When I saw the announcement from HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, I couldn't believe it. As usual, newspapers heralded the announcement. Then came the skeptics with their clear arguments. The bill of materials comes to nearly $50.
That is what I thought too. A 2 GB RAM, wi-fi connectivity, around 32 GB storage space, a touch screen, a processor and so on, cannot be given away for $35 (of which half is a subsidy from the Government, we are told).
What India needs is realistic goals. Not this kind of nonsense. Our students need cheap computers and decent Internet connectivity. We need enough manufacturing companies to produce these devices.
Even in poor households, if one can demonstrate the use of such a device, people will be ready to buy it for anywhere up to $150.
These devices need sufficient processing power to play audio, video and flash animation - minimum requirements for educational purposes. Linux OS with Indian language Unicode fonts and software keyboard for all the Indian scripts should be present.
Let us hope that we will have some such under Rs 10,000 devices out in the market in less than an year, than what this vague announcement offers.