Ridiculing Congress for 'dragging its feet' on the distribution of low-cost Aakash tablets, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Centre has failed to honour its much-hyped commitment.
"I want to tell students that eleven months ago a minister of Congress-led UPA government, Kapil Sibal, had organised a big event at Vigyaan Bhavan in New Delhi, and launched Aakash tablet in the presence of country's top most media," Modi told a gathering on occasion of Teachers Day.
"He (Sibal) had stated that the world's cheapest low-cost PC would be made available to students at Rs3,000. Mind you, it was not for free, you had to pay for it," he said, adding even after paying no tablet PC is delivered since its launch.
"Eleven months have passed by, but no Aakash tablet has come down on earth...Now I realise why this gizmo is named 'Aakash' (pun intended sky)," Modi quipped.
The criticism came against the backdrop of opposition Congress yesterday announcing free laptops to students if voted to power in the Assembly elections due by year-end.
"Kash (If only) this Aakash tablet could land on earth, then the lie (promise of free laptops by state Congress) they (Congress) are spreading now would hold some weight," Modi said in a sarcasm aimed at blunting Congress' aggressive campaigning ahead of the polls.
"They (Congress) have turned away their faces from telling truth to the people. That's why I want to inform you what is the truth," he told a large gathering of students.
The event to mark teachers day celebrations broadcast live through Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) across one lakh schools in the state.
Aakash tablet project is envisaged by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development. It plans to distribute about a million tablets in colleges in the coming years, at a procurement price per tablet of Rs2,276.
Modi also announced that every district shall have a green and a model school.
He also said that government was mulling over a change in the system of evaluating the state run schools and it shall be modified.
'Gunotsav' — the annual feature of state government to assess the performance of schools by state bureaucrats — could be done by academicians in future for more realistic assessment, he added.