Telecom giant Reliance Jio and manufacturer Micromax have been awarded a contract of Rs 1,500 crore from the Government of Chhattisgarh to provide 50 lakh smartphones to women and students studying in the state, Mint has reported.
Among the 50 lakh smartphones, 45 lakh will be distributed to women, and the remainder will be given away to college students in Chhattisgarh, said Vikas Jain, the co-founder of Micromax, to PTI.
“About 10,000 camps are being organised under the project and deliveries have already started. Every beneficiary, chosen by the state government, is handed the device personally after activating it with a Reliance Jio connection. The authentication of the beneficiary is done using Aadhaar,” he added.
To ensure timely distribution of the handsets, the company is reserving space in nearly 15 warehouses across the state. According to the 2011 census, 2.5 crore population has been seen in the state. According to the agreement, the distribution was supposed to start by the end of July.
The company has hired about 2,500 staff to ease the process. Jain denies any political motivation.
Chhattisgarh Infotech Promotion Society CEO, Alex Paul Menon, said, “Micromax has partnered with Chhattisgarh government in launching the Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY)... Their commitment towards SKY initiative has helped us reach out to women of urban BPL families, rural houses and young consumers by providing them with a worthwhile digital experience through their smartphone.”
The phones for women will have a 4-inch display, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB internal memory. The ones being given out to students will have 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory.
The project aims at promoting digital governance and faster economic growth of the state. A spokesperson from Jio said that the receivers are set to get 1GB 4G data, 100 minutes of voice calls, 100 SMS free per month for six months. After this period, they will be offered affordable tariff plans.
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