June 24, 2024, 12:38 pm

ICT division: Another website for freelancers with almost identical address

  • Update Time : Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • 14 Time View
Photo: Collected

TDS Desk:

The information and communication technology (ICT) division of the Bangladesh government opened a platform for freelancers around three and a half years ago to provide them formal recognition and other benefits.

Just after two years of opening the platform, ‘https://freelancers.gov.bd/’, the ICT division initiated opening of another platform for the freelancers with an almost identical name.

The ICT division took an initiative to provide ID cards to the freelancers in November 2020. For this a domain was taken from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) under the name, ‘https://freelancers.gov.bd/’.

The site was registered on behalf of iDEA project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC), an organisation of the ICT division, on 14 January in 2020. The project will expire on 13 January in 2028.

Though the website is owned by the government, Bangladesh Freelancing Development Society (BFDS) operates the site. BFDS said they developed the website as a “gift” to the BCC. The site was developed basically as a platform that would provide ID cards and formal recognition to the freelancers.

So far, 52,000 ID cards have been distributed from the platform though over 1.05 million freelancers are active in the country now.

BFDS president Tanjiba Rahman said it would be easier to receive government stimulus, banking services and loan benefits using this ID.

One has to apply through ‘freelancers.gov.bd’ website to avail the application. BFDS sorts the application papers.

Speaking about this, BCC executive director Ranjit Kumar Saha said that they did not host the site in their data centre.

Now the department of ICT, a body of the ICT division, has taken the initiative to develop another website for the freelancers. The department has taken registration for the site, ‘freelancer.gov.bd’, from BTCL on 26 January 2023. The registration will expire on 25 January 2028.

On 12 March this year, the department of ICT issued a directive that said they would build a freelancer database system to facilitate sharing information of all the freelancers of the country. Apart from this, this would create an online-based community of freelancers, which would boost their freelancing activities.

BFDS is aware that the names of the two sites are almost identical. It said the site under the jurisdiction of Bangladesh Computer Council provides mentor support alongside registration to the already established freelancers. On the other hand, the site that the department is developing is for the database of anyone trained in any type of freelancing. BFDS expects the name of the department’s site would change.

However, according to the sources of the department, the site is being developed internally. It will be launched after a quality test. There is no possibility to change the name of their site. But the two sites are likely to merge. That can be done after some further scrutiny.

ICT department’s director general Mostafa Kamal said that there should be an official site. As they are developing a site, the ministry will sit and decide which one will remain operational.

Ananya Raihan, founder and chief executive of information technology company Dnet and iSocial, said that it is better to have one government platform for the benefit of freelancers. Since the ICT department is also developing a site for freelancers, the ministry has to decide to which one they will give priority. Source: A Bengali daily

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