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Prime Minister Distributes Laptops to Students in Peshawar

The Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme, an initiative launched under the Prime Minister's Youth Programme, was introduced by former Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in 2013.

by TNN Editor - 12 Jul, 2023 1544

Haroon ur Rasheed

Peshawar: The federal government has distributed modern and high-quality laptops to students as part of the Prime Minister Youth Program.

A ceremony took place at Governor House Peshawar on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in attendance along with other high-ranking officials and ministers. In his address at the ceremony, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed his joy and satisfaction over the launch of the laptop scheme in Peshawar.

He highlighted that this province holds significance as the land of Rehman Baba, Khushal Khan Khattak, and the brave and honorable people. The Prime Minister acknowledged the historic role played by the province in saving Pakistan from terrorism. He emphasized the sacrifices made by people from all walks of life, including seniors, children, and women, in the war against terrorism, without which the eradication of this menace would not have been possible.

Also Read: Peshawar District Administration Imposes 25 Restrictions for Muharram

Shehbaz Sharif announced the distribution of one hundred thousand laptops to deserving students across the country, emphasizing that there would be no favoritism or nepotism involved in the process. Congratulating the students who received the laptops, the Prime Minister mentioned that the distribution process was temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has now resumed.

He acknowledged that even during the pandemic, students utilized laptops for online education. He expressed his desire to distribute one million laptops instead of a hundred thousand but cited the country's current challenges over the past year.

Shehbaz Sharif assured that all laptops would be distributed based on merit. He promised that if given the opportunity in the upcoming elections, his government would distribute laptops every year in proportion to the population of each province, which would bring about positive changes in agriculture, industry, and other sectors. He also mentioned the formulation of comprehensive policies to boost agriculture, IT, minerals, and exports.

During the event, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif inaugurated Phase One of the newly established university in FATA. He suggested considering a different name for the university instead of FATA University, inviting suggestions and consultations for the naming process.

When was the laptop scheme started?

The Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme, an initiative launched under the Prime Minister's Youth Programme, was introduced by former Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in 2013. The objective of the program was to provide laptops to deserving students in government and semi-government universities throughout Pakistan. However, the scheme was discontinued in 2018 when Tehreek-e-Insaf came into power.

Last year, after the government of the Muslim League (N) returned to power, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the reinstatement of the laptop scheme. The scheme aims to enhance the quality of education, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, and Information Communication Technology, thereby improving the productivity and efficiency of students.

It's worth noting that the Higher Education Commission has successfully completed two similar projects in the past. Under Phase III of the project, one hundred thousand laptops will be distributed to eligible students across the country through an online transparent computerized system.

How to apply for a laptop?

To apply for a laptop through the Prime Minister's Laptop Scheme, students need to meet certain eligibility criteria. The scheme is open to students studying in government universities that are approved by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and have a study period until June 30, 2030.

Here are the eligibility criteria for different degree programs:

Five-year degree program: Students must have been admitted after June 30, 2018, and before June 30, 2023.

Four-year degree program: Students must have been admitted after June 30, 2019, and before June 30, 2023.

Two-year degree program: Students must have been enrolled after June 30, 2021, and before June 23, 2023.

1½, 2½, and 3-year degree programs: Students must have enrolled before December 31, 2019, December 31, 2020, and December 31, 2021, respectively, and their program should end on June 30, 2023.

Note that students enrolled in Ph.D., MS, and MPhil programs on a weekly basis are not eligible for this scheme. The eligibility and admission of students will be determined by their respective institutions on the day of laptop distribution.

To apply, students must submit their application online within the specified timeframe. Only those students who meet the eligibility criteria and submit their applications on time will be considered for the laptop distribution.

Additionally, to be eligible, students must have secured 70% marks under the semester system or 60% marks under the annual system.

Finance Minister's Budget Speech

During the presentation of the federal budget proposals for the financial year 2023-24 in the National Assembly, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar highlighted the successful implementation of the laptop scheme from 2013 to 2018.

He announced that in the current financial year, the federal government would distribute 100,000 laptops to deserving students based on merit. An allocation of ten billion rupees has been made in the budget to sustain this scheme.

In addition, Minister Dar mentioned the establishment of the Pakistan Endowment Fund, with a budget of five billion rupees. This fund aims to provide financial support and scholarships to high school and college students based on their merit. The objective of this fund is to ensure that no deserving student misses out on higher education due to a lack of resources.