Arun is right that the Indian goverment typically gets ahead of
themselves where they release news far before they are ready to deliver
on what they say that can/will do. I believe that are still sourcing
these products from China/Taiwan so it will still take them time to get
the price down to $35 US. However, it shouldn't slow us down from
thinking about these opportunities. We should think of scalable
solutions that could be applied to all low cost PCs. I know OLPC
developed their own offline PC version of selected Wikipedia articles
(we should talk to SJ about that) and there has been interest from the
Intel classmate folks. I also know several people at the Taiwan
information ministry and they have been focusing on developing more and
more low-cost educational PCs for the developing world (including India,
Africa, and Latin America). If we have a scalable technical solution
that adapts to memory and processor constraints, and the content needs
of each community, we can address this entire area.
Arun Ram wrote:
> Surely getting Wikipedia on this device would be a great project,
> especially if we have Indian language content in addition to English.
> That would be a clincher.
> As we speak the details about this device seem sketchy.
> We will all need to check through contacts to see if anyone has
> contacts at the ministerial level.
> On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 1:53 AM, Barry Newstead
> <bnewst...@wikimedia.org <mailto:bnewst...@wikimedia.org>> wrote:
> Interesting article. A couple of top of mind thoughts:
> 1. Wouldn't it be great to have a preloaded version of Wikipedia
> on all of these computers...and a simple tutorial for how to edit
> Wikipedia when they get these computers online. Anyone want to
> coordinate on this?
> 2. It would be great to meet with the Human Resources Development
> Minister and possibly other relevant government officials when I'm
> in India in September. Anyone have warm connections for us to
> start a dialogue?
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [WMF Staff] [press] CNN on india's $35 laptop
> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 12:54:04 -0700
> From: Jay Walsh <jwa...@wikimedia.org> <mailto:jwa...@wikimedia.org>
> Reply-To: WMF Staff Mailing List <st...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> To: WMF Staff Mailing List List <st...@lists.wikimedia.org>
> (sorry it's CNN, I know... but interesting read)
> India unveils $35 computer for students
> By *Harmeet Shah Singh*, CNN
> *STORY HIGHLIGHTS*
> * India: Connectivity to all colleges is key to achieving
> education goals.
> * Officials say the price would gradually fall to $10 a piece
> * The country's literacy rate stands at 65 percent
> *RELATED TOPICS*
> * India <http://topics.edition.cnn.com/topics/India>
> * Computer Technology
> *New Delhi, India (CNN)* -- India has unveiled a $35 computer
> prototype as part of its program to provide connectivity to its
> students and teachers at affordable prices.
> Kapil Sibal, the country's human resources development minister,
> displayed what he called a low-cost computing and access device in
> New Delhi on Thursday.
> The ministry said the price would gradually fall to $10 a piece.
> India said connectivity to all its colleges and universities is
> key to achieving its education goals.
> Home to a billion-plus population, the country's literacy rate
> stands at 65 percent, according to the 2001 census figures.
> Nevertheless, the South Asian nation has made giant strides in
> various areas since it opened up its economy in the early 1990s.
> The country ushered in a telecom revolution that delivered mobile
> telephony to nearly 600 million people in just a little more than
> a decade with highly competitive call tariffs.
> Now, India is preparing for another leap into the digital world.
> Recently, it auctioned off its airwaves for third-generation
> services to enable super-fast multimedia streaming of wireless.
> The move is aimed at bringing India's online market on a par with
> its booming cell-phone business through Internet penetration with
> technology allowing quick access, data transfer and entertainment
> on mobile handsets.
> The country has announced plans to link up all its 250,000 village
> councils by 2012 in a bid to plug massive broadband divides
> between rural and urban communities as it emerges as one of the
> world's few growth markets.
> Authorities say technical institutions involved in designing the
> new device are now setting up research to address price and
> quality issues in developing budget gadgets for students.
> "The aim is to reach such devices to the students of colleges and
> universities, and to provide these institutions a host of choices
> of low-cost access devices around Rs 1,500 ($35) or less in near
> future," the human resources ministry said at the launch of the
> Ministry spokeswoman Mamata Varma said the government aimed to
> introduce the new touch-screen computing tool at higher
> educational institutions in 2011.
> The ministry, she said, is expected to tender out contracts to
> private companies for mass production of its prototype.
> The Linux-based computer is equipped with an Internet browser, a
> PDF reader and several other facilities, she said.
> Jay Walsh
> Head of Communications
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