In a major setback to the Uttar Pradesh governments ambitious free tablet distribution scheme,no bidder turned up as the last date to submit tender passed on Monday.
It has been a year since the state began the process to procure tablets for 26.62 lakh students who had passed class 10 in 2011-12. Now,the problem for the government is that 28.86 lakh more students have since passed class 10,raising the total number of those entitled to tablets to 55.48 lakh.
Sources said one of the reasons for lack of response from the bidders was the failure of the state to reply to their queries and requests raised during the pre-bid meeting two months ago. Around 15 bidders,including HCL,Samsung,HP and Acer,had participated in the meeting in April. But none of the them turned up for the bid on Monday.
We could not give a reply to the firms in time. But,that is no longer a problem because technically if no bidder turns up for the tender then it is regarded as lapsed. Now the state will have to float a fresh tender and the process will begin again, said a state official.
Now the bid will be considered as lapsed and the government will float a fresh tender. But it will have to decide whether the fresh tender would be for procurement of 26.62 lakh tablets or 55.48 lakh.
Earlier this year,the government had cancelled the tender because out of three companies HP,HCL and Acer that had applied,only HCL was able to provide a sample tablet for test. However,in the present case,bidders had requested for relaxation in the bidding criteria,especially the commitment for opening service centres in 313 tehsils,with engineers and technical staff.