World's cheapest Aakash tab to get cheaper?

Last Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 13:36

New Delhi: The government plans to involve three more IITs in the world's cheapest Aakash tablet PC project to make it more indigenous and further lower its price.

Apart from IIT Rajasthan, which is spearheading the project, IIT Mumbai,
IIT Madras and IIT Kanpur would also be roped in for the project,
sources in the HRD Ministry said.

The development follows after a meeting chaired by HRD Minister Kapil
Sibal where senior officials from the Ministry as well as from
Department of IT were present.

The sources said much emphasis was laid on indigenisation of the tablet.
At present, several components including the processor are procured
from outside.

The aim is to give shape to the indigenisation plan within the next two
years and make the product 90 percent Indian. At the same time, emphasis
will be laid on further lowering the prices of the device, they said.

At present, the device is available to students at Rs 1,100 after government subsidy.

Earlier, the HRD Ministry had decided that the tendering process for
rolling out the improved version of Aakash, will be handled by the
Department of Information Technology.

This followed after differences cropped up between IIT Rajasthan and
Datawind, the manufacturer of the tablet, over the issue of enhanced
specification demands.

The HRD Ministry has already said that it will require an additional 22
crore units of Aakash and for this fresh tenders will be issued enabling
other companies along with Datawind to also get a chance.

Several PSUs and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing are also
expected to chip in to roll out the second phase of the Aakash. The
speed of the device will come at 800 MHz instead of 300 MHz at present.

PTI

First Published: Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 12:44

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