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Info Sarker Phase 3 Project of ICT Division ended

The project titled “Development of National ICT Infra-Network for Bangladesh Government Phase-III (Info-Sarker Phase-3)” implemented by Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division of Bangladesh has been completed. On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, the closing ceremony of the project was held at the Sheraton Dhaka Hotel located in Banani of the capital.

The Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen MP was the chief guest at the program.

The program was chaired by the Honorable State Minister for the ICT Division Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP.

The Hon’ble Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen said that Bangladesh Government is committed to “Digital Bangladesh” and leveraging IT for achieving sustainable development goals, creating employment for all, and moving Bangladesh towards a developed economy. He also said that the development of National ICT Infra-Network for Bangladesh Government Phase-III (Info-Sarker Phase-3) project has taken the most important role to achieve the Connecting Citizens pillar among the four pillars of Digital Bangladesh.

He said Union Digital center (UDC) entrepreneurs are providing two types of digital services one is public services such as parcha, passport application, NID, mutation, birth & death certificate, online tax return, etc., and the private services such as agent banking, mobile banking, e-commerce, remittance distribution, exam registration, photocopy, computer compose, etc. from 2600 union’s Union Digital center.

He also added that Entrepreneurs are being provided free 5 Mbps bandwidth service from the project for the last 04 years, which has resulted in the provision of nearly 80 crore government services to rural people for the last 13 years. A broadband connection will be provided to 1,09,244 government institutions at the village level including educational institutions, health complexes, land offices, and other government offices across the country from the Info-Sarker phase-3 network. Employment opportunities have been created for a large number of young people through freelancing under the project area. After all, about 10 crore people in 60% of geographical areas of the country have come under the high-speed internet facility.

The Honorable State Minister for the ICT Division Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP shed light on the current progress of Bangladesh in the information technology sector. He presented an overall picture of the development of Digital Bangladesh in his speech. Mr. Palak said that Honorable Prime Minister declared her vision at last election that she wants to provide all the basic needs to the villagers. She declared my village my town vision. If we could provide our villagers, electricity, internet, modern road connectivity, education and health then no need to shift or relocate from village to town. If they can get all these 5 basic needs, they will be happy by sitting in their village. I think if we could get approval from both governments to Implement modernisation of our urban and rural lives through ICT project then we can really provide all the necessary modern services to our citizens. Finally, the State Minister requested the Hon’ble Ambassador of China to Bangladesh to give special consideration to approve the project.

The Hon’ble Ambassador of China to Bangladesh H.E. Mr. Li Jiming, the Senior Secretary of the ICT Division of Bangladesh Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA, the CEO (Secretary) of Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) of the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. Md. Mushfiqur Rahman and the Executive Director of BCC Mr. Ranajit Kumar were present as the special guests at the program. The Project Director (Grade-1: Additional Duties) of Info-Sarker Phase 3 Project Mr. Bikarna Kumar Ghosh delivered the welcome speech at the program. The Executive Director of BCC Mr. Ranajit Kumar gave a vote of thanks in the closing remarks. The Managing Director of CRIG Mr. Guo Wei and the CEO of Huawei Technologies Bangladesh Limited Mr. Pan Junfeng, spoke among others.

This project started in 2017 with the aim of providing high-speed internet services to marginal rural towns of the country. Apart from supporting the creation of employment in the country, the project also aimed to increase the network capacity of the Union Digital Center (UDC) for establishing network connectivity in different offices, schools, colleges, growth centers and other government offices at the Union level. Besides, to achieve the goals of the National ICT Policy 2015, ensuring access to e-services for the rural population and connecting the Bangladesh Police Network with the National ICT Network to ensure the free use of information and communication technology at all levels of police units under the GOB was one of the objectives of the project.

It is to be noted that in this project jointly funded by the governments of Bangladesh and China, besides providing high speed broadband internet connectivity to 2600 unions of the country, 1000 police offices have been connected through VPN connectivity. By providing bandwidth connections to the entrepreneurs of UDC for the past four years, it has been possible to provide nearly 80 crore government services to rural people. As a result, the general people has saved about BDT 80 thousand crores of which a large part is being completed through this project. Broadband is being connected to 84,242 educational institutions across the country from the network established under this project.

In the global pandemic situation of Covid-19, all government organizations completed important activities including meetings, seminars, and field visits online. Info Sarker Project is playing an important role in online activities through the infrastructure built through the 3rd phase of the project. The people of the village are enjoying many civic benefits as a result of this internet connectivity. As a result, this project has a special contribution in reducing the rural-urban gap.

The project achieved the e-Asia 2017 Award at the Creative Inclusive Digital Opportunities categories, the ASOCIO Award at the Digital Government Award category in 2018 and the WSIS Award as Champion at the Information and Communications Infrastructure category in 2019.

Note that the Info Sarker Phase 3 project under the ICT Division was published in the gazette on 06 December 2018 as a National Priority Project as per the approval of the Cabinet. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the broadband connectivity through optical fiber cable in 2600 unions of the country under this project on December 12, 2021.