India has 1.2 billion people are most and of these are poor, this means that technology is out of reach and products like Apple’s iPad is beyond the grasp of many.
Telecoms and Education Minister Kapil Sibal said “The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide…”
The government is going to buy the first batch of units of the lightweight device, called Aakash or “SKY” in English. Each unit cost $50 from a British company which assembled the web-enabled tablet computer in India.
A dry run of 100,000 units will be handed out to students for free, with 500 units handed out at the launch to have a mixed response. The tablet computer supports video conferencing, two USB ports and a battery life that lasts for three hours but some users said the performance is poor or slow.
Under development for two years, Aakash or SKY helped the government’s goal of introducing information technology in education, but critics were doubtful about it.