The computer company Datawind, along with the Indian government is looking to bring technology to it’s poor countryside. Datawind has developed and manufactured a cheap computer called Aakash (sky in Hindi) and are selling them to the government for $45 each. Through subsidies the government is offering them to the public for a reduced rate of $35. The computer is no state of the art machine, but it gets the job done. With 256 megabytes of ram and two usb slots it has the basic computing necessities. It also allows word processing, web browsing and video conferencing. Also discussed in this article is Datawind’s goal to provide $10 laptops and the Indian government’s goal to get 220 million children online and to bring the high school enrollment rate up to 30 percent by the year 2020.
I was happy to find this article because it allows me to analyze an ethical perspective along with the technological requirement of this blog. India is bringing this new technology along with other cheap technologies such as a compact Nano car and inexpensive water purifiers, to its market. In my opinion this technology is by far the most impacting. The backbone of any society is its children and more importantly the education in which they are provided with. Statistics show that children become more educated when they have a computer in their household. The article states that they want to provide a computer for every house hold. This is obviously a tough task because even at $35 many families still cannot afford one of these laptops. The fact that there are many areas without electricity does not help the government achieve their goal either. Still, this is a great start and I am positive that it will lead to a more educated Indian youth.
India is the second most populated country in the world with almost 1.2 billion people. This is almost quadruple the United States’ population of 313 million. This is relevant when we think of what competition could be like if India’s school system was as challenging and well structured as the United States’. Competition to get into high schools could potentially be as fierce as the competition for colleges in the U.S. This is many years in the future but the $35 computer is definitely a strong step in this direction.
The last point I want to make is how this product can affect the economy of India. The article states that Datawind can produce 100,000 of these computers monthly. This is a huge job. The production of these computers opens up jobs for many people, hopefully someday including the people who originally benefited from these computers.
This new technology which Datawind is producing is excellent. It is a morally righteous movement which is what people like to hear nowadays, but it is also smart for other reasons. If India can continue to subsidize these computers and offer them to citizens at a discounted price, India can move forward as a country. I see nothing but positive things in the future of India’s education system, and this is starting with the goal of getting a computer in each household.
"India Introduces $35 Computer - Chicago Sun-Times." News Articles and Headlines from the
Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago Sun Tines, 9 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.
"Most Populated Countries in the World." World Rankings and Records. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.