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Aakash Tablet Project Gets Rs 765 Crore In Budget 2012 – But, Is Datawind Ready To Supply?

As reported by Economic Times, the world’s cheapest tablet project has been allocated about Rs 765 crore in Budget 2012-13, which is likely to trigger the second phase of the project expected to begin in April, even as the first phase is stuck in a deadlock. The allocation for Aakash  has been made under the National Mission for Education  through ICT of Ministry of Human Resource and Development. The mission had launched the low-cost tablet project, last year.

According to official sources, the money allocated is ‘sufficient’ for the second phase of the project. Aakash-II is likely to cost the government about 569 crore for about 50 lakh tablets. But cause of the worry is that only about 500 Aakash-I tablets have been procured so far. However, according to Datawind officials, they have supplied about 10,000 tablets to IIT Rajasthan, for which they are yet to receive money. Unfortunately, IIT Rajasthan, is not satisfied with the specifications and performance of the tablet supplied to them and they want higher specifications, for which Datawind want more money, and which is not acceptable to the government.

Planning - Amiss?

I fail to understand why our honourable HRD minister- Kapil Sibbal- is bent upon procuring the tablet only from Datawind when they are not able to supply good tablet at the agreed price, which is quite unrealistic. If the minister is really interested to procure good tablet then he will have to revise his budget estimate and give the contract to a leading vendor like Samsung or any other reputed company to supply the tablets at reasonable price otherwise the hard earned money of taxpayers will go down the drain and there will be another ruckus in parliament about wastage of public money.

Even if the honourable minister does not want to give contract for supplying the economical tablet to any reputed company then many local companies are capable to supply the tablets at good prices. Only yesterday, Zync- a Noida based company has  launched India’s first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich based tablet, named as Zync Z-990. The tablet is priced at Rs 8,990 and comes with a 7 inch capacitive screen that can respond to upto five point touches, so you can use your all five fingers at a time. It is powered by a 1.2 Ghz processor coupled with 1 GB of RAM that would surely give a smoother performance. Zync Z-990 has 4 GB of in-built memory which can be expanded upto 32 GB. The 380 gram weighing tablet has WiFi, 0.3 megapixel front camera, full sized USB port that supports pen drives, external keyboards, and 3G USB dongles, HDMI port, and a micro USB port.

Although the MRP of above tablet is Rs. 8,990/- but if the bulk order is placed on them by the government then the price will drastically come down. Dear Mr Sibbal, be realistic and if you want to make tablet project successful then do not run after mirage of cheap Datawind tablet but be practical and place order on dependable, reputed company at realistic price.

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