The Indian government is unlikely to include IITs in its ambitious Aakash 4 project, for which the Directorate General of Supplies & Disposals recently issued a tender. The new Aakash will be tested and certified by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) instead of IITs.
The row between IIT Jodhpur and Canadian manufacturer DataWind is considered to be main reason behind exclusion of IITs from the ultra low-cost tablet project. The previous project had ran into controversies following conflict between IIT Jodhpur and DataWind over testing parameters and procedures. The conflict had also caused a lot of delay to the Aakash project.
According to reports, Kapil Sibal headed Telecom Ministry is taking care of the project and has taken up DGS&D route to scale up production of Aakash IV. C-DAC also falls under the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, which is also under Mr. Kapil Sibal.
While the initial Aakash had failed to live up to the expectations, the government is gearing for the next gen Aakash tablet. As many as 17 companies including Dell, Acer, HP, HCL, Microsoft, Simmtronics, Mircomax and Datawind, are in race for manufacturers.
The Aakash has always been a great concept on the paper as it aims to empower the education segment as well as bridge the digital divide in the country. However, poor execution of the project has raised serious concerns. We expect the government learns lessons from the previous mistakes, and finally delivers.
Source: Financial Express