India’s technology institutes should work to develop low-cost laptops not costing more than $10 for students, according to Minister of State for Higher Education D. Purandareswari. She explained while addressing a wide audience at eIndia 2009, the country’s largest information and communication technology (ICT) event which began at Hyderabad on Tuesday, that although developing a ten dollar computer is a challenge, but we have potential and capability for overcoming the same. She added that a collaboration amongst all was required to ensure subsidized prices of laptop, making it accessible to all the students.
Purandareswari said the National Mission on Education through ICT to be launched by the ministry of human resources development would also focus on achieving technological breakthrough by developing low-cost and low-power consuming access devices. The mission will leverage the potential of ICT, in providing personalised and interactive knowledge modules over the internet for higher education institutions. The minister said developing content for children in their mother tongue would be another major challenge. Purandareswari also underlined the need to remove fear of technology among the teaching community. According to her, her ministry is working out a national ICT policy framework. The government is also in the process of implementing a secondary education scheme called Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan during the 11th plan at a cost of INR 20,120 crore. Organised by Centre for Science Development and Media Studies, the three-day international conference and exhibition is a platform for knowledge sharing in different domains of ICT among governments, industry, academia and civil society organisations of various countries.