After a long red-tape delay, the megaproject to set up 12 hi-tech parks in Dhaka and other districts is finally all set to take off next month.
"The construction of eight of these parks will begin in February 2022," said State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Monday.
Of the project cost, India will provide Tk1,746.4 crore while the rest Tk50 crore will come from the Bangladesh government, he told journalists after a meeting with Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami at the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority in the capital.
The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved the project in 2017.
Although the four-year project was due to end in June last year, its consulting firm was appointed in June 2018 and the tender process was completed in 2021. Now the work of the project will continue for an extended time, officials at the Hi-Tech Park Authority say.
They say work on the tender process has been delayed as permission from the Indian government is required in every step of the project.
India will also give Tk50 crore and Tk25 crore for setting up the Bangladesh-Bharat Digital Edutainment Centre and the Bangladesh-Bharat Digital Service and Employment Training (BDSET) Centre, respectively.
Under the Bangladesh-Bharat Digital Service and Employment Training (BDSET) Centre project, the government will set up six specialised labs at software technology parks, high-tech parks and Sheikh Kamal IT Training and Incubation Centre to provide training.
The project is being implemented at Kaliakair in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Natore, Chattogram, Jashore and Khulna at a cost of over Tk61 crore. Tk36 crore will come from the Bangladesh government and the rest Tk25 crore from India.
Regarding this project, the state minister for ICT said 2,400 people will receive training in the Internet of Things, machine learning, robotics, artificial intelligence, extended reality and other advanced subjects in the next two years.
Besides, another project aimed at setting up a Bangladesh-India Digital Edutainment Centre is also nearing completion, said Palak.
The project has been estimated at Tk150-200 crore, in which Tk50 crore will come from the Indian government.
Under the proposed project, the two countries will work together to set up digital edutainment centres at 64 locations across the country, where education, training and entertainment will be provided simultaneously.