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5 December, 2019 12:37:17 PM
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Effective IT industry and implementation of vision 2021-2030: An analysis

A very positive aspect of IT prospects in Bangladesh is that cyber culture has gained immense popularity among the youth here
DR. FORQAN UDDIN AHMED
Effective IT industry and implementation of vision 2021-2030: An analysis

The government of Bangladesh has finalised the ICT policy in 2009, although the work of formulating the policy started in 2002. The goal of creating 'Digital Bangladesh' is set to be achieved by 2021 in the Perspective Plan. Hi-Tech Park Authority has been formed in year 2010.     I do not think there is any deficiency in the policies adopted by the government. In line with the government's policy, the Bangladesh Association of Software Information Services (BASIS) has declared 'One Bangladesh Vision' targeting four goals. Under this vision, the target of achieving the following goals had been set by 2018 to earn $ 1 billion export, employing one million people, to bring 10 million people under Internet access every year and to increase the contribution of GDP at 1 per cent in IT sector.
There are currently around 1,000 people working in the IT sector. More than 20,000 freelancer programmers are working in the country. They are making $ 15-20 million a year. IT teachings have been imparted by almost 70 government and non-government universities and 200 polytechnic institutes all over the country. About 5,000 IT graduates come out every year. The IT experts opine that the quality of graduates leaving from these institutions is not fair and they have to be re-trained. The main reason for this is that the curriculum in which they study does not take place in a way that combines the practical knowledge required of the IT industry. Therefore, there is a need to create a link between the industry and the academy so that curriculum can be created keeping in view the needs of the sector. This will create more employment opportunities. Although many licenses have been issued for setting up Call Center, those have not developed so far. The main reason for this is that our children do not have the skills needed in English to run the call center. On the other hand, there is a shortage of trained manpower in the IT sector. Moreover, the number of graduates is less than what the sector needs. Let's say, if Infosys of India comes to invest in Bangladesh right now and they need 5,000 trained IT staff, then it will not be possible for our country to provide such staff.

Bangladesh is now open to enormous potential, although the war-torn Bangladesh had to face many adversities in 1971. Yet there are negative trends like corruption and political instability. Despite this, Bangladesh is progressing better. In fact, it is the convincing, hard working and functioning youth that have served as the main catalyst for this. Besides, the private sector has brought new life into the economy. We are moving forward successfully in the readymade garment industry (RMG sector), pharmaceutical industry (pharmaceuticals), pottery (ceramics). Golden fibre jute, information and communication technology (ICT) as a new sector have opened the door to further possibilities. In the twenty-first century, we have witnessed the dramatic surge of this ICT in socio-economic change around the world. Currently, we are moving towards a world that is completely ICT-dependent. This ICT, made up of hardware, software, networks and media, is reaching the masses in the form of data, primarily through data, content and images. And the range of these components and computer programs extends from telephone, radio, television to the Internet.

The potential for ICT in Bangladesh may be small, but its breadth is much greater. That is why Bangladesh can be said to be a country with huge potential for IT. The number of young interested developers who are coming from the nooks and corner of the country is innumerable. Software piracy is a widespread problem in the country but it is a curse on the developers of this country. In the developed countries of the world where there are numerous limitations to acquire a professional software skills and to use it completely seamlessly. But the developers of this country have no such problem, everything from Maya to Macs, Photoshop, Illustrator to Corel is available here. As a result, Shekhar Gondi is very rich in developers. First of all, it can be considered the dedication of young developers in this country. In spite of knowing the great limitations, they never seem to come back from a project, but are constantly engaged in trying to solve it at any cost.

A very positive aspect of IT prospects in Bangladesh is that cyber culture has gained immense popularity among the youth here. Although the young people who are confused in the cyber culture are a little bit more aware of IT, it also enriches the domestic IT sector. The Internet is widely regarded as one of the major areas of growth and potential.

One of the possible causes of IT in Bangladesh is the low cost and availability of labor market in this country. The cost of development is increasing daily in the western developed world. There are also companies like Intel on the list of advanced IT companies that are free to stay competitive in the market by implementing market-based scientific theory. To reduce this high development cost overseas, those companies are entering the country to work outsourcing, because the cost of development in the country is less than half of them. Developing countries like Bangladesh, where there is such a dedicated, IT-loving young generation, are the main focus of those IT companies. We can now see the result of this, even though it is short-lived. Although these initiatives and communications are still on a personal level, but with the proper authority and honesty in this regard, the IT sector of Bangladesh will soon enjoy huge benefits.

It is important to acknowledge the fact that there are limitations in IT industry. The vast majority of young people may be utilized by proper direction and keeping in control, who are committed to building their dreamy career with IT. No matter how narrow the path to prosperity in IT is. We believe that new creative generation will cross that barrier and create a path for future development for Bangladesh. Occasionally, the young IT enthusiasts in the country are seen cheated by the digital fraud team. We have to protect them from the deception.

Due to the lack of skilled manpower where the IT sector of the developed world is facing thousands of problems, our population is abundant but they are not skilled. Very few government schemes or some successful private enterprises can easily make this population efficient in the IT field. There is no need to export manpower in this age of the internet. Skilled manpower can become the main engine of IT development in the country.

Finally, we will dream of the day when the true benefits of IT will reach every part of the country. Like the farmers of Haryana state in India who created computerized computers for the purpose of revolutionizing their agriculture. It is delivering the benefits of IT to the farmers of every remote village in India today.

In comparison, the IT industry is a new industry in Bangladesh's economy. So far the sector has not been able to contribute significantly to the economy of Bangladesh. However, this sector is an important growth sector. The sector ranks third in terms of foreign exchange earnings. The sector is likely to be the largest foreign exchange earner in the country in the next few years. Every year more and more people, well-trained IT youth as well as the government of Bangladesh are working to push this sector forward. The IT sector is evolving in Bangladesh, and no other sector is evolving. However, there are many problems in this sector. Even then, we are fairly optimistic about our IT sector. Software exports are increasing in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is the third largest freelancing country in the world. Maybe in the near future Bangladesh will be able to occupy the first place in this field. Finally, we can say that the IT industry in Bangladesh is moving towards improvement. However, it must be acknowledged that we cannot go beyond the expected levels. If everyone comes forward at the government-private level to tackle the existing problems, then we can be an IT-rich nation. At the same time, our economy will prosper and vision 2021-2030 will come to a reality.

The writer is a contributor to The Independent

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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