Sunday, October 09, 2011

A Tablet Called "Aakash"

"This marks India's leap into the future of PC technology"
- Kapil Sibal, Minister of Science & Technology at the launch of Mobilis (priced at Rs.10,000, launched in May 2005)

"This is for all those who are disempowered. This is is for all those who have no access. This is for all those who are marginalized...The Akash is proudly made in India, and is destined to revolutionize computing and internet access for the world."
- Kapil Sibal, Minister for Human Resources Development at the launch of Akash, "world's cheapest tablet computer" (Rs.1,750; 5 Oct., 2011)

One is tempted to call this the "Hall of Damp-Squibs" sponsored by the Government of India. First it was the Simputer, then came Mobilis, and now we have Akash. The last two were launched by Kapil Sibal while he was heading two different ministries in a span of six years.

Unanswered questions:
  • How & where was the Akash field-tested in the hands any of the "dis-empowered or marginalized Indians", before it was launched?
  • Since the battery-life is only three hours, is there an option for solar-charging? If so, how much does this cost?

* DataWind homepage -

* Kurup, Saira  (2011): 'We want to target the billion Indians who are cut off',  Times of India, 9 Oct., 2011 url -

* Saxena, Shobhan (2011): Miracle Pill or Cheap Gimmick?, ToI, 9 Oct., 2011, url -

* Sunderarajan, P (2005): Here comes the no-frills, mobile computer system, The Hindu, 11 May 2005, url -

More links:

* Chopra, Ritika (8 Jan 2012): Aakash Proved to be a Dud
* Singh, Sanja (13 Jan 2012): Sibal's Aakash Tablet May be Shelved

No comments: