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[July 13, 2014]
PM for prompt action to launch Bangabandhu Satellite by Mar 2017
(United News of Bangladesh Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dhaka, July 13 (UNB) - Expressing her dissatisfaction over the slow pace of work regarding the country's first satellite, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked the officials concerned to take more prompt actions to launch Bangabandhu Satellite to orbit by March 2017.
She also directed the officials of the Posts and Telecommunications and ICT Ministry to work with utmost sincerity, honesty and efficiency for timely completion of the ongoing projects, saying she would follow up the activities by herself.
The Prime Minister gave the directives while addressing officials of the Posts and Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology Ministry at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
In her speech, Hasina also unveiled the government's plan of establishing one IT village and Software Technology Park in every district of the country.
Initially, IT village and Software Technology Park will be set up in seven divisions, with initiatives taken to set up ICT village at Mohakhali in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Barisal, she added.
Referring to the recent victory in maritime boundary demarcation case with India, the Prime Minister said Bangabandhu enacted the 'Maritime Boundary Act 1974' much ahead of the United Nations.
She said that as a result of various prompt actions of her government, including timely placement of its claim with the International Court, the country achieved the victory in the maritime boundary demarcation cases both against India and Myanmar.
Hasina said that following its reelection in the January-5 parliamentary polls, the Awami League-led present government has been able to maintain the continuity of its previous development programmes.
The government is now hopeful that it could march ahead with the digital Bangladesh and a technology- based Bangladesh, she said and mentioned the 96 percentimplementation of the annual development programme (ADP) by her government.
The Prime Minister expressed her belief that Bangladesh could be turned into a middle-income digital country free from poverty, hunger and illiteracy much before 2021, "if we work together".
As part of the election pledges of building a digital nation, she said that her government after assuming office in 2009 gave top priority to ICT and Telecommunication sector to reach the government services to the doorsteps of people.
Hasina said that initially many had described the plan as unrealistic and even made indecent comments. But after five years, the Digital Bangladesh is now a reality as the people of even remote areas are also getting its benefit.
She mentioned that to achieve the target of reaching the services to the common people, Union Information and Service Centers were established in all the unions of the country. About 40 lakh rural people are now getting 200 types of digital services from these centers every month.
Internet connections with web cameras have been given to upazila and district-level hospitals which helped the patients have consultations with specialised physicians, she said.
The Prime Minister said that in recognition of the successful use of ICT in healthcare, Bangladesh received the 'South South Award'.
She said the ITU gave the 'World Summit on Information Society Award-2014' to Bangladesh in recognition of its success in reaching the government services to the doorsteps of the people through ICT.
She mentioned that the world's biggest web portal, titled 'National Web Portal' comprising over 25,000 websites was inaugurated in the country last month.
Hasina said that 75 percent of the construction works of a High-Tech Park on 232 acres of land in Kaliakoir of Gazipur has been completed while the Janata Tower at Karwan Bazar in the capital is being turned into a software technology park.
There are 7,000 information service centres across the country and 104 radio and television broadcasting centres, she said, adding that the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has granted 1,881 licences in different categories.
The Prime Minister said the government awarded long-awaited 3G licences to five mobile phone operators and the activities of the 4G will begin soon.
She said Bangladesh has recently signed an agreement for linking another cable with the existing submarine cable to make international communication uninterrupted and speedy.
The work on setting up of a landing station at Kuakata in Patuakhali has already begun and as a result, the bandwidth capacity will increase to 1300 gbps., she added.
About the development of Postal services, Hasina said that electronic money order system has already been introduced in 2,750 post offices while steps have been taken to transform 8,500 post offices into Post-e-centers.
"People are now getting various digital services including payment of utility bills, sending of remittance, mobile banking, purchase of railway tickets, getting results of public examinations and online admission in the academic institutions." She said the work on installing the optical fiber network up to all union parishads is going on at a fast pace while initiatives have also been taken to produce smart phones in the country.
The Prime Minister referred to the 'Becoming rich sitting at home Project' for creating employment opportunities for the women and ensuring their empowerment.
Under this programme, she said training would be imparted to 12,420 women in 276 upazilas across the country.
Among others Post, Telecommunication, and ICT Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Secretary of Post and Telecommunication Division, and secretary of ICT division NI khan spoke on the occasion.
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