The Indian government's ambitious ultra low-cost Aakash tablet is yet to see the light of day but has been already engulfed in a storm of controversy. DataWind, the company which was spearheading the project, has now blamed IIT-Rajasthan for the delay and accused the institute of exaggerating the concerns over the tablet quality and functionality to “favour other firms”.
Datawind's CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli, told TOI that IIT-Rajasthan had rejected the Aakash tablet on the basis of “biased and unscientific testing methodology”. "IIT Rajasthan was simply trying to defame us
by saying that we could not meet the quality required by it," he says.
Tuli also accused of jeopardising the Aakash tablet project. “They did it because they were favouring other firms... Even now, the institute is trying to sabotage the project," he adds.
Tuli's scathing attack on IIT-Rajasthan comes after the government issued notice to the institute over the Aakash debacle. The institute has been asked to explain why it failed to set up a tablet testing facility and why it failed to resolve the dispute with DataWind.
DataWind is presently working on an upgraded version of the Aakash tablet, which will have better processor and battery. The upgraded Aakash, also dubbed as the Aakash 2, will have a capacitive screen. Tuli further revealed that the company is working with IIT-Rajasthan and aims to start supply of the device to the government by this month. The DataWind CEO said the company will also bid for the Aakash 2.