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The ambitious free laptop scheme of the Tamil Nadu government, in which 68 lakh laptops are to be distributed to government-aided higher secondary school and college students, is all set to get rolling this week.
Under the scheme, a poll promise of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa that will be launched on September 15, the government will distribute 9.12 lakh laptops this year and the balance in the next four years.
Jayalalithaa had, in her election manifesto, said that if her party comes into power, it would distribute free laptops to government schools and colleges from Sept 15, coincinding with former chief minister CN Annadurai's birth anniversary.
The scheme, the first-of-its-kind in the country, would be issued to students of government-aided higher secondary schools, arts and science colleges, engineering colleges and polytechnic colleges.
While the whole project will entail a cost of Rs 10,200 crore, the government has allocated Rs 912 crore for the distribution of the 9.12 lakh laptops in the first year, a senior government official said.
For distribution, the government has assigned Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT) as the nodal agency, considering its rich experience and performance on large-scale procurement.
For procurement of laptops, ELCOT recently issued a global tender for the 9.12 lakh laptops to be supplied in the first phase in this financial year.
IT majors Hewlett-Packard and Acer have already supplied 4,000 and 2,000 laptops respectively for the Sept 15 launch, the official said. For the remaining nine lakh laptops, the bidding process is still on, he added.
Source: Times of India