The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD),before it was trifurcated in April this year,had decided to provide free tablet computers to 1.98 lakh students of municipal schools. But the scheme has been put on hold because the three civic corporations now are going through financial constraints,officials said.
The computers,similar to the governments low-cost Akash tablet PCs,could not be procured and distributed among the students because the budget for education was not enough to cover the expenses,the officials said.
Most of the money allotted in the education budget goes into procurement of textbooks and payment of salaries. We have other important tasks that need funds, a North Municipal Corporation official said.
The unified MCD had passed a fund of Rs 45 crore for the tablet computer scheme. These personal computers,with built-in Internet support,WiFi and and 8GB memory card,were priced at Rs 2,200 apiece when the proposal was first floated.
Days before these were to be distributed,officials cited technical problems and the project was shelved. A new tablet computer at Rs 4,500 per piece was proposed to be distributed later. The cost doubled,but still we decided to go ahead and give it to some students,if not all. We also decided that these tablet PCs should be kept in the respective schools. But lack of funds has put on hold this plan as well, a North Municipal Corporation councillor said.
The corporations education committee chairperson,Rekha Gupta,said: We hope the officials would find a way to implement the scheme.