State Minister for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated Google Bus Bangladesh project at the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC) on Wednesday.
Google Asia Pacific Country Manager, Emerging Markets, James McClure was present at the launch.
The project aims to educate half a million college and university students about Internet's power and utilities, and to introduce Google's free applications.
The Google Bus initiative will hold instructor-led workshops about the internet in 35 places across Bangladesh.
Google Bus has already run several workshops in Dhaka’s educational institutions.
In next two to three months, workshops will be held in key cities, including six divisional cities.
Google Bus is equipped with nine monitors and sound systems and has 3G internet connectivity. It will help students use the Internet and communicate.
State minister Palak said, "The ICT ministry is proud to be part of this project. This bus will provide internet training to half a million college and university students in 500 educational institutions in one year.”
The internet was not merely for chatting, he said. “In our country, parents have a bad impression about the internet. We are still in the dark about its many uses."
He said everyone must learn to use this facility. He hoped the project would make students aware of the free Google applications that will give them access to health and education-related information.
McClure expressed optimism about Bangladesh’s future. "Bangladesh is a country on the move with an immense pool of youthful citizens to help it progress and prosper.”
He felt the right training would enable the young population to “maximise the endless possibilities of the internet and create a connected, digital Bangladesh for the global village”.
When asked why a project as big as this had only one bus, he said, “We should be judged by our progress… not by the number of buses used in this project."
Informing journalists about Google's future partnership with Bangladesh government in various projects, MacClure said, "In two or three months, Google will launch its 'Street view' project in cooperation with Bangladesh government."
Responding to a query, the junior ICT minister said, in future, there would be a project for students below 16 as well.
"Currently, we have 23,500 multimedia classrooms and 3,500 computer labs. Over the next two years, we will have 2,000 new computer labs with multimedia facilities," he said.
Students interested in taking part in the workshop will get latest information about the project on