Almost 1.5 lakh students in 12th standard from government schools in Punjab have been promised free tablets. Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka recently announced that the Punjab government will provide free tablets to these students in the current financial year at a total cost of Rs 110 crore. Maluka went on to add that EDUSAT, which was launched across 1,600 schools, is now being introduced to all high and senior secondary schools in the state this year.
He went on to assure that all government schools in the state would be fully equipped with the required staff and infrastructure in science, information technology and commerce streams during the current financial year.
Free tablets for students in Punjab now (Image credit: Getty Images)
Last month, Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav handed out HP laptops to about 10,000 students as part of the UP government's laptop distribution scheme. The laptops were given out during an event at Colvin Taluqdar's College in Lucknow to intermediate students in a bid to encourage them to pursue higher studies.
Each laptop sports a 14-inch display and is equipped with a 500GB hard disk and 2GB of RAM. It has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3 USB ports, an HDMI port, media card reader and a microphone port. The laptops come with a DVD writer and support typing in Hindi, English and Urdu. It bundles MS Office Pro Academic 2010 and has a battery life of 3 hours.
In February this year, the Goa Education Department also started providing laptops to students for as little as Rs 25. Reports quoted Additional Director – Education, Anil Powar, as saying, “General category students will have to pay only Rs 25 while SC and ST students will have to pay Rs 10 to register for the scheme.”
The Goa government plans to buy almost 50,000 notebooks and tablets for distribution. Powar added that the computers will come with special e-learning packages. He went on to state that Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parikkar had even set aside Rs 95 crore towards this purchase in the budget last year.
Reportedly, the systems will have an in-built security system to make sure that the computers are not used to watch pornography or use any controversial web apps. In addition, the department will take an undertaking from the students' parents before handing out the computers. Powar added, “It is a No Objection Certificate saying they are OK with us giving them the computers. The parents should also be in a position to both goad the students to logging on to the right websites.”