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India aims for $35 education PC

India aims for $35 education PC

Details of India's $35 educational PC are as-yet unavailable, but it looks set to be the desktop equivalent of the OLPC project.

The noble aim of ubiquitous computing for all global citizens came a step closer to reality with the news that the Indian government is looking to provide a computer costing just $35 (around £23.)

According to a report over on ITworld, India's Press Information Bureau has stated that although the device will initially launch for $35, the aim is to drop the cost as more are produced - ultimately creating a computing device which can retail in volume to colleges and universities for just $10 (£6.55.)

Details of the device have not yet been released, so it's hard to say what it will be capable of - but the price point offers some hints. At $35 per unit, the devices are highly unlikely to be running Microsoft Windows - meaning that Linux is a strong contender for the operating system.

Interestingly, the information released by the government details that the device will be both a computer and an "access device" - indicating that, unlike the recently unveiled Humane Reader which features offline-only access to content, Internet access will be possible.

The technology for the device is being developed within India itself, with the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institutes of Technology named as organisations working to perfect the gadget.

Sadly, full details and specifications of the device will have to wait until closer to its launch - along with finding out just how close it manages to get to its rock-bottom $35 launch price.

Are you impressed by India's efforts to bring low-cost computing to the country's students, or should existing solutions such as the open-source One Laptop Per Child project be considered first? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

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13eightyfour 23rd July 2010, 10:47 Quote
I honestly cant see how these really low prices can be met without some sacrifice along the way. Im all for the idea of providing cheap computing available to everybody, but i cant help thinking it can only come from lower wages and poorer working conditions for those that should benefit from the device.
memeroot 23rd July 2010, 10:50 Quote
Sounds a great idea and best of luck to them :-)
V Krishna Moorthy 23rd July 2010, 11:26 Quote
I tried my level best working with Chinese Manufacturers/Fabs, to work out a system that can touch $50, and at same time work for Educational media information (TEXT, AUDIO, VIDEO), MIDs shown by MHRD of 7" size even at 1,00,000 can not touch $50 (even just adding components costs, that is if you cost shirt take only cloth and buttons). Chinese have made exact copy of it!!

5" will hardly touch $50... if Indian IITs and IISc have the ideas to make them at $35, India will be the richest country by 2011 itself, we need not wait for 2020 any more... Best of Luck to all my fellow professionals.
crazyceo 23rd July 2010, 11:33 Quote
I'm sure they can get some pretty big names from within the industry to stand by this. Brand recognition within one of the worlds most densely populated countries will surely be worthwhile to them. This may help in getting the costs down.
yakyb 23rd July 2010, 12:03 Quote
quick question and not meant to be critical at all

how much are they investing into the research of this product / how much did AMD / intel invest into similar ventures?
Unknownsock 23rd July 2010, 12:14 Quote
i wants one!
Sizomu 23rd July 2010, 12:56 Quote
I Never Like the sound of these Projects.

First: What can you do, if internet connection & Electricity are not easily available. then if you have both, what can a PC help to educate someone, if the Basic human needs are not Met?

Second: to make it, is 35$, to and 3third world country, which is being sucked dry buy evil investors will put this PC for 35.00USD =1,642.20 INR!!!

Third: Unless Puppy Linux is on it, there won't be any improvement coming from A Pen & Paper.

Finally... PLS BIGASS Corporations stop Lying that you "Care"! U never did, you Never Will.

Sorry for My Negativity, But needed to say it.
Darkedge 23rd July 2010, 13:14 Quote
it's a chunky Tablet PC thing. I want one for $35 :)
http://gizmodo.com/5594441/35-dollar-tablet-will-cost-20-eventually-10
frontline 23rd July 2010, 19:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sizomu
I Never Like the sound of these Projects.

First: What can you do, if internet connection & Electricity are not easily available. then if you have both, what can a PC help to educate someone, if the Basic human needs are not Met?

Second: to make it, is 35$, to and 3third world country, which is being sucked dry buy evil investors will put this PC for 35.00USD =1,642.20 INR!!!

Third: Unless Puppy Linux is on it, there won't be any improvement coming from A Pen & Paper.

Finally... PLS BIGASS Corporations stop Lying that you "Care"! U never did, you Never Will.

Sorry for My Negativity, But needed to say it.

It's always a fine line between investing in the technology to help the future economy or pay for basics only, but from what i can see the investment in education and IT in India is producing an amazing number of university graduates each year that are highly educated (albeit a percentage of them end up working in call centres to service the Insurance/Banking industry).

The alternative is to rely on the traditional farming and/or manufacturing industries, which is where the real poverty is - as well as a blight on the environment in a lot of cases.
Spuzzell 24th July 2010, 15:24 Quote
Great, this'll be FABULOUS.

$35 is about £23.

An Etch-a-sketch costs £14.

So this just needs to be twice as good a tablet as an etch-a-sketch and it'll be awesome value.

I'd probably concentrate on helping out the 70 million Indians living in slums first. How're they going to charge the slow ugly tablet they can't afford when they don't have any plug sockets? Or, you know, walls?
DragunovHUN 24th July 2010, 15:59 Quote
But can it run Crysis?
docodine 25th July 2010, 06:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkedge
it's a chunky Tablet PC thing. I want one for $35 :)
http://gizmodo.com/5594441/35-dollar-tablet-will-cost-20-eventually-10

As stated in the article, this is a different project.
stonedsurd 25th July 2010, 06:38 Quote
What nonsense. They're all corrupt insects posturing because they have nothing better to do. It is simply not possible to build a machine to those specs under $35. The DRAM and screen alone will cost $50.
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