Four android mobile Apps, GOV.BT website and Bhutan government website standards were launched in Thimphu yesterday.

Information and communications minister DN Dhungyel, said it was important to develop Apps, which have the potential to go global.

Four mobile Apps that include City Bus Service, Dzongkha learning for kids, M-contacts and Explore Bhutan were outcome of the 21-day intensive training of ‘Android based mobile application development with Java’ at Thimphu Tech Park’s innovation technology centre.

About 18 participants attended the training in April earlier this year. All four Apps can be downloaded from the Google store.

Developer of Explore Bhutan App, Sangay Wangdi said it was developed for travellers to find and visit nearby places. “List of nearest dzongs, monasteries, and other sites will be displayed with details.”

To help commuters trace the route of the city buses, the City Bus Service App was developed. The App is expected to help people relying on City Buses to have easier access to buses.

For the App to work, bus drivers would also need to use the App, which differs from that of the users’.

Dzongkha Development Commission’s ICT officer, Tenzin Namgyel, said that Dzongkha learning App for kids uses audio and visual to make learning of names and pronunciations of Dzongkha words fun and effective. “The App was developed targeting students of sixth standard.”

He said there are plans to incorporate more categories as the App today has three categories.

M-contact App will help people working in the education ministry to have one another’s contacts. To avail the service, an employee would have to login through the employee ID that the education ministry has.

ICT champions were also recognised at the event yesterday.

Sonam Tshering and his group was recognised for their work in developing a mobile App, which is a game-based learning App for children under the category of innovation in applications or systems. “The App first started as a final year project at College of Science and Technology in June last year. But, we worked further and it was not until December that the App was completed.”

He said that winning the award was unexpected.

Vice principal of Zhemgang’s Tingtibi Lower Secondary School, Tshering Choda was also recognised as an ICT champion for his initiatives in the school under the category of excellence in management.

The ICT champion award is one of the initiatives of the ministry to encourage innovation and promote ICT adoption and usage in the country, which began from 2014.

There was no award for the category of social impact as the nominee was ineligible.

To have a common web standard, a government website standards document was launched.

DITT’s ICT officer, Darshan Thapa, said that the GOV.BT website was developed to enable a single window access to information and services being provided by the various governmental entities in the country. “GOV.BT is for ease of information and to ensure consistent experience for all users.”

It was found that the website standards will help guide the development and management of the websites, which is expected to improve quality, reliability, accuracy and accessibility of online information regarding government agencies.

Rinchen Zangmo