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British Broadcasting Corporation ‘BBC’ turns 100

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BBC

Global media giant the British Broadcasting Corporation ‘BBC’ celebrates turning 100 on Tuesday, 18 October with one eye on its glorious past and another on its unpredictable future.

Over a century, the BBC has established itself as one of Britain’s most visible and respected global brands, delivering its original mission statement to “inform, educate and entertain.”

The broadcaster reaches an audience of 492 million around the world every week, according to the corporation’s 2021-2022 annual report.

BBC World Service broadcasts in 41 languages to about 364 million people a week globally.

“For a century, the BBC has been a beacon of trusted news and programming across the world, as well as being part of the fabric of the UK and one of its key institutions,” BBC director-general Tim Davie said of the landmark.

“It has been a story of a devotion to public service and constant reinvention — which those in the BBC today remain utterly committed to,” he added.

For nearly 7 million people, each day starts with BBC Radio 4’s flagship “Today” program, which often sets the political agenda.

At weekends, “Strictly Come Dancing”, which pairs celebrities with professional ballroom dancers, has had viewers glued to their sets for 20 years and is the most talked-about television program on air.

BBC series such as “Peaky Blinders”, “Fleabag” and “Killing Eve” have been exported around the world.

But the centenary comes at a time of uncertainty, with drastic budget cuts and changing viewing habits driven by the digital revolution raising questions about its future.

The government in January revealed it would freeze the BBC’s license-fee funding model for 2 years, raising fears it could be scrapped in the future.

The annual charge for households with a television set is currently set at $176.

The financial situation has been accompanied by an exodus of younger audiences towards streaming and on-demand platforms, prompting questions about why they should still pay for the BBC.

But BBC chairman Richard Sharp vowed that the broadcaster would “educate and entertain for another century.”

“The BBC is one hundred today — it’s a time to celebrate, but also to embrace the future,” said Sharp.

“I believe its best days are ahead. We have always innovated, changed and adapted,” he added.

“By continuing to put the public first, we will continue to inform, educate and entertain for another century.”

 

 

 

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Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

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Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

Inspira Hosts Policy Dialogue on MSME Digital Security and Data Protection

Dhaka, June 9, 2024 – Inspira, in collaboration with USAID, DAI, and DCCP, successfully organized a Policy Dialogue addressing the digital security and data protection challenges faced by MSMEs. The event gathered industry leaders and government officials to deliberate on these critical issues.

Md Ziaul Haque Bhuiyan, Chief of Staff of ShopUp and former President of JCI Bangladesh, shared valuable insights during the dialogue. The event was graced by Md Shamsul Arefin, Secretary of the ICT Division, as the Chief Guest. Other notable attendees included Salahuddin Mahmud from the SME Foundation, Khalilur Rahman, Director General of BTRC, Abu Saed Kamruzzaman, Director General of NCSA, and Samira Zuberi Himika, Chairperson of Inspira.

Key Points Discussed:

Restricting Betting Services:

  • Issue: Online betting services are causing financial losses for many individuals.
  • Discussion: Implementing stricter regulations to limit access and protect users from financial harm.

 

Regulation of Grey Channel Devices:

  • Issue: Unauthorized smartphones and laptops with unmonitored apps are entering the market.
  • Discussion: Enhancing regulatory oversight to ensure visibility and security of imported electronic devices.

 

Data Storage Concerns with CCTV Cameras and VTS:

  • Issue: Sensitive data from CCTV cameras and Vehicle Tracking Systems is being stored overseas.
  • Discussion: Expanding BTRC’s regulatory scope to include these devices and ensure data security.

 

Digital Security Education:

  • Issue: There is a lack of awareness and education on digital security and data protection.
  • Discussion: Integrating these topics into the national education curriculum and enhancing public awareness through eCAB, BASIS, and media campaigns.

 

Government Officials Using Insecure Email:

  • Issue: The use of Gmail by government officials poses security risks.
  • Discussion: Promoting the use of secure, government-approved email services for official communication.

 

OTP Awareness Challenges:

  • Issue: Misunderstandings about OTP security are affecting delivery services.
  • Discussion: Educating the public on proper OTP usage to enhance security and service efficiency.

 

Policy on Digital Page Ownership:

  • Issue: There is a lack of clear policies on digital page ownership and management.
  • Discussion: Developing policies to protect content creators and regulate digital page ownership.

 

The Policy Dialogue underscored the necessity for comprehensive strategies and collaborative efforts to bolster digital security and data protection for MSMEs in Bangladesh. By addressing these issues, the event aimed to create a safer and more secure digital environment for businesses and individuals alike.

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bKash Launches ‘Student Account’ to Foster Digital Financial Literacy

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For the first time in Bangladesh’s Mobile Financial Services (MFS) sector, bKash has introduced a ‘Student Account’ to prepare the younger generation for digital financial transactions and promote a cashless society. This new initiative targets teenagers aged 14 to below 18 years, allowing them to open an account linked to their parent’s bKash account.

Account Opening Requirements
To open a ‘Student Account,’ the following are required:

A digital birth certificate
An active bKash account number of either the mother or father
Parental consent
The initiative aligns with Bangladesh Bank’s directives to foster digital financial inclusion among the youth, supporting the nation’s move towards a smart economy.

Services Offered
The ‘Student Account’ is tailored to meet the needs of teenagers, offering services such as:

Payment of school and college fees
Daily small purchases
Mobile recharge
Money transfer
Bill payments
According to central bank regulations, the account can hold a maximum balance of Tk 30,000. Teens can transact up to Tk 5,000 per day and a maximum of Tk 25,000 per month. They can receive money through the Send Money service but cannot use Add Money or Cash In services, ensuring parental supervision.

Opening Process
To open a ‘Student Account,’ follow these steps:

Download the bKash app and tap on Login/Register.
Select the ‘Birth Certificate’ option after entering the mobile number.
Take a photo of the digital birth certificate and enter additional personal information.
Nominate a parent and confirm by entering their active bKash account number.
A verification code will be sent to the parent’s number, which must be entered within 48 hours.
Upon successful registration, the new account holder will receive a Tk 25 bonus, with an opportunity to earn an additional Tk 105 through specific transactions.

Parental Supervision
Parental consent is mandatory to open a ‘Student Account.’ Parents can monitor all transactions through the statement section of their bKash app.

Maj Gen Sheikh Md. Monirul Islam (retd), Chief External & Corporate Affairs Officer of bKash, stated, “In the future, all daily transactions will be cashless and an integral part of our lives. The sooner teens familiarize themselves with the digital payment ecosystem, the more proficient they will be in financial management. The ‘Student Account’ will be a milestone in the initiative of financial inclusion in the country.”

The younger generation, known for their adaptability to digital technologies like AI, VR, AR, Robotics, and Big Data, will benefit from secure, fast, and easy financial transactions through MFS. This initiative is expected to spark their interest in new technologies and contribute to creating a cashless digital payment ecosystem.

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Budget Proposes Tax-Free Status for 19 ICT Sectors in 2024-25

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In the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali announced tax exemptions for 19 sectors within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. This initiative aims to support the government’s vision of creating a Smart Bangladesh by encouraging digital transformation across various domains.

The budget proposal was presented on Thursday, June 6, in the National Parliament, chaired by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This is the first budget presented by Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali as Finance Minister and marks the 53rd budget of the country, driven by the slogan “Commitment to Building a Happy, Prosperous, Developed, and Smart Bangladesh.”

Key ICT Sectors to Benefit from Tax Exemptions
Tax-Free ICT Sectors: The proposed tax exemptions cover a wide range of ICT activities, including the development and provision of advanced digital solutions. The sectors slated for tax relief include:

  • AI-Based Solution Development: Encouraging innovation in artificial intelligence applications.
  • Blockchain-Based Solution Development: Promoting the use of blockchain technology in various industries.
  • Robotics Process Outsourcing: Facilitating the outsourcing of robotic and automated processes.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): Supporting the growth of cloud-based software services.
  • Cybersecurity Services: Enhancing the development of security solutions to protect digital assets.
  • Digital Data Analytics and Data Science: Boosting capabilities in data analysis and interpretation.
  • Mobile Application Development Services: Promoting the creation of mobile apps.
  • Software Development and Customization: Supporting bespoke software solutions.
  • Software Test Lab Services: Facilitating testing environments for software quality assurance.
  • Web Listing, Website Development, and Services: Encouraging web-based services and site development.
  • IT Support and Software Maintenance Services: Providing ongoing support and maintenance for software products.
  • Geographic Information Services: Promoting the use of GIS technology.
  • Digital Animation Development: Supporting the creation of digital animations.
  • Digital Graphics Design: Facilitating digital design services.
  • Digital Data Entry and Processing: Streamlining data entry and processing services.
  • E-Learning Platforms and E-Publication: Supporting online learning and digital publishing.
  • IT Freelancing: Encouraging freelance work in the IT sector.
  • Call Center Services: Promoting the outsourcing of customer support services.
  • Document Conversion, Imaging, and Digital Archiving: Supporting the digital conversion and archiving of documents.

Conditions for Tax Exemption: These sectors will be tax-exempt provided that they ensure cashless transactions for business operations. The goal is to modernize financial transactions and integrate digital payment systems, making business activities more efficient and transparent.

This initiative is part of a broader strategy to accelerate digital adoption and innovation in Bangladesh, ultimately aiming to transform the country into a leading digital economy.

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