4OO million ‘Aadhaar’ Indians to get free smartphone – courtesy Govt

After distributing the Aakash tablet to students as study aid, the Indian Government now has hit upon a plan to distribute smart phones among 400 million beneficiaries across the country. This execution will commence from next year as cash transfer scheme. A report published in daily newspaper Hindustan Times that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has already issued instructions to all district administrations to get involved in the execution of this scheme and help people. It is further reported the cost to the government will be Rs 7,000 crore for distributing around 400 million phones. The to-be-distributed phones will offer 100 hours of free talktime, 500 free SMSes, low- rental plan and free Internet. Furthermore, these phones will be preloaded with Aadhaar numbers for banking facilities so that one does not need to go to bank for issues like knowing balance, deposits and withdrawals. Users will also come to know the money credited in their account by the government under the new fair price shop alternative cash transfer scheme. A senior government representative stated that the smartphone will stand as the government’s interface with the recipients and would strengthened the poor with news of their money that the Government provides for them. Transfer of a cash are all ready to start next January. The government’s aim is to reach the beneficiaries by the end of the year, just before the 2014 Lok Sabha election. There is conditions applied for the beneficiaries of this smartphone scheme. All must have an Aadhaar number, and an account in a bank or post office.

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