Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the national trade body of the country’s software and information technology services sector, has awarded ‘BASIS National ICT Awards’ for the fifth time. The award ceremony was held at a five star hotel in the capital on October 31st, Monday evening.
This year 68 awards were distributed in 36 categories.
This year, 68 awards were presented in 36 categories to recognize innovative products and services projects of the country’s information technology sector. The best projects will contest in Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA), which is known as the Oscars of the Asia-Pacific IT sector.
BASIS invited application from interested companies to submit their projects in the beginning of October 2022. 441 companies responded with their projects. After initial scrutiny 292 projects made it to the final list and went to the final judging round. At this stage a judging panel was formed under the leadership of a chief judge and a deputy chief judge; a total of 16 head judges were deployed at this stage. To ensure transparency, secrecy and impartiality a cloud based state of the art software with high security features was deployed. 50 judges, consisting of members of BASIS, representatives from media and academia, went through four gruelling days’ pitching sessions and eventually found out 21 champions, 26 winners and 21 merit award winners.
BASIS President Russell T Ahmed presided over the program while Hon’ble State Minister for ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Zunaid Ahmed Palak was the chief guest, Honorable Senior Secretary of Information and Communication Technology Division Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA and Md. Jashim Uddin, President of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) were special guests.
Chief Guest State Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak could not attend physically, but in a video message he said, “Today’s winners will contest with countries like Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Malaysia in the competition APICTA, which is called ICT’s Oscar. At present our ICT products export to more than 60 countries of the world amounting to about 1.4 billion US$. We want to increase it to five billion dollars by 2025 and wish to create at least 3 million jobs in the sector. Those who participated in the competition today will fulfill this target in the future.”
Drawing attention to innovative technology for the future, the State Minister said that software is the driving force of the future economy. By 2041 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision-2041, an intelligent, cost-effective, knowledge-based, innovative smart developed Bangladesh will be the main driver of our export earnings from software industry. At the same time, the domestic economic activities of Bangladesh will become completely dependent on the software industry.
As a special guest, Senior Secretary of Information and Communication Technology Division, NM Ziaul Alam PAA said, “There will be four main components to build a smart Bangladesh by 2041. In that government will be smart, society will be smart, citizen will be smart and our economy will be smart. We are working on these four elements. I hope everyone working here will be a part of that journey.”
Speaking as a special guest, FBCCI President Md. Jasim Uddin said, “The more the government offices are digitized, the more the benefits will be for the people and the businessmen will also be benefited. Analog systems should also be used in different ways, so that people from all walks of life get the benefits.”
BASIS president Russell T Ahmed in his speech raised three demands to the government and other concerned authorities. He said, “E-Governance projects are delivered by our domestic ICT companies. Concerned BASIS member companies should be recognized for their good works. This makes it easier for us to get work from abroad as well.” Russell T Ahmed also requested to involve BASIS in the industry branding and human resource development activities.
He also said, “The best projects being awarded today will contest at APICTA. From BASIS we groom them aptly. Our Bangladeshi companies have become champions in the past events, we are confident we will bring awards from APICTA this time as well.”
BASIS President further said, “Through BASIS National ICT Awards, we select innovative and promising IT products and services from across the country and recognize and encourage them. These products and services demonstrate capabilities of our ICT sector to the country and to the rest of the world. This year’s event has given special consideration and attention to projects that would be directly contributing in the transformation of Digital Bangladesh to a Smart Bangladesh.”
Abdullah H Kafi, chief judge of BASIS National ICT Awards, said, “Winning the Apicta Award is not an easy task. Those of us who have been awarded as champions here today, have to prepare very well for the Apicta Awards in the international arena.
Convener of BASIS National ICT Awards, M Rashidul Hasan said, “An efficient and experienced jury consisting of IT experts, academia, media and senior government officials completed the entire judging process with great dedication.”
BASIS Advisory Standing Committee members Liaquat Hossain and Shah Imraul Kaeesh was the co-convener and deputy chief judge respectively. A substantial number of BASIS members also played the role of the judges.