Low-cost Aakash tablet scheme is back on track
Smarter, better, faster, stronger
A new version of the ultra low-cost Aakash tablet built by British firm DataWind has been announced by the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), with deliveries to over 100,000 students and teachers nationwide expected from July.
The institute took over the project – designed to empower students and teachers in the country’s engineering colleges – three months ago from IIT-Jodhpur, after a deteriorating relationship with DataWind stalled shipments.
Now it has commissioned the Aakash 2, which upgrades the processor from 366 Mhz to 800 Mhz, and replaces the resistive touch screen to a capacitive screen.
It also features improved battery power, up from less than two hours to around three hours, and has a slightly lower price tag of Rs. 2,263 (£25.48), down from 2,276 (£25.63 ), according to IIT-B.
The devices will be used to facilitate an ambitious remote teacher training programme which aims to engage 1,000 trainee teachers at a time. IIT-B is also developing open source applications for use with the tablets with a special focus on content in India languages, the institute said.
The devices are already set-up to facilitate interactive video lectures, online tests and the submission of assignments and can also be used by computer students to write and run programs in C, C++ and Python.
DB Phatak, head of the project at the IIT-B’s Computer Science Engineering department, said the following in a canned statement:
With the increasing convergence of communication and computing technologies, tablet computers are fast emerging as popular consumer devices. In coming years, Aakash is likely to become a ubiquitous tool in the hands of students, at all levels of their education.
We received first 100 samples of the Aakash-2 device during May/June. Our goal is to complete the deployment at over 500 engineering colleges, and to build a large community of thousands of talented professional students and teachers from these colleges, to carry out large scale development of applications and content for use in all schools and colleges.
Sponsored: Hyper-scale data management