In the past, I have written briefly on the Tamil Nadu Government’s populous scheme of distributing Priceless (aka Free) Household items including Fan, Grinder and Mixie. One scheme that impressed me was the distribution of Free Laptops (தமிழக அரசு – விலையில்லா மடிக்கணினி 2015) to students of secondary school and colleges. Nearly 3 Million (30 Lakh) laptops have been distributed for free over the last 4 years under the scheme. Not getting into the execution of the scheme of which I have no information, the idea is what impressed me, which is empowering this many young minds with the tools they need to enter and master the digital world is welcome. It’s opened endless possibilities, apart from direct education some percentage of these laptops will be used by the parents for their home business, Internet search and even watching YouTube. This will create demand for broadband and wireless data, a boom for TELCOs.
Today our maid servant brought one laptop given to her daughter studying in High School and I checked it out. It’s a good configuration machine with Windows 7 & Microsoft Office suite, it’s got all the necessary ports and connections – VGA, HDMI, USB 3, Ethernet, Bluetooth & Wi-Fi.
I was happy to see the Warranty booklet and Instruction manuals all printed in Tamil. ELCOT (the nodal agency for the scheme) has provided a helpline as well for students to call in case of any problems with the machine.