BANGALORE, INDIA: As part of the UP government’s laptop distribution scheme, Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh distributed free laptops to about 10,000 intermediate students.
This initiative was taken by the UP government to encourage the students to pursue higher studies in future. It was also a part of the election campaign promise by Samjawadi Party which is now led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav who came to power on March 15, 2012.
On January 23, 2013, the UP Government had approved the purchase of 15 lakh laptops from HP India at a unit cost of Rs. 19,058. The UP Government had invested about Rs. 2,858 crore for purchasing 15 lakh laptops from HP India that includes all taxes and duty costs. Owing to the large scale of the tender, the deal was delayed thrice before and now it has finally fructified.
The free laptops feature a 14-inch display and a 500GB hard diskÂ along with 2GB RAM. It is also equipped with features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and has a battery life of minimum 3 hours.
Along with a power slot, the laptop comes with 3 USB ports, an HDMI port, media card reader and a microphone port. There’s also a VGA port along with ports for headphones and speakers.Â
Apart from having a DVD writer, the laptops are equipped with Hindi, English and Urdu typing capabilities. The laptops come with Microsoft Security Essentials to keep the laptops virus-free. It also has MS-Office Pro Academic 2010. Among other accessories are a carry bag and a user manual.
For getting these free laptops, students should be studying in higher education institutes, recognised by a known authority of the state. The students should have passed either the Intermediate exam held by Madhyamik Shiksha Parishad, Allahabad in 2012 or Uttar Madhyama exam by Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Sanskrit Shiksha Parishad or Alim exam that is equivalent to intermediate exam by Uttar Pradesh Madarsa Shiksha Parishad or the Class 12 exams of C.B.S.E or I.C.S.E boards in 2012.
As per the official spokesperson, the laptops are equipped with a repository of digital content. The party had also promised for free computer tablets for students clearing their Class 10 examinations. However, the process of purchasing the tablets is still underway, as per an official spokesperson.
In the recent past, the Tamil Nadu Govt, Goa Education Department and the Goa Government had attempted to make technology available for the students at a low cost.