The government of India is expected to finalise the specifications for the fourth version of low-cost tablet PC Aakash in the coming days.
J Satyanarayana, Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT (DEIT) said, "The draft of the specifications has been prepared; formally it has to be placed before a committee. We are waiting for a suitable date to do that."
The Aakash project was initiated by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal when he was the HRD Minister with an idea to provide low-cost computing device at subsidised rate to students so that they can access Internet for educational purposes.
The DEIT has stated that the specifications for the new Aakash tablet have been designed keeping in mind the current technological developments and the cost. "We should not add so many features so that the cost will go beyond." said J Satyanarayana.
Govt expected to finalise the specifications for the fourth version of the low-cost tablet PC
In 2009, DataWind, a Canadian company, was entrusted with the responsibility of providing one lakh tablets. However, the project was delayed when IIT-Rajasthan, the institution responsible for the quality of the project, rejected the tablet for not meeting performance criteria.
In October 2011, the first version of Aakash tablet was launched with a 7-inch screen of 800 x 480 pixels resolution backed by a 336Mhz ARM 11 processor and 256GB of RAM. The tablet came with an internal memory of 2GB, which could be extended to 32GB using a MicroSD card. The first edition of the low-cost computing device ran on an Android 2.2 Froyo OS.
The latest version was launched last year and the tablet comes with a 7-inch screen running on 800 x 480 pixels resolution, single-core 1GHz Cortex A8 processor, 512 MB of RAM and runs on Android 4.0.4 ICS OS, which can be upgraded to 4.1 Jelly Bean. The device has a 4GB in-built memory with an option of expanding it up to 32GB using microSD card.
Asked if some private players have shown interest in setting up manufacturing facility in the country for Aakash, he said, "Not yet. But once we notify the specifications probably more proposals will come."