Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath Saturday launched a programme to distribute one crore tablets and smartphones to students in the state and used the occasion to attack Opposition leaders who, he said, falsely portray themselves as young.
Adityanath kickstarted the drive by distributing the devices to more than 60,000 students at a Lucknow stadium.
“Yeh 12 baje sokar uthne wale yuva nahin hai. Pradesh ki janta ko corona mahamari me gumrah karke vaccine ka virodh karne wale yuva nahi hain. Yeh sab tired hain aur retired hain. Inse umeed mat karna,” Adityanath said. (Those who wake up at 12 noon are not youths. Those who misled the public during Covid-19 pandemic and opposed the vaccine are not youths. These are tired and retired people. Don’t expect anything from them,” he said.
The ceremony was organised on former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday at a stadium named after him.
The students were from undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and also included those preparing for competitive examinations and undergoing skill development training.
The Chief Minister said: “The importance of technology became apparent during the pandemic. Children did not have the facility of online education and classes. That’s when we decided that we will connect one crore youth with technology and give out tablets and smartphones.”
During the ceremony, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister claimed that the Congress-ruled Rajasthan government had refused to cooperate with the Uttar Pradesh government during the lockdown, when the latter tried to bring back students preparing for competitive examinations in Kota. He said the state had to later send buses to transport its students home.
Adityanath also aimed barbs at the previous governments in the state, accusing them of promoting “bhai-bhatijavad” (nepotism) and carrying out extortion in the garb of job recruitment.
“Our government has provided 4.5 lakh government jobs in its over four-year tenure,” said Adityanath, claiming that less than 2 lakh jobs were provided in the 10 years before 2017.
Union Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, who was present at the event, said the Centre will provide internet connectivity in all the villages across the country within a few months.
Adityanath also launched the ‘Digi Shakti Portal’ and the ‘Digi Shakti Adhyayan App’ that is installed on all the distributed devices. He said information related to government welfare schemes as well as study material would be available through these.