M Mizanur Rahman Sohel
Bangladesh is going forward with the touch of technology. Among different success stories in of Information and Communication technology over the last year, some most outstanding ones have been highlighted here.
Bangladesh celebrated golden jubilee of introduction of computer in the country in 2014. The magic device--computer--was first set up at Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission in 1964 as the first computer not only in the then East Pakistan but it was the first digital device in the entire Pakistan as well.
The first ever Digitized Land Record office was established at Fatikchari upazila in Chittagong in the year we passed away. There are records of some 1 lakh and 86 thousands and 748.42 acres land of the upazila available there.
One of the most important landmarks was set on March 7 last year with the signing of memorandum of understanding between Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL) and Malaysian Company SIM WE-5 to connect with second sub marine cable at the cost of Tk 540 crore.
In April the commuters in Dhaka got wi-fi connectivity in selected BRTC buses. Communication Minister Obaydul Quader inaugurated the service along with ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak on April 10. A2i programme of the Prime Minister's Office implemented the project in association with BRTC and ICT Division.
Bangladeshi originated scientist Ataul Karim innovated the magnet based train that can move without touching the rail line in May. The meritorious scientist is the Vice President in Research at Old Dominion University in the USA.
Bangladesh owned the largest public portal in the world. The portal titled Bangladesh.gov.bd, has some 25,043 government websites attached. Prime Minister inaugurated the portal on the occasion of the Public Service Day on June 23.
Again a young Bangladeshi entrepreneur Hasnat Shahrear Pranto proved that anything is possible if the determination is strong and the intention is honest. The USA returned IT professional has developed the first ever Bangla Optical Character Reader (OCR) software named 'Puthi'. It is a dream project of Pranto which is made possible as a result of a decade long research and collaborative effort of his company named Team Engine.
Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology students developed a robotic device that can understand Bangla language. The robot named 'Bipodal' can be operated by a mobile device from far.
The social networking site Facebook reached 1 crore users in Bangladesh. There are some 82 lakh male and 22 lakh female users of Facebook in the country. Most of the users are young with age level of 15 to 35 and the percentage is 74 as reported by Facebook on September 30.
25 mobile applications on public services were launched on September under the National level Mobile Application Development and Awareness Programme.
Bangladesh got Global ICT award for contributing in social progress through technology. ICT State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak received the Global ICT Excellence Award in Public Sector Excellence at the World Congress on IT-WCIT held in Mexico on October 1.
The tech giant Google stepped to develop Bangla tools in Voice Search service. The Indian ICT research organization made partnership with Google on November 5 to develop the tools according to a report of The Business Today.
The digital buses with technology, Google Bus, started their journey in Bangladesh to educate some 5 lakh students on ICT on November 12. ICT State Minister inaugurated the bus. The north-eastern city of the country, Sylhet became the first ever Wifi City in Bangladesh. Connectivity is given at 10 points of the town.
The first Digital Centre Conference was held on November 11 celebrating the 3rd anniversary of stepped in Digital Bangladesh concept establishing Union Information and Service Centres at urban level to avail the touch of Technology. The entrepreneurs earned about 140 crore by providing service to the people.
Great news came to us at the end of the year. The Silicon Valley based company Fenox Venture announced to invest USD 200 million in ICT start-ups in Bangladesh. The popular internet portal Priyo.com got the first investment from the firm.
The cabinet approved the first ever digital university at the eleventh hour of the year. On last Monday, the cabinet approved the digital university with online super valence.
We arrived at 2015. But the year 2014 will be remembered for the phenomenal progress we achieved in technology. Here I want to a quote our favourite Minir Hasan Sir "The value of a WhatsApp is 19 billion dollar that is very near to our foreign reserve in 40 years after liberation". So we are waiting for our own Facebook and Whatsapp and strongly believe the day is not very far.
M Mizanur Rahman Sohel is Senior Staff Correspondent at Priyo.com