Image: Business Line
Students availing the free laptops
In 2019, average of 70,000 students are unlikely to get the free laptops from the Tamil Nadu Government this year. The Tamil Nadu government has decided not to give laptops to those students who failed to clear +2 board examination. An order was passed by the State government on November 7th 2019.
The disqualification, however, has an exemption clause. If students who failed to clear +2 have enrolled themselves in a polytechnic course, they would be eligible to get the free laptops.
According to Tamil Nadu Directorate of Government Examinations (TNDGE), more than 1.2 lakh students had failed Class XII in the past two batches alone. But there is no data available on how many among them have enrolled in polytechnic colleges. “Close to 70,000 might be affected,” said a source from the education department. The scheme to distribute cost-free laptops to students from government and aided schools, colleges and polytechnic institutes was launched in 2011 by former chief minister M Karunanidhi.
— LatestLY (@latestly) November 7, 2019
Every year, more than 8 lakh students have been benefiting from the scheme as the government was sanctioning more than Rs 1,000 crore for the scheme depending on the number of students on roll that year. However, as the subsidy was burning a hole in the exchequer’s pocket, fund allocation has seen a gradual decline in the past three years. From Rs 1,100 crore in 2015-16, allocation dropped to Rs 511 crore the next year.
The 2019-20 batch of Class XII and XI students are given top preference for free laptops, while those from 2018-19 and 2017-18 batches stand third and fourth in priority.
#JustIn | Tamil Nadu cops resort to lathicharge after students protested against @EPSTamilNadu @CMOTamilNadu over not fulfilling the promise of ‘free laptops.’ | @NairShilpa1308 with details. pic.twitter.com/BxaW82xPds
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 25, 2019
The order to disqualify Class XII fail students was issued following a suggestion from the state school education department that the very
purpose of providing laptops was for students to further their studies. The ineligible names will now be removed and a fresh indent will be submitted to Electronics Corporation of India (ELCOT), the state agency which procures these laptops.