India to launch £7 laptop

India will unveil a 500 rupee (£7) laptop today, according to reports.


India will unveil a 500 rupee (£7) laptop today, according to reports.

The price, reported in the Times of India newspaper, is one-tenth the price of the $100 laptops created by Nicholas Negroponte of MIT through the One Laptop Per Child Project. The OLCP devices were seen as too expensive by the Indian government.

The new laptop has been in the works for a few years and is a collaboration between several organisations, including students at Vellore Institute of Technology, scientists in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and IIT-Madras.

It will have 2 GB of RAM, wi-fi capabilities, and operate on two watts of power.

The cost is not quite down to 500 rupees yet, but Indian officials say once large-scale production begin, it will be.

"At this stage, the price is working out to be $20 (£14) but with mass production it is bound to come down," Higher Education Secretary R P Agarwal told The Times.

The laptop is part of a government project called the National Mission on Education. Part of the goal is to also get textbooks all over India online, and make them available to students.

The government reportedly has made agreements with several publishers, including Macmillan and Prentice-Hall, to provide digital textbooks on the laptops.

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