Even almost a year after the BJP promised that it would provide smartphones to meritorious students from Class 12th if it comes to power, the phone manufacturing companies have shown no interest in supplying about 1.75 lakh phones to deserving students of the government colleges, who took admission in 2014.
The BJP had made this announcement before December 2013 assembly polls. The promise to provide smartphones to first year regular students from all sections was also contained in the party's agenda. The basic idea was to check the dropout rate after school and motivate students to continue studies.
But, due to poor response from the companies, higher education department couldn't initiate the step even after completion of the first semester. The examination of the first semester will commence from November 11.
According to sources, since the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government wanted to shell out just Rs 3,000 for each phone, the tender floated by Madhya Pradesh Electronics Development Corporation (MPEDC) on behalf of higher education department for supplying smartphones hardly got any response.
According to an official, companies didn't participate in the tender process as they were finding it difficult to provide specifications set by information and technology department in the Rs 3,000 limit.
Higher education minister Uma Shankar Gupta told HT, "No company participated in the tender process. The reason is not clear as MPEDC is looking after the tendering process. Maybe, the configuration of the smart phone is one of the reason poor response of the companies."
However, higher education, principal secretary KK Singh said, "As per information provided by MPEDC, only two companies had participated in the tendering process. One got disqualified and only one was left in contention. Therefore, bidding process had been cancelled. However, MPEDC has again floated a tender and the process would be completed in one month."