Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav will distribute the first set of laptops to a limited number of Class 12 passouts at a function in Lucknow on March 11, just four days before he completes his first anniversary in office.
The number of beneficiaries on the first day will be finalised later. The distribution of laptops will fulfil one of the Samajwadi Party’s key assembly election promises.
A senior official said the chief minister approved a prototype of the black and grey laptop early this month. They would be customised before the distribution. An education packs of tware has been loaded onto the laptops.
It will also have Urdu, Hindi and English language software, essential antivirus, bluetooth and a webcam with 2-GB memory (expandable upto4GB) and a 500GB hard disc drive. Other features include sample papers of prominent engineering and medical entrance tests. The manufacturers have installed images of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav with the caption ‘poore hote vaade’ (fulfilling the promises) and the logo of the state government in such a way that makes it nearly impossible for any beneficiary to remove traces of where the laptop came from.
In the assembly election manifesto, the Samajwadi Party had promised to give laptops to Class 12 passouts and tablets to Class 10 passouts. The scheme would cost the state Rs. 2,800 crore.
Sources said state government had put six districts on the priority list. These are: Lucknow, Mainpuri (the SP chief’s parliamentary constituency), Kannauj (Dimple Yadav’s Lok Sabha seat), Ghazipur, Saharanpur and Ballia.
Sources said Lucknow had over 31,000 beneficiaries and Mainpuri nearly 14,000. Laptops will be delivered to students of government and governmentaided schools in the first phase of distribution.
The Uttar Pradesh Electronics Corporation (UPEC) has been tasked with procuring the first batch of laptops from Hewlett Packard (HP) India Sales Private Limited. In all, the corporation will procure 15 lakh laptops from HP for the Class 12 passouts of 2012.
They will also get government logo-inscribed backpacks for laptops. HP has been asked to use good fabric, quality zippers, sliders, a three-compartment bag for textbooks, an adapter and a utility pocket. The laptops will also have traceability identification through customised bar codes.
Representatives of the respective district magistrates have been trained and given a user id with which they will be required to log in and upload particulars of the students, their institution and address on a portal to monitor the distribution.