Undeterred by the controversies that have struck its $35 tablet project, the Government has taken the first step towards the fourth version of the low cost Aakash tablet by releasing its mandated technical specifications.

Perhaps the most interesting detail is that the new version, which will be called Aakash IV, will run the latest version of Ubuntu alongside Google’s Android operating system.

The specifications, which have been prepared for interested vendors to take a look and provide comments, shows that the Aakash IV will be significantly more powerful than its predecessors.

According to a Department of Electronics and Information Technology circular, the tablet should come with a 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, 4GB integrated internal storage, the ability to have a micro SD card 2.0 interface and a 7 inch LCD display with at least 800x400 resolution.

With regard to connectivity, it will have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The icing on the cake, however, though subject to change, is that the Aakash IV should be dual bootable (through an external SD card) with the latest GNU/Linux distribution (latest Ubuntu).

This marks a stark difference from the Government’s previous technological efforts. It may be the first time that a project of this size is being empowered through the option of open-source.

The next step involves all interested stakeholders, who should examine the proposed specifications, and provide their comments from the point of vendor neutrality by July 12, 2013.