Now, Badals look towards UPA’s Aakash to deliver poll promise
The state education department has decided not to issue tender for the tablets but avail the Centre’s largesse for schoolchildren. “Though a committee was formed on the matter, no tenders were finally floated since HRD Minister Kapil Sibal has also announced that tablets will be given to schoolchildren throughout the country. Aakash tablets are touted as the best in technology and are also economical, so why should Punjab not avail the benefit of the scheme? We have asked the HRD Ministry if the Aakash tablets will also be distributed to students in Punjab and are waiting for their response,” said Punjab Director General (Education) K S Pannu.
In the game of one-upmanship in the run-up to the state polls, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced laptops for schoolchildren in SAD’s election manifesto against Congress’ promise to give subsidy on Aakash tablets. But on retaining power, the cash-strapped finance department pegged the cost of providing laptops to three lakh Classes XI and XII students to Rs 420 crore — pricing each laptop at Rs 14,000, as provided by the Tamil Nadu government.
Later, it decided to distribute “more useful and economical” tablets, which would have cut the cost by
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