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Updated: November 29, 2012 15:25 IST

Pranab launches advanced version of low-cost Aakash2 tablet

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President Pranab Mukherjee launching the Technology Enabled Education Initiative 'Aakash 2 Tablet and its applications at National Education Day function in New Delhi. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
The Hindu President Pranab Mukherjee launching the Technology Enabled Education Initiative 'Aakash 2 Tablet and its applications at National Education Day function in New Delhi. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

To begin with it will be made available to students of engineering colleges and varsities at a cost of Rs. 1, 130

The advanced version of low-cost tablet Aakash was launched here on Sunday by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Coming at a price tag of Rs. 1,130 for students, the new version ‘Aakash2’ — which will be made available to students of engineering colleges and universities to begin with — is now powered by a processor running at 1 GHz, has a 512 MB, a 7-inch capacitative touch screen and a battery working for three hours of normal operations.

It has been developed under the aegis of IIT Bombay with the active support of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). Datawind is rolling out the device.

“The price is Rs. 2,263 at which the government purchases the device from us. The government subsidises it by 50 per cent and it will be distributed to students at Rs. 1,130,” said Datawind CEO Suneet Tuli.

Mr. Tuli said the government was also trying to encourage the State governments to chip in by subsidising it further so that the device could eventually be available to students free of cost.

The first one lakh devices will be provided to students of engineering colleges and universities and subsequently these will be distributed to others.

About 22 crore students will get the device across the country in the next five to six years. By coming Monday alone, 20,000 devices are expected to be given to the students.

“The device, which can also run on the Linux operating system, does Aadhar authentication and controls a robot from a distant place,” said Human Resource Development Ministry officials.

Some news agencies put this as "World's cheapest tablet", and "bringing technology to every child" etc. For the information of all, a 25$ 7 inch tablet is not new. Go to alibaba.com you will find hundreds of Chinese/Taiwanese suppliers of wholesale tablets at the same price, same specifications. Now why this fuss and focus on a business model which already exists? Our govt could have just bought the tablets from China in wholesale at the same price!

from:  Yuvana Shagalot
Posted on: Nov 12, 2012 at 14:27 IST

...can also run on linux... why? A free and open operating system should have been the first preference. A proprietary operating system would only help an external software corporate to gain control over the system in future.

from:  CK Raju
Posted on: Nov 12, 2012 at 13:40 IST

During these days of scam & expose: Here is more info on datawind. A UK based company started by 2 indian brothers out of Toronto. Aakash 2 is only available form the Indian Govt. I don't understand why? Some kind of state secret for a silly 7 in pad for which the specifications are not forthcoming. Also, only 20,000 available? Why? Or the plan is to sell UbiSoft Slates from Datawind that are more expensive? On the otherfront, why is HCL's cheap pad not getting any free publicity from Hindu?

from:  Jayaprakash
Posted on: Nov 12, 2012 at 12:10 IST

Congratulation to all, who worked hard to make this dream a reality.

from:  Suraj
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 23:16 IST

Hon!able President launched Akash tablet, it will help the student
community in long run , provided the price tag remains the same i.e.
subsidized , commoner can afford for Rs. 2300/=

from:  K.L Goswami
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 22:24 IST

Sibal has conveniently passed the bug to Pranab - fearing criticism. Datawind is already making this product; why would they need IIT's design input for a silly product like this? Why would Govt spend so much money which is of little use to people as compared to full featured computer? Instead, provide a good number of PCs to schools all over India, so that students can really make use them and could develop computing skills. It need not be a new PC; recycle old PCs by installing SW like Puppy Linux or LXDE type of system to make them work wonder... With the kind of money (looks like some thousands of crores are going to be spent) the Govt is talking about could be spent on power generation to enable ailing industries to revive or do better. Students in TN are promised laptop - they don't need this item; so give their share of, say 1000 crore, to spend on something useful...

from:  Sasi Erode
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 21:11 IST

Please use this tablet to ensure that the Indian languages (older than many in the world) flourish and have education in a multi-lingual format rather than only in English. India is unique, has been unique and will always be unique.

from:  james robin
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 20:22 IST

As a person who attended this function from a remote center and used, I think I could make some observations about this tablet. Heard someone saying during the function that some 7k engg college teachers vieing this function from Aakash tablet. This is totally wrong since Aakash doesn't have any application for that function. As far as I know Aakash is a low cost chinese tablet running Android with some applications developed by IIT bombay. Considering the quality of application in Google play, I could give only a 2/10 rating to IITB Android applications. I couldn't understand why govt is projecting it as their "invention", since there is a similar project called OLPC. Also the much publicized IITB application "clicker" was already being used in several foreign universities. Considering the huge amount of money involved in this project, I personally think that one who runs this project hasn't done anything except losing crores from nations exchequer.

from:  Jestin Joy
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 20:11 IST

yeah!! Very exiting for whom? If it really reaches the student yes. Else tax payers hard earned money will be free loot for the elected and government officials. From 1947 this happens and nobody has a system to work it over.

from:  marudah
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 18:28 IST

At least .. some positive news :)

from:  Yogesh Sharma
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 17:54 IST

Why is Akash 2 made by a UK based company? Why is it that the Indian Government
couldn't employ companies from an important IT hub of the world... India?

from:  IndianGuy
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 17:38 IST

On road of developed nation in terms of technology and education.

from:  monika sharma
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 17:23 IST

nice thoughts but it should be available quikly in market.

from:  shaik rahman
Posted on: Nov 11, 2012 at 17:11 IST
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