Free laptops will have Tamil Nadu state logo burnt on chip
In an attempt to prevent beneficiaries of its free laptop scheme from selling the product or its diversion to the open market, the Tamil Nadu government has ordered the manufacturers supplying the laptops to burn their logo on the chip so that it is displayed when the machine is switched on.
Elcot has issued an international competitive tender for sourcing 912,000 laptops.
The free laptop computer scheme is the poll promise of the ruling AIADMK party headed by Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
Over the next five years, the Tamil Nadu government envisages providing nearly 6.8 million laptops to students, involving an outlay of around Rs.10,200 crore at Rs.15,000 per piece.
In the first year of the programme (2011-12), 912,000 laptops are to be provided, starting this September.
Jayalalithaa during her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi this week asked the central government for a special grant of Rs.10,200 crore to implement the scheme.
The tender stipulates that the laptop processor should be a minimum of Intel Pentium Dual Core P6200 or Equivalent AMD Processor (clock speed of minimum 2.1 GHZ) with 2 GB DDR3 SD RAM at 1066 Mhz speed, 14 inch screen, 320 GB hard disk drive and in-built camera.
Elcot has stipulated that the manufacturers have to provide three-year warranty for the laptops and one-year on its battery with three-hour back-up capacity.
The successful bidder should set up service centres in all the taluk headquarters and operate them for 39 months. At least one percent of critical hot spares should be maintained at service centres till the completion of the warranty period.
The successful bidder should keep the spares available for sale at least for a period of two years after the completion of the warranty period, notes the tender condition.
As to the preloaded software, the tender stipulates the laptops should have dual booting -- Windows starter edition with Anti Virus for one year licence and Linux. Tamil software -- enabling typing in Word, Spreadsheet, presentation and database programmes -- and complying with Unicode standard should be preloaded. These apart, any other free educational contents that are useful for the students shall be preloaded in the laptops.