Update: HCL Infosystems informed us that they’ve won the contract for the $35 tablet, not HCL Technologies. Apart from this, we’ve received emails and calls questioning this deal, and whether the $35 tablet is an Indian product or not. Something could be amiss here…time will tell.
HCL Technologies HCL Infosystems has won a contract to manufacture 100,000 of the Indian governments $35 tablets, to be rolled out before the 10th of January 2011, reports Mint. The Indian government is allocating Rs. 30 crore (around $6.4 million) for the project. IIT Rajasthan will test the device. (Watch: demo of the $35 Tablet, with the Android OS)
The Indian government has already announced plans to distribute 1 million of these units in 2011, to university students. That’s roughly the same target that the One Laptop Per Child project has set for the XO in India in 2010, although orders for only around 500,000 XO laptops have been placed by the state of Kerala and Gujarat.
While the two projects have been in the limelight, largely because of the cost-competition that everyone is curious about, one should keep in mind that different segments of students are being targeted here: the OLPC targets primary education, and the Indian government is targeting university level students.
My take on this is that it is far more important for the Indian government to focus on providing content and educational games to primary and secondary education level students. University students do have access to computers while in college (particularly in engineering colleges), while access to technology is a bigger issue at the the primary and secondary education level.
Related: $35 Tablet
Related: OLPC India
– OLPC India Now Targets 1M XOs In 2010; Negroponte Writes About $35 Tablet
– Updated: India Places Orders For 250,000 XO Laptops
– OLPC Targets 3 Million Laptops In 365 Days; In Talks With 9 State Govts