Fate of Aakash II tablet still uncertain

Aesha Datta New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 22, 2013

Yet to take off: President Pranab Mukherjee and Human Resource Development Minister M. M. Pallam Raju at the launch of the Aakash-2 tablet in 2012.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development’s ambitious plan of launching an ultra-cheap tablet for students appears to have been blown away in the wind.

HRD Minister Pallam Raju said work on Aakash III, which the Ministry hopes will be a better product, had begun, but the fate of the former “enhanced” Aakash II was unknown.

A senior Ministry official said the production of Aakash II, which was developed after the first version of the tablet was said to have some glitches, hadn’t taken off adequately. However, even as the manufacturer, Datawind, has been unable to deliver even half of the required Aakash II tablets, work has begun on the third version.

Raju said IIT-Bombay had ordered one lakh Aakash II, but Datawind was unable to deliver the gadgets. The deadline for the delivery has been extended till March 31, but Ministry officials said that with the extended deadline looming large, it was unlikely that the tablets would be delivered on time.

Raju said, “Even if the Aakash fails, others (cheap tablets from private companies) have cropped up, which is a good thing.” He added that maybe one should let the market decide which product survives, hinting at the dismal future of the tablet.

Published on March 22, 2013

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