It is easy to offer poll sops on the eve of elections but difficult to fulfill the promises especially when the cost involved is huge 4500 crores plus and when the coffers of the state are almost empty. But if there is a will and determination then young Akhilesh Yadav can definitely implement this massive ambitious project.
As per reports, UP CM has formed high level committee to oversee the purchase and subsequent delivery of laptops and tablets to students who have passed class X and XII. The committee, headed by chief secretary Jawwed Usmani, would be entering into detailed negotiations with Information Technology (IT) majors and try to “get the best deal” for the state.
The committee would first be inviting proposals for the supply of some 47 lakh tablets and laptops and would then hold discussions to bring down the prices. The total cost of this huge project is estimated to be Rs. 4600 crore. The number of class XII students in the state is around 18.19 lakh while the number of class X students is 28.14 lakh.
The government, at the highest level, has already explored the possibility of procurement of laptops and tablets with IT major HCL whose chairman Shiv Nadar and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav have already held preliminary discussions. While the IT giant has expressed its willingness to supply the required number of laptops and tablets to the state, the government wants to explore the market further and look at other cheapest and best products.
The state government is working on a time-bound schedule and the tablets and laptops might begin to roll out sometime around September. “It is a massive exercise, right from procurement, stocking to distribution and it will definitely take some time,” an official said. The chief minister is learnt to be monitoring the project directly.
Although, this is a mammoth task and project cost is very huge, yet we hope and pray that UP Government will not compromise on quality and performance of products while choosing the vendor/vendors. They should entrust the job to reputed companies who have vast experience of providing quality products and can provide efficient after sales service. Laptops and tablets to be delivered to the students should be of high quality and trustworthy so that they can use it without any problems. This project should not be handed over to a company merely on the basis of price consideration otherwise this will have same fate as Aakash project of Human Resources Development Ministry of Government of India.
Good luck to Akhilesh for initiating process to fullfill one of its poll promises!