Prof Arefin for proper use of IT to ensure its benefits

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DHAKA, May 3, 2021 (BSS) – Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique today put emphasis on proper utilization of information technology (IT) to ensure its benefits for the nation, checking dissemination of disinformation.

“Advantages and disadvantages of IT depend on its use … it’s just like a knife, if it goes to a surgeon, he or she would cure a patient (through it), but the knife can be used for any harmful purpose like killing, if a miscreant gets it,” he said.

Professor Arefin, also a former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, made the remarks while addressing the closing ceremony of a four-day virtual workshop titled “Role of Local Journalists in Implementing Digital Bangladesh” as the chief guest.

National news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and aspire to innovate (a2i) of the Cabinet Division and the ICT Division with the support from the UNDP, jointly organized the workshop for BSS local correspondents and bureau chiefs of different districts across the country.

BSS Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad chaired the closing ceremony of the workshop, while a2i Project Director Dr Abdul Mannan addressed it as the special guest.

Earlier in the morning, Information and Broadcasting Secretary Khaja Miah inaugurated the fourth and last workshop as the chief guest.

Terming the IT as power, Professor Arefin said, “The strength of IT has enabled us to join the programme virtually from our respective homes instead of going to the venue … this has been possible because of rapid advancement of the IT”.

Noting that though there is a process for correcting misinformation, disseminating disinformation is a serious crime, the eminent educationist said the offenders of disseminating disinformation should be brought to justice.

Urging the BSS correspondents to know more about the Digital Security Act (DSA), he said, “We’ve to run our all activities taking the DSA into consideration”.

Highlighting the significance of the World Press Freedom Day being observed across the globe today, Professor Arefin said the progress of the society will depend on with how much freedom the media are disseminating information.

The available of right information at the right time like in the present pandemic situation helps the people easily to get the services from the service providers concerned, he added.

Underscoring the need for organizing such workshops regularly, the chairman of the BSS Board of Directors said information technology will not be stagnant at one point, rather it will be flourished more with dynamism.

“Apart from arranging training for journalists to keep them updated with IT, it’s also our responsibility for informing the country’s people about its (IT) proper utilization,” Prof Arefin opined.

Earlier, Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud inaugurated the workshop virtually on April 20.

State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Md Murad Hassan joined the second and third workshop respectively on April 27 and 29 as the chief guest.

a2i Project Director Dr Abdul Mannan, in his speech at the concluding ceremony today, highlighted the a2i’s innovations and its services in materializing the vision ‘Digital Bangladesh’.

The a2i is doing various work, including patronizing innovations, operating activities of South-South Cooperation, transforming the manual services to the digital services, from grassroots to ministry levels, he said.

Turning to the digital land services, the a2i project director urged the journalists to disseminate the information about digital services so that the people can be encouraged to receive the services using the digital platform.

BSS Managing Director and Chief Editor Abul Kalam Azad said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had talked about the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ when she was the opposition leader and now, she is joining the international conferences virtually thanks to the rapid progress of the technology.

The premier’s ICT affairs adviser and able son Sajeeb Wazed Joy envisaged the vision of ‘Digital Bangladesh’, but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself and her government have implemented it, he said.

Noting that the prime minister has taken the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision for ensuring the welfare of the people, Azad called upon the journalists to keep a vigil on the movement and activities of those who, in the name of so-called movement or anything else, are out to impede the government’s strides of making Bangladesh a developed country.

BSS Managing Editor Anisur Rahman moderated the closing ceremony, while BSS Chief News Editor AZM Sajjad Hossain Sabuj, Chief News Editor (Bangla) Ruhul Ghani Sircar Jyoti and City Editor and Member of the Board of Directors Madhusudan Mondal spoke it.

BSS Chief Reporter Tareq Al Naser and Special Correspondent and Infotainment-in-charge Mahfuza Jesmine, and a2i Communication Officer Mamunur Rahman and National Consultant of Communication and Media Outreach ABM Adnan Faisal joined the function, among others.

All district correspondents and bureau chiefs of BSS joined the concluding ceremony virtually.