To reduce the digital divide which stands at 29 per cent, the lowest in the country, the Chhattisgarh government distributed the first three of the fifty lakh smartphones under the Centre’s ambitious Rs 1467.90 crore Sanchar Kranti Yojana on Thursday. Around 40 lakh women belonging to villages with a population of more than 1,000 people, five lakh women from the BPL (below poverty line) families in urban areas and five lakh college students will be provides the phones under the scheme.
The Micromax Bhagat 4, with 2 GB Ram, processor of 1.4 GHz, 16 GB storage, five megapixel front camera and an eight megapixel rear camera with five-inch screen will be distributed to the college students under the scheme. The remaining beneficiaries will receive Micromax Bharat 2+ phones. Its primary features are 1 GB RAM, 1.2 GHz processor, 8 GB storage, 2 Megapixel front camera and 5 Megapixel rear camera and 4 inch screen.
“Using these smartphones, the beneficiaries will be able to access the internet, use social media and make digital payments. The current price of the Micromax Bharat 4 is Rs 5,999 and Micromax Bharat 2+ is Rs 4499. However, through the bid, Micromax is providing the smartphones at a discounted price of Rs 4142.88 and Rs 2509.92 respectively. This would allow CHIPS (Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society) to save a cumulative amount of Rs 991.99 crore,” a senior official said.
On the opposition’s doubts whether the beneficiaries will have to use none other than Reliance Jio sim cards, a senior official said, “The phone is dual sim, so any sim can be used in the second slot right from the beginning. One sim is Jio specific, which can be used to avail the data and call time privileges. But that too will be unlocked once the scheme period ends.”