Last year I got an opportunity to go for the FOSS.IN programme conducted in Banglore which is one of India’s largest event relating opensource technologies. One among many talks conducted there was one by people from IIT-Bombay on Aakash tablets. This was the first time I got to hear something about the technology, motive and the development process behind this tablet. You can read more about the specifications and all about Aakash here. One talk was by a faculty from IITB who is one of the people in-charge of the project, about the history of its development and the hacks done on Aakash tablet. The second one by one of its developers about how they ran a Linux kernel on top of android and the addition of few programming languages and porting of Scilab to be used in tablet.
When one hears about the mission of this project, the first thing that comes to mind would: “Why should we have something of this sort, when we can use books for education?”. With the idea of Aakash the people behind had a a clear cut idea on why it should be implemented.
When you think for a minute you will get all the disadvantages for this idea. But Government is trying to bring technology to every underprivileged students in India,at comparatively very low cost, which should be considered as a great achievement.
The main aim of Aakash project is giving the students a great learning tool which can be used for programming including C/C++, Python Scilab etc, general purpose reading, watching videos and many more. I heard that the people behind this programme is comming up with a repository of tutorial videos. These videos will be converted into different local languages. This specific idea is to take the tablet to even the remote areas of the country where people have difficulties in communicating in English language. They are also planning to hire few people in transilating the videos to any local languages.