UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon launched India’s low cost tablet Aakash at the United Nations in New York, even as questions over whether it really is an indigenous tablet abound at home.
Indian ambassador Hardeep Puri said, “Using the Aakash 2, children in remote schools will have access to world class facilities.” The USP is the low cost, priced at $ 40 or Rs 2,200 and to be made available to an estimated 220 million students for free. But the tablet itself is not without controversy with allegations that it was sourced from Chinese companies.
Datawind CEO Suneet Tuli said, “The idea and innovation is Indian, final assembling is in India. One report says only embellishing is done in India. Ask Apple and Microsoft what that means.”
A Hindustan Times report had said that Aakash 2 was a made-in-China device, which was picked up off-the-shelf by Datawind Ltd, the company that won the contract to manufacture the device, and then sold to the Indian government.
Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli, however came out and denied the charges outright, stating that parts of the device were manufactured in China but it was fully assembled in India. You can read his full interview with Firstpost here.
As far as the Aakash project is concerned, the made-in-China label isn’t the only controversy that it has faced. In the case of Aakash-1, users complained that they never received their orders and that the device was very slow with a low battery life. To know more click here.