The world’s cheapest tablet PC – Akash, priced at around Rs. 1,200, will now be available to students in the country as part of the government’s programme to expand education through information technology.
The tablet PC, named Aakash, will cost the government Rs. 2,276. It will be given to students after subsidising the price by up to 50 per cent, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday while unveiling the device in New Delhi.
“The tablet is for Rs. 2,276 which includes taxes and cost of transportation. The government will provide subsidy of 50 per cent to institutes buying it. It will cost around Rs. 1,100-Rs 1,200 to institutes,” Mr. Sibal said.
An initial order of 1 lakh devices has been placed with device maker Datawind, Mr. Sibal said. The procurement order will be scaled up later with an aim to bringing down prices further, he added.
“If 10 lakh pieces are ordered, then it will be priced at Rs. 1,750 (cost to the government) which will include transportation cost and vendor’s profit as well. So, I have fulfilled my promise of USD 35 tablet,” Mr. Sibal said.
Mr. Sibal said he will ask telecom vendor ITI to manufacture it and will seek support of other industry players to scale up the production and reduce costs.