Laptop for just Rs 1,500
By: MiD DAY Correspondent
Place: NEW DELHI
World's cheapest computer is now made in India
You may not be able to buy Apple's iPad, but you may easily get a made in India 'Sakshat' computing device at a throwaway rate. The Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal unveiled a low cost computing-cum-access device yesterday, touted as the world's cheapest laptop.
Innovative: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal displays the low-cost computing device during its launch yesterday. pic/rajeev tyagi
The low-cost computer for students has all the elementary features, including Internet browsing. The indigenously made computer is expected to be available to the students by next year.
Bring it down
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, unveiling the device, said the ultimate objective would be to bring down the price to Rs 470 ($10). Several teams comprising experts, students and professors from IITs and IIS Bangalore were working with the HRD Ministry to bring out the low-cost computing device.
"We have come out with the device at Rs 1,500 ($35) and now we invite individuals, entrepreneurs, firms and industries to produce the device at cheaper rates than this," he said. Sibal said the manufacturer as well as the distribution pattern has not been finalised as yet but the price tag of Rs 1,500 ($35) has been computed after taking all aspects into consideration.
The low-cost computer fulfils a key mandate of the government, to provide high quality E-content free of
cost to all learners in the country under the National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology. The computing device will support functionalities like video web conferencing
facility, and multimedia content viewing.
The ministry started its efforts, subsequent to the lukewarm response from corporates, by holding discussions on the concept with a group of professors of IIT Bangalore. The B Tech and M Tech students were guided to produce the motherboard for such low cost device with ample flexibility to change the components.
The minister said that one motherboard design was generated by a students of VIT Vellore under his B Tech project which had worked out to Rs 2,209 ($47). The motherboard was fabricated at IIT Kanpur. Thereafter, through various processes of customisation as per the needs of the learners, it was possible to reduce the price of the computing device.