The smart phone distribution was promised by Congress in its manifesto.
Chandigarh: The Punjab Cabinet on Wednesday approved the modalities for the distribution of the smart phones to students in the state. Graduating students of government schools, colleges and technical institutions will be covered in the first phase of the scheme. The students would be required to submit self-certification stating that they do not already possess a smartphone. The smart phone distribution was promised by Congress in its manifesto.
According to the spokesperson, the Cabinet also authorised the chief minister to finalise the name of the scheme, besides authorising the chairman of the committee for procurement and distribution of smart phones to make changes in the Request For Proposal (RFP) as may be required in the future.
The scheme, which is expected to give a further impetus to the state government’s digital empowerment agenda, will provide for distribution of mobile phones with various smart features, such as touch screen, camera and applications to access social media etc. In addition, one time bundled 12 GB data & 600 local minutes talk time (voice) with one year validity would also be provided under the scheme.
The vendor to implement the scheme shall be selected through an open transparent bidding process for which the tender document has already been floated by Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation. Vendors shall be on board within a period of about two months and the first batch of phones is expected to be distributed in the month of March.
It may be recalled that the department of sports and youth affairs had constituted a committee in April 2017 with the objective of implementation of the aforesaid scheme. The committee was reconstituted in August 2017 and the department of industries was made the nodal agency.
Punjab Information and Communication Technology Corporation Ltd (Punjab Infotech) under the department of industries was designated as the Executing Agency of the Project.