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Launch of free laptop scheme advanced as HC vacates stay on civic polls

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laptopOST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 7

With the Orissa High Court vacating the interim stay on the holding of elections to 91 municipalities and Notified Area Councils (NACs) yesterday, the state government was sent scurrying into advancing the launch of the free laptop scheme for meritorious students who passed plus two examinations this year.

Originally scheduled for Independence Day, the launch of the scheme had to be hurriedly advanced to today since the High Court order to complete the elections by September 29 as scheduled meant that the election code of conduct could come into force any day now.

Officials entrusted with the responsibility of procuring and readying the laptops for distribution on August 15 had to burn midnight oil after the government decided to advance the launch date last night in a desperate attempt to beat the deadline.

But there was no way 3, 750 laptops scheduled to be distributed on August 15 could be tested and readied in a few hours. In the event, barely 20 laptops were distributed at the hurriedly organised function at Jayadev Bhavan on Wednesday afternoon.

While officials and engineers entrusted with the task of testing grumbled about the sudden change of date, the students who received the laptops are not complaining. “I got the information only yesterday evening and had to prepare for today’s function at short notice. But I am happy that I got the laptop a week before I was scheduled to get one,” said one of the 20 lucky recipients.