Specifications for Aakash 4 to be finalised soon
The government is likely to finalise soon the specifications for the fourth version of low-cost tablet PC Aakash.

“...the draft of the specifications has been prepared, formally it has to be placed before a committee... We are waiting for a suitable date to do that,” Department of Electronics and IT (DEITy) Secretary J Satyanarayana told PTI.

He added that the specifications have been designed keeping in mind the current technological developments and also how to keep the cost under check.

“We should not add so many features so that the cost will go beyond,” he said.The Aakash project was Telecom Minister Kapil Sibals brainchild when he was the HRD Minister.

The idea was to provide low-cost computing device at subsidised rate to students so that they can access Internet for educational purposes.

Canadian company DataWind had bagged a contract to supply one lakh tablets. However, the project hit rough weather when IIT-Rajasthan, the nodal agency for the project, rejected the tablet for not meeting performance criteria and the project had to be shifted to IIT-Bombay.

The first version of Aakash was rolled out in October 2011. The second version was launched last year.

“Our interest is to finalise the technical specifications at this stage and notify these specifications...promote domestic manufacturers of such tablets so that electronics manufacturing is given a priority under the electronics policy,” Satyanarayana said.

Asked if some private players have shown interest to set up manufacturing facility in the country for Aakash, he added: “Not yet...but once we notify the specifications probably more proposals will come.”