Aakash tablet- the government’s ambitious project will now be handled by three more IITs.
According to reports, the government plans to rope in IIT Madras, IIT Mumbai and IIT Kanpur to make the tablet PC project more indigenous and reduce its price. IIT Rajasthan is already supervising its development.
A meeting was held in New Delhi on Thursday under the chairmanship of HRD (Human Resources Development) minister in which this proposal was mooted. Much emphasis was laid on making the tablet indigenous.
Plans to make Aakash indigineous and cost effective
- IIT Kanpur, IIT Mumbai & IIT Madras to join the project
- 22 crore more units needed; fresh tenders to be issued
- Speed to increase from 300 MHz to 800 MHz in second phase
As per the proposal, plans are to make Aakash 90 percent Indian by 2014. Besides, the cost also needs to be brought down. As of now, several components which includes the processor are sourced from outside. The cost is around Rs. 1,100 after figuring in the government subsidy.
Notably, the ministry had earlier decided to hand over the responsibility of tendering process to the Department of Information Technology. It was a decision taken in the wake of differences that had cropped up between IIT-Rajasthan and Datawind (the manufacturer of the tablet). The reason behind the differences was the issue of enhanced specification demands.
It has also said that it will need additional 22 crore units of Aakash and for that it is planning to issue fresh tenders so that other companies can also take part in the tendering process.
It may be mentioned here that some PSUs and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing are also expected to participate in the second phase of the “Aaakash roll out”. Significantly, the speed of the device will also improve from 300 MHz to 800 MHz in the second phase.