The Karnataka government is planning to distribute free laptops to visually-impaired students in aided and unaided schools in the state. This comes as a move to encourage the students to pursue higher educations.
In the first phase, laptops will be given to 1000 students of class 10 and above. Each laptop costing Rs 40,000, will be equipped with JAWS screen reader that converts keyboard commands t0 human-sounding speech (via).
The Department for the Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens said that this move would cost the government Rs 4 crore.
Laptops will be distributed on the basis of the names of students recommended by principals of the colleges and headmasters of schools. Criteria such as family background and branch of study will not be considered.
Giving out laptop to students is not new in India. Governments of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have launched such schemes previously; with reports of undistributed laptops gathering dust coming out of Uttar Pradesh.
While these schemes provide a big opportunity to tech vendors to land fat deals with the state government, it is hard to miss the warm side to this story.
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