The next version of world’s cheapest tablet PC Aakash 4 will start in January and the price of the devices are expected to further come down by Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 in a year, telecom minister Mr Kapil Sibal said. “Aakash 4 now has been tendered for manufacturing. From January 2014, Aakash 4 which is like any other modern tablets in the country, is going to be manufactured by several players. (As many as) 18 people have actually participated in the tender,” Mr Sibal said while addressing students at Modern School here. The Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals, which procures product for government supplies, has floated tender for Aakash 4 tablet for which bids will be opened tomorrow. The minister said that after 5 to 7 years enough number of Aakash devices will be available for every school going children in the country. Mr Sibal said he expects the price of this cheapest tablet to further fall by about Rs 1,000 next year. “The cost of that ( Aakash tablet) at the moment we say is Rs 2,500 but its going to come down to Rs 1,500,” he said. Aakash 4 will have 7 inch capacitative touch screen which will be also scratch resistant. The tablet will support wifi, 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity, come with 4GB of internal storage, external memory card slot with storage capacity of up to 32 GB, bluetooth and front camera. The Minister said that modern technology and devices like Aakash will change the way students will learn in coming days. “… No longer teacher is sole repository of knowledge. Children get knowledge from all sorts of network site,” Mr Sibal said. Citing transformation in education sector, the Minister touched upon concept of Meta-University floated by him when he was Human Resource and Development Minister. “The concept (Meta University) is 3-4 University can get together and actually create a course which is not provided by syllabi of any particular university…this will happen in years to come not only between universities but between nations and universities around world,” Mr Sibal said. He said students will be able to combine two courses and get degree from respective universities.
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