Thiruvananthapuram: The distribution of laptops for students at subsidised rates under the Vidyashree microfinance scheme has begun. A total of 200 laptops were distributed on Friday, the inaugural day.
About 1.44 lakh people had joined the Vidyashree microfinance scheme of the KSFE and of this, 1.23 lakh had applied for the laptops.
From the available four brands, the beneficiaries can choose their laptop. The neighbourhood self-help groups (ayalkoottam) affiliated to the Kudumbasree will procure and distribute the laptops. Already 17,343 members have chosen their laptop model. The remaining are expected to select their model this week itself. Based on this, the companies will be given a purchase order.
The laptop brands are HP (Rs 17,890), Acer (Rs 17,883), Lenovo (Rs 18,000) and Coconics (Rs 14,990).
The payment can be made in interest-free instalments. Out of the Rs 15,000 deposit to be made with the KSFE, Rs 14,250 will go towards the cost of the laptop after deducting the commission amount of Rs 750. The additional amount has to be paid by the beneficiary.
The government will bear the five per cent interest on the loan, while the KSFE will contribute four per cent.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the scheme on Friday, while Finance Minister Thomas Isaac presided over the meet.