Distribution of high-quality smartphones free of cost to people

The government has prepared a time-bound programme for distribution of high-quality smartphones free of cost to people under the 'Sanchar Kranti Yojana(SKY)'

Under a government scheme, free smartphones will be given to women and students. The phone will have an application by which beneficiaries will be able to access information about several public welfare programmes and also enjoy a host of other benefits.

The government has prepared a time-bound programme for distribution of high-quality smartphones free of cost to 50 lakh people of the state under the ‘Sanchar Kranti Yojana(SKY)’, an official in Raipur said today.

It is first such scheme in India, under which 45 lakh women and five lakh college students will get smartphones, he said.

The phones will have an app named ‘Goth’ (meaning talk in Chhattisgarhi dialect) through which the beneficiaries will be updated about various public welfare schemes of the state and central governments, he said.

The app will also provide useful information on various topics for women, farmers, children, and youth.

The Goth app will provide information related to schemes of agriculture, skill development, employment, education, and self-help groups, he said.

In addition, the app will provide contact details of Emergency Ambulance Service 108, Mahtari Express Service 102, toll-free number for PDS (public distribution system) and police helpline, among others, he said.

The distribution of smartphones will take place in two phases and just ahead of the assembly polls, slated by the year-end.

In the first phase, from July 30 to August 16, smartphones will be distributed to the beneficiaries in urban areas. In the next phase, rural areas will be covered from August 17 to September 22, he said.

The scheme’s focuses are to ensure that each citizen gets the benefit of information technology and transparent and good governance, he said.

In this scheme, women belonging to poor families in rural and urban listed under the socio-economic census 201 and college students will be provided smartphones along with 1GB data and 100 minutes of free calling per month.

For the scheme, the government had earmarked Rs. 566.79 crore in the supplementary budget of the present fiscal 2018-19 presented early this month.

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