One Laptop per Child aka OLPC has become the most respected names across the world in low-cost computing. So is with India in recent one year when the government took the initiative with Aakash project to offer students with world’s cheapest tablet at a subsidy of 50 percent.
OLPC is globally headed by Nicholas Negroponte who has designed the XO laptop to be used everywhere, including India, but would it be brought to India where government is gearing up with Aakash 2, the second-version of Aakash?
OLPC India representative Satish Jha says in 65 years of India’s independence the country has not been able to build up a minimum learning infrastructure for all students as schools need buildings, teachers, electricity and equipment.
He adds the OLPC will become a school in a box and just need fraction of the costs required in building infrastructure. He mentions the government needs $2000 or Rs 1.1 lakh per child to build infrastructure, which is too much.
Mr Jha said Aakash miss a point if compared to XO device as it cannot be read outdoors. Also, student need to keep Aakash tablet charged and very large segment of Indian population lacks proper electricity. Also, without a keyboard the Aakash tablet may not be very useful to students.
However, in Manipur the first pilot project with 1000 OLPCs is under way and they are also in talks with chief ministers of Rajasthan and Haryana.
Meanwhile, last month it was learned tiny South Pacific nation of Niue became the first country in the world to handover laptop to all its students. It is rugged, relatively waterproof and breakproof laptop with wireless connection under OLPC initiative.
We are waiting India to see what magic can Aakash 2 to make to fresh secondary, college and university students in education sector.
Give a thought.