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Mamata initiates direct transfer of funds for tabs to 9L students

Mamata initiates direct transfer of funds for tabs to 9L students
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Kolkata: Starting the direct transfer of financial grant to almost 9 lakh students to buy tabs or smartphones facilitating online education, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday urged them to be "more smart" by using the gadgets that will help them gain knowledge from all across the globe.

"We are transferring Rs 10,000 to bank accounts of each of the class XII students of government-managed schools and Madrasahs to help them purchase tabs or smartphones of their choice so that they can seamlessly continue with their studies when they cannot attend classes due to the Covid situation," Banerjee said while initiating the direct transfer in presence of beneficiary students from different districts through video conference.

"You all are the future of Bengal. You all have to be smart using these smartphones. It will help you to learn about the entire world. But you all must not forget the state. Keep it safely so that no one can steal the same from you all," Banerjee said adding that she will also be sending a letter to each of the students who attended the programme on Thursday.

She also stated that the transfer of the amount in the bank accounts of all the beneficiaries will be completed in a week's time and directed concerned officials to complete enlisting all the students at the earliest. She also urged the students to contact their school authorities if their names get missed out.

Students from different districts, including Cooch Behar, Bankura, West Burdwan and Jhargram expressed their gratitude towards the Chief Minister for the initiative that will help those even from financially weaker backgrounds to carry on with the online classes.

This comes when the state witnessed a 10-time increase in allocation of education budget that ensures setting up of 30 new universities, 51 colleges, 7000 new schools, 272 ITIs and 176 polytechnics. The state has also got 14 new medical colleges. At least 21,000 schools have got upgraded to the Madhyamik and the Higher Secondary level.

Announcing that the state government will set up more English-medium schools, Banerjee said: "As many as 422 Santhali medium, 1561 Hindi medium, 482 Urdu medium, 367 Nepali medium, 34 Odiya medium and 25 Telugu medium schools have also been set up besides Bengali-medium schools". As many as 121 English-medium schools were set up in the past two years and at present there are a total of 750 English-medium schools in the state.

Around 70 lakh students have been brought under the Sabuj Sathi scheme besides providing bicycles to 1 crore students. Midday meals have been ensured in every school.

Meanwhile, the state government has set up a four-member committee headed by the Chief Secretary to look into the issue related to the revision of "rates for treatment packages" under the Swasthya Sathi scheme. This comes after the massive drive was launched to cover every resident of Bengal under the scheme. At the same time, Duare Sarkar camps will be organised in the fifth phase as well from January 27 to February 8 to ensure delivery of benefits of a dozen state-run schemes, including Swasthya Sathi at people's doorstep. Banerjee also announced regularisation of another 31 refugee colonies, including one in South Kolkata, when the state has already distributed 2.79 pattas in the past 10 years and taken a move to give the same to residents of every refugee colony.

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