IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

IIT-B rolls out Kapil Sibal’s dream Aakash-2 tablet

Posted on: June 26, 2012

Source: DNA

For an elated human resource and development (HRD) minister Kapil Sibal, it was a “dream coming to reality” when he inaugurated the new improved version of the Aakash – the low cost Android-based tablet computers for students and the teaching community — at IIT-Bombay on Monday.

Entrusted with the responsibility of the first phase of the Aakash project, IIT-Bombay handed over one tablet each to the principals of four engineering colleges, while Sibal joined in the function, saying, “It’s my pleasure to symbolically hand over the all-new Aakash tablet to the principals of VJTI college, Somaiya College, PIIT Panvel and COEP Pune attending the IIT-Bombay workshop.”

Soon after its launch in October 2011, Aakash faced many a hiccup. Following this, IIT-Bombay was handed over the responsibility of the first phase of the project, which included testing and developing Android-based software for the tablet. An Aakash Lab was set up in its department of Computer Science Engineering and Prof DB Pathak made the project head.

“In the three months the project has been with us, we upgraded specifications with a faster processor at 800Mhz, and a capacitive touch screen. We have also negotiated a lowered price of Rs2,263, down from the earlier 2,276,” said Pathak.

Confirming having received the first 100 samples of the Aakash-2 device during May/June, Pathak said the goal is “complete deployment at over 500 engineering colleges” and “building a large community of talented professionals, students and teachers to carry out large-scale development of applications and content for use across schools and colleges.”

Sibal announced that100,000 the upgraded Akash-2 tablets will be given to engineering colleges, for which deliveries are expected to begin in July, while its deployment in traditional colleges will still take some time.

The institute aims at developing useful Open Source applications and content for use on Aakash. These will encompass the entire educational spectrum from schools to colleges, and from vocational training to professional studies. Content in Indian languages will receive special attention. Deployment of the devices will start in the coming academic year from August.

“While the mandate of the current project is for empowering teachers and students of engineering colleges, the IIT-B’s proposal for a pilot deployment for school teachers has been approved,” said Pathak.

IITB’s long-term vision is to create, sustain collaborative research efforts to work continuously on Aakash-related R&D. “It has already started to identify several hard research problems spanning multiple disciplines. In the coming years, IIT Bombay hopes to contribute significantly to this great initiative,” he

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