DW BUREAU / DERA BABA NANAK
The Punjab Cabinet Thursday approved the modalities for distribution of smart mobile phones to the state’s youth, to pave
the way for the implementation of the scheme from December this year.
This decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here at Anaj Mandi.
The vendor to implement the scheme would be selected through an open transparent bidding process and the tender document would be floated by Punjab Information Technology Corporation Ltd. The vendor would be on board within a period of about two months, and the first batch of phones is expected to be distributed in December 2019.
Giving details, an official spokesperson said that in the first phase, the mobile phones would be distributed to girl students who do not own a smart phone and are studying in class 11th and 12th of Government schools in Punjab, in the current financial year. The phones would have various smart features such as touch screen, camera and applications to access social media etc.
The State Government had announced its ‘Mobile Phones to the Youth’ scheme, in line with its poll promise, in its Budget for the financial year 2017-18, and the due allocation of funds was made in the budget for 2018-19.
The scheme is aimed providing digital access to youth and information regarding education, career opportunities, access to skill development & employment opportunities, access to basic citizen services through government applications etc. The scheme would give further impetus to the digital empowerment and inclusion of the society.
This initiative would encourage and incentivize youth to use digital technology in their day-to-day life, thus enabling them to become partners in the Digital Punjab initiative.