Aakash Tablet Project Gets Richer By 765 Crores; What About Quality Though?

Government of India has allocated Rs. 765 Crores (US$ 150 Million) to the Aakash Tablet project. The second phase, i.e. Aakash II production & distribution is expected to begin next month.

However, the first phase of distribution is still in limbo. Apparently, IIT Rajasthan is still in disagreement with the manufacturer Datawind over the previous iteration. About Rs. 569 Crores (US$ 112 Million) is going to be utilized to fine-tune & mass-manufacture Aakash II. In total Govt. expects to lay hands on 50 Lakh Units. These units will cost the Govt. about Rs. 2276 (US$ 45) each, but it will subsidize them down to Rs. 1138 (US$ 23) per tablet to State Governments. In other words the Center is ready to bear half the cost, but wants regional administration to bear the other half to distribute the tablets in state colleges and institutions. The remaining amount is going to be utilized to fund development of e-content

Providing quality education to the underprivileged students of India is an ambitious project. Hence we are quite proud about this endeavor. Further the money allocated is for a 5 Year plan. While the earlier tablet faced many issues with screen responsiveness & speed, we hope the newer iteration should work satisfactorily. However, should Govt. throw good money after a unstable product? asked Satish Jha, President of One Laptop Per Child foundation, “Allocation of more money to a project which is not stable is not an established practice in government”. Lets see if the newer variation is able to silence the critics.

Meanwhile Kapil Sibal has urged the first recipients to use the low-cost tablet & offer their technical feedback. Aakash II will also have to shine against the newer entrants that are vying for quality education tools.

Which tablet will you prefer?

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