Free smart phones likely for students

Vijayawada: As part of its efforts to develop Digital Andhra Pradesh, the state government has come up with a new proposal to distribute smart phones to students free-of-cost as an “incentive for innovation”.

The government intends to involve students in spreading “digital literacy” and simultaneously come up with various innovations.

A proposal to incentivise the students by giving them free smart phones was mooted at the state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here today.

“It has been agreed in principle to give away smart phones but a final decision will be taken subsequently,” a minister said.

Interestingly, the Telugu Desam Party government is yet to deliver the free mobile phones it had promised to women on the eve of the 2014 elections.

The government has drawn up plans to establish an Innovation Society at state level which will be a first-of- its-kind in the country with a view to promote innovation, incubation and start ups.

The society will have branches in each district and a chapter in colleges to involve students and promote innovation.

“We want to enhance digital literacy through the Innovation Society and ultimately create a Digital Andhra Pradesh,” a minister said.

Apart from digital literacy, students would also be involved in water conservation, tree plantation and Swachh Andhra Pradesh programmes as well.

Students from Class 8 to those in engineering colleges would be made to take part in these activities every Saturday.