Learner’s Submission: National Portal Framework of Bangladesh

30/01/2014

” Portal is an important part of e-government. A government portal allows citizens to access government information easily. Bangladesh government has introduced National web Portal Framework (NPF). The National web Portal Framework (NPF) is the single platform of public information from any government organization to ensure easy accessibility for citizens, easy updating of data by non-technical personnel and sharing of data amongst various organizations. The National web Portal Framework (NPF) is designed and developed by the Access to Information (A2I) Programme of the Prime Minister’s Office .

Including all ministries, all directorates, all semi-government and all autonomous organizations, and all government offices at the division, district, upazila and union levels, there are about 27,000 government offices. Only a few hundred of these offices, mostly in Dhaka, have their own specific websites. NPF ensures that all government organizations have online presence, and the existing officers and staffs of the organizations are able to update the sites without depending on technical personnel. In addition, NPF will allow the government to implement the Right to Information Act through proactive information disclosure. NPF is a joint venture of government stakeholders in different tiers.

The web presence of government organizations in Bangladesh has suffered from a number of problems for a long time – NPF addresses these problems and limitations:

• Only a small fraction of the 27,000 offices have websites. A few hundred offices – mostly in Dhaka and perhaps a few other urban areas of the country – have developed websites for the last 10years.
• Much of the current information on the government websites is not citizen-centric. Most of the information is in English excluding the large majority of the population from benefiting from the information. The information that exists focuses mostly on departmental information (supply-driven) that does not focus on citizens’ needs for information (demand-driven).
• The current websites need significant technical skills to update information. Hence, most government websites suffer from old, sometimes irrelevant and incorrect, information.
• All current websites differ significantly in both structure and design. These differences pose various problems when it comes to accessing, sharing and integration of data across the website.
• The current websites are not RTI-compliant resulting in government’s inability to utilize existing resources to uphold RTI Act for proactive information disclosure.

The web portal framework will focus on the free flow of information from union to ministry level. It creates a gateway for citizens to get access to all government services. At present, this framework contains about 6,00000 contents that are being continuously checked and updated.
This framework will focus on information that are essential to every citizens’ prosperous livelihood- agriculture, health, education, law & human rights, tourism and history, human resources, development & engineering, environment & disaster management etc. It also highlights activities that are in compliance with the RTI Act such as- the name and designation of the information officers, their duties, the laws relating to human rights.

NPF has advanced Bangladesh one step forward to online Bangladesh.” -Khan Md. Hasanuzzaman – Dhaka, Bangladesh


Learner’s Submission: Online Admission at Universities of Bangladesh

19/11/2013

“As a developing country Bangladesh is entering into digital world. Online admission process is a new addition of ICT and Education sector. Public and private universities, colleges have started online admission process. Before this system students have to visit place to place to collect forms, money receipts. Online admission process has reduced these hassles.  Students can do these jobs from home now.

  • Submission of Online Application

Firstly, an applicant shall have to submit a properly filled online application form via the online submission system available through the University/college website within the stipulated time period. A recently taken passport size color photograph and the signature (either scanned or photographed) shall have to be uploaded (preferably in the JPG format) at the appropriate place of the submission form. No illegibility or deformation is allowed in the photograph and signature.

A “Preview of Application” page of the duly completed application form with photograph and signature will appear when the “Preview” button is clicked. Information given in the application form can be edited, if necessary, by clicking the “Update” button. The corrected application form with clear photograph and signature can then be submitted finally by clicking the “Submit” button.

The successful submission of the application form will generate a confirmation page where an Application Serial number and other relevant instructions will be given. A PDF version of the “Receipt of Application” will be generated automatically when the “Download Receipt of Application” button  of the confirmation page is clicked. The applicant should take a print out of this “Receipt of Application” and keep it safe.

  • Payment of Application Fee through SMS

The applicant must pay the application fee through SMS according to their respective group. The applicant shall have to go to the SMS option of the Teletalk (Government Mobile Operator) pre-paid mobile service and follow the procedure given in website.

If the SMS has been sent correctly, a return SMS message with the name of the applicant, and an identification number (PIN) will be sent to the Teletalk mobile from which the SMS has been sent and also to the applicant’s mobile number that has been provided in the application form. In this return message, the applicant will also be asked to proceed with the payment.

  • Collection of Money Receipt

If an applicant sends the fee for application, he/she can download a PDF version of the money receipt by clicking the “Download Money Receipt” link at the website and then print it.

  • Submission of Necessary Documents by Applicants
  • Collection of Admit Card: After declaring the list of eligible applicants for the admission test, an eligible applicant can download the admit card for the Admission Test from the website by clicking the link “Download Admit Card.

The online admission system has saved student’s time and cost. The use of  ICT in different sectors initiating new era in Bangladesh.” – Khan Md. Hasanuzzaman – Dhaka, Bangladesh


Learner’s Submission: District ‘E-Service Center’ at Deputy Commissioner’s Offices of Bangladesh

01/11/2013

“District ‘E-Service center’ is a new additon of district admimistration . To reduce public harassment ‘E-Service center’ has been established . All Deputy Commissioner’s office of Bangladesh has started District ‘E-Service center’. People are getting different types of services from here like porcha , khotian , nokol ( types of land record) etc.

How to submit letters and applications :

  • Directly: Direct letters and applications are received through counter and then scanned. Applicant’s name , address , phone number , e – mail ( if any) , National Identity Card No. ( if any)  and other data  are also recoded. Then it is sent online to the concerned officials. Applicant gets a receipt with a ID number. People can find the progress of the matter throuh this number.
  • By mail: People send their application by mail. Entry process is same as mentioned before. Applicant gets ID number through mobile SMS or email.
  • Internet:There are links in District Information Portal, through which people can submit applications. They have to fill a form using link. After submitting form they get notification. They also receive ID number through mobile SMS . People can use this service from everywhere , where internet is available. In rural areas people get this service from UISC*.

Next steps after application :

After getting applications , concerned officials take necessary steps for quick delevary. Officials can see how many applications are pending on their dashboard. Using applicant’s informations ( JL number , dag number etc ) , the original papers are find out .Then those data are recorded using ‘oscs’ software . This is a tough job. When a paper recrod is digitalized, data are stored in server. After completing of duplicate land records, applicants are informed through mobile SMS. In this way, many years old paper data are being digitalized.

These services have reduced people’s time and cost. People had to visit offices many times for land records earlier. But now they have to come once or twice. District ‘E-Service center’ has changed old ideas .” – Khan Md. Hasanuzzaman – Dhaka, Bangladesh

[*UISC-Union Information and Services Centers (UISC) are newly established one-stop service outlets operating at all 4,501 Union Parishads (UP, lowest tier of local government) of the country. Through use of ICT, UISC is able to bring various types of information related to government, livelihood and private services to the doorstep of citizens in rural areas. It ensures services providers and users to save time, cost and has made operations hassle free. Operating under the Public-Private-Peoples’ Partnership (PPPP) modality, these centers are run by local entrepreneurs, hosted by UPs and supported by central administration.]


Learner’s Submission: How Can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) in India

06/06/2013

“Citizen participation in nation-building process can be traced as far back as Plato’s Republic. It’s nothing new to Indian society also. History tells us how the citizen participation has brought freedom to India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The tradition continues and people of India still participating for the betterment of the nation. Below I’ve list some of my ideas how the Indian citizens can contribute to the achievement of the goals of the MDGs:

Right to Information Act,2005

I’ll say, RTI is the best gift to the people of India in the 21st century. Using this powerful tool every citizen can access the public information (except some which may be threat to our national security). Thus people can get information, analyse them, what’re the lacunas in the policy and act accordingly. Whistle-blowers also use this tool to expose the corruption!!!

Representative Democracy

India is the largest democracy in the world. In a democratic country, people hold the authority via their representative who is elected through universal adult franchise. Thus citizens can write to their representatives about the social problems.

Right to Public Service

Though this act is not implemented in every state in India, but some states enjoy the benefits. It provides time-bound delivery of services (public services) to the people. If anyone is deprived of this, she/he must approach the appellate authority. This enables the people preserve their basic rights.

Non-Governmental Organisations

Several NGOs are working towards poverty alleviation, better health care, education, women empowerment. Some of the NGOs working in India for this purpose are Sammaan Foundation, Akshaya Trust, Pratham, Deepalaya etc.

Public Awareness Events

Awareness is the enemy of sanity, for once you hear the screaming, and it never stops. Various awareness programs should be organised especially in rural areas about HIV/AIDS, women empowerment, social inequality etc. so that the educationally backward people will have some knowledge of the MDG.

Campaigns

The purpose is same, but the domain is large. It exceeds to the urban area also. One of the most famous campaigns now-a-days in India is the “I Lead India” organised by the Times of India group. It also helps in achieving the goals by some ways.” – Ansuman Mansingh – Odisha, India


Learner’s Submission: “Social Media Channels Used by Bangladesh Government So Far”

30/05/2013

“Nowadays ‘social media’ is a very common term in Bangladesh. Social media is the most popular platform of Bangladeshi tech culture for this third millennium. This culture refers to mobile and web-based technology applications used for the generation and discussion of information in textual, pictorial, audio or video formats. Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts, pictures, video, social bookmarking, etc. Social media includes blogs, picture-sharing, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, video sharing, etc. It also includes all forms of current and future tools used for digital interactions between people. Social media channels allow people to interact online in a social manner, whether for personal and professional reasons, or for many other purposes.

This context describes the current usage, impacts, benefits and importance of social media channels adopted by the Government of Bangladesh so far.

In Bangladesh current social media tools or social networking sites such as google, yahoo, hotmail, facebook, mySpace, linkedin, blogs and blog publication platforms such as wordpress, discussion forums, micro-blogs such as twitter and yammer, wikis such as wikipedia and wikispaces, video and audio such as youtube, scribd and slideshare, real-time chat and live blogging tools. Social media is becoming an increasingly popular set of channels for Bangladesh to use in their communication and engagement as because they provide an effective means of engaging with audience across different demographics as they are using social media and they are perceived as simple to set up and use. A great deal of data primary or secondary information and analyses can be used to arrive at empirical findings. Facebook and Linked in is the key to establishing an identity and networking across interest groups twitter for interaction, pinterest for image displays, youtube for video versions, etc. Bangladesh may have more than its fair share of adverse publicity but  hardly engage in meaningful and positive image building for the many good things that shape the lives of so many. Social Media provides the opportunity for that good portrayal through the cost-efficient methods and many more.

To promote Bangladeshi business or products or services ‘Social Media Marketing’ method is the smartest way in this age of technology. But in our Bangladesh it’s true that social-media is not available to use for all. After that there is a large and active community is involving with Social Media. A statistics says around 500,000 of total number of people are involved with Internet and approx. 83% of them are using social media. In Bangladesh this social media strategy is not being practiced widely than the other developing countries so far. But we should start right now. We think we should think globally. Many government and non government organizations of Bangladesh have started to use social media for the advertisement and popularity. In fact many of our country’s largest government and non government companies are not using social media widely. But yes of course social media is a very strong tool to reach to the worldwide audience, customers and clients and even to critics within short time and short investment.” – S.M. Muklesur Rahman – Dhaka, Bangladesh


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