It’s always nice to see technology enhance our educational life. My today’s article is about India’s contribution to education. On the 11th of the last month, Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee launched the Aakash 2 Mini Tablet in India.
Starting with a little history, the predecessor of ‘Aakash 2’ which is ‘Aakash’ was launched in October last year. It caught the eyes of people all around the world. Made by the British company Datawind, this tablet’s main aim was to replace most of the school’s text books and make them available in a PDF format for FREE. Aakash (Commercial name – UbiSlate 7+) was developed as a part of the country’s aim to link 25,000 colleges and 604 universities in an e-learning program. This low-cost tablet computer didn’t really become a hit due to poor hardware and the lack of many features, but its successor didn’t fail to impress people after covering all the hardware and software flaws.
Aakash 2 (Commercial Name – UbiSlate 7Ci) was launched with an improvement of many features. Speaking of the tech specs, Aakash 2 boasts a 7-inch screen, 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB RAM, 2GB Internal Storage(Along with an external memory card slot), 3000mAh battery(Approx. 3-4 hours battery life) and the ice(ing)cream on the cake is that it will come with Android OS 4.0.3 which is also known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). These features definitely don’t seem to be eye-catching but here comes the catch > This Tablet is commercially priced only at $100. The Indian government has purchased it for $60 and they plan to subsidize half the price to make this tablet available for Indian students at only $30. Yes you read it right only $30 which makes Aakash 2 the cheapest tablet ever made.
Talking about the positives, Students can get a complete advantage of reading e-books on it and making presentations and also submitting them while doing the necessary research online. At present, out of the 604 Indian universities, 400 are already in this network. But with the good, comes the bad. This tablet has a very poor screen resolution(480×800 only). It is very slow due to the low RAM capacity and it has no Bluetooth or SIM Card support. These features can definitely be overlooked considering the price of this mini tablet.
There have been rumours that this tablet is being manufactured in China, purchased off-the-shelf and then sold in India under a false pretence in order to win bulk deals. However, the truth remains unknown.
15 days back, this tablet was shown at the United Nation’s General Assembly highlighting the country’s innovation involved in the “most competitively priced” tablet computer.
photo credit: BaoMoi