For many wondering on status of their online booking to device known as Aakash , Aakash-II, Which they have booked online last year Dec 2011 were expected to delivery by February 2012, come and gone and device is yet to show up in the market. Today Ministry of Human Resource and development raised the curtain over the speculation about launching date of tablet Aaskash-II, during the question hour in loksabha Kapil Sibal commented on much awaited Aakash tablet , Sibal said that Datawind will supply first one lakh high speed tablets with longer battery and better specification by April 2012. Sibal quoted “These higher specifications which include 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor, 3200mAH battery with three-hour usage time and a capacitative touchscreen have been necessitated to overcome the initial difficulties observed in the devices.”
Targeting students in higher technical education institution to further ascertain the feedback on its operation and usability, will be the motive. While addressing the concern over the device being made available to schools, Sibal said the same would be made available when the proposed National Mission of Education through ICT for Schools got necessary funds. Also it has been indicated that once the production capabilities are built up , it will aim to empower the students from low income group , disadvantaged and marginalized section of society.
Aakash is not the first time when government is trying to lure the low income section of society with the dream of IT empowerment. There was Big FLOP show by the name of SIMPUTER Launched during the Sibal was in charge of Dept of science and technology, Simputer is a self-contained, open hardware Linux-based handheld computer, first released in 2002. Developed in, and primarily distributed within India, the product was envisioned as a low-cost alternative to personal computers. With initial goals of selling 50,000 simputers, the project had sold only about 4,000 units by 2005, and has been called a failure by news sources (Wiki). Seem like more or less what Aakash is heading towards, a lot of media coverage to build the hype and publicity around the device, but haven’t been able to prove its mettle is initial testing phase resulting re launching of the device as Aakash –II with improved feature and specifications.
Here is some food for thought, this tablet is only good for first few hours( 2-3 hrs) of video playing after which battery will surly run out. Students would require an access to internet via Wi- Fi for this device to connect to internet related to e-learning, but security will be a concern features, what can make sure internet will not be misused, In this country where ministers sitting in parliament are watching porn videos, it is a must have security to these device which should limit the access to internet. Also this is highly doubtful that these devices would ever be able to reach to its complete use with many states having lack of infrastructure capabilities to use this device. While Ministry is focusing on making a flashy gadgets available to all, they seems to have lost the focus on providing the primary education to all, building a better education system rather than tools will always be a need for an hour.