If reports are to believed, the Indian government is going to procure only initial quota of the Aakash tablets from DataWind. The HRD ministry is reportedly unhappy with DataWind for launching the device in open market before supplying it to the government. The government is now looking for other vendors for developing an improved version of the Aakash tablet. DataWind CEO Sunit Singh Tuli, meanwhile, has urged the government to include “Made in India” clause in the proposed tender for the low-cost device.
"Datawind successfully made the $ 49.48 tablet Aakash in India despite various pressures. We will make a request to the ministry (MHRD) that they should consider 'Made in India clause' and encourage indigenous production," Datawind CEO Sunit Singh Tuli told PTI.
Tuli pointed out that the critical components, chips and software were being designed and developed in India. He further added that the tablet had been manufactured in India, hence the device should come with a 'Made in India' tag. Tuli was confident that DataWind will succeed in getting the next tender for the Aakash tablet.
"It is the money of Indian taxpayers and is to be used for Indian students. It is for the government to decide whether they want to spend it for Indian jobs or they want to spend it on Chinese jobs. Irrespective of the final decision, I guarantee you that it will be won by company that will make product in India,” he concluded.
Speaking on the issue, IIT Rajasthan Director Prem Kalra said that the term 'Made in India' should be clearly defined. "Made in India has multiple definitions. PCB (circuits) is coming from China and you press components on it in India. Will it be call manufacturing in India? These are the questions which need some clear definition," Kalra pointed out.
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