The Uttar Pradesh government has announced that it will distribute tablets and smartphones among students and skilled workers in the state. The decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The new scheme is aimed at the government's massive outreach just ahead of the next year's Assembly elections.
The announcement appears to be similar to the erstwhile Samajwadi Party government's scheme under which it distributed laptops and mobile phones to students.
In a statement, the state government said that smartphones and tablets will be distributed free of cost among the youth enrolled in various teaching/training programmes like graduation, postgraduation, diploma, skill development, paramedical and nursing etc in the state. The youth enrolled in the higher education, technical education, health education, skill development training, ITI and 'Seva Mitra' portal of the state will also get the benefit.
Terming the distribution of tablets and smartphones as a scheme for technical empowerment of the youth, the state government said the scheme will put a burden of Rs 3,000 crore on the state government. However, the youth will be able to complete their educational courses successfully and after completing their education, they can use the gadgets to work in various government /non-government organisations or self-reliance schemes.
"During the pandemic, various educational institutions continued with their educational activities through online means. The inevitable need of digital empowerment of students and the youth had been felt at every level. Digital mediums are also being used more and more for the youth to apply in various government and non-government jobs, get coaching/training for them or apply in any other employment," the statement said.
"The technical and educational institutions are also distributing and disseminating teaching materials, tutorial lectures to the students through online mediums. The facility of data access through internet connectivity can also be availed at affordable rates. The smart phones/tablets will make the youth residing in the urban and rural areas of the state educated, trained and self-reliant," it added.
The 'Seva Mitra' portal is an important initiative of the skill development department through which various skill services like those of plumber, carpenter, nurse, electrician, AC mechanic etc are trained. They will be provided tablets/smartphones so that they can earn their living by providing better services to the citizens.
In the proposed beneficiary category under the scheme, the youth of other categories can also be included from time to time with the approval of the Chief Minister. The decision of which beneficiary category is to be provided and to whom smartphones are to be provided will be decided at the level of Chief Minister in due course.
With IANS Inputs