Secretariat officials refuse to use 750 laptops worth Rs 2.50 crore citing small screen-size

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Thiruvananthapuram: In yet another instance of wasting public funds, 750 laptops bought for various departments at the Government Secretariat three months ago spending Rs 2.50 crore are in a state of disuse. According to department heads, the laptops cannot be used as their screen-size of 14 inches is too small. This causes extreme strain on the eyes and neck while examining files on the laptops, they said.

Now, the authorities are clueless over how to utilize the laptops which were purchased spending a big amount while the government was facing a severe financial crisis. Meanwhile, some department heads have approached the IT Department to replace the laptops with desktop computers.

The 750 laptops were bought at a price of Rs 36,000 each, while their market price was around Rs 50,000. The decision to buy the laptops was taken after it was found that around 1,000 old desktops in use at the Secretariat had become obsolete.  Subsequently, the purchase of 750 laptops took place under rate contract through the Centralised Contract Portal. These 750 laptops were supposed to supplement the 3,000 desktops operational at the Secretariat.

Incidentally, the government had decided to buy 14-inch laptops after the IT Department pointed out that this was the common size for business purposes.

Meanwhile, A P M Mohammed Hanish, Principal Secretary for General Education, Industries and Revenue, wrote to Rathan U Kelkar, IT Secretary, on February 6 explaining the practical difficulties faced by employees while using the new laptops. Hanish also requested the IT Secretary to replace the laptops with desktops.

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