Keltron will shortly invite a Rs.40-crore national-level tender for buying computer hardware for more than 4,100 schools in the State that come under the “ICT in School” scheme of the Union government. The implementing agency is the IT@School project of the State government.

This year, the tenders are being called for approximately 8,000 laptops, 7,500 desktop computers, 2,500 multimedia projectors, 1,000 UPS(uninterrupted power supply) units, and 1,000 multifunction (print-scan-copy) printers. Each school will receive equipment that cost Rs.1 lakh. In government high schools with a high student strength, the amount can go up to Rs.2.5 lakh. The tender is being called based on the lists sent by various schools.

G. Jayshankar, former Principal of Government Engineering College, Barton Hill, will lead the technical committee which will look into the specifications of hardware and other technicalities.

Benefits

The benefits made through this scheme will be put to use in other schemes for providing different equipment to schools. Last year, 10,000 laptops and 18,000 netbooks were bought based on the ICT scheme. The teachers were permitted to buy laptops and netbooks through this scheme and it was found that more than 10,000 teachers made use of this service.

Since many schools are using the free software developed by IT@School, the government receives a minimum profit of Rs.15 crore in the software division. Customised versions of operating systems, Office package, graphics, multimedia, video editing, animation, and GIS software, and educational software are being provided by IT@School. This provides major profit as against the use of proprietary software that require spending at least Rs.35,000 a computer.

“IT@School is not only providing hardware to schools. All the equipment will be insured,” K. Anwar Sadat, executive director of the project, said.