Bhubaneswar, Aug 29 :
With the model code of conduct in force for the elections to urban local bodies (ULBs), the Odisha government has sought permission from the State Election Commission (SEC) to distribute free laptops to meritorious plus two pass outs in the state.
As per the government’s decision, a total of 15,235 students would get free laptops, including 5,088 belonging to tribal and Dalit category, under the Biju Yuva Sashaktikaran Yojana.
“I am to say that distribution of laptops to meritorious students to meet their learning requirement is one of the objectives of state youth policy. This programme was launched on August 7 by chief minister Naveen Patnaik. These laptops are to be handed over to district nodal colleges for distribution,” wrote Gagan Kumar Dhal, higher education secretary in a recent letter to SEC seeking permission to distribute the laptops.
In a bid to woo the youth, the Biju Janata Dal Government had advanced the distribution of free laptops to meritorious Plus Two pass outs on August 7 as the model code of conduct for ULB elections was to come into effect from August 12.
The State government had earlier announced that the free laptop distribution process would start at a function that was scheduled to be held at the BJB College in Bhubaneswar on August 15.
The latest move seeking SEC’s clearance for another round of distribution of laptops before the ULB polls is being seen as one that has more to do with political expediency than the stated objective.