Akash tablet that is originally priced at Rs 2,500 will now be available in Andhra Pradesh for just Rs 1,500. The state government is offering a subsidy of Rs 1,000 for students to facilitate e-learning.
A proposal has already been sent to the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry, the State Commissioner of Technical Education, S Balasubramanyam said.
S Balasubramanyam said, “The UMHRD has asked the state to submit details about the number of Aakash tablets initially required. We have proposed to provide the tablets to students in state universities, engineering and polytechnic colleges initially at a subsidised price of Rs 1,500. We plan to procure 10,000 tablets in the beginning.”
The second phase of the scheme will see students of private colleges.
The government has also plans of providing the tablets in college and university libraries, which will be available for rent for students who cannot afford them.
S. Balasubramanyam said it would take at least another 3-4 months to procure the 10,000 Aakash tablets from the Union HRD ministry as the state government was waiting for the next generation of Aakash, which is expected to be released in April.
The tablet has been designed especially for students with an aim to bridge the digital divide between the rich and the poor. Over the next five years, the Centre plans to provide the tablets to 20 crore students.
The Union HRD Ministry is monitoring implementation of the Aakash project.
Reports have been doing rounds that the existing Android 2.2 version operating system that runs on Aakash has a series of faults. Also, there is a problem with the battery back-up of the tablet. Owing to the complaints and the faults in the devices, the manufacturers of the tablet — DataWind — decided to launch an improved version of Aakash with a 766 MHz processor and a longer battery life.