More than five years after it was conceived by then education secretary Sudeep Banerjee to take on Nicholas Negroponte's $100 laptop and one-and-half years after his demise, HRD minister Kapil Sibal unveiled the access-cum-computing device priced at Rs 1500 or $35 for students.

This sleek-looking device - which is a cross between an I-Pad and tablet PC and is charged by an equally sleeker solar panel - is designed by experts at IIT Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The upper price limit for the device is slated to be $35 only. Targeted mainly for the students, under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan alone, there are more than 11 crore children, who are the likely recipients of this handy device.

Based on Open Source, the device does not have a hard-drive. It can not only support video-web conferencing facility, but also boasts of several other latest features -- multimedia content viewer (pdf, docx, ods, adp, xls, jpeg, gif,png, bmp, odt, zip, AVCHD, AVI, AC3), searchable Pdf reader, unzip tool for unzipping files, computing capabilities such as Open Office, SciLab for printing support, media player capable of playing streamed along with stored media files, USB port etc.

This is indeed a very good news for students aspiring to be techies and cannot afford expensive computer equipment!

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