Ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will distribute free smartphones and tablets to about one crore final year students in the state.
The first phase of the scheme will roll out on December 25, which marks the birth anniversary of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. On that day, one lakh smartphones and tablets will be given to final year students at Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, said an official statement issued here on Monday.
The announcement comes days after Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in a veiled dig at Adityanath, accused the chief minister of not knowing how to use a laptop.
According to the statement, free smartphones and tablets will be given to about one crore students to make them technically sound. Final year students of MA, BA, BSc, ITI, MBBS, MD, BTech, and MTech, among others, will be given preference, it added.
Special Secretary, IT and Electronics Department, Kumar Vineet said, "More than 38 lakh youths have registered themselves on the Digi Shakti Portal. Further registration is going on."
Orders have been issued by the government to companies like Lava, Samsung and Acer for the supply of smartphones and tablets. The companies will provide them before December 24, the statement said.
In the first phase, an order of about Rs 2,035 crore has been issued for the purchase of smartphones and tablets. Orders have been placed for 10.50 lakh smartphones at the rate of Rs 10,740 per smartphone and for 7.20 lakh tablets at the rate of Rs 12,606 per tablet, it said.
Addressing a public meeting in Rae Bareli on Friday, Akhilesh Yadav had said, "Even people in the villages have started using mobile phones and they know how to use them. But our Baba chief minister does not know how to operate them. Since he does not know how to use a laptop, he is not distributing laptops to youths. The laptops that were distributed during the SP regime are still working today.”
With inputs from PTI.