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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 5 Oct 2012
Aakash-II launch likely in May

The Human Resources Development Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal, on Monday 2nd April, indicated that the launch of version II of Aakash, the low cost tablet PC, might be delayed by a month. The upgraded version of the sub $40 android tablet, which was to be launched in April, is now likely to be unveiled in May. “We are in the testing stage and the commercial production of Aakash 2 has not yet commenced,” Mr. Sibal said on the sidelines of a higher education conclave, organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here.

Aakash-II launch likely in May

The allocation for Aakash has been made under the National Mission for Education through ICT of Ministry of Human Resource and Development. The mission had launched the low-cost tablet project in 2011 to link 25,000 colleges and 400 universities in an e-learning program. The Union Budget has allocated about Rs 760 crore for the tablet project. Earlier last month, while responding to questions in Lok Sabha, Mr. Sibal had said that Datawind will supply 1 lakh high speed tablets with a longer battery life and better screen.

The version I of the tablet ran into controversies after complaints from users started pouring in since its launch in 2011. Problems such as low memory, frequent system freezes and poor sound quality were cited by the users. “Aakash version II will be tested and it is only when we feel that the quality is superior and the children can accept it, that we will launch it commercially,” he said.

Common Entrance test:
The HRD Ministry was moving forward towards the implementation of a common entrance test for admission to engineering programmes. To a question on the possibility of its implementation in 2013, Mr. Sibal said, it would be subject to the clearance of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) committee and clearance of the State ministers.

Five States have been opposing the Centre's plan to introduce a common national examination. Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Puducherry have opposed the proposal, while Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have asked for wider consultations. “We will consult everybody. The State committee meetings are taking place. The Government is against moving forward before there is a complete consensus on this issue,” he said.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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