Govt takes first step towards free laptop, tablet distribution

The state government has started the process for distributing free laptops and tablets to students.

Uttar Pradesh Electronics Corporation Ltd (UPECL), which has been selected as the nodal agency for procurement of laptops and tablets, has floated e-tender for selection of consultant for the project and June 9 has been set as the last date for submission of bids.

The government has kept the scope of the consultant huge — right from preparation of the bid document for international competitive bid, preparation of the schemes for distribution and training to students, monitoring of distribution to finally taking up the audit of the supply as well.

While the selection of the consultants would be done through online-tender process, sources said that the government is thinking on the lines of floating e-tender to ensure transparency and ease for international players. Though, the final decision on this is yet to be taken.

The Akhilesh Yadav government has also decided that till the time any separate Project Management Unit for the implementation of the scheme is formed, Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Campaign Council would take over the role. The council was formed in 2009 to oversee the implementation of secondary education campaign in the state. The council has state secondary education minister and chief secretary as the ex-officio members along with ministers of basic education, planning, finance and social welfare.

Since, the Chief Minister also holds the portfolio of state secondary education minister, the step would mean that the entire monitoring and management of the scheme would be directly under his purview through the council.

As per the deadlines set for the consultants in the e-tender, the final procurement would not begin before September 2012. A senior officer informed that apart from preparing the request for the proposal document for the project, the consultant would be required to prepare scheme for three purposes — Distribution of laptops and tablets upto the district nodal officers, Scheme for training of students, and Scheme for "establishment of repairing and maintenance cenat the block level" in the state.

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