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Govt to offer upgraded tablet PCs at earlier cost: Sibal

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India launches cheapest tablet computing device

Aiming to bridge the digital divide in the country, India
Wednesday launched the world’s cheapest tablet computing device
Akash costing Rs.2,250 ($46).
Around one lakh students will be able to have better access to

Akash tablet’s commercial variant in November

New Delhi:
Communications Minister Kapil Sibal Monday said an upgraded
version of the tablet PC “Aakash”, supplied primarily to students
at less than Rs.2,450 ($49) a piece, would not be hiked.

The minister, who also holds the education portfolio, said two
state-owned technology companies had been roped in to manufacture
the upgraded version. He admitted there were problems with
Datawind, the original developer of the tablet.

“There have been some problem with Datawind I must confess.
Therefore, I have got into the act. IT Ministry has got C-DAC
(Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and ITI (Indian
Telephone Industries) into the act and I am going to ensure that
this product is fully indigenous and truly an Indian product,”
said Sibal.

Datawind has come under criticism for missing delivery deadlines
and its failure to provide a proper customer service platform.

The government was also unhappy after various faults were detected
in the tablet and officials had indicated that the government may
not extend the contract for manufacture of more tablets to

“There have been some hiccups in the way. Remember when you do a
project of this nature and when your dream is as big as this,
things are never that smooth,” said Sibal.

The minister also welcomed competition from private players for
producing ultra low-cost tablets.

“I think its a great thing if there is competition. Ultimately my
objective is to get a quality product in the hands of the








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