Policy Matters

Government: Computers to be available @ Rs 500

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To take knowledge to every household and help students get feed on every subject while sitting home, the Government is set to make available low-cost computers at USD 10 within six months. Technology for these small devices has been developed by IISC, Bangalore and IIT Madras. 'But lot of testing has to be done to ensure that the technology works properly. Once the testing is over, the computers will be made available on commercial basis. The target is to make it available in six months time,' Higher Education Secretary, Ministry of HRD, R P Agrawal said reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

The computer will be a small equipment with expandable memory, LAN and Wi-Fi facilities. The government will also produce e-content on every subject which will be made available free of cost. A prototype computer has been designed which is being tested now. 'Its cost will be USD 10. If the parents want to gift something to their kids, they can easily purchase this item and gift them,' he said. Students can get the e-content feed and load them in their computers and take advantage of the materials. The government will provide these computers to educational institutions at a subsidised price, said Agrawal. The government is in the process of consultation with different agencies for production of these computers and are seeking collaboration with them. These computers can run at two WT power. 'The ultimate target is to have a Virtual Technological University,' said Agrawal. The low-cost computers are being developed under the central scheme, 'National Mission on Education through Information Communication Technology (ICT).'

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