Govt unveils low-cost computer for students

Government unveiled a low-cost computer for students carrying a price tag of Rs 1,500.

Last Updated: Jul 22, 2010, 21:10 PM IST

New Delhi: Government on Thursday unveiled a
low-cost computer for students carrying a price tag of Rs
1,500 ($35) and having all elementary features including
internet browsing.

The indigenously made computer is expected to be
available with the students by next year.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, unveiling the device, said the
ultimate objective would be to bring down the price to
Rs 470 ($10).

Several teams comprising experts, students and professors
from IITs and IIS Bangalore were working with the HRD Ministry
to bring out the low-cost computing device.

"We have come out with the device at Rs 1,500 ($35) and
now we invite individuals, entrepreneurs, firms and industries
to produce the device as cheaper rates than this," he said.

Sibal said the manufacturer as well as the distribution
pattern has not been finalised as yet but said the price tag
of Rs 1,500 ($35) has been computed after taking all aspects
into consideration.

The low-cost computer fulfils a key mandate of the
government, to provide high quality e-content free of cost to
all learners in the country under the National Mission on
Education through Information and Communication Technology.
The computing device will support functionalities like
video web conferencing facility, multimedia content viewing.

The ministry started its efforts, subsequent to the
lukewarm response from corporates, by holding discussions on
the concept with a group of professors of IIT Bangalore.

The B.Tech and M.Tech students were guided to produce
the mother board for such low cost device with ample
flexibility to change the components.

The minister said one mother board design was generated
by a students of VIT Vellore under his B.Tech project which
had worked out to Rs 2,209 ($47). The mother board was
fabricated at IIT Kanpur.

Thereafter, through various processes of customisation
as per the needs of the learners, it was possible to reduce
the price of the computing device.

PTI