Bangladesh on Monday formally launched the ‘National Web Portal’ opening up a new horizon and a unique window for ensuring transparency and accountability in government activities, and building a developed, prosperous country free from hunger and poverty.
The public portal containing 25,043 websites of various government organizations in various tiers having over 2 million contents started its formal journey marking the International Public Service Day.
Internationally reputed information technology expert and Prime Minister’s Advisor on ICT Sajeeb Wazed Joy formally inaugurated ‘The National Web Portal’ at a function at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
He opened the web portal by talking with the Comilla district administration through videoconferencing and pressing the button of a laptop. Joy talked with Deputy Commissioner of Comilla Hasanuzzaman Kollol through videoconferencing.
State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak, PM’s Principal Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikdar, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Senior Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Md Abul Kalam Azad also spoke at the function. Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan presided.
The world’s biggest web portal in Bangla was developed under the auspices and supervision of the Access to Information (a2i) Programme under the Prime Minister’s Office and with the technical assistance of the UNDP and USAID.
Through this, Bangladesh has set up a unique example of connecting 25,043 websites of government organizations to a same stint. These include 4,550 websites of unions, 14,640 websites of upazila, 4,032 websites of districts, 455 of divisions, 64 of district councils, 488 of upzila parishads, 55 of ministries and divisions, 345 of directorates and 414 of city corporations and pourashavas.
Speaking on the occasion, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, recalling the founding anniversary of Awami League on June 23 in 1949, said digital revolution has been possible in the country only because of Awami League. “Had Awami League not born on this day, this digital services or digital revolution could not happen in Bangladesh.”
He said: “Only the Awami League government has been able to establish e-governance in the country in a faster pace compared to the industrial sector.”
The PM’s ICT Adviser said the Awami League government in its previous term had established over 4,500 Union Information and Service Centers and web portals in all the districts in just two years of its tenure ahead of the targeted three years.
He said: “The National Web Portal of Bangladesh having over 25,000 websites is now the biggest in the world as no other country has such number of websites in a public portal.”
Joy said that the main objective and target of the Awami League government was to remove digital divide in the country as well as to ensure that the common people are benefitted through this digital revolution.
“Our target was not to let it happen that only the rich would be benefitted through Digital Bangladesh while the poor and the rural people would be left out.
“We want to further ease the life of common people through digital method and also see how speedily and easily the government services could be reached to common people,” he added.
The PM’s ICT Advisor extended his heartfelt thanks to all the authorities concerned including the Access to Information (a2i) programme and the local IT firms under the BASIS for making all of these 25,000 websites. “No one could imagine in what fast pace the websites have been built… the websites have been built by the local IT firms, and I feel proud.”
About the government’s bid to turn Bangladesh into a mid-income country free from hunger and poverty, he said Bangladesh has advanced a lot in becoming a modern country while it is at the mid-stage in realizing the ‘Vision 2021’.
Joy said: “We want that Bangladesh would move ahead and become a developed country soon. I have the belief that in the pace we’re moving ahead, no one will be able to stop us…Bangladesh Awami League will be able to deliver,”
State Minister for ICT Junaid Ahmed Palak said the use of ICT is very much important to bring a country’s government into transparency and accountability.
Mentioning that Bangladesh has moved much ahead in building Digital Bangladesh while there is still far to go, he expressed the hope to ensure high speed internet services at the union level by 2017.
About some 50,000 officials and employees of the concerned government organizations have been imparted training with the initiative if a2i programme to update their concerned organization’s information, data, video upload, editing and content incorporation.
Ministers, advisers to the Prime Minister, parliament members, senior secretaries of different ministries, senior government officials and representatives of development partners were present on the occasion.