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Understanding tomorrow, today

Date: 6 December, 2023

Writer : Purabi Matin, Basudev Paul, Rawnak Zarin
Source : Dhaka Tribune

Reading Time: 8 Minutes

6 December, 2023
Writer : Purabi Matin, Basudev Paul, Rawnak Zarin
Source : Dhaka Tribune
· Reading Time: 8 Minutes

Understanding tomorrow, today

Understanding tomorrow, today

What do you think about when you think about Smart Bangladesh? Where do you see yourself?

The term has sparked nationwide contemplation since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s declaration, leading to numerous discussions, articles, and public forums.

You can see how new technologies will change government, agriculture, healthcare, education, and many other sectors.

But Smart Bangladesh is more than just technology; it also needs people who are committed to making it work.

Despite Smart Bangladesh becoming ubiquitous over this year, the challenge remains in ensuring a universal understanding of the term.

In this pursuit is also the commitment to zero digital divide — which is of paramount importance. We must ensure that technological advancements benefit every citizen, fostering inclusivity, and shared progress. After all, Smart Bangladesh is nothing if not equitable.

To aid in the explanation and address this gap in knowledge and understanding, the Information and Communication Technology Division’s Aspire to Innovate (a2i) Program has initiated an eight-episode TV show titled “Mission 2041: I am the Solution.”

The goal is simple to shed light on Smart Bangladesh in a way that resonates with everyday citizens and navigate through the challenges and opportunities across various sectors, capturing the essence of the country’s transition from Digital Bangladesh to Smart Bangladesh.

The episodes will cover Smart Education, Smart Agriculture, Smart Health, Smart Economy, Smart City-Village, Smart Government, Smart Environment, and Smart Entertainment. This will be highlighted by local success stories and feature interactive sessions with professionals, experts, entrepreneurs, policymakers, government officials, and stakeholders sharing their real-world experiences and insights.

Below, we have tried to envision each of the components and how they will be integrated into the Bangladesh of 2041:

Smart Education: Smart education goes beyond giving children tech to learn. Every citizen will have equal access to proper education using proper means. Interactive classrooms will make pupils excited to attend. For that, blended models will be used nationwide. The technology will offer creative methods to test students’ understanding to tailor their instruction.

Self-driven learners are driven by creativity and problem-solving, not memorization. Before choosing a major, high schoolers can gain work experience and discover their interests. Learning on your own indicates readiness better than grades, changing how we see credentials.

Smart Agriculture: How will farming change by 2041? Precision agriculture with satellite-guided intelligent drones and AI-powered applications warning farmers about crop risks in minutes will be the norm. Cold chains deliver fresher produce to urban plates, blockchains track food routes transparently to ensure quality.

Young farmers will create creative rural businesses. Vertical integration will increase crops on homestead plots while preserving ancestral expertise. Weather forecasts assist climate-proof practices and financial instruments in hedging risks. Most importantly, pride and prosperity will bloom, improving value chain well-being.

Smart Health: What will healthcare be like in 2041? Every citizen will have an integrated digital health profile linking records across providers. Artificial intelligence will act as an assistant, not a replacement, prioritizing care and enhancing human capabilities. Community clinics and rural telehealth hotlines are laying the groundwork for universal health coverage across Bangladesh. Locally developed technologies like UV sanitation devices and vital sign monitoring tools will make care more affordable.

Achieving WHO prequalification, our pharmaceutical companies will access global markets while innovators promote health literacy at the grassroots level. With increased life expectancy and data-driven, patient-centric systems, Bangladesh will be a model for efficient, equitable healthcare worldwide.

Smart Economy: Smart Economy will thrive with seamless digital transactions through apps, QR codes, and biometrics. Micro-entrepreneurs connect globally, fueled by increased internet access and digital literacy, particularly among women. A youth-driven innovation culture values invention over qualifications, while legislation and infrastructure support online freelancing, blockchain traceability, and cashless payments.

Bangladesh emerges as a global IT services leader through human capital-based knowledge exports. Data-driven virtual assistants optimize inventory for local informal businesses. Addressing misinformation and exploitation with IT is crucial. Balancing individual freedoms with social protections empowers consumers and producers, fostering economic growth.

Smart City-Village: Modern communication networks empower rural areas, fostering digital skills in remote students and enabling economic independence for women through local market hubs. However, accessibility gaps persist, particularly for persons with disabilities. Universal design and efficient infrastructure will reshape city landscapes. Smart villages will outshine cities, nurturing IT freelancers and offering telemedicine and e-services. Inclusive and sustainable growth, determined jointly by citizens and officials, paves the way for clean, responsible development, erasing the rural-urban divide.

Smart Government: Digitized services have brought simplicity and transparency. But with unified identification and interoperable databases, intelligent algorithms will contextually provide personalized resources at citizens’ fingertips. Officials on all rungs will feel empowered to innovate in the citizen’s interest.

Outdated notions of rigid bureaucracy will have to dissolve to tap Bangladesh’s youth potential. With citizens as stakeholding partners, flexible, proactive, compassionate, and ethical government will organically evolve.

Smart Environment: Bangladesh pioneers a smart environmental landscape, countering grim climate change projections. There are many new ideas, such as 3-day flood forecasts that help people get ready for emergencies and global climate justice campaigns. The Delta Plan 2100 makes sure that infrastructure across the country is ready for climate change.

Transboundary rivers and natural disasters continue to be problems, but Bangladesh wants to be the world leader in climate resilience. Sustainability groups led by young people are in line with policies that stress protecting the environment. Bangladesh leads a climate-conscious global community by 2041 by supporting local green entrepreneurs and technologies, making people more resilient to climate challenges.

Smart Entertainment: Bangladeshi IT freelancers develop global entertainment apps. Beyond audiovisual, the user experience may encompass smell, touch, and taste. Predicting digital advances requires awareness of false information and mental health dangers when realism mixes the real and virtual. Bangladesh’s adaptable youth are ready to innovate in entertainment. Their ingenuity and persistence will guide them through the future of creative human-machine integration, assessing the dangers and advantages.

Our path to Smart Bangladesh by 2041 includes new ideas in education, agriculture, health, economy, governance, environment, and entertainment. We empower individuals, close gaps, and promote sustainability through cutting-edge technology and local projects.

As the digital world changes, we want everyone to be included. Bangladesh’s young people’s determination pushes us toward a future where every person, regardless of background, participates in our digital triumph.

We can create a global story and in the process, also achieve zero digital divide by working together.

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