Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, in a press release issued on Saturday, defended the Punjab government’s distribution of 125,000 laptops among students.
He termed the initiative a “great success” that had helped “bridge the digital divide” and provided access to modern tools of education.
The release said that the procurement had been “transparent”, in which open bids had been invited. A comparative statement had been prepared and contract awarded to the firm that quoted the lowest price. The laptops had been acquired from a Dell-authorised dealer, Inbox which will also provide after sale services and warranty.
Rehman said that the Punjab government had purchased the laptops at a price lower than the market rate, “[A] Core i3 computer costs Rs10,000 to Rs15,000 more than the [price at which the laptop was] procured by the Punjab Government.”
The press release stated that the company had allowed the Punjab government to make the payment 30 days after acceptance of delivery.
The system specifications were also listed in the release, according to which the laptops being given away are Dell Inspiron 4050s with a 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, DVD writer, WiFi, Bluetooth, three-in-one media card reader, HDMI ports and a high resolution (1366 x 768) display.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2012.