Ministry of Science and
Information & Communication Technology
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.0 Preamble 4
ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS
BAC Bureau of Anti-Corruption
BIT Bangladesh Institute of Technology
BTTB Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board
CD Compact Disc
ERD Economic Relations Division
GIS Geographic Information System
HRD Human Resource Development
ICT Information and
MOSICT Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology
MW Micro Wave
NAPE National Academy for Primary Education
NBR National Board of Revenue
PDB Power Development Board
PTI Primary Teachers Training Institute
R&D Research and Development
REB Rural Electrification Board
UHF Ultra High Frequency
VAT Value Added Tax
WAN Wide Area Network
1.1 Information Communication Technology (ICT) encompasses the broad fields of data/information processing, transmission and communications by means of computer and telecommunication techniques and these modern tools are being increasingly used for organizational/personal information processing in all sectors of economy and society. This document presents the policy guidelines for the development of the ICT sector in Bangladesh.
1.2 A dependable information system is essential for efficient management and operation of the public and private sectors. But there is a shortage of locally generated information needed for efficient performance of these sectors. In order to meet this objective, ICT use in every sector shall have to be accelerated in terms of information generation, utilization and applications. Considering the gravity and importance of ICT Hon’ble Prime Minister has already declared ICT as the thrust sector.
1.3 Over the last few years,
many nations have taken advantage of the opportunities afforded by ICT within
a policy framework, laid down guidelines and proceeded with the formulation of
a national ICT strategy as a part of the overall national development plan.
Bangladesh intends to use ICT as the key-driving element for socio-economic
This Policy aims at building an
ICT-driven nation comprising of knowledge-based society by the year 2006. In
view of this, a country-wide ICT-infrastructure will be developed to ensure
access to information by every citizen to facilitate empowerment of people and
enhance democratic values and norms for sustainable economic development by
using the infrastructure for human resources development, governance,
e-commerce, banking, public utility services and all sorts of on-line ICT-enabled
2.2.1 In order to give a thrust to the ICT sector and expeditious development of Software industry and its export required infrastructural facilities and legal framework will be created..
2.2.2 Provide effective incentives for development of ICT sector to both local and foreign entrepreneurs;
2.2.3 Develop an efficient ICT infrastructure that provides open access to international and national network;
2.2.4 Promote and facilitate use of ICT in all sectors of the economy for transparency, good governance and efficiency improvement;
2.2.5 Establish legislative and regulatory framework for ICT issues like IPR, data security and protection, digital signature, e-Commerce, ICT education etc. as well as to ensure quality ICT education provided by different private organizations
2.2.6 Set up national databases
that are reliable and easily accessible to all the people of the country;
2.2.8 Develop a large pool of world class ICT professionals to meet the needs of local and global markets
2.2.9 Set up a very high quality ICT institution to continuously promote and foster ICT Industry;
2.2.10 Enact Laws and Regulations
for uninterrupted growth of ICT, in conformity with World Trade Organization (WTO)
3.0 Policy Statements
3.1.1 Widespread introduction of ICT education in public and private educational institutions is a prerequisite for producing skilled ICT manpower. Facilities shall be built to promote ICT training and computer aided training at all levels of education including Primary Schools and Madrasahs. Donor agencies, non-government organizations and other development partners of the country shall be encouraged to help build the necessary capacity in this area.
3.1.2 Universities, Bangladesh Institutes of Technology and colleges, both in the public and private sectors, shall be strengthened to produce ICT graduates in four-year Computer Science and/or Engineering courses. Necessary resources will be allocated to these institutions.
3.1.3 Out of the three Science and Technology universities proposed in the Fifth Five-Year Plan, one will be established as center of excellence in ICT by giving higher allocation of resources.
3.1.4 Establish multimedia institutes upto district level to start with to produce skilled human resources to exploit the opportunity offered by the growing multimedia-market.
3.1.5 Diploma and Trade Certificate in ICT will be offered in both public and private institutes including Polytechnics. The continual skill upgrading of existing professionals working in public and private sectors shall be ensured by in-service training programmes.
3.1.6 The shortage of trained and qualified teachers and trainers for ICT training is a bottleneck to the HRD plan. To address the issue, IT-Capacity-Building of the Teachers Training Institutes (TTI) including TTCs, NAPE, PTI will be taken up. To teach the teachers and trainers, intensive post-graduate diploma courses will be introduced in TTIs. Training programmes to train and retrain them periodically to keep them up-to-date with the technological progress in the area of ICT will be introduced. ICT literacy will be a desirable requirement in the recruitment and selection of teachers. Divisional training centers of BCC will provide TOT (Training for the Trainers) to build up sufficient number of skilled trainers.
3.1.7 As it would be difficult to train teachers in ICT in large number using the present infrastructure, deploy virtual ICT trainers wherever possible. CD and web based courseware development and use shall be encouraged to promote computer-aided education at all level of education.
3.1.8 To address the issue of deficiency in English and mathematics education, a crash programme shall be taken up to train teachers. To ensure standard and quality of ICT education, a national certification and accreditation system shall be developed and implemented.
3.1.9 Take up programmes to develop quality ICT professionals and skilled personnel to ensure success in the global software and ICT-enabled services market. Encourage and support formal and informal sector to adopt internationally accepted standards in training programs and to introduce globally acceptable standards.
3.1.10 Use the potential of ICT for delivery of distance education to help stretch the country’s limited teaching resources and ensure quality education to all.
3.1.11 Qualified and skilled teachers will be brought in from abroad in the fields where local teachers are not available.
3.1.12 Syllabus and Course
Curricula for all levels of Computer Science training will be updated
3.2.2. To support the growing demand of the ICT sector, appropriate ICT infrastructure to be established immediately both in public and private sector. As telecommunication infrastructure is an integral part of ICT, so the telecommunication sector should be deregulated and made open to private sector investors as early as possible.
3.2.3. In order to establish direct connectivity with international information and communication backbone Bangladesh will join Fiber Optic Submarine Cable network.
3.2.4 Development of telecommunication infrastructure should be considered as Infrastructure Development Industries like Development of Road, Electricity, Power, Computer/ICT Industry etc.
3.2.5. Facilitate development of telecommunication infrastructure at the least possible cost with little or no customs duty during construction of the infrastructure up to June , 2006.
3.2.6 As telecommunication infrastructure [Telephone Exchange, Towers, Radio/Telephone Transmission Lines etc.] are similar to electric power infrastructure [Generator, Pylons, Power Grid and Gas Transmission Lines], so Customs Duty & Tax etc. should be amended accordingly in the same line .
3.2.7 Cellular telephone handsets are being increasingly used as terminals for emailing and other ICT uses. Customs duty & tax etc. of cellular mobile telephone handsets should be brought down to a reasonable level.
3.2.8 The use of ICT and information services should be affordable to the people; and therefore the cost (and hence the price) of carriage. Infrastructure & Services should be provided by a multiplicity of enterprises like the BTTB, Railways, Electricity and Gas Companies.
3.2.9 Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) has resources like land, MW/UHF Towers all over the country which should be shared with other Private sector companies for augmenting Information Infrastructure. BTRC should take the leadership to coordinate the activities of Public Utility sectors [BTTB, PDB, Gas, Railway etc.] and make their existing dormant/underutilized infrastructure and resources (land, Microware/UHF Towers building, Radio Towers, Power Pylons, Cable Duct etc.) for the promotion of ICT. BTRC should encourage cooperation between BTTB, Railways, PDB, REB Power Grid Company, Oil and Gas Companies, etc., which have right of way and infrastructure to build digital microwave and optical fiber based photonic information transport systems for use by ICT service providers.
3.2.9 BTTB should cooperate with Private Licensed ICT service providers to transform its underutilized resources into countrywide Information Infrastructure on commercial bassis To this end, BTTB should make joint venture agreements with Private Lincensed ICT service providers where BTTB will make available its resources like land, Microware/UHF Towers, Cable Duct etc. on a commercial basis under existing rules and practice.The Licensed Private ICT service providers shall provide necessary finance and technology to construct countrywide National Information Infrastructure (NII) for use of all Telecommunication and Internet Service Providers (ISP).
3.2.10 BTTB will increasingly shift its role from Service Provider to individual subscribers Infrastucture Provider to all other Telecommunication Service Providers and ISPs on commercial basis.
3.2.11 Socio-economic development can be accelerated if more people can have access to information. Teledensity is important in this respect and it will be increased to broaden the coverage, which will improve the socio-economic condition of the people through ICT-related activities in line with experience of developed countries.
3.2.12 Basic telecommunication facilities will be extended to the rural and under-served areas to bring the greater mass into the stream of ICT activities both by the public and private sector.
3.2.13 Advanced and new technologies will be introduced to expand the existing network and will be extended gradually to the rural and under served areas.
3.2.14 Telecommunication facility will be made available to all segments of the society and all of the present and emerging services will be provided at an affordable cost.
3.2.15 To provide dial-up Internet access from local telephone calls ISPs will be provided with relevant technological facilities .
3.2.16 The Internet facility will be extended to all the district headquarters and subsequently to its adjacent areas upto Upzila levels. Internet will be provided to the educational institutions and libraries .
3.2.17 To ensure public access to information, Cyber Kiosks will be set up in all Post offices, Union complex and Upzila complex. Private sector participation will be encouraged to set up these facilities.
3.2.18 To support the installation of ISPs in the country national high speed communication backbone for Internet will be developed and international high-speed gateway facilities for ISPs will be provided on commercial basis.
3.2.19 Inter-ISP communication is time consuming and costly as there is no Internet exchange in the country at present. The problem will be solved by establishing Internet exchange.
3.2.20 An integrated flexible and reliable nation-wide information communication network capable of voice, audio, video, data and graphics transmission will be ensured. National Information Infrastructure will be developed and it will be directly connected to Global Information Infrastructure through Information superhighway to create, collect and sell software and provide ICT enabled services to the world-market through involvement of both the public and private sectors.
3.2.21 To improve the quality of present telecommunication services and to help provide value added services analog telephone-switches and transmission link of the existing telephone network will be replaced by digital switches and digital transmission link as early as possible.
3.2.22 The bandwidth capacity and availability will be ensured all over the country at a reasonable cost to encourage the growth of Internet, ICT industries, e-Commerce and e-Government
3.2.23 Development of local technological capabilities through local ICT industry will be emphasized. The service component of the ICT industry will be conducted by local private firms, in association with foreign firms as and where possible.
3.2.24 Hi-Tech Zones will be established through technology transfer with the cooperation of foreign companies and Bangladeshis working abroad. Software Technology Park with dedicated and advanced data communication facilities shall be established and software development and export companies will be encouraged to set up workspace in those parks at preferential terms.
3.2.25 A central depository for collection and dissemination of ICT information and research findings will be developed. This will be done under a network, connecting all university libraries and research organization to this central depository, which in turn will be connected to the Internet.
3.2.26 Solar power will be encouraged specially in those inaccessible areas where use of ICT is constrained due to lack of electricity
3.2.27 Use of VoIP and WLL
(Wireless Local Loop) technologies will be reviewed and realistic measures
3.3.1 Research and development in ICT will focus on need based fundamental and applied research contributing to the improvement of quality and efficiency of the application to our ICT industry.
3.3.2 Bangladesh Computer
Council will encourage ICT R&D activities carried out by the public and
private sector organisations.
3.3.4 A central on-line data
bank for scientific and technological information will be established, which
can be accessed by educational institutions and other R&D organisations.
3.3.6 Technology Corporations such as Microsoft, IBM, Computer Associates, Oracle, SAP etc. will be approached to set up their R & D Centers in Bangladesh.
3.3.7 Contents for Internet and Intranet will be developed in Bangla
3.4 ICT Industry
3.4.1 Software Industry
18.104.22.168 To develop and encourage
the local software industry, price preference may be given to locally
developed software in all public and private sector procurement.
22.214.171.124 The associations of software companies and developers should be encouraged to exchange ideas, experience and organize collective operations such as seminars, training, etc. and take part in trade delegations and trade shows for acquaintance with the international market, trends and establishment of business contacts.
126.96.36.199 The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and Commercial wing of Bangladesh Missions abroad shall take vigorous steps to identify and explore markets for export of software, data entry services and ICT-enabled services from Bangladesh, including promotion of strategic partnership and outsourcing opportunities.
188.8.131.52 Joint ventures between local and foreign entrepreneurs in the ICT sector will be vigorously promoted.
184.108.40.206 An annual target of 3 (three) billion US dollars from earnings of export of software, data entry and IT-enabled services shall be planned up to year 2006. The target shall be revised periodically to match the growth of the market.
3.4.2 Hardware Industry
220.127.116.11 Hardware industry often requires a huge capital investment and entrepreneurs shall be encouraged to establish production facilities for components, peripherals and accessories with joint venture cooperation and technology transfer agreements. Foreign owned and multinational companies, who will establish such production facilities in Bangladesh and employ our workforce, shall be offered special incentives.
18.104.22.168 IT/ICT Laboratories and resource center in universities and other concerned institutions will be set up to develop skilled manpower required to establish and run hardware industry.
22.214.171.124 Since the local market is still small, the hardware industry may target the export market. Dependence on foreign materials should be reduced where possible by giving incentives to local companies and protecting them from unfavorable competition. Local institutions and R&D organizations shall also be encouraged for research, design, and manufacturing of specialized informatics equipment.
3.4.3 Services Industry
126.96.36.199 Bangladesh, having the advantage of cost-effective labour, must endeavor for expansion and export of ICT-enabled services such as medical transcription, data entry, data processing, call centers etc. at home and abroad.
188.8.131.52 NGOs interested to
contribute for the expansion of ICT sector, will be provided with facilities.
3.5.2 Authentication of the
identities of both buyer and seller or the involved parties in an electronic
transaction is crucial to promote inter-bank transaction, encryption
e-commerce. Security of electronic transaction should be ensured through
3.6.2 Government shall implement wide-spread ICT systems to provide nation wide coverage and access by any citizen to the government databases and administrative systems which can be used to extend public services to the remotest corner.
3.6.3 All Government ministries, divisions, departments, autonomous bodies and all District headquarters, Upzilla headquarters and Union Parishad offices must be networked to the National Data Resource Centre in the shortest possible time. The centre shall be a system of national databases having capacity to store and supply rapidly all necessary information on the economic, cultural and social situation of our country.
3.6.4 Each Ministry, Division, Government body shall create a ICT Cell, to be managed and run by well trained ICT professionals to plan, coordinate and implement ICT projects and services. Special compensation package comparable to that of private sector shall be introduced to encourage ICT professionals.
3.6.5 All Ministries, Divisions, agencies of government and autonomous organizations shall set up web sites where all policy documents and information relevant to the public shall be posted as early as possible and regularly updated. There will be a web portal of Bangladesh Government from which link will be provided to the web sites, like e-forms, e-procurement, e-recruitment, e-results etc.
3.6.6 Government will introduce and promote ICT based services like G2G (Government to Government), G2E (Government to Employee), G2C (Government to Customer) etc.
3.6.7 Preference shall be given to ICT literate candidates for the purpose of recruitment in public offices. ICT-literacy shall also be evaluated in the ACR of officials to ensure utilization of ICT in the public services.
3.6.8 In order to establish
database on the secondary schools which are providing computers training at
grass root level, MIS will be introduced.
3.7.2 ICT Act should be enacted
immediately to protect against computer crimes such as computer fraud, hacking
and damage to programs and data and introducing/spreading computer viruses.
3.7.4 With the increase in the
use of Internet and Information Technology in every sphere of human
activities, formulation of new laws or amendment to the existing ones should
be done as deemed necessary, to ensure security of data, freedom of
3.7.6 Agencies like Police, NBR
and BAC shall use ICT for quick disposal and monitoring of investigation of
3.8.3 Development of Bangladesh Health Portal should be given priority for appropriate growth of e-health and telemedicine referral system. International tele-consultation through telemedicine for critical patients will be promoted in both private and public sector.
3.8.4 All public hospitals and
medical research centers shall be linked by computer networks with Medical
center of excellence as the central hub in order to make expert services
available throughout the country. This network may be gradually extended to
the local level.
3.10.2 Public grievance redressal will be incorporated in the ICT-based system to facilitate access to citizens through any of the kiosks, public facilitation centers or Government offices. It would be made email based and strengthened to facilitate monitoring and on-line responses.
3.10.3 Non-government organizations will be encouraged to establish centers at the village level for providing hardware/software or other support services. At the same time the Government will use both the formal and non-formal channels to disseminate information about the application, advantages to communities of the use of ICT.
3.11.2 Commercial transport agencies will be encouraged to deploy Information Technology for dynamic route planning and traffic management.
3.11.3 ICT will be used for
online booking and ticketing services of all public and private transport
3.12.1 Information Technology should be used to project tourists‘ attractions in Bangladesh through the Internet.
3.12.2 A reliable, comprehensive, on-line information system to satisfy the needs of the tourists for travel and accommodation to deliver instant and up-to-date information will be developed.
3.12.3 The partnership with both
the local and foreign agencies relevant to tourism will be strengthened and
encouraged to introduce on-line reservation for travel and accommodation,
booking and ticketing for arts and entertainment events and shopping.
3.13.1 Information Technology will be deployed to collect and disseminate information on environmental problems and their causes in order to create awareness about environment among the common people.
3.13.2 Information system for
making a complete inventory of existing flora & fauna of Bangladesh, their
habitats and other natural communities whose existence has been endangered
will be created.
3.13.4 Information and Communication Technology will be used to help solve the most pressing problems of environment in the urban areas like toxic emissions from vehicles, industries and other sources.
3.15.2 The Ministry of Science and ICT shall explore Regional, Sub-Regional and International cooperation and execute collaborative agreements on ICT with developed and developing countries as well as with relevant international agencies and development partners.
3.15.3 The Ministry of Science
and ICT will facilitate participation in the regional and international forum
to reap benefit for the country’s economy.
4.1.1 Government spending in ICT shall be increased to at least 2% of ADP by 2006.
4.1.2 New budget provision for ICT should be created for all Ministries, Divisions, Departments and Bodies and all Autonomous sectors should be encouraged to make their own investment in the application of ICT in production, trade and services. ERD should explore external assistance for necessary infrastructure and human resources development conforming to the ICT Policy.
4.1.3 Those ICT companies will get preferential terms, which will be able to meet up 20 percent of its revenue expenditure from the earnings of export of software and ICT-enabled services.
4.1.4 A centralized fund for R&D
and HRD will be created within BCC. It will be encouraged to contribute 1% of
all profits from Software and ICT-enabled services to the R&D and HRD fund.
4.2.1 In order to make best utilization of ICT and exploit its immense potential in the economic, social, commercial, and scientific fields a National ICT Task Force headed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has already been formed. This apex national body will guide in updating, standardizing, implementing, and monitoring the ICT policy.
4.2.2 The Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology will collaborate with all Ministries/Divisions/Departments/Autonomous Bodies including Banks and Insurances to promote and use ICT in respective areas of operation.
4.2.3 MOSICT shall remain alert and apprise the Government on the progress and development of ICT sector both at home and abroad.
4.2.4. MOSICT will work in unison with the private sector and Universities as promoter of ICT activities and business.
4.2.5 MOSICT and BCC will be
reorganized and strengthened in phases to cope with the present need and
future requirement of ICT.
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