KSFE to sell 'Vidyashree' laptops at cheap rate as govt's scheme flops

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Thiruvananthapuram: First Pinarayi government’s much-celebrated ‘Vidyashree’ laptop distribution scheme has turned into a big flop as the laptops purchased to dispense among students at low-cost EMI stockpiled due to no demand. The state government approved the sale of the laptops at a nominal cost to the KSFE staff.

The order was released based on the report submitted by the Managing Director of KSFE. In the report, the KSRTC MD observed that the 4,097 laptops stored in the various KSFE branches will get damaged as there is no demand. Following this, the government allowed KSFE to avail the laptops for office purposes or sell to the staff.

The project, jointly launched by KSFE and Kudumbashree aimed to assure online education for the students during the pandemic. Though the scheme aimed to sell 1.44 lakh laptops, only below 10,000 laptops were sold out.

It is learnt that the officials in charge of the project failed to distribute the laptops to the 61,981 applicants on time. As they could not get the laptops on time, many of them had withdrawn the applications for laptops. Meanwhile, many laptops distributed by ‘Coconics’ were damaged, and it turned out to be a major setback for the project.

The government revamped the scheme in August 2021 and allowed the applicants to purchase laptops and tablets directly from stores after joining the chit. As per the revised rules, the applicants will be eligible to receive a fund up to Rs 20,000 if they produce the bill of laptop purchase.

However, the companies delivered the ordered laptops to KSFE amidst this. But the applicants had decided to back off from purchasing it due to the delay. Thus, 45,260 laptops are being dumped in the branches of KSFE. Most of the laptops were handed over for the Vidyakiranam scheme of KITE. The remaining laptops were decided to sell out among the KSFE staff now.

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