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Digital Khulna
Potential IT Capital of Bangladesh

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Dr. Md. Mahbubur Rahman

Professor and Head,
Computer Science and Engineering Discipline,
Khulna University, Khulna-9100.
E-Mail: mahbubkucse@gmail.com

BCS Soft Expo 2010, Khulna


Digital Khulna: Potential ICT capital of Bangladesh

Digital Khulna is a vision and the mission is to have a glittering Developed Bangladesh with the
expedition of Digital Bangladesh. Digital Country refers the applications and uses of Digital
Communication and Digital Services among the majority of the people of any country. The
mission ‘Digital Bangladesh’ doesn’t only mean to have a website in the internet rather
focuses to provide online services and information that increase mass-participation in decision
making, accountability of the authority, transparency of affairs involving public interests and
domestic concerns. Being the third city of Bangladesh, Khulna is also a part of the overall
journey towards electronic management system aimed towards bringing easier and faster
service, transparency, accountability and above all access-to-information.

Khulna is a divisional city blessed with enormous natural resources. Though the variety of
resources is a great gift of nature, proper use of the resources available in Khulna has not got
momentum because of the absence of public voices in the government process. This absence
of expression of legal right has given birth of the history of ill-subjection and exploitation
throughout the decades. Learning from the past, it is of little hope to see the flare of
development but to adopting electronic management system. Digital Khulna may be the
caption of such expedition. Standing on the buried golden history of Jute Industries,
Digital Khulna: Potential ICT Capital for Bangladesh

newsprint mills and other industries, digital Khulna may be the start of new stream of
development which may be entitled as investment for better Bangladesh.

Digital Khulna refers to the integration of electronic means in the overall administrative
management process system with an aim to diminishing the divides among various parts of
Bangladesh. Adoption of electronic governance and electronic commerce may essentially
open a new era of development since the overall aspects and components of development are
un-biased and self-controlled. Adoption of electronic means in administrative affairs may
bring transparency in policy fixation and decision making with balanced distribution of
development efforts that may at least continue the sluggish government initiated
development. Without the availability of such open scope, even the history of exploitation
may be buried. Since the current financial basement of Khulna is shrimp production about
cent percent of which is exported to foreign countries, enabling electronic commerce i.e.
digital business may easily expand the reach of the products globally and thus may gain a
better and competitive outcome rapidly. Besides of shrimp sector, traditional terracotta
business is also getting rise in Khulna region. To introduce this market with the global
business, there is no way but to integrate digital business. Along with other parts of the
world, the scope for traditional employment is getting squeezed whereas span of virtual
employment is expanding. For the young generation of Khulna, this door is open too, which

Prof. Dr. Md. Mahbubur Rahman

February 10, 2010
CSE. Khulna University, Khulna.

may be fostered with the aid of digital Khulna. Consequently, we need to manage the
resources of the region more efficiently for our own betterment, by incorporating
digitalization of Frozen Foods (especially shrimp) Sector, Ship building sector, public and
private Service sectors through utilizing skilled ICT manpower.

Digital Khulna may be an effective model, because it may integrate about all types of service
prototypes. More importantly, because of its moderate expansion in terms of geographical
area, population and service basements, developed prototypes may be ideal for bigger cities
of Bangladesh as well as for smaller cities of the country. Since, we have two reputed
universities (Khulna University and KUET) producing high quality graduates especially in ICT
fields which may play a pivotal role in digitization of Khulna. Good number of public and
private technical institutions are also fostering IT education in the region. In ICT capital
building of the total country this may be a vital contribution. There are also a number of
established colleges and institutes in Khulna who may be trained easily by the experts of KU
and KUET and may be employed in Call Centers and Tele-medicine etc quite easily. This add-
on outcome of Digital Khulna may also be an impressive model for the country.

We have a Medical College and world-class facility integrated specialized hospital (Abu Naser
Specialized Hospital; the only in Bangladesh) to develop a prototype for digital Health
Management system. To our knowledge best, there is no such complete electronic
management system for any public hospital, and thus success on achieving better health-
Digital Khulna: Potential ICT Capital for Bangladesh

service through digitizing the health management system may point Khulna as a pioneer for
the total country.

Digital Khulna is the name of a glittering model to achieve the glory of success in every aspect
of life which includes administration and management, services and support, communication
and control. All the three are to some extent related with Khulna District Administration,
Khulna City Corporation and Khulna Development Authority and Departments and other
offices of GOB and NGOs spreading around Khulna. Being KCC and KDA the autonomous body,
the prototype of digitizing process may be easier. Moreover, being a divisional city, there
are a good number of government offices in Khulna. We may easily attain transparency in the
offices by providing Electronic Management System in those offices with the help of
government that may take us to an end of the episodes of corruption.

Since till now there are a number of industries (no matter public or private) including small
and medium entrepreneurs in Khulna, by adopting digital Bangladesh and hence proving its
effectiveness in increasing production and management, we may add a new dimension in
Digital Bangladesh. Lack of proper management may only be treated with electronic
management, which is now a dire need for Khulna. Moreover, since most of the markets are

Prof. Dr. Md. Mahbubur Rahman

February 10, 2010
CSE. Khulna University, Khulna.

already well-controlled by KCC in maximum cases, just digitizing the market information may
be a novel step towards this. Certainly electronic management system and access to
information to the stake-holders minimizes the price-gap between producer and consumer
and as an outcome price hike may be controlled.

The basements of e-centers are also existent in Khulna. About all the colleges and schools of
Khulna along with most government offices contain adequate technical infrastructure to be
used as e-centers for enabling digital Khulna.

It is evident that, digital Khulna may radically change the states and status of Khulna. But for
such achievement, we need to consider a couple of things. Firstly, we need to make the
people aware of the necessity and effectiveness of digital Khulna that may be easily attained
by taking aid of the radio center, news papers, and cable-television operators of Khulna.
Secondly, the people of Khulna should be made technology-visible. In order to make the
people acquainted with internet and ICT, it is essential to conduct trainings. Thirdly, though
we have infrastructure for internet and computer, it should be made available at the
maximum level.

Digital Khulna or ICT-based Khulna is a journey towards achieving rapid development. At the
same time it is a silent revolution to answer the age-old injustice and exploitation by the
Digital Khulna: Potential ICT Capital for Bangladesh

central government process. The ICT-incubator may give birth of a glittering development
stream. It is the high time to make ourselves especially the inhabitants of Khulna to dedicate
their best for their own development standing on the basement of Information and
communication technology. Probably, that golden moment is not far away when digital Khulna
would be a glittering pioneer focusing the potential of ICT. Dreaming for such golden

Prof. Dr. Md. Mahbubur Rahman

February 10, 2010
CSE. Khulna University, Khulna.