Purchase of tablets for Class X passouts caught in tender hurdle

A year after starting the process for purchase of about 26.62 lakh tablet PCs to be distributed free of cost to Class X passouts,the state government is finding it hard to complete the tender process for purchase — the first step in this direction.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published:May 21, 2013 1:14 am

A year after starting the process for purchase of about 26.62 lakh tablet PCs to be distributed free of cost to Class X passouts,the state government is finding it hard to complete the tender process for purchase — the first step in this direction.

A month after holding a pre-bid conference with interested companies,the government has not been able to answer their queries so far and sources inform that as a result,the last date to open the technical bid,which was June 10 this year,is likely to be delayed further.

Sources inform that apart from a large supply,high qualification criteria set by the state government along with commitment sought from the interested companies — for distribution and opening service centres till the tehsil level in the state — is acting as a deterrent.

While companies are demanding some relaxations in the criteria,the government is yet to decide or clarify.

The state government had announced free distribution of tablets to Class X and laptops to Class XII passouts in the state. While the process of distribution of laptops has been initiated,purchase of tablets is facing hurdles. The government had cancelled the tender once earlier this year as out of three companies,which had applied then,only one was able to submit the sample tablet in time. HP,HCL and Acer had applied in the tender then,which was cancelled as only HCL was able to provide the sample tablet for test. Later,a fresh tender was floated in April this year and June 10 was fixed as the date for opening technical qualification bid.

In the tender,only bidders with annual turnover of at least Rs 1,100 crore for three consecutive years are allowed to participate. The apart,the selected bidder would be required to open service centres in all 313 tehsils across the state (about 4-5 in each district).

Explaining the need for such qualification criteria,a senior officer said,“26.62 lakh is just the number from previous year,this would keep on increasing every year and if the company does not have enough backing,there are more than 50 per cent chances they would break the supply or would not be able to maintain quality.

“Thus,we have kept high-qualification criteria so that only big players in the market could apply,” explained a senior official.

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