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Ctrl, alt, del: Where are the free laptops that BJP promised to UP students?

The BJP government has allocated only Rs 50 for free Wi-Fi services for university and degree college students across the state in its budget.

education Updated: Jul 13, 2017 12:53 IST
No budgetary provisions  have been made the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday for the free laptops it promised to students
No budgetary provisions have been made the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday for the free laptops it promised to students(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Lucknow: The BJP manifesto released by party president Amit Shah in January this year ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls made a raft of populist promises, including free laptops for all college students with 1 GB free internet per month.

UTTAR PRADESH EDUCATION BUDGET 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
For Students
Rs 100 crore for free distribution of school bags at primary and upper primary schools run by the Basic Education Board.
Rs 300 crore for providing a pair of shoes, two pairs of socks and a sweater to students of primary and senior primary schools.
Rs 123.96 crore for free uniform and books to the students of primary and senior primary schools.
Rs 21.12 lakh for free education up to graduate level to all girls under the Ahilyabai Free Education Scheme.
Basic Education
Rs. 19,444.35 crore for Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan.
Rs 2,084.74 crore for Mid-day Meal Scheme.
Secondary Education
Rs 551.93 crore for National Secondary Education Campaign.
Rs 25 crore for 166 Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyay government model schools.
Higher Education
Rs. 191.27 crore earmarked for providing basic facilities in the Government Degree Colleges and Universities under ‘National Higher Education Campaign’.A provision of Rs. 50 crore made for providing free wifi facility in all the colleges and universities of the State
Vocational Education
A target of creating 70 lakh opportunities of employment and self-employment has been set for next five years.
Self-owned buildings for all government industrial training institutes will be constructed and under construction buildings will be completed.

No budgetary provisions, however, were made by the Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday to make good on the promise. An allocation of just Rs 50 crore was made for free Wi-Fi services for students of universities and degree colleges across the state.

“This is strange. Distribution of free laptop with 1 GB free data was one of BJP’s poll promises but no mention was made of it in their first budget. Is this another jumla by the state government?” asks Amit Rai, an undergraduate student of Lucknow University.

“The party had promised to give free laptops to all young people seeking admission in universities and colleges with 1 GB free internet a month. The youth of UP is feeling cheated,” said a university teacher who did not wish to be identified.

Part of the Samajwadi Party’s (SP) win in 2012 could be attributed to its poll promise of giving free laptops to students passing Class 12 and seeking admission in UP colleges. In five years, Akhilesh Yadav distributed 18 lakh laptops to meritorious students.

SP also promised fee smartphones if it won the 2017 polls and had also started registrations for the same, but scrapped the plan after the party lost power.

In this year’s budget, the current government has allocated Rs 21.12 lakh for free education of girls up to graduation level under the Ahilyabai Free Education Scheme.

Also, under vocational educational scheme, a target to 70 lakh employment and self-employment opportunities have been set for the next five years.

In addition to this, self-owned buildings for all government industrial training institutes will be constructed and those being built will be completed.