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Goan channel has issues with the Cyberage PC

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DQC Bureau
New Update

GOA



June 6, 2006

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The Cyberage PCs continue to be a bone of contention between the Goa IT

channel and the Government in the state. The state government has decided to
continue with the Cyberage scheme, where PCs will be provided at very low prices

to students as a bid to improve IT penetration in the state. Currently, there is

a requirement for about 22,000 PCs to be supplied to the high school students in

Goa as part of the scheme.

However fulfilling this requirement has given rise to some concerns to the IT

channel in the state. Said Dhiren Mehta, President of the Goa IT Channel

Association, "Supplying PCs at a mere Rs 1,000 implies that our business

goes down considerably. For a market that survives on peripherals and services,

it is very difficult to break even or compensate this loss. Added to that the

channel is not strong enough or big enough to supply the numbers required and

has to depend on outside suppliers from Mumbai and Poona many a time."

What bothers the channel most is that in spite of the impending issues, the

channel is really helpless against the government decision. All they can do at

this point in time is to watch and hope that the scheme is restructured to

benefit the IT dealer community, laments Mehta.

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The Cyberage PC project is a government initiative, which began as an attempt

to take computers to schools in Goa two years ago. Under this scheme, high

schools students would get a PC virtually free, paying a nominal sum of Rs

1,000. The PCs are supplied by the IT channel to principals of the various

schools who then pass it to students.

Computer professionals in the state have questioned the scheme and have asked

whether it would not make more sense to hand out PCs to schools, to be used

collectively. There are other questions on whether the computers been delivered

as promised, and on schedule?

Also concerns have been expressed as to how one can ensure that the students

are not taking the computers merely because they're cheap? Although most people

agree that taking computers to schools in Goa is a good example, they have begun

to wonder whether a bad implementation of the same would mean a dream gone sour.

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