20,000 websites for people by 2015

February 27, 2012

Govt moves to take e-services to rural areas
The government will launch 20,000 websites by 2015 to take e-service to the masses in efforts to materialise its vision of Digital Bangladesh.
The websites will be developed under the National Portal Framework (NPF) in districts, upazilas, divisions, ministries and directorates with a free web-hosting by the government, Anir Chowdhury, policy adviser for Access to Information (A2I) at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), said at a seminar yesterday.
The websites will have information on union and upazila parishads, social safety nets, and disaster warning through the mobile network, he said.
They will also include documents on land management, and forums for farmers and fisheries workers, said Chowdhury.
The NPF will be launched in July, he said.
The NPF will be citizen-centric, said Fokhruz Zaman, senior consultant for A2I at the PMO, at the seminar on “National Portal Framework — Future Prospects” at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
It was organised by Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), a platform for software and ICT developers.
Chowdhury said the government will finance the training of officials in districts, upazilas, union parishads, divisions and ministries for operating and updating contents on the websites.
Content providers will be able to update and share data, and integrate them with current and future e-service, he said.
E-service or electronic service is an umbrella term for services on the Internet, and can be used as a tool for delivering government services, exchange of information communication transactions, and services between government and citizens.
Chowdhury said the government and the BASIS developed the NPF to give e-service and information to the citizens at the upazila and union parishad level in all districts.
“It will be secure,” he added.
The government has taken a project to connect the country’s rural areas through high-speed Internet connection by December 2013.
It will invest Tk 719 crore to give 1,006 unions access to the Internet.
The unions at strategic locations in seven divisions will relay network facilities to adjacent unions and villages, and give rural people access to high-speed Internet.
The NPF is being developed with focus on users, not data providers for the websites, he said.
Citizens would not go to the service, rather it would come to them, said Chowdhury.
The government has already set up 4,500 union information service centres across the country, he added.

-With The Daily Star input

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