Online registrations for ‘Samajwadi Smartphone Yojna’ have started. You all may be aware of the ‘Samajwadi Smartphone Yojna’ that was announced by Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government to distribute free smartphones to general public. It is a step from the political party to lure people into voting for them.
Interestingly, this smartphone distribution – scheduled to happen in the second half of 2017 – will only take place if current Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party is able to win in the Vidhan Sabha elections, which will be held in 2017.
Online registration for this scheme have begun from Monday and will close in the next month on November 10. In order to be eligible for receiving the smartphone, applicants must be 18 years or older and should have a minimum educational qualification of matriculation which means one must have passed class 10 at least. State government employees, as well as applicants whose parents work in the state government, are not eligible for it.
The official website is now open where users can apply, though few of the pages do not load properly so users may face some issues to complete registration process.
In order to apply, the applicants are required to submit documents that prove their age to be at least 18 years as on January 1, 2017. This has clearly been done to ensure that only eligible voters are able to take part in the scheme. The applicants are further required to submit documents to prove that their annual family income is less than Rs. 6 lakhs. Importantly, the applicant is required to be a resident of Uttar Pradesh. Applicants are also required to submit a phone number, either their own or one of their family member’s.
Last month it was announced that the smartphone will come with a ‘detailed unified application’ with audio, video and textual information about the state government. The app would also have features for rural people, frames about latest rates of agro products, details of best practices and weather related data as well. Similar information would be available for milk producers, along with job and vacancy information, reading material for students, entrance and results, loan and other financial assistance details for small-time businessmen.
On the other hand, the scheme is being criticized by many who are claiming that it amounts to “legal bribery” for votes.
Meanwhile, a PIL challenging the political party’s smartphone distribution scheme was dismissed by Allahabad high court. To recall, the same party had previously announced the distribution of laptops for free under ‘Free Laptop Yojna’ to the students.
Though many people may not consider the scheme to be ethical, but only future will tell how it works out.