The Andhra Pradesh students will be given the improved Aakash tablets at a subsidised price of Rs. 1,500 by the state government. Initially, students in state universities, engineering and polytechnic colleges will be benefitted by the scheme; however the Andhra Pradesh government plans to provide the subsidised Aakash tablets to students in private colleges in near future as well. The proposal regarding the subsidised Aakash tablets for the state college students has been sent to the Union HRD ministry for the final approval.
“Once we get the approval, we will implement the scheme. We are planning to procure 10,000 tablets,” says the State Commissioner of Technical Education, S Balasubramanyam. The official further said that it would take nearly 3-4 months to procure the first lot of the Aakash tablets. He also pointed that the the state government was rooting for the next generation of the Aakash tablet, Aakash 2, which is likely to be launched by April this year.
It may be recalled that the existing Aakash tablet had a series of faults and poor battery back-up. In view of the flaws in the original Aakash, the government has decided to come up with an improved version of the Aakash tablet. DataWind, the developer of the Aakash tablet, has already come up with an upgraded version of the Aakash tablet, UbiSlate 7 . The improved Aakash tablet has a better battery life and faster 766 MHz processor.
The Aakash tablet, launched last year, is aimed at bridging the digital divide in the country. The government plans to procure some 22 crore Aakash tablets in near future. The commercial version of the Aakash tablet, UbiSlate 7, has received an overwhelming response from the public so far. However, the ongoing standoff between the government and DataWind has jeopardised the future of the Aakash tablet.