Cabinet Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu launches Punjab Smart Connect Scheme in Mohali


• Hands over state-of-the-art smart phones to the youth
• Says phones to come handy in online learning, availing online citizen services and will enable access to employment opportunities
• 5686 students of Mohali to get phones in the first phase of scheme
SAS Nagar, August 12 (satish kumar puppy):-Launching the Punjab Smart Connect Scheme in Mohali, Cabinet Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu as a symbolic gesture handed over smart phones to fifteen class XII students of government schools, in a simple programme organised at the District Administrative Complex. Keeping COVID safety protocols into consideration no elaborate ceremony was organised.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government has fulfilled yet another promise made to the people. In the first phase of Punjab Smart Connect Scheme, approximately 1.75 lac phones would be distributed to the eligible youth  state-wide, while 5686 would get phones in Mohali. However, the number may increase as admissions are still taking place, said he.
Talking on the utility of smart-phones, Mr. Sidhu said that they shall facilitate digital learning whereby, the students would be able to access relevant information about their course, in the difficult times of COVID-19. Youth shall have means to avail citizen services, online. They shall be able to access employment opportunities, job fairs and recruitment drives under Governments flagship scheme Ghar-Ghar Rozgaar & Karobaar. Besides, by virtue of improved digital literacy, the youth shall have access to digital payments, insurance, online banking etc.
Talking about the period of implementation of the scheme, the minister said that the distribution of smart phones to youth during the year 2020-21 shall be completed by November, 2020.
It may be recalled that the state government had already received the first consignment of 50,000 smartphones and the remaining were in the pipeline. Coincidentally, 12th August which has been chosen as the day for commencement of distribution of phones to youth, is also the International Youth Day.
Pertinently, in order to avoid large gatherings the state-wide launch was organised in 26 different locations in Chandigarh and the State of Punjab. Not more than 15 students studying in each town/district were invited at each location and handed over the smartphones.
M/s Lava has been selected as Implementation Partner for delivery and distribution of smart phones to Youth of Punjab.
Apps mSewa and CaptainConnect shall be pre-installed on smartphones.
The total project cost is Rs. 92 Crores approx.