The Tamil Nadu government was unable to distribute the full quota of free laptops to students studying in state-run schools in this academic year 2019-2020 due to the lockdown, now the scheme is set to be back on track from March 2021. The state government of Tamil Nadu allocated Rs 950 crore to purchase more than five lakh laptops in the state budget for 2020-2021. Government and government-aided schools were closed since March due to the epidemic-induced lockdown and the purchase and distribution of laptops was discontinued.
A senior official of the Special Program Implementation Department, which oversees the scheme, said, “Distribution starts soon after the reopening of schools and polytechnic colleges in June every year.” He said that this distribution would be completed by October so that the Government Polytechnic College would have enough time to prepare students for board exams in schools and students. He further said, however, that it could not be delivered in this academic year due to the epidemic. Even the purchase of laptops from multinationals was delayed as they were unable to supply it due to transportation issues during the lockdown period.
Due to fewer corona cases, the government decided to announce an internationally competitive bid to purchase 5.32 lakh laptops. These laptops will be distributed to 5.19 lakh students of class 11, 11,533 first-year polytechnic students, 463 disabled students of class 11 and physically challenged candidates of class 12 who clear their board exams. From the year 2011 to 2020, about 51.67 lakh laptops have been distributed free of cost to the students at a cost of Rs 7257.61 crore. This year the laptop has a one-year warranty including battery with configuration, 2.0 GHz Pentium processor and 500 GB hard disk with integrated graphics supporting 128 MB VRM or higher version, Windows 10 Pro-National Academic Edition.