"Punjab Smart Connect Scheme" will improve digital literacy among youngsters, besides providing them access to education, improved career opportunities, and better skill development and employment opportunities in this digital age, said Punjab Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal today while handing over the smartphones to 39 Class XII students at District Administrative Complex, Bathinda. With the launch of the "Punjab Smart Connect Scheme" on International Youth Day, Mr. Badal said that Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government today fulfilled another major poll promise. This year, the target of giving the Smartphones to all the class XII students of government schools will be achieved by November. Following this, the scheme will be extended to class XI students.Giving the break-ups, the Finance Minister said that 39 smartphones had been distributed today. The majority of the students, who benefited the scheme, belong to the OBC and SC/ST categories. Fifteen phones were handed over to the Government Senior Secondary School (Girls) students, Mall Road. Twelve phones were handed over to the students of Desh Raj Memorial Government Senior Secondary School, and 12 phones were given to the students of Shaheed Sepoy Sandeep Singh Government Senior Secondary School, Parasram Nagar. This is the symbolic hand-over to launch the scheme and the remaining smartphones would be handed over to the students by the Principals of the respective schools, he added.Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal said that this initiative will bridge a significant gap that prevents these students from accessing online/digital education, besides providing access to the essential citizen-centric services of Punjab Government.Deputy Commissioner Bathinda Mr. B. Srinivasan was also present on the occasion. Earlier, Finance Minister Mr. Badal also extended greetings to the students on the International Youth Day and Janmashtami.