Awami League is preparing a manifesto with the slogan ‘Smart Bangladesh’ for the next 12th national elections. For this, the party is giving importance to four issues. Four main goals have been set for building Smart Bangladesh. These include – Smart Citizen, Smart Government, Smart Society and Smart Economy. The leaders of Awami League believe that through the use of information technology, the people of the country will get the most services from the government and they themselves will move forward in line with the modern world.
Abdur Razzak, convener of the manifesto formulation sub-committee, said that the promise was made to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the nation. What we have done in the past, what we have achieved, are reviewed. In light of that, we formulate the election manifesto.
He also said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Smart Bangladesh plan is a planned transformation of the previously implemented Digital Bangladesh. Which is made up of all the modern technologies and facilities of the globalization era. Digital Bangladesh In 2009, the new policy was announced to digitize Bangladesh. At present, most of the public services in Bangladesh have been digitized and are rapidly implementing a plan to drive every person’s life with digital tools, although digital services are difficult to reach in rural areas. This digital Bangladesh has contributed to a massive change in the quality of life in a span of 14 years.
Member Secretary of Manifesto Drafting Sub-Committee and Information and Research Secretary of Awami League Salim Mahmud said that it has become difficult to deny that many people enjoy the benefits of ‘digitalization’ policy. A number of sectors such as telecommunication, internet connectivity, digital services, digital finance and e-commerce have made tremendous progress. Building on the success of the first phase of digitalisation, Sheikh Hasina is now inspiring Bangladeshis to embark on a new journey of smartness.
Awami League Office Secretary and Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Barrister Biplab Barua said that the current government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has fulfilled most of the promises of the Digital Bangladesh policy agenda. Government has digitized most services.
13 crore out of 17 crore people have a stable internet connection. Mobile Financial Services (MFS) has over 19 crore subscribers. During the Covid-19 pandemic, digitization has played an important role in ensuring continuity of services in healthcare, education, commerce, and social security net payments. Now the smart-agenda promises greater opportunities to build an open, inclusive and knowledge-technology-driven society.
Key features of Smart Bangladesh
The goal of Smart Bangladesh is – per capita income will be at least 12 thousand 500 dollars; Less than 3% will live below the poverty line; Extreme poverty will be reduced to zero. And Smart Bangladesh has four main components – 1. Smart citizens, 2. Smart government, 3. Smart Society, and Smart Economy.
How will Smart Bangladesh be?
Smart Bangladesh will focus on four key areas. They are connectivity, e-governance, innovation and human resource development. Smart Bangladesh will drive equitable progress where technology plays a key enabling role. The use of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Big Data Analytics will transform the technology ecosystem. Smart Bangladesh also emphasizes renewable energy, waste management and efficient transportation to create a sustainable environment. Smart Bangladesh aims to provide affordable, accessible, customer-centric, paperless and cashless public services.
Disparity close to zero
In all cases, the government wants to bridge the digital divide and eliminate inequality. The government will lead from the front in the progress of Smart Bangladesh. It heralds a new roadmap for a technology-enabled smart economy and benefits society. Policies are already underway to develop the country’s villages with modern facilities like cities.
Inclusion is empowering
The policy aims to create smart citizens for a smart nation through new vision. Human skills along with technology will empower citizens. Citizens will grow up as problem solvers who do not rely on any higher authority for solutions. It envisages a progressive society where all members will enjoy the benefits of inclusion. The Society shall encourage its members to be inventors. The mantra ‘no one is left behind’ will guide policymaking.
Youth is a priority
Bangladesh has a youth boom. Today’s youth will become smart citizens to take the country forward in the future. Smart Bangladesh will create opportunities for the young generation to become the driving force. The fourth industrial revolution is already underway where artificial intelligence is beginning to reshape the landscape. The youth must be prepared to adopt advanced skills and an entrepreneurial mindset. Bangladesh’s smart-agenda is being shaped by the dynamism of its youth.