Dealers of used laptops are purchasing from students and selling them, says Aam Aadmi Party

In a serious misuse of the incentives provided by the government to encourage education, several instances of students selling the free laptops issued to them have come to light in Coimbatore.

The laptops, which are specially manufactured for the Government scheme, were being purchased by computer dealers and they put these up for sale in online classifieds companies such as ‘quikr’ and ‘olx.’

The laptops were given to students studying in Plus-Two, irrespective of their groups, in Government schools and those in aided schools studying under the government-funded sections. The objective was to encourage them to pursue higher education.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday sent a petition to the Chief Minster’s Cell seeking the State Government’s intervention in stopping this practice.

A petition was also submitted to the district administration at the grievances meeting.

The AAP district secretary, S. Mohamed Rafi, told The Hindu that this was a flagrant misuse of taxpayer’s money. Purchase of these laptops was equivalent to buying stolen goods.

At present, some safeguards have been put in place but they are not proving to be adequate. If any of these laptops were to be taken to the service centres for maintenance, the seal of the headmaster from the school to which it was issued and also the student identity card must be furnished.

Mr. Rafi suggested that to prevent such diversion, beneficiaries of the free laptop schemes must be told to show it to their school headmasters periodically and also providing the laptops only to those from economically weaker sections of the society.

Also, the specification of the free laptop given to the student must be recorded in the board examination marks sheets or the transfer certificates.

It must also be mandated that all beneficiaries must register a police complaint, if they lose their laptop. They must also furnish a copy of the First Information Report to the school.

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