In spite of heavy criticism from various sectors, demand for the ultra low-cost Aakash tablet has continued to rise. The University of Mumbai has reportedly received about 25,000 booking requests for the Aakash tablet. Each tablet costs Rs. 1,138. The university revealed that requests have come from its 90 colleges and departments. The university is expecting more booking requests in the coming phase. The first phase of requests will be dispatched to the Union HRD ministry this weekend.
The scheme of subsidised Aakash tablets was extended by the HRD ministry for all the universities. The circulars requesting colleges, universities departments, were released last month. Students were asked to consult their respective heads for booking the Aakash tablet. Read our previous coverage here.
Vivek College in Goregaon has received the maximum number of booking requests (2262) from students. "Colleges in far-off places like Alibaug also have demanded the device in large numbers," revealed Mohan Kumar, convener of the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NME-ICT) from the university. Kumar further said that booking requests were still pouring in.
An official at the Mumbai University revealed that the tablet would be customised to incorporate the needs of the universities and central government. He also pointed out the the initial Aakash received a lot of criticism from users. “They are being modified now to suit everybody's requirements," he added.
The Indian government had unveiled the Aakash tablet in October last year. Aimed at bridging the digital divide in the country, the Aakash tablet will be given to students at subsidised price of Rs. 1,500. The Indian government aims to distribute 22 crore Aakash tablets in future. The commercial version of Aakash, UbiSlate 7, had sold out in less than a week after it was launched online.