Almost in a continuation to reports about the government handing over tender proceedings for the upgraded Aakash 2 tablet to Department of Information Technology (DIT), reports now have that the HRD ministry wants Indian Telephone Industries (ITI) to participate in the bid to supply the Aakash 2 tablets from April this year. The government will be needing 22 crore Aakash tablets to achieve the target of providing the device to every college and university students. The government plans to achieve the target by 2014.
For this, the government is now looking for multiple vendors to supply the Aakash tablets. The government, however, is more banking on public sector companies in view of its bitter experience with DataWind, the company which is supposed to provide 1 lakh Aakash tablets by March. Also, the spat between IIT-Rajasthan and DataWind over specifications issues have already marred the supply. The government is now taking away responsibility of procurement of Aakash tablets from IIT-Rajasthan.
The government has taken serious note of the series of faults found by IIT students in the DataWind's Aakash tablet. The ministry also did not like DataWind selling the device in open market before supplying to the government. According to reports, the ministry has already rejected 3,000 tablets on quality. Another main reason for the government now looking for public sector companies was inability shown by DataWind to develop an upgraded Aakash 2 tablet at the same price.