Access2Information (a2i) has taken an initiative to provide easy voice access to the National Information Portal. Citizens from now on will be able to access all information available on the portal using mobile phone. In order to implement this initiative, an MoU was signed between a2i programme and Robi Axiata Limited at the conference room of Posts and Telecommunications Division at Bangladesh Secretariat today.
State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Division, Begum Tarana Halim, MP was present on the occasion as the chief guest. Acting Secretary (Coordination and Reform), Cabinet Division, N M Ziaul Alam was present at the signing ceremony as the special guest. Director General, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Project Director, a2i, Kabir Bin Anwar and Robi’s Chief Corporate and People Officer (CCPO) and the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Matiul Islam Nowshad signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations.
The MoU makes way for a2i and Robi to jointly work to set up of a National Contact Centre (NCC). Any citizen using mobile connection from any of the mobile phone operators’ will be able to access information from the NCC through voice call, SMS, IVR, social media and email. Besides, Robi will assist a2i to promote the initiatives taken to facilitate citizen centric e-Sheba and the steps taken to implement mobile apps.
It’s worth noting that the National Information Portal (www.bangladesh.gov.bd) is one of the biggest Government Information Portal. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized this citizen centric portal with the World Summit for Information Society (WSIS) award in 2015. This national portal connects all the government portal to ensure the most convenient access to information and service for every citizen. Every month, the portal gets more than 90 million hits.
More than 25,000 government websites are connected to this National Portal providing information on the activities of 61 Ministry/ Division, 351 Department/ Directorate and other offices, 8 Divisions, 64 Districts, 489 Upazilla, government offices in 4550 Unions totaling more than 43,000 government offices. National Information Portal contains 2.1 million contents. Besides, it contains details on accessing 400 government services and more than 1400 government forms.
Secretary, Posts and Telecommunications Division, Md. Faizur Rahman Chowdhury; a2i’s Policy Adviser Aneer Chowdhury; e-Service Director, Dr. Abdul Mannan; Public Perception Expert, Naimuzzaman Mukta; Robi’s Company Secretary, Executive Vice President (EVP), Regulatory Affairs, Mohammed Shahedul Alam; Vice President (VP), Communications and Corporate Responsibility, Ekram Kabir; along with the representatives from the print and electronic media were also present on the occasion.
Robi Axiata Limited is a joint venture between Axiata Group Berhad, of Malaysia and NTT DoCoMo Inc., of Japan. Robi is the second largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh in terms of revenue, with 27.6 million subscribers, as of February 2016. Robi network provides nationwide coverage to 99% of the population with 13,444 BTSs and over 3,951 3.5G sites. Robi proudly claims to have the widest international roaming service in the market, connecting about 385 operators across more than 145 countries. It is also the first operator to introduce GPRS and 3.5G services in Bangladesh. The Company has introduced many first of its kind digital services in the country and has invested heavily in taking mobile financial services to the underserved communities in the rural and semi-urban areas.