India to provide $35 computing device to students

The device will be targeted at students of colleges and universities

India announced on Thursday a US$35 computing and access device for students of colleges and universities, according to the country's Ministry of Human Resource Development.

The price of the device is expected to gradually drop to $20 and later to $10, said a statement distributed through the country's Press Information Bureau. The government did not, however, indicate when the device would be available, or its specifications.

A National Mission on Education through the use of information and communication technology, announced in February last year, stated that the government would develop and test low-cost computing and access devices for education.

The government's plan came in for ridicule as it was misunderstood that the government was planning to deliver a laptop priced at $10. Officials in the Department of Higher Education, however, clarified that the device would not be a laptop.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development said on Thursday that the device is being developed in collaboration with educational institutions in India such as the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the Indian Institutes of Technology.

The new device uses open-source technology to cut down costs, according to a person close to the situation who declined to be named. The use of appropriate technology with no frills, high integration and mass production is expected to drive down the cost of the device, he added.

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