By Nabila Habib (NVONews.Com)
Low-cost tablet Aakash caught the imagination of budget conscious Indians students and now a better version of the same hit tablet is next in line.
The trial version of the faster and better Aakash would be released in May, Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal said during the higher education conclave organized by ICC recently.
Sibal said, “The second version of Aakash will be launched some time in May.”
He also informed that the trial version has been created by using the inputs and feedback from students using the Aakash tablet. After the feedback on the trial Aakash tab, commercial production would follow.
The newer Aakash would boast a more powerful 3200m AH battery with a three hour backup. It would be powered by a 700 MHz Cortex A8 processor. It will have a a capacitive touch screen with issues raised in the original tablets resolved completely.
Sibal added that the first batch of 100,000 tablets were aimed for students of higher technical educational institutions.
As per the information by Sibal, the issue of the introduction of the National Vocational Qualification Framework in the 2012 academic yearwould be placed before Cabinet in the next three to four weeks. The framework would include up to graduation level and would cover different industrial sector skills.
He also informed about the optional examination in Class X being extended across the county like CBSE. He said that some states were considering the option.
It was found that five states, namely Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Puducherry were not in favour of having a common national examination for undergraduate engineering courses across the country.
Regarding such differences, Sibal said, “We will consult everybody (every state).”
Indian Government has opened the offer to the world and is inviting any firm to produce the world’s cheapest tablet. However, the manufacturer of the fierst batch of Aakash, OEM DataWind, seems to be staying as the next manufacturer too.
OEM DataWind is to ship a new consignment next month that will be the newer version of Akash. Buzz has it that the OS of the tablet will be Froyo (though the commercial Ubislate 7+ is on Gingerbread) or the Google Play Store.
Going by the demand of Indian Government, that is a tablet for every student in the next five years, DataWind would need to spruce up its production capabilities as the next 100,000 units it has promised would hardly be enough.
Indian population is over 1.2 billion and youngsters dominate this number. DataWind needs to grow really big to handle this consignment if it becomes the sole firm to handle this contract.