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Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme or Captain Smart Connect Scheme 2020-2021 is a new scheme announced by the state government of Punjab to provide 50 Lakh free smartphones to class 11th and 12th Students. The Government under the Captain Smart Connect Scheme is providing free smartphones to eligible youth along with free 4G data for one year.
Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme 2020-2021 Latest Updates
The free smartphone scheme in Punjab was announced in 2016 election manifesto but was not launched immediately. However, after several changes to the scheme eligibility criterion and implementation in August 2020, the state government has finally launched the free smartphone scheme in the state and have distributed smartphones to the students.
Named as Captain Smart Connect, the free smartphone scheme in Punjab is aimed at providing students with easy digital access to educational content online.
Captain Smart Connect Free Smartphone Scheme
After a wait of more than 3 years, the Captain smart connect free smartphone scheme has been launched and in the first phase of the scheme, smartphone have been distributed to girl students.
On 28 July 2020, CM Captain Amarinder Singh of Punjab govt. had decided to start 1st phase of Free Smartphone Distribution Scheme. In this first phase, around 50,000 smartphones were given to students of govt. schools which are studying in class 11th or 12th. All the students were required to submit a self certification form. This form had ensured that the youth beneficiaries of this scheme are already not in a possession of smartphone and they really requires it.
Punjab free smartphone scheme was expected to benefit a total of 1,74,015 Class XII students of government schools in the first phase. The first phase of the captain smart connect scheme had been completed by November 2020.
Various ministers including MLAs and others across the state distributed free smartphones at 26 places across the state to kickstart the scheme. Each minister personally handed over 20 phones each in various districts to mark the launch of the scheme, which marked the fulfillment of another major poll promise of the Congress government in the state.
How to Apply for Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme
Online applications for Punjab free smartphone scheme or captain smart connect scheme were invited through the online portal captainsmartconnect.com in the year 2016 but lot of things changed after that.
The state government is now distributing smartphones to all the students of class 12th who are studying in government schools. There is not need to apply offline or online for smartphone scheme in Punjab.
The school administration or the board will provide the list of all the eligible students to the concerned department and will procure the smartphones from the company which will be later distributed to the students.
Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme – Beneficiary List
Students of class 12th who are studying in any government school are the beneficiaries of the scheme, subject to other eligibility criteria. The list of beneficiaries of Punjab free smartphone scheme is not available online, however, a student can approach the school administration to know is his/her name is in the list or not.
Below is some information about the beneficiaries of free smartphone scheme in Punjab (First Phase).
Beneficiaries: Class 12 students studying in government schools
Total Beneficiaries: 1,74,015 Class XII students
Boys Vs Girls: 87,395 boys and 86,620 girls
Categories: 36,555 OBC and 94,832 SC and 13 ST students
Rural Vs Urban: 1,11,857 from rural areas and 62158 from urban area
Eligibility for Captain Smart Connect Scheme
To be eligible for the Captain Smart Connect Scheme, the applicant must meet the following eligibility criteria.
- Must be a resident of Punjab
- Must belong to the age group of 18-35 years
- Must have passed Class 10th
- Must have a household income less than INR 6 lakhs a year
Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme – Key Features
The free smartphone scheme of Punjab government will provide basic smartphones to the beneficiary students across the state. Following are some of the main benefits and features of the scheme.
- Free smartphone manufactured by an Indian company Lava Mobiles.
- 12 GB Data for 1 Year to access study content online.
- Free 600 minutes of local outgoing calls per month.
- The smartphone would be 4G compatible.
- The smartphone distributed under this scheme would have a decent size of touchscreen with HD resolution.
- The smartphone will come equipped with educational apps.
Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme – Highlights
|Objective||To provide smartphones to youth to digitally empower them & facilitate online learning amid COVID-19 pandemic outbreak|
|Number of Smartphones||50,000|
|Announced by||Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh|
|Announced Date for Phase 1||28 July 2020|
|Beneficiaries of Phase 1||Girl Students of govt. schools studying in class 11th or 12th|
|Official Name of Scheme||Mobile Phones to Youth Scheme|
|Targeted Beneficiaries of all Phase||All youths of the state|
Punjab Captain Smart Connect Scheme Phase 2
Punjab CM had launched the second phase of captain smart connect scheme on 18 December 2020 through virtual mode. This Free Smartphone Distribution initiative had facilitated seamless e-learning in govt. schools amid COVID-19 pandemic. Captain Smart Connect Scheme Phase 2 launch event was marked by distribution of smartphones to 80,000 govt. school students studying in class 12th.
The smartphones under Captain Smart Connect Scheme were distributed at 845 schools by various ministers, MLA and other dignitaries across the state. In addition to this, 877 tablets were provided to students of 22 senior secondary schools. Smartphones and tablets will equip the students to meet the challenges of education during times of pandemic.
Beneficiaries of Captain Smart Connect Scheme Second Phase
Addressing the students, CM mentioned that “When the Punjab govt. promised smartphones in its manifesto, nobody knew these phones would become so vital for students due to the COVID pandemic. I want Punjab’s youngsters to be abreast with the latest technological advancements. Smartphones and tablets will equip the students to meet the challenges of education during the trying times of pandemic.”
As per the reports, the Punjab government is spending Rs 87.84 crore on the project. A target of 1,75,443 students including 88059 boys and 87284 girls has been set as beneficiaries. During the first phase, 50000 students were already facilitated with the scheme. The remaining 45,443 students are expected to be provided with smartphones by the end of December. The government had earlier endowed 2625 tablets to 372 primary schools at an expenditure of Rs 2.99 crore.
CM Amarinder Singh on Smart Connect Scheme 2nd Phase Launch
CM Captain Amarinder Singh reiterated his government’s firm commitment to provide the best infrastructure in schools to enable students to compete with their peers in private and convent schools. In this context, CM mentioned that around 7842 schools and had been converted into smart schools with the latest infrastructure, coupled with computers, tablets etc. Moreover, 1400 more government schools would also be converted into smart schools by the end of the next year.
Further, CM said the School Education Department had converted 16589 classrooms as smart classrooms across the state, and the remaining would also be covered under this scheme in the next six months. The chief minister congratulated the teachers for preparing the e-content and emphasised the need for keeping pace with the fast-paced changes in education globally. “With Punjab is settled around the world, it is important for students to learn English and other languages to become job-ready across the globe,” added Singh. At this event, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar, Punjab Youth Congress President Birinder Dhillon, Congress legislature Navtej Singh Cheema and other dignitaries were present.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Punjab Free Smartphone Scheme
The actual name of Punjab free smartphone scheme is Captain Smart Connect Scheme under which Punjab govt. will provide free smartphones to school students.
Who will get smartphone under this scheme
Class 11th and 12th students whose family is economically weak will get the free smartphone under this scheme.
What company / brand will provide the smartphone
Smartphones for the captain smart connect scheme would be procured from Lava Mobiles, which is an Indian Mobile Manufacturing Company
How Many GB data will be provided with the smartphone
Students will get 1GB of 4G data along with 600 minutes of local calls per month for one year
How can I apply for Punjab free smartphone scheme
If you are an eligible student, you can contact your school administration for the free smartphone scheme
Where can I check the list of beneficiary students
As of now, the government has not provided any source where you can check the free smartphone scheme beneficiaries list.
For official information of ANI News on Captain Smart Connect Scheme Phase 2 Launch – Click Here