Monday, 6 February 2012

Aakash 2 to be made in India, completely

The occasion was the Indian Semi Conductor Vision Summit in Bangalore, which was attended by the HRD Minister, Kapil Sibal, who was the chief guest. At the event, Sibal revealed the larger plan that he had in mind for the upcoming Aakash tablet. An official statement now confirms that at the event Sibal stated that the Aakash 2 tablet will purely be of an Indian make, and that in the next tender for the tablet, he'll add this clause. Elaborating on this further, he stated that he wants to enhance the existing production base of the Aakash 2 tablet to make the end to end production of the tablet possible in the country and in the process, give opportunities to for R&D institutions, developers, electronic production houses.
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal at the ISA Vision Summit 2012
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal at the ISA Vision Summit 2012

At the event, he also confirmed that currently the IITs and the ITI were working on the development of the tablet, and that the government is looking at the production of 22 crore units of the tablet to accomodate the needs of a wide expanse of takers. To get this done effectively, the government will encourage more companies to join in, along with Datawind. According to previous reports, too, it has been revealed that currently components like the processor, among other things are procured from elsewhere, and now with the ministry planning on setting up a wider, more wholesome production base in the country, itself, things could get a lot better.

At the event, Sibal made some other interesting announcements, too. According to an official statement, the Union government has confirmed that in order to promote e-learning across the country, it will distribute the low-cost Aakash tablets across institutions for free. Elaborating on this, at the event, Sibal stated, "The current cost of Aakash is Rs. 2276 – that is for one lakh pieces. The cost will come down to Rs. 1500 once the numbers increase to one million. Shri Sibal said that half of cost would be subsidized by the Government of India (GOI) and the remaining Rs. 750 would be funded by educational institutions. He also added that they are now going to diversify the production base and indigenize Aakash." Result? A free tablet for students.

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