The specifications of the developed version of Aakash, world's cheapest PC tablet, will be finalised within this month said Union Telecom and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, contradicting his earlier statement that the much-awaited low-cost tablet will be released by May.
"During the course of this month, we will finalise the specifications and technology for the Aakash project and move forward with its manufacturing," Sibal was quoted by the media at an event in Mumbai.
Sibal added, "I am absolutely certain that in the next five to seven years, we will be able to provide this tablet to every school and college students. It will also be available for the individuals who wish to acquire it."
Offering Aakash PC tablets at a lowest possible price is to benefit the millions of poor Indian students, who can't afford a device to browse across cyberspace. It is one of the government aided innovative programme in taking the latest technology and providing access to the information space to everyone.
The first Aakash tablet was launched in October last year, after a two-long years of combined work by the education ministry and the Canada's manufacturer- DataWind Ltd.
The project created a lot of enthusiasm amongst the gadget lovers and the analysts worldwide thought that the Aakash would revolutionize the internet and education system of India.
However, the project was brought to a halt after supply of few tablets; the authorities concerned constantly received complaints regarding the performance and delay in delivering to the pre-ordered customers. Following the complaints, the government directed the DataWind makers for a better product with better battery and processor. Also the upgraded version is likely to port Google's latest operating system Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich.
The DataWind Ltd, and its erstwhile assembly partner, Hyderabad's Quad Electronics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, got into a legal tangle, sabotaged the Aakash process.
Later, Sibal said that the government will come up with a revised and untroubled Aakash tablets, at even lower price. The initial Aakash model was priced at $45. The upgraded Aakash 2 is expected to cost around $35 (approx: Rs 1, 960) or even less.