Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha distributed free laptops to ten meritorious students of class 12 for the 2019-20 academic session. The CM gave away the laptops on December 6 under the 'Biju Sashaktikaran Yojana'.
According to reports, around 15,000 laptops will be distributed to students this year. The handing over of the laptops to the 10 students marked the beginning of this programme which was organised at Lok Seva Bhawan. It is to be further noted that selected candidates will be given laptops at the district level.
Higher Education Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo said that every district has been allocated with one nodal college through which the rest of the students will be awarded the free laptops. As of today, data reveals that 90,203 students have been given laptops under this programme.
The selection process holds that students will be selected on the basis of merit. The merit of 15,000 students of streams including science, arts, commerce, Sanskrit, vocational and categories like general, Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) will be considered. This was until last year.
This year, Sahoo said that a selection committee was constituted to handpick the top students from each district. A transparent method has been used to select 15,000 students under this scheme, added a senior higher education department officer.
The state government has expended Rs 44.33 crore under this scheme on laptops. It's been found that the highest number of laptop beneficiaries (1624) hail from Khurda district.
The scheme was introduced in 2013 in order to motivate and enhance the skill of the state's young population.