Over the next eight months, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav launched free laptop scheme for intermediate pass students as promised in the manifesto during assembly elections last year.
Akhilesh Yadav will gift nearly 15 lakh laptops to first-year college students.
Just to remind the lucky recipients of who they have to thank for their freebie, the Hewlett-Packard laptops, worth Rs. 19,000 each, will boot up with photos of the chief minister and his father, Mulayam Singh, on the home page.
Before the national elections in 2009, the manifesto of their Samajwadi Party argued against schools and colleges teaching English or computers. In last year’s elections, Akhilesh, who led his party’s campaign, sought to reverse that, vowing to give free computers to students.
“Through internet, the children will enter a new world and get the benefit of progressive education,” Yadav said.
Today, 10,000 students from colleges in Lucknow received their laptops from the 39-year-old Chief Minister, who completes his first year in office on Friday. “If this is what we can achieve in one year, imagine what we can accomplish over the next four years,” he said.
Some in his target audience seemed to have got the message, loud and clear. Pankaj, a first-year student of a medical college in Lucknow, is now eligible to vote. When the next election comes around, he says, the Chief Minister’s party is likely to get his support – provided it keeps other promises too, he cautioned.
“It is true that a number of people were waiting for this scheme. The opposition parties were waiting for it, but I believe that the youths and students were waiting for it more enthusiastically,” said Yadav.
Through Internet, the children will enter a new world and get the benefit of progressive education,” he added.
Yadav said laptop and Internet has changed everything, whether it is government functioning or field of education.
“We want that tomorrow the world should not say that we have not done internet-based progressive education,” he added.
A confident Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister further said ‘when this project was being prepared, the people said it would not take off’.