The State government spends about Rs 10,500 crore annually to procure these for students of government and aided schools, which would help overcome the social and economic differences among children and ensure enrolment and retention.
Indicating that schools would reopen in August, a senior official said all items distributed under this scheme would be purchased by July. "It should have been procured in April itself. However, due to lockdown, the process was postponed indefinitely," he said, adding that tenders have been floated to procure uniforms, footwear, school bags, geometry boxes, colour pencils, crayons, atlas, notebooks and bicycles, and also woollen sweaters for students in hilly areas.
The bids are scheduled to be opened on June 15, after which companies would be selected. All items would be delivered at district education offices by the end of July, he said.
Even though the lockdown was extended till July 1, the tender procedure would be done online, the official said.
"Soon after the goods are delivered, a circular will be issued to the management of all government and aided schools asking them to furnish the list of student beneficiaries," he said. Based on this, the items would be supplied to the schools to be distributed to the students. "All the items will be distributed from the day schools reopen," said the official.
More than 50 lakh students from the State-run institutions would benefit from the scheme, he added. The official also said that other welfare schemes such as the distribution of free laptops and free bus passes would start once the new academic year begins.