Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reiterated her government’s initiative to create skilled manpower to keep pace with the advancement of technology and face the challenges of ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
“We have to keep pace with the world as far as the technology is concerned . . . Otherwise, the country will stay behind,” she told the launching ceremony of ‘Freelancers ID’ as the chief guest here this evening.
The premier added: “So we don’t want to back down. Keeping this fourth industrial revolution in mind, we need to create a skilled workforce. If we don’t take right initiative now, we will fall behind.”
The prime minister joined the main event held at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) Auditorium at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar through a video conference from her official residence Ganabhaban.
The “Virtual ID Card Portal” is to recognize the work of Bangladeshi freelancers aimed at bringing the freelancing industry into a shape.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division and Bangladesh Freelancer Development Society (BFDS) along with other stakeholders took the initiative to create database of the country’s freelancers and provide them a digital card, called as ‘Freelancers
Identity Cards (ID)’.
In the cards, freelancers’ personal information, their earning statements and also career reputation analysis will be fixed in the card with a QR code and only institutions that have agreement with the BFDS can access it.
Currently, about six lakh people engaged in freelancing in the country of which about two lakh are regularly earning from it, according to ICT division sources.
The initiative would help them to get their professional identity along with access to getting bank loan and working facilities in the high-tech park as freelancing is predominant in music, writing,acting, computer programming, web design, graphic design, translating,
and illustrating, film and video production as well as other forms of piece work.
The talent pool of technical graduates and freelancers can help these individuals to emerge as entrepreneurs and effective workforce in the coming days.
Reiterating her confidence in the young generation of the country, the premier said, “I know our sons and daughters are very talented. They can learn many thing in a limited period.”
She said as a government it is their responsibilities to create them (young generation) opportunity for jobs and they are doing that.
In this regard, Sheikh Hasina pointed out that 39 high-tech or software technology parks are being set up across the country and when these will be completed, around three lakh people, mostly youths, will get jobs.
“Investment will come from home and abroad and a skilled workforce will be created,” she hoped.
Sheikh Hasina said that her government undertook various training programmes, including setting up 31 specialized labs in different universities, to create efficient workforce to face the competition of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
Noting that her government has taken initiative to set up a ‘Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation Center’ in every district, the Prime Minister said, “Skilled manpower will be created there. That is to take the country forward by ensuring the best use of information
technology because the next Bangladesh will be technologically advanced and economically viable.”
As a result of these initiatives of her government, she said, ountry’s poverty rate is decreasing while the employment is increasing rapidly and the country is moving far ahead in terms of project implementation. And modern technology will be able to take
forward further, she added.
The premier said it has been possible to resume operations of government’s various ongoing mega projects with the advent of Digital Bangladesh today, which were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 pandemic. “General people are getting benefits of these,” she
Referring to the freelancing as a profession, she said, “Human resources, which are being built with the blessings of digital Bangladesh, will immensely help raising employment opportunity not only at home but also abroad. And freelancing is a kind of such
initiative through which it will be possible to earn money staying at
Hasina said that the specially disabled people will also be able to earn money through freelancing at home and will also have a direct opportunity to contribute to the country’s development.
“We also want to utilize our disabled people through training so that they do not remain neglected in the society,” Sheikh Hasina stated.
The prime minister said nobody even have to go to any office or court for freelancing but “it is a regular source of income . . . It’s also a job. You are your own boss. Not only that you’re the boss of so many as others were given job opportunities. So it was needed the
About the advice of her ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed, the PM also outlined steps to bring technology within the reach of the common man by opening up the private sector of his government, including the withdrawal of import duty on computer equipments.
The premier said the then BNP government kept the businesses, including mobile phones, and mass media confined to a certain quarter but “We have opened it up, resulting the employment opportunities for many people.”
She further added that her government privatized the business of mobile phone, radio stations and television channels so that the private sector can do a lot of business “as my only goal is how many jobs we can create.”
Besides, “We opened airline and helicopter services in the private sector. And its goal is to create the employment.”
The prime minister strongly criticized the role of post-75 regime of former military ruler Ziaur Rahman’s so-called democracy, terming it a “curfew democracy”.
Condemning the role of the regime, Bangabandhu’s daughter said Ziaur Rahman rewarded the killers of Father of the Nation providing the self-confessed murderers with jobs at various embassies.
“I returned home from exile with a motto to serve the people and to change their fate and will give them a beautiful life,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina thanked the ICT ministry and her ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed for taking the time-befitting initiative to issue identity cards to freelancers.
On the occasion, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman and State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Senior Information and Communication Technology Division Secretary NM Ziaul Alam also spoke.
As many as 6.5 lakh freelancers were connected with the programmes from different corners of the country.