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Chhattisgarh to Distribute Free Smartphones to Over 50 Lakh People Ahead of Assembly Polls

The Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) has started the preparation for the distribution of phones, as per the announcement made by Chief Minister Raman Singh last year to reduce the digital divide, said the official from state Publicity department.

PTI

Updated:April 18, 2018, 6:14 PM IST
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Google's Internet Saathi Programme Reaches 15 Million Women, to Expand to 4 new States (Image for representation only. Photo: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri)
Google's Internet Saathi Programme Reaches 15 Million Women, to Expand to 4 new States (Image for representation only. Photo: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri)

Raipur: The BJP government in Chhattisgarh will start distributing smartphones to over 50 lakh people for free from May under the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY), months ahead of assembly polls in the state.

Women heads of households will be the priority recipients of the smartphones, an official said on Wednesday.

"The distribution of smartphones will start during the 'Vikas Yatra' campaign of Chief Minister Raman Singh, scheduled to begin from May," he said.

The Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society (CHiPS) has started the preparation for the distribution of phones, as per the announcement made by the chief minister last year to reduce the digital divide, said the official from state Publicity department.

The distribution would be taken up in two phases.

"While in the first phase, 30 lakh smartphones will be given, remaining will be allotted in the next phase," he said.

Under the scheme, 40 lakh phones will be given to women heads of households in villages having population of more than 1,000 while five lakh phones will be given to women heads belonging to poor families living in urban areas, he said.

Besides, five lakh phones will be given to college students, the official said, adding that high quality phones are being procured on the direction of the chief minister.

Chhattisgarh presently has the mobile phone connectivity in around 29 per cent of the total rural area.

The SKY scheme will ensure better phone connectivity in 13,900 villages of the state, the official said.

It will also facilitate reach of citizen-centric services to the people in remote area through 11,000 common service centres (CSCs) of CHiPS.

Smartphones will also help to apprise people with the government's welfare schemes and about the processes to avail benefits, according to the official.

Moreover, smarphones will also help in cashless payments through digital transactions, he added.

The BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh will go to polls later this year.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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