DataWind, the manufacturer of low-cost tablet computer Aakash, today said it had completed the supply of 100,000 devices to the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B). The deal in this regard was signed around two-and-a-half years back.
Datawind said it had already delivered 74,700 units to C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), Noida and IIT-B, and another 25,300 units are with a transporter in Noida awaiting processing of letter of credit documentation by IIT-B. The final shipments will be released by State Bank of India (IIT-B’s bank) upon endorsement of the delivery order.
In addition to completion of the 100,000 units of Aakash, the company said, it had also completed deliveries of its pre-paid backlog. Less than one per cent of pre-paid backlog customers remain pending, due to lack of courier coverage or contact information.
In 2011, the company had won the tender for the supply of Aakash1 devices at $49.98, and was subsequently modified to 98,000 Aakash2 devices and 2,000 devices with DataWind’s recommendations for Aakash3, all at a price of Rs 2,263.
The company in its statement said: “Significant efforts have been made by some to derail the project through nonsensical made-up controversies, fortunately they’ve all failed. The vengeance of such attacks and the glee displayed by some in claiming the demise of the project have made our resolve even stronger and we remain committed to persevering the affordability barrier, so that every citizen of the world can be empowered by the internet.”
In the past, there were reports that IIT-B had started charging delayed delivery penalty from Datawind, as the institute received only 51,000 Aakash 2 tablets and the deadline for receiving 100,000 units was March 31.
Through the Aakash project under the ministry of human resource development, the government aims to provide low-cost computing devices at subsidised rate to students for accessing internet for educational purposes.
According to the company, the new device utilises multi-touch projective capacitive touch screens, manufactured at Datawind's touch-screen manufacturing facility in Amritsar. It is powered by a Cortex A8-1Ghz processor and contain 512 MB RAM.
IIT-B's open source lab has developed a variety of applications for engineering students to utilise the Aakash2. These include 3-D modelling applications, C++ programming tools, distance learning and live assessment tools.
The first version of Aakash1 was based on specifications defined by IIT-Rajasthan. After running into controversies on the quality of the product, the project was shifted to IIT-B and Datawind was asked to supply a better version of the product, Aakash 2