)

Date PID Prepared June 6, 2011

Estimated Date of June 20, 2011


Appraisal Authorization

Estimated Date of Board August 25, 2011


Approval

1. Proposed objective(s)

The project development objectives are to:

(i) Increase the competitiveness of Bangladeshs IT/ITES industry for economic


growth, export diversification, and employment creation; and

(ii) Establish basic e-Government foundations for governance reforms and public
sector modernization

Project Beneficiaries
For IT/ITES the direct beneficiaries are 30,000 Bangladeshi youth (including an estimated 6,000
young women) who will benefit by gaining marketable and globally recognized IT/ITES skills,
increased incomes due to skills upgrading, and enhanced employment opportunities in a growing
IT industry. The local IT/ITES companies will also benefit from significantly increased business
opportunities from the projected USD500 million export market, improved international
perception of their IT/ITES capabilities, and availability of office space of sufficient quality in
the short-to-medium term for their operations.

For e-Government the direct beneficiaries are all the GOBs ministries and agencies, who will
benefit directly from higher efficiency and effectiveness, and reduced risks in their use of
IT due to the availability of shared technology infrastructure for their systems and
services. In addition they will be able to increase benefits from the use of ICT for their
operations and services due to increased skills of support personnel both internally, and
from MOSICT/BCC. Bangladeshi citizens and businesses will also benefit from
improved reliability of government services and increased security of their personal
information.

PDO Level Results Indicators

Outcome of each Output Indicators Baseline Proposed


Component (2011) Target (2016)

Direct Project Number, of which female (%) 0 6,000 (20%)


Beneficiaries

Component 1. IT/ ITES Industry Development

i. Increase Number of manpower trained 0 30,000


competitiveness under the project
of IT/ITES
industry IT/ITES employment 12,000 42,0001

Component 2. e-Government foundations

ii. Establish basic Percentage of ministries using 0% 50%


e-Government two or more e-Government
foundations for technology foundations
governance established by the project
reforms
Percentage of public sector IT 0% 50%
personnel undertaken one or
more e-Government training

.
courses

Project Description

A. Project Components

The project will support the development of Bangladeshs IT/ITES industry as the country
possesses significant comparative advantage in this sub-sector, and the industry has been proven
to have significant development impact in other developing countries. The project will also
establish e-Government foundations and institutional capacity for GOB to leverage this proven
approach for governance reforms and public sector modernization. The proposed project covers
both the IT/ITES and e-Government components as they are highly complementary and are to be
implemented by the same agency. The projects design is based on analytical work that the Bank
has supported, technical discussions with local stakeholders, and lessons of experience from
similar Bank financed projects in other parts of the world. The project scope includes the
following main components, sub-components, and activities.

Component 1: IT/ITES Industry Development (IDA: $39.4 million, Borrower: $3


million)

This component will increase the competitiveness of Bangladeshs IT/ITES industry by


increasing the quantity and quality of skills, awareness and perception of the country, and
support development of IT/ITES-specific infrastructure.

i. Sub-component A: Skills Development

1.1 Top-up IT Training of Science Graduates for IT Services Segment: Provide


conversion training of six to nine months for 10,000 non-computer science
graduates from universities and colleges. In addition the faculty will be trained
and the trainees will be certified in partnership with leading universities and
IT/ITES players to ensure quality.
1.2 Foundational Skills for ITES Segment: Provide training for 20,000 trainees in
language, customer service, cultural sensitization, and PC/keyboarding. An
anchor institution will be identified to partner with international ITES players to
provide the training. In addition, a training grant will also be provided to
companies that hire a minimum number of new employees, and the grant scheme
will be modeled on successful experiences such as those of South Africa.

1.3 Management Skills: Support a local leading academic institution in partnering


with overseas institutions to provide IT/ITES focused supervisory/management
training programs. Such programs already exist in India and Philippines; hence
this activity will support tie-ups with these proven institutions.

ii. Sub-component B: Institutional Capacity Building, Industry Promotion and


Strategic Infrastructure Support

1.4 Institutional Capacity Building for BCC: Build BCCs capacity as an anchor
institution for IT/ITES industry development. Such anchor institutions are needed
to fulfill multiple internal and external roles - which include championing the
industry, strategic planning and implementation of industry development
activities; and facilitating IT/ITES investments and operations. Hence, this
activity will set up an IT/ITES unit in BCC comprising of BCC and project staff.
In addition, it will assist BCC to develop the industry development strategy and
roadmap in partnership with industry stakeholders, and set up an international
advisory body to guide BCCs efforts.

1.5 Capacity Building for Local Industry: Build the capacity of local industry by
setting up a forum to facilitate dialogue and promote collaboration between the
various industry associations, support local companies in adopting globally
accepted certifications for IT/ITES, and build partnerships with global IT/ITES to
provide mentorships to local IT/ITES SMEs.

1.6 Industry Promotion: Provide industry promotion support to enable Bangladesh to


overcome the challenge of low awareness and poor perception of Bangladesh as
an IT/ITES destination. Hence, it will develop an industry promotion plan for the
country; and provide business development assistance in the form of contact
databases, outreach programs to CEO-level clients, and support to high-level
industry champions within the government for external client engagements. In
addition it will support industry promotion actions such as developing
promotional tools and materials, and place the country into globally recognized
IT/ITES ranking indices.

1.7 Strategic Infrastructure Support: Support the industrys need for short to medium-
term IT space within Dhaka and selected regions, through the refurbishment or
extension existing buildings for IT/ITES companies. The industry has indicated
the urgent need for such facilities to be set up within the next one to two years,
while the Kaliakor High Tech Park is still under development.

Component 2: e-Government (IDA: $26.1 million; Borrower: $2 million)

This component will provide critical e-Government technological foundations for the
countrys governance agenda for the years ahead, and build the human capacity to
leverage technology for governance reforms.

2.1 Shared Infrastructure for IT Hosting and Remote Conferencing. Expand and
strengthen BCCs capacity to provide shared IT hosting facilities (including the
primary site and disaster recovery site) to the other government agencies, and set
up telepresence and videoconferencing facilities as communication technologies
for virtual "face-to-face" collaboration between the agencies particularly within
Dhaka.

2.2. Shared Platform for Cloud Computing and Mobile Service Delivery: Set up cloud
computing and mobile services delivery platforms for the public agencies, private
sector, and academia to have convenient on-demand access to computing
resources, rapid deployment of mobile phone-based public services, innovate and
improve services to citizens and businesses.
2.3 Enterprise Architecture: Establish the governments enterprise architecture for
coordinating investments across government agencies, and avoiding duplication
and waste. This includes the development of an e-Government Interoperability
Framework (e-GIF) to facilitate the cross-agency exchange of information.

2.4 Information Security: Establish GOBs information security program, and set
program goals and priorities that support the governments mission. In addition it
will provide resources by setting up a national Computer Emergency Response
Team (CERT) to facilitate and support the program.

2.5 Capacity Building on e-Government Skills: Capacity building for public sector
IT-related staff on e-Government skills by planning a public sector e-Government
skills development program; and providing necessary training on basic systems,
networks, and computer support and management skills for relevant IT-staff
across the government agencies. The activity will also train higher-level staff in
IT planning, strategizing, and project and change management skills so that they
can holistically support their agencys e-Government efforts.

Component 3: Project Management Support (IDA: $2.5 million; Borrower: $1 million)

3.1 Project Management Consultants, Equipment & Other Operational Items: This
activity will support the creation and functioning of the Project Coordination Unit
(PCU), and hire the required specialists in procurement, financial management,
accounting, communications, monitoring and evaluation, etc. It will also support
the operational needs of the PCU, including office equipment, furniture, vehicle,
allowances, consumables, auditing services, and FM system.
2. Safeguard policies that might apply

Safeguard Policies Triggered by the Project Yes No TBD

Environmental Assessment (OP/BP 4.01) X

Natural Habitats (OP/BP 4.04) X

Pest Management (OP 4.09) X

Physical Cultural Resources (OP/BP 4.11) X

Involuntary Resettlement (OP/BP 4.12) X

Indigenous Peoples ( OP/BP 4.10) X

Forests (OP/BP 4.36) X

Safety of Dams (OP/BP 4.37) X

Projects in Disputed Areas (OP/BP 7.60)* X

Projects on International Waterways (OP/BP 7.50) X

3. Project Cost and Financing

The total project cost is USD74 million. This will be funded through an IDA Specific
Investment Credit in the amount of USD 68 million; and GOB contribution of USD 6 million.

The table below summarizes the Project Costs and proposed Financing Arrangement.
More details are in Annex 2.
S/No. Project Components Project IBRD or %
cost IDA Financing
Financing
(in USD
millions)

1 IT/ITES Industry Development 42.4 39.4 93

2 e-Government 28.1 26.1 93

3 Program Management 3.5 2.5 71

Total Baseline Costs 74 68 92

Physical Contingencies - - -

Price contingencies - - -

Total Project Costs 74 68 92


Project: 5
ICT Facilitated Education

Abstract

At present a new era has evolved in the education sector by means of ICTS. Different ICTs are

now set to become instrumental to help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of

education to the increasingly digital workplace, and raise educational quality by, among others,

helping make teaching and learning into an engaging, active process connected to real life. The

application and exposure to and deployment of ICTs fundamentally change the way education is

conceived and delivered to students. ICTs are enablers that optimize student-centered

pedagogical methods. Due to its easy accessibility this means of education has become very

popular all over the world. Distance education has got a thrust after the evolution of ICT-based

education system. This paper intends to give an idea about ICT-based higher education all over

the globe and its applicability in Bangladesh. Finally, it analyses the responses from different

user groups to query about the current status of the ICT-based higher education system

Bangladesh.

Keywords: ICTs, ICT-based / virtual education, Distance education, Higher education

Introduction

Education is the backbone of a nation. Despite knowing this, a huge number of people of least

developed countries are far beyond the reach of higher education. One of the key reasons may be

the poor economic condition of those countries. Perhaps this is the crucial challenge to be

addressed by those nations for overall development where education may be on the top list.

Information, Knowledge, and Communication Technology also play vital role in the growth as
well as producing and offering goods and services at relatively reduced costs. Smart use of ICTs

can process information, create knowledgebase and make them available wherever and whenever

necessary. But despite having relatively poor economic condition, Information and

Communication Technologies (ICTs) in most cases have tremendous success in providing

services at reduced costs to the peoples door steps. ICTs have the same to do for making the

higher education available to all classes of people throughout the country at a lower cost. As a

result, on one hand people will have the access right on higher education and on the other hand

will gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and experiences to serve the nationand prosper

accordingly. In 21st century, one can hardly find a country where higher education through

distance mode is not available. In fact it has been practiced since long before. But at present

days, having revolution of ICTs, the higher education through distance mode has been more

practical and well accepted by the all people around the globe. It is now being called Virtual

learning. In developed country, people are getting more interested in learning through Virtual

Campus than that of a Brick-and-Mortar Campus. Virtual Campus is nothing but ICT enabled

campus, where students are attending their classes, discussing with teachers, accessing learning

resources, seating exams, joining forums/clubs, submitting assignments etc virtually having the

facility of real-time interactions between teacher and students

What It Is

The education initiatives by Access to Information Project aim to make teaching and learning

more effective and enjoyable for both students and teachers using ICT. A2I has followed a 3-

pronged approach in its efforts to remodel education: establishing Multimedia Classrooms in

secondary schools, training teachers on making ICT aided educational content on hard-to-grasp
topics and make electronic versions of text books available in primary and secondary levels

including technical, vocational and Madrasha education. As part of the education reform driven

by the Ministry of Education, A2I through public private partnership has so far established 500

multimedia classrooms in secondary schools and trained about 4500.

Why It Was Necessary

Bangladesh is endowed with a large pool of intelligent young citizens who, with proper

education, can be turned into a valuable human resource befitting the 21st century. Powered by

technology, fuelled by information and driven by knowledge, the new world order demands

skills that cannot be entirely met by the age-old teaching and learning methods that currently

plagues the education scenario of Bangladesh. In this context, the Government of Bangladesh

has set education reform on its high priority list. Refashioning classroom environment and

redesigning the tools of learning is an important part of the envisioned education reform. Simple

ICTs facilitated reform has been given the utmost importance, owing to its versatility of cost

effectiveness. A2I, being GoBs flagship ICT for Development programme, has thus been

chosen to lead the reform through ICT based education initiatives. Implemented through pilots in

partnership with government and private organizations, these initiatives have largely been

successful and now being scaled up throughvarious GOB projects and partnerships.

Facts on E-education

Multimedia Classrooms: established in 500 schools.


15,200 secondary schools and 5,300 Madrasa through
MoEdu within 2013.

4500 teachers and 400+ teacher trainers trained.


20,500+ more will be trained by 2013.

E-Books: 300+ electronic versions of text books


Available in primary and secondary levels including
Technical, vocational and Madrasha education.

Blog: 3000+ members, 3500+ blog posts and over


2000 digital contents.

Instructional material: 33 videos of model classrooms


Developed and disseminated.

How It Came About

A2I started its interventions by testing the widespread myth about ICT in education, which

consists of setting up expensive computer labs to provide basic computer literacy and technical

know-how. Given the cost of labs and relatively low student involvement, which is especially

true for a developing country like Bangladesh, concerns surface regarding effectiveness,

scalability, and overall feasibility of such labs? Also considering the fact that the young learners

more often than not are surprisingly adept at teaching themselves the basic uses of a computer,

the long term benefits of such education is also not out of the question. In contrast, innovative

use of ICTs as a conduit for learning has looked more promising in some informal experiments.

Drawing from these experiences, A2I introduced Multimedia Classrooms in 500 secondary

schools, using one laptop with internet connection and a multimedia projector per classroom.

This approach proved to be much cheaper than a full-fledged computer lab and thus

economically more feasible. These classrooms have also succeeded in enhancing quality of

classroom learning, drawing deeper attention from students and making teachers more effective

in communicating difficult ideas. Taking this success one step further, A2I has trained 4500

teachers from the same schools through its Teacher-led Digital Content Development program.

Under this program teachers learn to develop and present digital contents for their classrooms,

using materials found on the internet and simple presentation software. In addition to the
textbooks, teachers can use digital contents in the multimedia classrooms to explain to students

difficult concepts with the help of text, images and animations on presentation slides. Teachers

also share the contents they have developed on an education blog (http://ictinedubd.ning.com/)

developed by A2I; dedicated to school teachers, trainers and educators. As part of teacher

training, A2I has made videos of some of the best classrooms and are disseminating them to

teacher training facilities. To increase availability of school textbooks, development of eBooks or

electronic version of textbooks for primary and secondary levels including technical, vocational

and madrasah is underway. Visually appealing and with options like search and text

enlargement, 300+ e-books for primary and secondary levels have been created so far and

uploaded on the website (www.ebook.gov.bd). Anyone is able to download them or read online

free-of-cost from anywhere. For executing these initiatives, A2I has worked in partnership with

Ministry of Education (MoE), Ministry of Primary and Mass Education (MoPME), Directorate

of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), Directorate of Primary Education

(DPE), National Curriculum and Textbooks Board (NCTB), Ministry of Educations teaching

Quality Improvement in Secondary Education Project (TQI-SEP), ICT for Education in

Secondary and Higher Secondary Level Project (ICT Project), Teachers Training Colleges

(TTC), Higher Secondary Teachers Training Institutes (HSTTI), Bangladesh Madrasha

Teachers Training Institute (BMTTI); Banglalink, Intel, Hosaf Group and other private partners.

What Will Be the Impact?

Multimedia classrooms, digital contents and teacher training together will improve
overall quality of learning in primary and secondary education by promoting effective
and participatory learning and eliminating unnecessary memorizing tendencies.
With training and infrastructural support such as internet and computers, teachers will be
better equipped; access to unlimited global resources and knowledge sharing through
blog will empower teachers and students.

A teachers network will build up gradually around the


education blogs.

What Will Happen Next

A teaching-learning content repository will be developed to store the teacher-


made digital contents. An advisory and editing board will be formed for quality
control of the content.

A central national curriculum and textbook repository will be developed;


electronic version of all primary, secondary, technical, vocational and madrasah
textbooks will be available on this platform.

Multimedia classrooms will be expanded in 30,000 secondary schools and


madrasahs and about 50,000 primary schools. About 2 lakhs primary and
secondary school teachers will be trained on ICT use in classroom by 2015.

Results Achieved

Multimedia classrooms and teacher-led content Development empowered


teachers, improved Learning facilities for students.

E-Book made textbooks widely available free of cost.

Blog augmented resource sharing across the country, eventually will lead to a
library of digital contents

Conclusion

The rigid use of textbook material and its high complexity and great diversity of content does not

motivate students, as it imposes great difficulties on them in the understanding of concepts and

how to relate the topics being studied with real applications. The findings showed that students

prefer the flexibility in the learning process through ICT-based education. In areas with a

continuous change of technological content, as with information and communication


technologies, the problem is the difficulty in selecting and organizing the knowledge to be

taught. In terms of technical support, experts, and course materials ICT-based education system

is expected to enhance its capability to satisfy the user groups. On the one hand, new knowledge

has to be added to the curriculum constantly, and at the same time any other knowledge becomes

obsolete. On the other hand, content has to be organized and ordered, relating every concept to

others, which is not a trivial task because of their number and how often they change. The ICT-

based education system is a holistic approach where a very high level of integrity and moral

standard is required by instructors, ICTs experts, students and other stakeholders. To be effective

everyone concerned with the process has to upgrade themselves continuously to keep pace with

the ever changing environment. The use of ICTs revolutionized the higher education through

virtual campus which has been more practical and well accepted by the all people around the

globe. Activities of the virtual Campus are centered around WWW (Figure 1). User groups

understanding and attitude towards WWW are instrumental to the development and

sustainability of the system. Just Copying strategies from advanced world will not serve the

purpose of harnessing higher education. While implementing ICT-based education program we

have to consider indigenous factors that affect the effectiveness of the operation.
Project: 6

Information Technology in Government


An Action Plan for Bangladesh

Introduction

In the history of civilisation, perhaps no work of science has so comprehensive impact on the
course of human development as Information Technology (IT). It is regarded as one of the
greatest change agents of the century. In fact, it is breaking old barriers and building new inter-
connections in the emerging global village.

In most countries, the Government is the largest user of computers and related technology with
the objective of enhancing public service delivery through Information Technology. Encouraging
the diffusion of IT within public sector services is fundamental to supporting the social and
developmental goals of the country. The application of IT within the public administration can
improve efficiency, reduce wastage of resources, enhance planning and raise the quality of
services. Therefore, Governments should implement large-scale computer systems to assist in
managing large volumes of transactions that occur in the public service each day. The
experiences of most public sector organizations in implementing information technology-based
solutions have demonstrated the need for extensive and prescient managerial, technical and
operational IS/IT capabilities.

However, the focus of most computing in public sector has been on supporting traditional
administrative and functional transactions rather than that of effective delivery of service to the
public. Many continue to apply information technology in traditional ways oblivious to the
possibilities offered by the new developments. New opportunities for improving the operations
of public sector entities and for delivering government services through electronic means must
be taken. Governments should explore as how to make effective and sustainable use of
information technology to enhance both the operations of government entities and the delivery of
services provide to the public.

Definition and Purview of E-Government:

Definition

Like many features of the information age, e-government has proved somewhat difficult to
define in a completely satisfactory way. According to the World Bank E-government refers to
the use by government agencies of information technologies that have the ability to transform
relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of government. These technologies can serve
following of different ends:

Better delivery of government services to citizens,


Improved interactions with businesses and industry,
Empowering citizen through access to information or more efficient government
management,
Increased transparency and greater convenience,
Reduce corruptions, and costs.

Interaction between a citizen or business and a government agency traditionally takes place in a
government office. With the emergence IT and E-Government, it is possible to re-locate service
centres from government office to locations closer to the clients such as cyber cafe or the use of
personal computer in the home or office.

Analogous to e-commerce, which allows businesses to transact with each other more efficiently
and brings customers closer to businesses, E-Government aims to make the interaction between
government and citizens (G2C), government and business enterprises (G2B), and inter-agency
relationships (G2G) more friendly, convenient, transparent, and inexpensive.

It is relevant to note that E-government is not just another way of doing existing activities; it is a
transformation on a scale that will fundamentally alter the way public services are delivered. It
does not have a time-line; rather it is evolutionary. The relationship is no longer just a one-way,
us (Government) versus them (citizens) proposition; rather it is about building a partnership
between governments and their citizens.

Purview

There are various elements of E-government, some of which are discussed below beifly:

Electronic governance: the link up of government, citizens, business communities,


NGOs, and communities. In other words, a comprehensive network of all stakeholders
involved in governance.
Electronic service delivery: the securing and provisioning of government services by
electronic means. For example, buying government services on-line, paying taxes,
purchasing licenses, etc.

Knowledge societies: the idea that a society can gain competitive advantage
internationally through using IT in a creative and productive way. This again reinforces
the linkage element across government, business, NGOs, and individuals.

E-commerce: frequently used and a subject in itself, e-commerce refers to firms that buy
and sell electronically, i.e. instead of going to a physical marketplace, a consumer can
trade from a virtual one.
E-government implies a mixture of all of these elements, and implies a broad approach based on
the development of relationships across all groups in society and a belief that these relationships
can be enriched or enhanced by the use of IT.

IT and Government of Bangladesh

Government of Bangladesh has declared it (IT) as a thrust sector. It is a fact that in Bangladesh
that the government is moving relatively slow compared to the private sector. Transparency and
accountability of public sector services are yet to achieve the desired standard. It is argued that
IT is expected to quickening of the process of establishing the desired norms of good governance
through quick storage, collection, supply, exchange, assimilation and use of date, information
etc. necessary to achieve the purpose.

It is, however, encouraging to note that Ministry of Establishment (MoE) has already
undertaken some initiatives through three different projects for establishing IT
communications across various levels of GoB administration (see Box 1).

Box 1: Current Initiatives for E-Government

A proposal was placed to undertake a project under ADP to establish Bangladesh Institute of
Communication and Information Technology (BICIT) to cater for the IT needs. However, it
is reported that the last government rejected the proposal.

At present President's Secretariat, PM's Office, all Ministries/ Divisions and almost all
departments/ Corporations under them have computers and fax. Some Divisional and District
level offices (Div. Com, DC, SP.) also have computer and fax facilities. Computer is also
available in some Upazila level Offices (e. g. UNO office) at local initiative.
E-Mail Project with cost amounting to Tk. 6.1970 crore is under implementation in the
Ministry of Establishment (MoE) to connect all Ministries/ Divisions, Divisional
Commissioners & D. C. Offices.

Another project, Separate Wireless Communication Project (costing Tk. 8.40 crore) is also
under implementation by the same Ministry (i. e. MoE) to connect District HQs with Upazila
HQs.

The scope of government activity across countries may vary widely. In the context of the
activities of the Government of Bangladesh the applications of IT can be divided into the
following 3 (three) categories.

1. Mechanical System

a. Office Automation Systems: Government offices.


b. High volume transaction systems: Bank, Insurance, Revenue collection.
c. Public Utility services: Power, Telephone, Water/Sewer, Gas Transport, Postal,
Passport/Immigration Registration, and Licenses.
2. Management Systems

a. Statistical Analytical Systems: Planning and Research.


b. Information Resource Management: Data Resource Centre.
c. Monitoring Systems: IMED.
d. Computer models for planning decisions: Planning Commission.

3. Public Systems

a. Public participation systems: LGED.


b. Sectoral applications in agriculture, environment, education, family planning, health
care, mining.

The extent of electronising the government activities must be designed and planned in a manner
that is inconformity with over all development of the country in general and the extent of
development the countrys IT sector in particular. Considering this constraint, this paper tries to
sketch out a possible action plan for making the government into an E-government.
Current Status of IT in Bangladesh

The expansion of IT usage in all walks of life including government depends critically on the
extent and quality of IT resources and It infrastructure. This section discusses the current status
of IT in Bangladesh and an action agenda for a desirable IT infrastructure.

IT Resources

IT Organizations by Main Fields

The total of IT organizations in 1999 were 1836. They were involved in various IT fields. The
distribution according to types of activities are shown below:

IT Fields Number of Firms Percentage

Human Resource development (Training) 1025 41.3

Users (Govt. Offices, Banks, NGOs, and Private) 654 26.3

Others 375 15.2

Hardware/Software Marketing 272 10.1

Data Processing Service 154 6.2

Total 1836 100.00

It is found that highest concentration was in HRD (41%), followed by users (26%). IT
organizations involved in marketing (10%) and data processing (6%) are relatively small
compared to HRD.

IT Organizations by Functions

It is reported that almost 50 percent of the people working in IT industry are involved as
computer operators numbering to 9154. On the other hand, proportion of people engaged
different technical functions are small. The proportions for System Analyst, Data Base Expert,
Network Expert, Programmer and Hardware Engineer were respectively 2.6 percent, 4.6 percent,
4.6 percent, 6.5 percent and 5.2 percent.

Hardware and Software

According to the survey the total number of IT Hardware was 78,658. Total numbers of Licensed
Software were 122713. The annual growth of PC marketing was found to be 33 percent. Dhaka
Division has the highest concentration (73%), followed by Chittagong (11%), Rajshahi (8%),
Khulna (4%), Sylhet (3%) and Barisal (1.3%).

Computing Facilities

At present, the computing facilities available in Bangladesh are reasonably strong. The
computing facilities include mainframe, mini and microcomputers. Besides, mid-range
computers like AS/400 are also being used by many organizations, predominantly by financial
institutions. Recently fast computing facility using supercomputer has been introduced in the
country. This facility has the scope for weather forecasting and mathematical modeling.
Corporate industries and most large business organizations have introduced Local Area Network
(LAN) in early 1990s. Banks and financial institutions have also been using LAN. Many of these
have already introduced Wide Area Network (WAN) to facilitate on line transactions.

Assessment of Current State of E-Government

Before embarking on to prepare a detailed action matrix for implementing effective E-


government it is important to review and assess the current state of E-government by each of the
restive ministries of the government. The review would assist to implementing agency to work
out an effective action agenda in a least cost fashion. The idea is to use and expand (wherever
possible) existing capacities (i.e. Hardware, software and manpower) for effective
implementation of E-government. We therefore suggest that a questionnaire may be sent to each
ministry to collect information on four aspects such as: (a) Hardware; (b) Software; (c)
manpower; and (d) medium term plan aims.

CURRENT STATUS

Hardware:

(a) Number of computers (along with general configurations).


(b) Number of printers
(c) Number of scanners
(d) Number of UPS
(e) Number of servers
(f) Number of CD multimedia
(g) Number of Modems
(h) Number of CD writers
(i) Networking facilities.
Software:

(a) Operating system


(b) Programming, Package software/Office Applications
(c) Customized software
(d) Networking
(e) E-mail
(f) Web-site related
Data Base:

(a) Types of Data


(b) Volume of Data
(c) Available for how many years
Manpower:

(a) Trained Professionals (details of training)


(b) Computer-skilled manpower ratio
(c) Usage of computer facilities
Current Budgetary Provision:

(a) Hardware related


(b) Software related
(c) Computer accessories
PLAN OVER NEXT FIVE YEARS

(a) Hardware related


(b) Software related
(c) Training related

Total cost over the five year plan period with detail breakdown
Total IT cost as a proportion of total current expenditure of the
ministry
Estimated user cost (incurred by client) of services provided by
ministry
The results of the above questionnaire survey will provide us with a comprehensive of state of
status of E-Government in Bangladesh and which would assist the authority to embark on a
feasible action plan to operationalized different aspects of the E-Government mentioned above.

KEY RECOMMENDATIONS AND


CONCLUSION:

e-Government is a fundamental component of the current government's promise of Digital


Bangladesh. It cannot be achieved through quick fixes but will require a very comprehensive
intervention strategy that has to be based on consultations and advice from relevant stakeholders.
However, there are some steps that may be undertaken to build an environment where e-
Government can achieve its desired goals. The government is\ the key driver of e-Government
but will need active participation and cooperation from other relevant stakeholders. Some key
recommendations for the government, the private sector and the development partners regarding
this issue are given below. Some of the key recommendations for the government include: e-
Government is often regarded as a technical matter and is treated separately. There should be
explicit efforts to think of e-Government as an integral part of civil service reform initiatives to
make the administration more responsive and accountable and provide services to the doorsteps
of citizens as much as possible. e-Government training is often limited to computer literacy and
fundamentals of networking and other technical matters. There should be explicit training efforts
to create policy leadership for e-Government at the Joint Secretary level and above.
There is no single coordination point in the government for coordination of planning of e-
Government to develop a roadmap for e-Government. Different responsibilities for e-
Government are scattered across different government entities, which sometimes hampers
centralized strategic planning, something which is quite critical in early stages of e-Government.
Sometimes there are software applications which may be re-used that gets re-built, sometimes
there can be shared data storage that is not used, sometimes optimal network designs to connect
different offices are not undertaken. A coordination point could have largely avoided these
issues. There was a plan to develop a high powered e-Government Cell at the Prime Minister's
Office - however, this plan has never been executed. Such a cell can also have a few high-level
strategists and software architects who can help different government entities develop an e-
Government plans, tender documents etc.
Many of the key government entities have IT staff but often it is very difficult to attract highly
skilled people in these positions for two main reasons: (i) the salary scale is not competitive
compared to private sector rates; (ii) there is no lucrative career path, since the IT staffs are not
part of the government's cadre system. The senior IT staffs have to be in the same position for 15
years or more after reaching the Senior Systems Analyst position. The government should take
steps to offer more lucrative offers to attract and retain talent to make e-Government a reality. A
separate cadre for the IT staff may be considered; also, increased levels of salary may also be
considered.

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Develop better communication/ marketing for e-Government services:
Individual government entities do not often have money or resources for publicizing its services.
The government's communications department is also not very well-endowed with resources.
The government may be able to partner up with various private entities to publicize its services.
One such entity may be the telecenters, which have access to citizens in remote locations.

Avoid adhoc funding for e-Government:


The government's internal funding mechanism for e-Government is still not well developed.
There are allocations for ICT development in the budget but nothing specifically for e-
Government. The process of how a government entity seeks funds for e-Government is also not
very clearly defined. In order to facilitate e-Government, the government has to create a separate
fund with clear processes for different entities to tap into that fund.\

Build infrastructure for payment of e-Government services:


e-Government can flourish when citizens can easily pay for different government services
electronically through the computer or the mobile phone. For this to be realized, citizens must
have a unique digital identity. There are efforts in the right direction to move from the Voter ID
to the National ID, which can form the basis for such electronic identity. Also, the government
has to create an online payment gateway, something that is long overdue, for monetary
transactions to take place online. This allows citizens to pay for many government services
sitting at home or at the nearest telecenter or cyber-caf, reducing a significant hassle.

Create policy and legal framework for PPP in e-Government:


Although the current government is giving a very significant emphasis on PPP - perhaps more so
than any other previous governments - the issue of PPP in e-Government is still left relatively
untouched. The policies and frameworks that govern PPP in large-scale infrastructure projects
are not fully suitable for PPP in the case of e-Government. There are issues of intellectual
property, issues of sharing revenue, issues of borders as to what kinds of services the private
sector can provide.