Jun 10, 2011

India's $35 android tablet-PC all set to roll out

Nearly six years after the idea of low cost laptop was conceived for Indian students, the much awaited $35 tablet-PC for Indian students is all set be launched this june ending. The first lot of 10,000 laptops would be delivered to IIT-Rajasthan. Once it is launced it will be the world's chepest tablet in the world.The HRD Ministry officials confirmed each Indian state would be given 3,000 devices once the supply of 1,00,000 devices is made. The Central government would contribute about 50 per cent of the cost and a student would need to pay Rs. 1,000 for the device. The device is basically targetted at students for educational content. It is perhaps the cheapest innovation of all time. The government of India would contribute about 50 per cent of the cost and a student would need to pay Rs. 1,000 for the device.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal displaying the $35 tablet-PC

The device features includes:
  • WiFi connectivity
  • PDF Reader, Open Office
  • 7inch touchscreen
  • web browser with javascript support
  • remote device management capability
  • video streaming
  • flash video
  • zip/unzip facility
  • multimedia input-output interface option
  • 2 USB ports
  • built-in keyboard and
  • 2 GB RAM.
The storage can be external hard-drive or a solid-state memory upto 32 GB. Thedevice comes with features a basic tablet should have. This device runs on Android operating system.

 It is for this ambitious project that the government of India has refused to join the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).The OLPC laptops cost around $100. In 2006, India decided not to become involved in the OLPC program. According to the Education Secretary Sudeep Banerjee, OLPC could not be taken seriously at that time.Banerjee also stated that the need for classrooms and teachers was greater than "fancy tools" and that if there were money available, it would be better spent on the existing education plans than attempting to implement OLPC in a pilot stage.By 2008, India had begun its own attempts at creating low-cost laptops. Instead of OLPC's target price of $100 per laptop, the HRD ministry is aimed for a $10 laptop. Many people have critized the Indian Governtment for not joining the OLPC and they even said that a tablet for $35 is not possible.