Startups will be the main driving force to build a smart Bangladesh: Palak

State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak said that startups will be the main driving force in achieving Smart Bangladesh Vision by 2041 announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He said, ‘We have made Startup Bangladesh Limited Company from the ICT Department. From there I have invested 100 crores in 50 companies. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has allocated another 500 crore rupees. By 2041, we can gift 50 unicorn companies. In that case, startups will be the main driving force to achieve Smart Bangladesh.’

He said these things in the speech of the chief guest at the grand finale of the country’s biggest data science competition ‘Datathon-3’ at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital on Monday (June 3) night.

Comparing data with mineral resources, Junaid Ahmed Palak said, ‘Data is like mineral resources. It should be used properly. If a country has oil and gas deposits, and does not have the technology to extract them, then this precious resource has no value. Data is also an invaluable resource. We need to ensure proper utilization of these resources. If we can secure and process the data of education and health sector, the data of mobile operators, then it will be possible to give many new startups and business products.’

He said, ‘Bangladesh is a country of 170 million people. There are 13 crore internet users. 12 crore mobile banking users. There are 2,500 startups. We have another 5 crore students. These talented children are able to combine their talent and technology to make data safe, clean and process-able. If we can do this, we can build a data-based ecosystem soon.’

The state minister also said that currently many possibilities are being talked about in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics. But they also require a lot of data. Requires processing power. That’s why we need a classification of data. If we open all the data, people will not have security. The country will not have sovereignty.’

We have decided to implement the Private Data Protection Act. We are going to formulate it to protect the personal information of the citizens of the country. Data processing can be done through it. Which is open data, which is exclusive data will also be classified’ added Junaid Ahmed Palak.

Expecting that the data scientists and AI experts of Bangladesh will soon present new innovations, the state minister said, ‘Pathao, a domestic company, has gone ahead by challenging Uber. Again development, cash has provided employment to millions of youth. In the future, there will be maps in Bangladesh like Google Maps. So that social media like Facebook can be developed by our data scientists and AI experts, cooperation from the ICT department will be provided.

Haznah Md. High Commissioner of Malaysia appointed in Dhaka spoke at the event. Hashim, former national cricket team captain Tamim Iqbal, Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Robi Aziata Limited Rajeev Shetty and others.