The Ministry of Human Resource Development will soon propose a Cabinet note to obtain a permit for obtaining 50 lakh Aakash tablets, which will be dispersed among college students by the end of this year, a project that may cost above Rs 110 crore.
Kapil Sibal, HRD Minister displayed the tablet, Aakash-2 last week in front of the media. Aakash-2 tablet is includes a capacitive touchscreen and a faster processor. The acquisition price of these tablets would be capped at Rs 2,276, at the same cost at which government acquired the version 1.0 of Aakash.
“We are planning to propose a tender for Aakash-2 in the next 2 months. The tender will be for around 50 lakh Aakash tablets. C-Dot and ITI will be handling the tender,” said Kapil Sibal. “The current vendor of Aakash, Datawind will have to deliver the remaining 1 lakh tablets in its current contract. It can also bid for the upcoming tender,” Minister added.
Sources reveal that a Cabinet note is getting prepared to have the money sanctioned from the Ministry of Finance, as the Rs 4,000 crore 5 year fund of National Mission for Education (NME) is going to expire by this financial year end.
“We will sanction the contract to more vendors now, as the capability of meeting 50,00,000 tablets is not possible by a single vendor. However, price will be capped at Rs 2,276 per tablet. Finally we want to handout about 220 crore tablets to students,” N.K.Sinha, Additional Secretary at HRD Ministry said.
Just around 500 tablets have been dispersed so far, he added. “There were isssues with its battery life. Hence, we have enhanced upon the features in the new version,” he added.
The government is planning to distribute 50 lakh aakash tablets by the end of this year. “Because of the limited supply, we are pushing colleges to issue them similarly as books are distributed through libraries,” he added.
Sinha also revealed that the HRD ministry’s grand project of Virtual Laboratories, which aims to offer virtual study material and lectures from IIT’s on technical subjets through online. The website vlabs.co.in will also offer online model of difficulat lab experiments. All the students can book a slot on the website online, to perform virtual experiments which need high computing control.
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