In a recent update, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan has invited bids for provision of 100,000 laptops under Prime Minister (PM) Youth Laptop Scheme, Academia Magazine learnt.

In November federal government of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) decided to restart its landmark laptop scheme in which it provided laptops among shining students of universities across the country. The news was exclusively published by Academia Magazine.

In a recent development, HEC invited sealed bids from bidders Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) along with a local partner or authorized Laptop distributor/Tier-I partner of OEMs for procurement of 100,000 laptops under Prime Minister’s (PM) Youth Laptop Scheme (Phase-Ill) against two POs as detail mentioned in the RFP.

As per the bidding letter of HEC, the bidders should be in relevant business operations in Pakistan for the last three calendar years. The bidders shall be authorized Laptops’ Distributor/Tier-I partner of OEM, or OEM itself. The bidders should be registered with Income Tax and Sales Tax Departments and on Active Taxpayers List of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima Khawaja in a statement said that every year in Pakistan, 2 million new citizens need employment, but there is not enough space in the job market to accommodate all of them. She said that it is unfortunate that 30 percent of the graduates do not get jobs. Therefore, there is a need to enable the graduates to be job providers rather than being employable so that they become entrepreneurs and provide employment to other people.

PMLN government also allocated budget of 10 billion rupees for the PM Youth Laptop Scheme and laptops will be provided to students of BS, Masters, MPhil, PhD, Undergraduate (with a limited number), Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), and Virtual University (VU) Pakistan.

For this purpose, the government also established a committee under the supervision of the Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmad which will finalize all the matters including criteria and others. As per the notification available with Academia Mag, the students will get laptops at the beginning of 2023.

According to the notification, the steering committee will review when and how to start the youth laptop distribution program and lay down the rules and procedures. The committee will review the budget and timeline of the said scheme and recommend the team for technical and non-technical support in the project, the steering committee also has the power to reject or accept any proposal.

Related: Chairman HEC to lead PM Youth Laptop Scheme

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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