UP government cancels tender process and authorizes purchase of 1,23,398 smartphones
LUCKNOW On Tuesday, the UP government authorized the purchase of 1,23,398 smartphones, putting aside the controversy over the tender process launched earlier for the purchase.
Smartphones will be used by “anganwadi” workers as part of the National Nutrition Mission program. Every phone should cost ??9,440 and a sum of ??116.48 crore had been set aside for this purpose.
A government order (dated July 26, 2021) entitled “Financial and administrative sanction for purchasing smart phones in 2021-2022 via the GeM portal under Poshan Abhiyan” was issued in this regard by Special Secretary Garima Yadav canceling the financial sanction. and administrative issued empty GO number 13/2020/1763 / 58-1-20-2 / 3 (6) 13TC (dated July 24, 2020) to purchase smart phones.
The decree also provided for other terms and conditions for the use of funds intended for the purchase of smartphones.
The state government has offered to provide these phones to “anganwadi” workers to ensure real-time monitoring of the supply of additional nutrition to beneficiaries of the national nutrition mission, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, etc. etc.
Those aware of the development said that smart phones would enable women and village-level educators (“anganwadi” workers) to provide on-site data on the distribution of nutritional supplements to beneficiaries. Workers will use the Poshan tracking app to feed data for real-time monitoring.
“The state government issued an administrative sanction to purchase 1,23,398 smart phones through the GeM portal. He rescinded the financial and administrative sanction for offers to purchase smart phones issued on July 24, 2020, ”said a senior official from the National Nutrition Mission, which was launched with the aim of leveraging technology to monitoring and improving service delivery to beneficiaries.
Regarding complaints of alleged irregularities in the tendering process initiated earlier, the officer said the ministry was not aware of any of these complaints. “We just received one-line information from the state government advising the department of the cancellation of the offers,” the officer said.
It was reported that a smartphone manufacturing company reported suspected irregularities in the bidding process that caused the company to withdraw from the bidding process. The Minister of State (Independent Office) for Women and Child Development, Swati Singh, raised the issue of the alleged irregularities and wrote to a senior official in the Department of Women and Child Welfare. Swati Singh and other senior officials from the Department of Women and Child Protection have remained unavailable or declined to comment on the matter.
The UP government had offered to purchase smart phones for “anganwadi” workers as part of the national nutrition mission called the Prime Minister’s Comprehensive Holistic Nutrition Program (POSHAN) Abhiyan. It was launched in 2017 as a multi-ministerial convergence mission with the goal of freeing India from malnutrition by 2022.
The Union’s Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Development has developed the new Poshan tracking app to monitor the distribution of nutritional supplements and improve the nutritional status of beneficiaries.