SmartphoneCreative Commons

The Samajwadi Party (SP) will give out free smartphones to voters in Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the run-up to the assembly elections that are due next year. This new scheme is believed to be replacing the free laptop initiative, whose primary beneficiaries were students, but which was dropped because it was burning a hole in the state treasury. 

The initiative, which the SP is calling the "world's largest free smartphone distribution scheme," is expected to be implemented between October 10 and November 10, 2016, with the smartphones being delivered to people's homes after they complete the full procedure to obtain them. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced the scheme on social media at around 10 am on Monday, October 10. 

Who will get the Samajwadi smartphone?

The SP has set a number of criteria for a person to be eligible to receive the smartphone. According to the official website of the scheme, these are: 

  • The applicant should be a native of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The applicant should be at least 18 years of age by January 1, 2017.
  • The earnings of the whole family of the applicant should not exceed Rs 6 lakh per annum.
  • The applicant should be at least a high school graduate or have equivalent educational qualification.
  • The applicant or their parents should not be Grade I or Grade II government employees.
  • Those eligible have to enrol and apply for the smartphone in the website

How does one enrol and apply?

  • Fill in the following details in the application form: Name, full address, age, gender and proof of educational qualification, as mentioned in the criteria. 
  • Declare that the annual income of your whole family is less than Rs 6 lakh.
  • Declare that you or your parents are not Grade I or Grade II government employees.

A verification of the details mentioned in the forms — conducted by the local administration — will then take place, and forms that do not pass scrutiny due to advertent or inadvertent errors will immediately become ineligible for the scheme.

Simply filling the form and making an application will not be counted as grounds for the applicant to receive the smartphone, according to the official website, which adds that the smartphone will reach eligible applicants via home delivery only when their forms pass the verification process. 

Here is the formal advertisement of the scheme: