Bangladesh is going ahead based on four pillars – Zunaid Ahmed Palak

Ahasan, Dhaka, 10 February 2019

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Hon’ble Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology Division, Bangladesh said “present government has taken several initiatives for making a Digital Bangladesh. The Government electronic portal is open for all and we are the owner of the largest web portal in the world. To create potential human resource government has set up more than nine thousand primary Sheikh Russell Digital Lab and Digital Classroom throughout the country. As a result, students are learning Information Technology from their beginning of education.”

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Hon’ble Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology Division

Zunaid Ahmed Palak, was present as the Chief Guest of inaugural session of two days long Asia Open Access, Dhaka-2019 started from 6 March, at conference room Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) which was organized by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) international conference with the support of Centre for Open Knowledge Repositories (COAR) and Asia open Access. The State minister also mentioned four pillars for development. The government has to work for big data, open data, robotics, internet of thinking, blockchain. People now avail of different services from different government offices through automation. At present internet users of our country is nine and a half crore whereas nine years back it was only 55 lac.  In the IT sector 10 lac, people are working. The government also working Union Parishad level also. However, in the response of Ms Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director, COAR regarding traffic issue minister said our young force converted it as a potentiality. Based on it, they launched it several rides sharing. He told the organizer, meet with me again with the workshop output.

Dr M. Baktear, Director, AIC, given the welcome address, Mr Kamalaranjan Das, additional Secretary MoA and Dr Wais Kabir, ED KGF were present as special guests of honour as well.

Dr Md. Kabir Ikramul Haque, Executive Chairman, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council chaired the inaugural event. Dr Susmita Das, Principal Documentation Officer, AIC and VP Centre for Open Knowledge coordinated the program and delivered a presentation about the conference.

BARC is the Apex body of the National Agricultural Research System. It usually likes to take leadership in making data & information more available & accessible to promote linkage among the stakeholders all over the country. This huge event will provide an opportunity to learn more about global trends on open data, share with Asian countries & to create awareness among the stakeholders.

In the mentioned conference, there were six technical sessions and one concluding and recommendation session.

Technical Session 1

Title: the overview of the current status of open access and open science (COAR)

Chair: Prof. Dr Nasiruddin Mitul, Dean, National University, Bangladesh

Presenter: Ms Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director, COAR

Key Points: Europe: plan S, virology blog, scholarly publication system, factors of scholarly publication etc.

Technical Session 2

Title: Open Education: Focus on Bangladesh

Chair: Dr Mirza Mohd Rezaul Islam, Librarian, Islamic University of Technology (IUT), and Chairman, BALID

Presenter: Prof. Dr Mostafa Kamal Azad, Dean, Open University

Key Points: Open access initiatives, copyright and pirated issue, open license, survey report in this regard.

Technical Session 3

Title: Institutional roles in supporting open science

Chair: Prof. Dr Kazi Mostak Gausul Hoq, Chairman, Department of Information Science and Library Management, University of Dhaka

Presenters: Dr Dilara Begum, Associate Professor and Chairperson, Dept. of Information Studies and Library Management, East West University, Dhaka, Ms Miho Funamori, Associate professor, National Institute of Informatics, Japan

Key points: Open source software, open source, open data, open access, open peer review, open educational resources, platform, policies, data curation services, force 11, RDM, research data vision 2025 etc

Technical Session 4

Title: Asian Country Updates(representatives of Asian country)

Chair: Dr Md. Nazim Uddin, Sr. Manager, Library and Information Services Unit, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research Institute Bangladesh icddr,b,

Presenters: Ms Vrushali Dandawate, DOAJ Ambassador

Noboru Nakatani, Librarian, Research Promotion Dept. Tottori University, Japan.

Dr Susmita Das/Prof. Mostafa Azad Kamal/Mr. Nurunnaby Chowdhury

Key Points: respective country’s (India, Japan and Bangladesh) open access initiatives.

Technical Session 5

Title: Open Research Data and Creative Commons in Bangladesh

Chair: Dr Md. Anwarul Islam, Librarian and Director (Planning, Development & works) and Project Director(Future Development of SAU), Sher e Bangla Agriculture University.

Presenters: Dr Susmita Das, Principal Documentation Officer and Vice President, Centre for Open Knowledge, Mr Nurunnaby Chowdhury, General Secretary, Center for Open Knowledge (COK)

Key Points: open data, creative commons, status etc.

Technical Session 6

Title: breaking down silos-global alignment and interoperability

Chair: Dr Shakil Mohammad Bokhtiar, Member Director, BARC and Director, SAS

Presenters: Ms Kathleen Shearer, Director, COAR –next generation repositories

Dr Kazutsuna Yamaji, JP COAR and NII, Japan-supporting local services and engaging internationally

Hideki Takeda-technical interoperability for open science

Concluding and Recommendation Session

Identifying gaps and next steps for Bangladesh and closing. The last of the event, Dr Wais Kabir, Executive Director of Krishi Gobeshona Foundation, presided over closing session with Abdur Rauf, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Hasanuzzaman Kallol, Joint Secretary of MoA, Kathleen Shearer Executive Director of COAR, and Kaju Yamaji, Executive Member of COAR, were, among others, present.

Md Nazim Uddin, Head of the ICDDR, B Library and Information Center division presented the recommendations from the key points of the conference at the closing phase. He urged to work on various issues, including open access policies, increasing the use of open licenses, modernization of open repositories. Besides, the conference co-organizer Centre for Open Knowledge (COK) President Professor Mostafa Azad Kamal emphasized the need Open Education Policy.

Conference coordinator and BARC Chief Documentation Officer Dr Sushmita Das told “We have highlighted the issues of open access to various programs in Asian countries. At the same time, the conference also discussed the activities of Bangladesh and the issues that need to be given importance.” she added.

During the two-day programme, special seminar and workshop on open access and open science, Open Education: Focus on Bangladesh, Institutional Rolls in Saplings Open Science and Asian Country Update, Creative Commons in Bangladesh was held. Several hundred people from various institutions including universities and research centres participated in the event.