As part of an initiative by the Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, one lakh final year students in degree colleges will be given tablets by June of this year. The state’s government has tied up with Ricoh India for the supply of these tablets. In addition, 14,000 laptops will also be given to students in medical and engineering college.
In a statement to PTI, Chhattisgarh Infotech and Biotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) CEO AM Parial said, “It is an initiative of our Chief Minister. Under the project we will distribute around 1 lakh tablets to students in final year of their graduation in any stream. For tablets, we have given contract to Ricoh India.”
Parial added that the IT firm has joined hands with a Chinese manufacturer to supply the tablets, and that each unit will cost the state government Rs 6,699.
Tablets will given out to final year degree students (Image Credits: Getty Images)
Each tablet has a 9.7-inch multi-touch display and will come with support for 2G and 3G connectivity. “Students will find latest technology features (sic) in the tablet,” he said.
Additionally, under its Yuva Suchna Kranti Yojana, the state will distribute free laptops to final year medical and engineering students. HCL Infosystems has won the contract to supply the laptops. About the notebook initiative, Parial said, “Despite our volumes being low, we are procuring laptops with good configuration at very low price of around Rs 7,190 per unit from HCL. With taxes, it will cost us around Rs 7,800 which is less compared to rates at which some of the states have procured (their devices).“
All laptops that will be given to students will be powered by Intel dual-core processors and additionally will have 2GB of RAM, a 500GB hard disk and Wi-Fi support. In a similar instance recently, the Uttar Pradesh government handed out free HP laptops to 10,000 students, as part of the state government's laptop distribution scheme.
By bringing together technology and education, some state governments have earned themselves some much needed brownie points. While giving tablets and the likes to degree college students is great, the grassroots could also do with some help from technology. Nevertheless, the trend that emerged with Aakash has improved academic life in parts of the country.