Naveen scheme to bridge ‘digital divide’ to create other divides

OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 5

3,750 plus two students will receive a nice Independence Day gift when the free laptop scheme, announced by the state government some months ago, is launched. A list of 15, 325 students, including 3,057 from the scheduled caste (SC) and 2,031 from the scheduled tribe (ST) category, who will benefit from the scheme has been drawn up by the government. The district-wise list was published on Monday.


Analysts, however, are of the view that the scheme which Chief Minister believes would help bridge the ‘digital divide’ could end up creating another kind of divide: between those who benefit out of the scheme and those who remain outside the fold.

They also foresee another kind of divide that has the potential of deepening existing geographical fault lines. The four coastal districts of Khurda (2500), Cuttack (1789), Ganjam (1470) and Balasore (1224) would corner almost half the 15, 000 laptops up for grabs, which is bound to create resentment and lead to bitterness in non-coastal areas, they point out.

Under its new state Youth Policy, the state government had promised laptops free of cost to 15,000 meritorious students, who had passed their plus two examinations successfully.

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