Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE) will deploy 36,366 more laptops to government and aided schools in the State by next month.
Minister for General Education V. Sivankutty said at a press conference here on Tuesday that this was in addition to annual maintenance contract (AMC) support for 32,000 laptops for two years beyond their warranty period. The 36,366 additional laptops included 16,500 laptops, with Intel Core-i3 processor and five-year warranty, to the tune of ₹55.34 crore for labs in high-tech schools; 2,360 laptops with Celeron processors through the new tender for Vidyakiranam project; and 17,506 laptops through re-distribution through the Vidyakiranam project.
As part of the High-Tech School project, 4.4 lakh ICT equipment to the tune of ₹760 crore had been deployed in State schools till now.
KITE has started the distribution of the 16,500 laptops and these can be used for the IT practical examinations beginning February 15. These can be used in the high-tech labs in schools without the distinction of high school/higher secondary/vocational higher secondary. The General Education Department will oversee whether this is adhered to and make necessary re-arrangements, if needed.
AMC support has also been facilitated for 32,000 laptops for which the five-year warranty expires this year. This will be expanded to 90,000 laptops and 72,000 projectors on expiry of their warranty. Insurance coverage has also been provided to these equipment by United India Insurance Company Ltd. By virtue of this, damage to the ICT equipment owing to natural calamity or theft will be covered. KITE has also set up a web portal and call center for complaint redressal.
Mr. Sivankutty said the government had released the revised ICT guidelines for procurement and deployment of ICT equipment to schools and offices using government funds, and MP/MLA/local self-government funds.
The guidelines detail the minimum specification, maximum price, and after sales support that have to be adhered to strictly. It mandates five-year warranty for all IT equipment and the supplier has to display the call centre number and web portal address for complaint registration on all equipment.
A penalty charges of ₹100 per day will be levied on the supplier in case of delay in closing a complaint within the deadline. Prior approval of the SCERT and the KITE is essential for deploying any digital content/digital library in schools. No proprietary software or those with any licence restrictions should be deployed to schools at any cost; only FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)-based software should be used.
Cyber safety protocol issued for schools should be strictly followed. There should not be any activity at the school level that captures or shares the personal details of students or hosts such details on any private server.
The Minister said KITE had been given the responsibility of conducting IT infrastructure audit every year and submit the report to the government.
“The High-Tech School and High-Tech Lab projects are the largest ICT projects in education ever undertaken in India. It will also be the first time that AMC support and insurance coverage are arranged for five lakh ICT equipment at the same time. It is the General Education Department’s top priority to provide continuous IT trainings, develop digital content, make school administration more effective, and provide cyber safety training to all, including parents,” the Minister said.
General Education Principal Secretary A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish and and KITE CEO K. Anvar Sadath were present at the press meet.