App to launch on January 26, registration to begin the same day
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) will get the vaccine registration app, meant for registering candidates online, for free.
Prof Mizanur Rahman, director (MIS) of DGHS, said the organisation paid no money to the ICT division or any other private organizations for developing the app.
“All we have to do is carry the maintenance cost and fees for the services we obtain from different government authorities,” he said.
“The budget – we primarily made – could be less if the service charges [for sms or NID verification and so on] were to be omitted or reduced by the organizations concerned,” Mizanur added.
He, however, could not confirm the budget primarily estimated for said operation.
The combined efforts of a2i and ICT division will help bring the app to life. They will also provide the necessary technical support. DGHS officials on Monday said the online registration would start from January 26, the very same day when the app acquires permission from the Health Ministry.
Asked who the app developers were, he said, as per his concern, the ICT division was doing it on its own. He would not provide further details.
Dr Dewan Md Humayun Kabir, joint secretary and joint project director of a2i, said the organisation was not taking any money for developing the app as this was a homegrown project, taken up by the ICT division.
The app would be operated under a platform, “Surakkha,” an initiative of the ICT division, he said, adding that “since the app is being developed through using own resources, it will cost nothing.”
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The app would be free for downloads and anyone knowing how to operate a smartphone could use it for registration. If any vaccine candidate lost her vaccine registration card, she could download it once again from surakkha.gov.bd, DGHS officials said on Sunday.
Asked about information regarding a Tk90cr budget that was reported by news media and soon flooded social media platforms, drawing huge criticism, he said: “First of all, the team working here was not clear if they would purchase the software from the international market [Japan, for example] or the local market, or homegrown software would be used. Besides, we were not confirmed about the ‘hosting’ and the ‘boost’ as well.”
“So, a primary estimate was made that was later dismissed by the team. This might have misled someone,” he added.
Dr Dewan Md Humayun Kabir, however, said that they were thinking of giving some money to the software developers as a reward.
“But no concrete decision has been made and the decision will depend on the availability of money in miscellaneous funds but it won’t exceed Tk25 lakh,” he added.
NDC to store data
The cost of maintenance of the app and database will come to a very limited scale as all the data collected through the process would be preserved at the National Data Centre (NDC).
“There is an instruction from our prime minister that all the national data should be stored in our own servers. And so it has been decided that this data would be stored at the NDC,” said Humayun Kabir.
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The country has three data centres. Among them, one is BTCL data centre, one is 3-Tier NDC and one is 4-Tier National Data Centre (4TDC).
The data would be stored at the NDC as it would be safer to preserve data there, the joint director added.
The 3-tier data centre has 7 petabyte space. And the data that would accumulate would relatively occupy very little space in it, he said.