AHEAD OF the Lok Sabha elections, the cash-strapped Punjab government has decided to give smartphones to youths in the state — a promise made by the Congress before the state polls in 2017. The move was approved by the state Cabinet during a meeting on Wednesday.
As per the plan, the state will provide a smartphone worth Rs 3,000-4,000 to students who have passed their senior secondary examination.
Only those students who have never owned a smartphone will be considered for the scheme. Self-certification would be required from the students stating that they do not already own a smartphone.
A government statement said the smartphone would have a touch screen, camera and applications to access social media etc. In addition, 12 GB data and 600 minutes local talktime (voice) with one year validity will also be provided under the scheme.
The financial implications of the scheme as well as the total number of beneficiaries is not known yet. A government functionary told The Indian Express that the picture would become clear only after the bids are invited and the tender is allotted to a vendor to supply the phones.
The state is yet to finalise the scheme’s name.