Punjab Chief Minister launches Rs 92 crore Smart Connect Scheme - ECAS Punjab

Punjab Chief Minister launches Rs 92 crore Smart Connect Scheme

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12

The Punjab Government today took a digital leap with the statewide launch of its Rs 92 crore Punjab Smart Connect Scheme. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh personally handed over smartphones to six Class XII students in a symbolic gesture.

Simultaneous distribution of phones was done at 26 places by various ministers, MLAs and others across the state. Each minister today handed over 20 phones each in various districts, which marked the fulfilment of a poll promise of the Congress.

The scheme, for which Rs 100 crore was allocated in the Budget for 2017-18, proposes to benefit 1,74,015 Class XII students of government schools in the first phase, which would be completed by November.

The beneficiaries comprise 87,395 boys and 86,620 girls, with majority in the OBC and SC/ST categories. The scheme will help bridge a major divide that was obstructing these students from affordable access to online/digital education.

While 36,555 beneficiaries are OBC students, 94,832 are SC and 13 ST students. Most students (1,11,857) are from the rural areas.

Capt Amarinder, who launched the scheme through video-conferencing at the Secretariat this afternoon, said people believed in the promises listed in the manifesto and it was his duty to fulfil these.

He said in the present situation, smartphones had become a necessity for the continuity of education. He said the phones were planned to be distributed in March, but the process got delayed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Arshdeep Kaur, Satinder Kaur, Sukhbir Kaur, Amanjot Singh, Ram Singh and Amanveer Singh from various government senior secondary schools of Mohali district said the smartphones they received would provide them with the much-needed access to online education in these difficult times.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu handed over smartphones to 15 girl students in Mohali, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal gave phones to 39 students in Bathinda and Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla distributed cellphones among pupils in Sangrur.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/3iFE8qf

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