Punjab govt distributes free smartphones to class 12 students
The Congress-led dispensation in Punjab rolled out the much-awaited smartphone scheme in the state on Wednesday, with distributing free mobile handsets to some class 12 students of government schools.
The scheme saw light of the day more than three years after the Congress came to power in the state.
Giving free smartphones to the youth of the state was one of the key poll promises of the Congress during the 2017 assembly elections.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh launched the ‘Punjab Smart Connect Scheme’ through video conferencing here.
He handed over smartphones to six class 12 students in a symbolic gesture. Simultaneous distribution of phones was done at 26 places by various ministers, MLAs and others across the state.
Each minister personally handed over 20 phones to students in various districts to mark the launch of the scheme.
The scheme will benefit 1,74,015 class 12 students of government schools in the first phase which will be completed by November this year.
A total of 1.11 lakh beneficiaries of the scheme are from rural areas.
Among the 1,74,015 class 12 students being covered under the first phase, 94,832 belong to the Scheduled Caste category and 36,555 are OBC.
Speaking on this occasion, the CM said people believe in the promises listed in the election manifesto and it was, thus, his duty to ensure the implementation of each one of them.
The smartphone being distributed under the scheme is a good functional phone, the CM said, adding that it will become a major tool for the education of the students.
Earlier speaking on this occasion, Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla said a sum of Rs 92 crore was being spent on procuring these smartphones.