Union Government's HRD (Human Resource Development) department is reportedly planning to end ties with the tablet manufacturer for repeated delays in the supply of Aakash-2 tablet PCs.
The HRD department had extended the Aakash-2 supply deadline for the second time to 31 March when the Canadian firm failed to supply the tablets on initially agreed upon due-date of 31 December 2012.
As per recent reports, DataWind has only managed to supply 20,000 against the expected 1 lakh units and it is very unlikely that the company will come up with 80,000 units by 31 March.
Apparently miffed by the delay of Aakash-2 tablet PC procurements from DataWind, HRD department has sent a letter to IIT-Bombay, which is a executing body of Aakash-2 tablet, to ensure the tablet vendor, DataWind supplies the remaining units by the 31 March deadline, reported Times of India.
Government has also put on hold the plans for production of third-generation Aakash-3. The Human resource department was earlier slated to float a tender for 50 lakh Aakash-3 tablets with SIM slots to be released later by the year end.
HRD minister Pallam Raju has said that he is currently awaiting the report of the review panel headed by Rajendra Pawar to study the feasibility of Aakash tablet in the Government's flagship education program 'National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology' and will take a call on the future prospect of the Aakash tablet.
Currently, DataWind sells Aakash-2 for ₹2,363, but students just have to pay ₹1,130 for the tablet while rest of the cost is taken care of by the government.
Earlier, when the first Aakash tablet was rolled out in October 2011, tech critics had slammed the device for its below average specifications such as low battery capacity, unresponsive resistive touch screen, slow processing speed and it ran on an out-dated Android 2.2 OS.
The Aakah-1 successor Aakash-2 was released last year in November, but the unveiling was marred by allegations that the DataWind's Aakash-2 tablet was a cheap import from China.
Later, DataWind Chief Suneet Singh Tuli clarified that the Aakash-2 tablet was originally designed in India, but due to "expediency sake" the mother boards and kits were manufactured in China.
If the Pawar committee report on the tablet is not positive, it might well be the end of India's very first tablet brand Aakash.