E Revolution: Wings to Dreams

Who could have ever imagined that the biggest bulk order for computers across the globe would be made by one among the BIMARU states in the country?

Thus, when chief secretary Javed Usmani made the statement at the first ever function held in Lucknow on March 11 where a bunch of 10,000 excited Intermediate pass students received their laptops, many looked confused.

Is that so? Has UP actually given the biggest order for laptops in the world? And that too during the regime of Samajwadi Party, infamous for its archaic ideology and lumpen elements?

Yes it’s raining laptops in UP and despite strong voices against Akhilesh government’s populist measure, I somehow support it. Obviously, 15 lakh laptops are going to cost the state exchequer a bomb – Rs 2800 crore, but imagine the exposure that it will give to the students across UP, imagine the revolution that it would bring in academics. More often than not bright students fall through the cracks in the absence of coaching centres or guidance. Here the information will be just a click away and in three languages – Hindi, English and Urdu.

The 14-inch HP laptop is packed with information that any student may need. The British Council has provided Hindi to English dictionary, Intel and Microsoft giants have developed software that would help in making the user digital literate and it has the model question paper for various competitive exams like AIPMT, IIT JEE, Common Law Admission Test, etc. Educomp has also pitched in. It has details about job oriented and professional courses also. I am not going into other features but yes the laptops can be tracked if it exchanged hands.

The state government may be wanting in many areas, but I suppose this is the first time that they have actually translated their party’s catchphrase, ‘Umeed Ki Cycle’, into reality. One should have actually seen the exuberance in the air when an equally excited chief minister distributed the laptops. While opposition found Mulayam and Akhilesh pictures on the screen objectionable, the students cared two hoots for whose pictures popped up as long as they had it on their laps. The chief minister was right when he said it would bridge the digital divide.

Remember when cell phones had hit the market, many high-browed had sounded sceptic about its use by the illiterate people in the villages. But it took a few years for the cell phones to change the lives of the people. I am sure laptops will also bring e-revolution by giving wings to the dreams of those who were constantly reminded that they had no right to dream.

In the end, one simple question: Aren’t laptops better than parks?

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