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  • Chairman and chief software architect of the US-based Microsoft Bill Gates unveiled before Prime Minister Khaleda Zia his company's plan for expanding investment in the country's nascent knowledge-based economy with information technology at its centre, report agencies.

    Microsoft will come up in more areas and take advantage of prevailing investment environment here.

    The richest man of the world took a very optimistic note of government's pragmatic policies, programmes and achievements in education, information communication technology (ICT) and health sectors under the leadership of Prime Minister Khaleda.

    As Prime Minister Khaleda showed her interest in grooming skilled information technology (IT) experts in Bangladesh, the computer super-genius said that they were going to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Education Ministry for imparting computer training to teachers.

    A philanthropist, the Microsoft chief showed interest in extending supports for reducing neo-natal mortality rate in Bangladesh.

    He also appreciated personal commitment and initiative of the Prime Minister to set up Asian Women University in Chittagong through allocating land where the Bill Gates Foundation provided financial supports.

    The Microsoft chief, whose company opened already an office in Dhaka, said they would also collaborate with other universities for ICT development.

    He also appreciated the works of Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) and International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in health sector.

    Microsoft will train up 200,000 students and 10,000 teachers across Bangladesh in next three years to equip them with working knowledge of Information Technology (IT) -- world's fastest-growing sector encompassing all spheres of life and business.

    e also present at the meeting. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed.

    Under this programme, Microsoft is providing technology access and skill-based training to primary and secondary school students in developing countries and un-deserved communities around the world.

    Gates, in his presentation on "Innovation and Partnership", also discussed about the convergence system which would bring all technologies as well as devices under one platform.

    The Microsoft chairman also assured all concerned of a programme for launching the Bangla Unicode operating system for many local users who are not habituated with the English and that "it doesn't contradict with Bangla version in India".

    He said Bangladesh has a vast potential in the IT sector if its manpower can be IT-educated and referred to an MOU signed with ICT Ministry under which the Microsoft will train up 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students. Bill Gates said that the advancement of technology is very rapid. "Computer is million times powerful that it was 25 years ago. It is now universal, it is the internal artery of the society. Now almost every computer is connected with internet."


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