Aakash had run into rough weather few days back due to negative feedback received from its users. Most of the users reported Aakash was under powered and had an out-dated Operating System. There were also skirmishes between IIT-Rajasthan (who were commissioned to procure initial batch of Aakash) and Datawind (Manufacturer who supplied Aakash Tablet) regarding Aakash specifications.
Although the first batch was supposed to be a pilot for 100,000 tablets, Datawind was able to supply only 30,000 to IIT Rajasthan. The remainder of the order has yet not received from Datawind due to the fact that IIT Rajasthan’s request for upgraded specs. Datawind, on its part is not able to do it due to cost implications.
Taking note of this not-so-successful pilot of Aakash, Government has decided to take the reigns of Aakash tablet out of IIT Rajasthan’s hand and commission a Public Sector Undertaking to handle tendering and procurement process of Aakash 2 going forward. Economic Times has reported that PSUs Like ITI Ltd or Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd (TCIL) are being considered for procurement of Aakash 2 tablets.
We spoke to a few people with knowledge of this deal, and it looks like ITI ltd. has bagged the deal and will be overlook the procurement and tendering of Aakash Tablets going forward.
Even the drafting of specs and features of Aakash 2 tablets has also been taken away from IIT Rajasthan and given over to Ministry of Communications and IT.
As we reported earlier, the new batch of tablets (Aakash 2) are expected to have a 3200 mAh battery instead of 2100 Ah, a better firmware (Android 2.3) and a 1 GHz processor instead of the 366 MHz ARM 11 processor provided earlier. The new tablets will also be upgraded to capacitive touch screen instead of resistive screens found on Aakash currently.
We are trying to get in touch with IIT-Rajasthan officials to get their side of story, however, it looks like they may not have much to say on these developments!