So it seems that the Indian Government’s $35 computing device (which is essentially an Android tablet) might not just be vaporware, and will finally see the light of the day. According to Kapil Sibal, the Minister of Communications and IT, the government’s low-cost computing device, will be launched in October, reports The Times Of India. The publication cites Ministry officials to also add that the device would be launched on 5th October.
Sibal said that a name has been decided but will be revealed at the time of the launch and that the device would be capable of performing all computing tasks. The device is expected to be made available to school and university students, across the country.
The $35 laptop project had missed its initial launch date of 15th January 2011, since the tender for the project had been cancelled as the appointed vendor HCL Infosystems, had reportedly failed to furnish a bank guarantee of Rs 60 crore. It was also reported that there were disagreements over pricing, and that HCL had listed some additional ‘unacceptable’ conditions to the government.
There was also a lot of speculation as to whether the device was indigenous or a rebranded tablet made by a Chinese OEM.
What about Content?
We just hope that the Government figures out how it will offer content for the device. Perhaps it could tie-up with companies like Educomp or iProf, who have experience in developing tablet content, and even rope in bodies like the NCERT, in addition to Universities, for developing modules to be delivered through the web or via apps.
We’d be interested to know more about the content part, and the government’s strategy surrounding how it aims to integrate knowledge delivery and assessments through the device.
Also take a look at Geodesic’s plans to launch their own education device.
Jan 20, 2011: $35 Laptop Still A Distant Dream; HCL’s Tender Cancelled: Report
Sep 10, 2010: The Truth about $35 Android Tablet from Indian Government(AndroidOS.in)
Sep 03, 2010: HCL Wins Contract For 100,000 $35 Tablets For India
Aug 12, 2010: India To Distribute 1 Million Units Of Its $35 Tablet In 2011; Demo
Aug 09, 2010: OLPC India Now Targets 1M XOs In 2010; Negroponte Writes About $35 Tablet
Jul 23, 2010: India Government Develops $35 Tablet; What Can It Do? Features, How It Was Built
Feb 04, 2009: The $10 Laptop: A Myth