Role of ICT | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, August 04, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, August 04, 2009

Role of ICT

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has stressed the role of ICT in creating a corruption free country while speaking at a seminar in Sylhet on Digital Bangladesh. He raised different issues and sectors that can benefit through creation of a digital country. Though it is a bit late, the initiative taken by the minister is appreciable. It will be wise for all members of parliament (MPs) to follow him and arrange similar seminars and workshops in their respective constituencies or regions. The seminars and workshops should be held in local institutions like schools (general, vocational and madrasah), colleges, institutes and universities. Not only the students and teachers will attend but the local people must be invited and encouraged to attend the events. The most important thing is to raise awareness among common people about the benefits of ICT which is the main tool for a digital country. Once they make up their minds to take such initiatives, experts from the respective regions will come out to cooperate and to lead the programme further. They can be termed as the hidden human resources for the region. Their expertise can be utilized for the welfare of the localities.
Like other high officials, some of the respected MPs may not be well aware of ICT applications. It does not matter much and they don't need to feel shy, because this is the normal practice even in the developed countries as confirmed by technology experts and researchers of those countries. As a senior citizen and professor of ICT, it is my request to all our MP-- just get a practice of playing with the keyboard of a computer with your grandsons or granddaughters and you will learn through playing. You will discover a new world of knowledge and then feel what blunder you did, not learning earlier. It is really a very powerful tool even in maintaining your personal secrecies. It enhances all sorts of activities and it is a tool for all pervasive solutions.
In the middle of 90s, the Commonwealth adopted similar programmes in many of their member countries including Bangladesh through empowerment of the policy makers, decision makers and other senior officials with ICT. It was too early for the politicians to realize the importance of ICT at that time. As such the programmes could not be continued for a longer time. The same programme we can start with some modifications according to present needs. Courses of short duration in ICT department of any university under the auspices of some senior professors can be organized. During the course, senior participants will surely learn and enjoy like the young students.
It is a question to most people how ICT can remove corruption from society. Transparency and accountability can make things possible. ICT is a tool to keep records of good as well as bad activities. People involved in any kind of crimes or corruption are bound to surrender to the technology experts because technology can detect them.
Science based technology is the most effective tool for alleviating human sufferings and meeting basic human needs. Science gives us the power to understand nature and enables us to assist others. For the affluent societies, science and technology produce more economic gains and comfort in peoples' lives. But the science based technology changes are so fast that only highly qualified workforce with research and training in respective fields is able to evaluate and modify such technologies for local use. For a country to be competitive, most citizens must be able to apply science and science-based technologies, and some must know how to create new scientific knowledge. The respected MPs can play vital roles in science and technology based development in their respective areas if they empower themselves attending a short training programme as mentioned.
Technology, largely practiced by the males, has become gendered towards the male's perspectives and needs. Women have less scope of making significant inputs to scientific and technological developments in the developing countries like Bangladesh. They are often deprived of benefits accruing from developing technologies, and their existing status may even be worsened by technological innovations, so it has become very essential that women be well grounded in these areas in order to enhance their roles as mothers, social educators and transmitters of ideas from generation to generation in the emerging digital Bangladesh.

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