Kerala

Vidyashree scheme beset by hurdles

The Vidyashree student laptop scheme has been hobbled by setbacks since its launch.

The government had a couple of days ago decided that owing to delays in supply of laptops by the empanelled companies, besides non-availability of laptops for ₹15,000, the Kerala State Financial Enterprises microcredit scheme for ₹15,000 associated with Vidyashree will be reconfigured to ₹20,000. Now, complaints have arisen that the laptops delivered to students are faulty.

The complaints have been raised against a company backed by the government. The company has so far delivered 2,150 laptops, against a purchase order of 4,845 as per the KSFE.

A faulty hardware component led to complaints regarding one batch of laptops distributed by the company. Though the defective laptops were replaced they also developed problems. Following this, supply of laptops was stopped immediately.

It is estimated some 20% of the laptops supplied have problems. All the faulty laptops will be replaced within three to four weeks, the company said.

A mechanism for the replacement is yet to be worked out, Kudumbashree, in association with whom the project is being implemented, said.

The government cites delay in supply of laptops for reconfiguring the microcredit scheme from ₹15,000 to be repaid in 30 months by paying ₹500 a month to ₹20,000. Vidyashree scheme beneficiaries now have the option of purchasing laptops or tablets from the market and presenting the invoice or bill to a KSFE branch and getting the cost or maximum of ₹20,000, whichever is less. This has to be repaid in 40 months at ₹500 a month.

Those still interested in buying the laptops of the two companies that have delayed supplies the maximum will get these through the KSFE once these become available.

The government has decided to take legal action against the two companies for delays and entrusted the same to the KSFE Managing Director.

While one company has supplied 160 laptops against 34,365 purchase orders, the most orders placed, another is yet to supply even one against 19,063 orders, as per the KSFE.

Distribution of all laptops received except 467 has been completed.

The scheme was launched last year to facilitate online education of children during the pandemic.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 7:14:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/vidyashree-scheme-beset-by-hurdles/article35571857.ece

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