Authorities in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are to start handing out the first of an estimated 6.8 million free laptops to schoolchildren.
All children in government-funded secondary schools and colleges will be eligible for one.
The five-year programme is the first of its kind in India.
The laptops are part of a huge giveaway promised by ministers during elections earlier this year.
Supporters of the scheme say it will help disadvantaged children whose parents cannot afford a computer.
Correspondents say it may also boost Tamil Nadu's economic fortunes as it competes with other south Indian states to become a modern IT centre supported by a new computer-savvy generation.
However, critics say there may be practical problems.
Some say the costs - several hundred million dollars this year alone - are simply too high.
They argue that the money could be better spent in areas such as social services and infrastructure.
Tamil Nadu also suffers regular power shortages that may mean students struggling to use the laptops as often as they would like.
The government is also handing out other items it promised to voters, such as food mixers and grinders.
Poorer families, enrolled in food subsidy programmes, will also receive livestock including goats and sheep.
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