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Chhattisgarh govt to distribute 5.5 mn smartphones for free

In 1st phase, phones to be distributed to families living in villages with population of over 1,000

R Krishna Das  |  Raipur 


To reduce the digital divide, the Chhattisgarh government has decided to distribute around 5.5 million for free under the (SKY). 

“The state cabinet today approved the proposal to distribute free under the launched in the state to reduce the digital divide,” said the state's Industry Minister Amar Agrawal, adding that the distribution would be taken up in two phases.

In the first phase, phones would be distributed to families living in villages with a population of over 1,000, besides urban poor families and youth enrolled in colleges. The villages selected should have full or partial coverage.

In the first phase to be taken up in 2017-18 and 2018-19, the minister said, 5.08 million would be distributed and the remaining 480,000 phones would be distributed in the second phase of the programme. In the second phase, villages having a population of less than 1,000 would be covered.

If there is a female member in the family, the smartphone would be issued in her name. The phone would be connected to the Aadhaar and bank accounts so that the beneficiary could not misuse the scheme and disconnect the phone service after getting free

The Department of Panchayat and Rural Development would select the beneficiaries in rural areas while the urban development department would list out the eligible people in the urban pockets. The Department of Higher Education would execute the scheme in colleges.

The state government had constituted a Chief Secretary-led committee for the effective implementation of the scheme. The service providers could use the government buildings for free to install towers. However, the company would be expanding the service at its own cost. 

First Published: Wed, August 23 2017. 19:17 IST