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Fri, 01 August 2014 22:53:29
India plans '10 dollar' laptop to promote computer skills
03 Feb, 2009 14:04:18
NEW DELHI, February 3, 2009 (AFP) - India has unveiled plans to produce a laptop computer costing just 10 dollars in a bid to improve the skills of millions of students across the country.
The laptops will be mass-produced as part of a government-sponsored education scheme launched on Tuesday in the southern city of Tirupati.

Details about the computer remained scarce, but Higher Education Secretary R.P. Agrawal said last week that it would be available within six months.

"Once the testing is over, the computers will be made available on commercial basis," he told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"Its cost will be 10 US dollars. If the parents want to gift something to their kids, they can easily purchase this item."

The laptop will reportedly have a two gigabyte memory and wireless Internet capability, but officials have not publicly demonstrated a prototype -- or yet explained how it can be produced at such a low cost.

The government has earmarked more than 46 billion rupees (939 million dollars) to develop the low-power gadget to work in rural areas with unreliable power supply and poor Internet connectivity.

The planned laptop is part of a push to increase the number of students in higher education and give them the technological skills needed to further boost India's economic growth.

New Delhi rebuffed a previous attempt to bring cheap laptops to India, led by MIT computer scientist Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child programme.

The government cited hidden costs for its rejection of that computer, which was dubbed the 100-dollar laptop.

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