Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 1:
The Odisha government is yet to distribute laptops among the meritorious students, who had secured more than 80 percent marks in the annual examinations in 2014.
The Higher Education department had planned to distribute laptops among these students in two phases on August 15 and August 31.
The department, as per a notification to this effect, had announced that the programme would be inaugurated by chief minister Naveen Patnaik during his visit to Brahmapur on August 12.
But the programme failed as the laptops could not reach the nodal centre in time.
A senior official of the Higher Education department said it was decided to distribute 5000 laptops by August 8 in the first phase and 10,023 laptops in the second phase.
But the laptops to be supplied by Odisha Computer Application Centre (OCAC) failed to reach the nodal centres in time. As a result, the chief minister could not inaugurate the programme, which was subsequently cancelled.
Sources in the Higher Education department said the OCAC, out of 5000 laptops, has despatched 3636 laptops to 15 district nodal centres between August 21 and 28 in the first phase.
Out of 3636 laptops, 498 have been sent to Khordha district nodal centre, 253 to Koraput, 201 to Bolangir, 200 to Cuttack, 199 to Sambalpur, 103 to Mayurbhanj, 15 to Deogarh, 25 to Malkangiri, 45 to Gajapati, 47 to Nuapada, 75 to Jharsuguda, 81 to Nabarangpur, 95 to Boudh, 107 to Rayagada and 109 to Kandhamal district nodal centre.
The official said instructions have been given to the concerned college principals to initiate the process for distribution of laptops either through a minister, local MLA or MP within 15 days.
Considering that 3,366 Plus Two meritorious students (24.2%) would be provided with a laptop each after a year of passing the annual examinations, doubts have been raised whether the remaining 11,657 (75.8%) students would avail it by the end of this year since the department has not made any announcement in this regard till date.