Fact Check: No, the Govt is NOT providing free Android smartphones to students

A post to a link for free smartphone distribution is doing the rounds on social media claiming that all students who had to switch to online mode of education due to the coronavirus pandemic are being provided free Android smartphones.

The Facebook read, “*कोरोना वायरस के कारण स्कूल और कॉलेज बंद हो गए हैं और इस वजह से छात्रों की शिक्षा प्रभावित हुई है, इसलिए सभी छात्रों को मुफ्त एंड्रॉइड स्मार्टफोन प्रदान कर रहे है।*
*ताकि छात्र इंटरनेट और ऑनलाइन कक्षाओं की मदद से अपनी शिक्षा पूरी कर सकें।*
*आप इस लिंक से अपना मुफ्त स्मार्टफ़ोन प्राप्त करने के लिए फ़ॉर्म भर सकते हैं|*
👉 https://bit.ly/Free-Android-Smartphone-Registration 🙏🙏 *निवेदन*: 🙏 *लोगो की सुविधा के लिए इस संदेश को ज्यादा से ज्यादा शेयर करें जिससे उन्हें इस सुविधा का लाभ मिल सके।*”

(* Schools and colleges are closed due to coronavirus and affecting students education, so free android smartphones are provided to all students. *
* This will help students to complete their education with the help of internet and online classes. *
* You can fill out the form to get your free smartphone from this link *👉 https://bit.ly/Free-Android-Smartphone-Registration 🙏🙏 * Request *: 🙏 * Share this message as much as possible for the convenience of the people so that they can get the benefit of this facility. *)

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the above post and found it to be misleading.

The Facebook post link took us to a Blog Page claiming that the education of students has been affected as schools and colleges have been closed due to coronavirus pandemic. Seeing the situation, the government is providing free Android smartphones to all the students. A form is also embedded in the page where students have been asked to furnish their details. The page also says that the last date for the application is October 10.

We then entered the desired details and submitted the registration form.

By clicking on the Submit Form button, it took us to the verification page that asks the particular person to share the link on WhatsApp groups.

The Blog Page read, “How you will get a free smartphone?
To get a free smartphone, you have to press the green button above and send this offer to ten people or 10 groups so that this offer can be advertised, after that you can get your free smartphone by pressing the blue button. Note: Please send this to all your friends and family. Do not try to cheat otherwise our computer system will stop your registration.”

Moreover, we found that the webpage was created on blogspot.com. It is to be noted that the government never creates a public website through blog sites. Also, the URL of a government website often has ‘gov’, ‘nic’ or ‘org’ as the suffix extension of the domain name. But nothing like this appeared in the link, ‘https://registration–form-free–smartphone.blogspot.com/’

Further, we also found another website link in a Tweet posted by PIB dated August 24, 2020, claiming that the government is not providing any free smartphones to the students due to coronavirus pandemic.

NewsMobile has debunked a similar post earlier also which can be seen here.

Hence, the social media post in question is Fake.

If you want to fact-check any story, WhatsApp it now on +91 88268 00707

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