Govt to scrap Aakash deal with IIT
New Delhi: The public sector companies will handle the future tendering process and procurement of upgraded version of Aakash2 tablets.
The govt decision comes in the wake of a spat between IIT-Rajasthan, current procurement agency for Aakash and the tablet's current maker Datawind, which has led to a stoppage of supplies.
Currently, the development and manufacturing of all the IT and electronic products is governed by Department of IT under the Ministry of Communications and IT, headed by Kapil Sibal who also holds HRD portfolio.
HRD Ministry has already said it will require an additional 22 crore units of Aakash, and to manufacture Aakash in such large numbers, fresh tenders will be released enabling other companies along with Datawind to also get a chance, the sources said.
Aakash, bought under the HRD Ministry's National Mission on Eduction through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) project, is available to students for Rs 1,100 after government subsidy.
The Letter of Credit to Datawind, in the meantime, has been given an extension till March. The vendor, which had won the contract to supply one lakh device, would be rolling out the next lot of the upgraded devices, sources said.