Digital ID Soon in Sri Lanka – President
By Rajiesh Seetharam
For efficient administration through e-governance and for international investors to see Sri Lanka as an attractive destination, high speed internet across the country is a key requirement, stated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa speaking at the Internet Day event organised by the Federation of Information Technology Industry of Sri Lanka (FITIS).
To achieve high speed internet, the President said, the government is envisaged in establishing a country-wide high speed optical data transmission system, high speed 5G mobile broadband system to facilitate data transmission, to establish digital cities with digital administration and monitoring and to introduce new legislation to ensure data protection, Cybersecurity and intellectual property rights.
“The recently established Technology Ministry has started to build technology parks which will change IT and innovation landscapes in Sri Lanka. These parks once set up will be attractive for foreign investment.
TRC is identifying areas where telecommunication facilities are poor and are taking steps to improve signal quality and better internet facilities.
To boost IT exports and achieve the USD 5 billion export target per year, the Government has provided tech companies with tax benefits” , he said.
The President added that developed countries utilise internet widely to improve access to education. He urged the private sector to exploit opportunities available in digitalising the education sector.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, 4.2 million school children in Sri Lanka had to rely on internet for education. There were many issues in rural areas where access to internet was poor or slow. There is also an acute shortage in science and Mathematics teachers, which is an impediment in our progress to science-based education. Training teachers in both these fields will take some time. High speed internet is the solution. Today, the world is finding innovative solutions and content to educate children through digital media. The private sector should exploit this field. There are plenty of opportunities in digital education sector and it is very lucrative too. “
Agriculture is another area which would benefit from digitalisation, the President said.
“Fast internet facility with the right application would link rural farmers with consumers countrywide. This will provide a fair price to the producer and a reasonable buying price to the consumer. With high speed internet, farmers will get a better opportunity to be educated in the type of fertiliser to be used, crops to be cultivated, general market prices, technical education “, he said.
The President said, a unique digital identity card with state-of-the art technology will be a reality soon.