From next academic year, students of Mumbai University will have their own tablet PC with touchscreen just for Rs 1,138.
The world’s cheapest tablet PC Aakash was launched officially by the ministry of Human Resource Development on 5th October, 2011. This 350 gm, 7-inch tablet PC will be available for students of 650MumbaiUniversity affiliated colleges for e-learning.
Director of board of college and university development, Rajpal Hande, said that they have issued notices to all affiliated departments and colleges on the availability of Aakash to university students at a lower cost than the market price. They are expecting the colleges to get back to them with requirements. Also he said, “We are hoping that students will avail the facility as they are getting it at almost 50% discount. I am also told an improved version of the tablet will be launched in February, so the students might get an upgraded version.”
The university has issued a circular to the colleges asking them to come up with the requirements once after discussing with their students. According to the circular, the tablet is available for undergraduates and postgraduates in engineering, science, commerce, humanities and social studies.
Mohan Kumar, in-charge of Aakash and director of Life Long Education atMumbaiUniversity, said, “We will provide tablet PC to everyone who needs it. But we don’t know if we can cater to 6.5 lakh students in one go.” Also, he said they would soon discuss the distribution method with the colleges, and the university would send it to the Centre by end of the February after finalizing the requisition.
NationalMissionon Education through Information and Communication Technology is planning to offer high quality interactive education and knowledge to students through Aakash over the intranet/internet to students acrossIndia.
Mohan Kumar also stated that the price of Aakash is subsidized and is available at Rs 1,138 for Mumbai University students, and if the colleges wanted to reduce its price further they could do it at their end.
The tablet PC hasn’t reached Mumbai yet, but all the students are very excited to own it. Many students are willing to own this tablet PC as it is very cheap. They claim that carrying a laptop to college or anywhere is cumbersome; instead carrying a tablet PC would be great and helpful for presentations.
Through Aakash, students will be able to access knowledgebase e-content offered by 100 universities through the website sakshat.ac.in
Probably, the upgraded version of Aakash, UbiSlate 7, may be available in the market while the university comes up with the requirements of its 650 colleges and sends the information to the Centre. UbiSlate is expected to be launched during the end of January, 2012.
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