Use ICT to make society corruption-free

23 08 2009

Prof. Lutfor Rahman

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has stressed the role of ICT in creating a corruption free country while speaking in 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 from his birth place is appreciable. It will be wise for all members of parliament (MPs) to follow him and arrange similar seminars and workshops in 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 MPs, just get a practice of playing with the keyboard of a computer with your grand sons or grand daughters 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 in prestigious manners. During the course, senior participants will surely learn and enjoy like the young students.

It is a great curiosity to most people how ICT can remove corruption from the 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…continued

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Mobile operators poised for Eid festivity

22 08 2009

Some mobile operators have introduced lucrative promotions targeting Ramadan and the Eid to rope in more customers.

Some other operators are preparing to come with specials. Banglalink has already introduced their offers for the season, while Grameenphone, Aktel, Warid, Citycell and TeleTalk officials said their offers would come up in a week.

Banglalink has announced 50 percent bonus talk-time on recharge and 300 percent bonus on reactivation, and reset SMS at Tk 0.50, down from Tk 1.

Lower tariffs, free SMS, cheaper new connections and bonus talk time are the most common offers by the operators.

Mobile use in Bangladesh peaks during Eid. The abnormally high use of the mobile also sometimes leads to network disruptions.

“The number of SMS and voice calls usually jump by more than 30 percent in the first week of Ramadan, while numbers sometimes cross network capacities during Eid,” said Zakiul Islam, president of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators Bangladesh (AMTOB).

Calls made during Eid and Ramadan are mostly diverted to rural areas as people mostly visit their extended families outside Dhaka, said Rubaba Dowla, chief communication officer of Grameenphone. “We experience complete network usage during festivals.”

Bangladesh’s mobile market boost up during any festival time as mobile now is not only communication device; it’s a gift item as well.

The growth in mobile usage is mainly based on the rise in the use of value added services during this season. Ring tones, games, SMS (short message service), MMS (multimedia messaging service), and the latest, call block and voice chat, are the most popular services among customers.

Subscriptions to religious content increase during Ramadan, said Md Sharif Uddin, chief technical officer of Inforev Ltd, a local content developer.

“Customers download more religious items during Ramadan and Eid than any other time,” he said. “While others content downloads, like songs, decreases during the holy month of Ramadan.”

The six mobile operators are now serving around 48 million people in Bangladesh. The monthly average usage by a single customer is only Tk 150. On an average, 48 mobile users generate more than 60 lakh SMSs a day, while during the Eid week, usage doubles.

According to the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Load Traders Association (BMPLTA), people traditionally load more money into their mobiles during Eid.

A total of 25 lakh retailers load credit for 48 crore mobile phone users, on behalf of the six mobile operators. If a retailer loads Tk 2,000 a day on average, figures double during Eid, said Md Aminul Islam, president of BMPLTA.

Rubaba noticed the issues over maintaining network quality during such times of high usage. She said along with proving to be a good business case, a challenge remains.

“We always try to provide better services during such special times, so that none of our customers shift to other operators,” she said. (source)





Bangladesh Airlines contact details

14 08 2009

Follow @SylhetAirport

NovoAir

Official Website: www.flynovoair.com / www.NovoAir-bd.com

US-Bangla Airlines

Official Website: www.us-banglaairlines.com

Regent Airways

Official Website: www.flyregent.com

Overseas Agent

Manchester, UK Office

Sylhet Travel Services
249 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M14 5LW, United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 0161 2561082
E-mail: man@sylhettravel.com
Website: http://www.sylhettravel.com

Biman Bangladesh Airline

Official Website: www.bimanair.com

Biman Overseas Offices

London, UK Office
17 Conduit street, London, W1R 9TD, United Kingdom

Telephone:  +44 0207 6290252 / 6290161
E-mail: bimanlondon@btconnect.com

Manchester, UK office
Second Floor/Peter House, Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5AN, United Kingdom

Telephone:  +44 0161 228 2636

New York, US Office
211 East 43rd street, Suite # 602, Manhattan, New York, NY 10017, USA

Telephone:  +1 212 808 4477 / 212 808 4523
E-mail: nycuubg@bdbiman.com / bimanusa@verizon.net

Toronto, Canada office
208 Bloor Street West, Suite 806, CToronto, Ontario , M5S3B4, Canada

Telephone: +1 416 944 3381 / 3848 / 3466

United Airways BD

Official Website: www.UABDL.com

Overseas Office

London, UK Office
64 White Chapel, High Street, London, E1 7PL, United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 0207 4818 123 / +44 0207 4220 099

New York, US Office
28-54, 34th Street, Astroria NY 11103, USA

Telephone: +01 718 2679651 / 347 2104963

Airlines around the world

Flydubai

Official Website: www.flydubai.com

Flights available from Sylhet and Dhaka Airport.

Air Arabia

Official Website: www.airarabia.com

Flights available from Dhaka Airport.

Firnas Airways

Official Website: www.firnasairways.com

Emirates

Official Website: www.Emirates.com

Local Emirates Office

Website: Emirates Sylhet Office

Address: 502 Shahjalal Road, Taltola, Sylhet 3100, Bangladesh

Telephone:+880 821 711 200 / +880 821 711 300

Working hours

Sun to Thu, 9:00 – 17:00

Sat, 9:00 – 13:00

Fri, Closed





United Airways designated to fly United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia

10 08 2009

United Airways (BD) Limited, Bangladesh’s premier and most preferred airline, will launch services to London, the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom, and Jeddah the capital city of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from Dhaka, effective November, 2009.

This will be the airline’s fifth and sixth international flight from Bangladesh. The airline will launch three services a week on the Dhaka – London sector, on Tuesdays, Thursday and Sunday respectively, aboard a state-of-the-art Boeing new generation and MD83 aircrafts. With the introduction of this new flight, United Airways will fly to 7 cities in the Gulf, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Muscat, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah and Riyadh.

According to Capt. Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury, Chairman and Managing Director, United Airways Limited, “UK and Saudi Arabia is a very important market for United Airways on account of the large volume of traffic to the United Kingdom and Gulf Kingdom, to and from Bangladesh, and an important addition to the airline’s growing international network. With the launch of our 5th and 6th international passenger service to United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, we are confident of our position as among the leading carriers on these sectors.” (3/8/09)