The tablet was showcased at the UN headquarters yesterday on the occasion of the India's current Presidency of the UN Security Council.
CEO of Datawind, maker of the Aakash tablet, Suneet Singh Tuli, presented the device to the UN Chief who voiced appreciation for the tablet for being "small and handy." "India is a critical player on security issues, but you are also a leader on development and technology. Indeed, India is a super-power on the information superhighway. There is a reason places like Hyderabad are called 'Cyberabad'," Ban said in his remarks.
The UN Chief said he is aware that 'Aakash' means 'sky' in Hindi and called on nations to work with the UN to help young people "reach for the sky and meet their dreams."
He said technology is not an end in itself but is the key to empower people to make the most of their own potential.
"Information and communications technologies are engines of economic growth and development and can help transform people's lives. They are great enablers, helping people communicate across distances, facilitating trade and commerce and providing better access to health care and education," he said.
Ban said technology is being used in innumerable ways around the world to improve the lives of people but the challenge is to leverage the power of technology and bridge the digital divide.
"We need to do more to help all children and young people make the most of the opportunities provided by information and communications technology, especially all those who are still unconnected from the digital revolution," he said.
The unveiling of the tablet at the UN came against the backdrop of clarifications by Datawind over sourcing some parts of the device, which has been hailed as an example of Indian innovation, from China.
Tuli gave a detailed presentation about the device and its potential for the education sector in India.
Later talking to PTI, Tuli said the tablet was a work in progress and it would go through significant improvements and innovation every six months.
He said one of the major features that need to be incorporated in the device in the future is mobile connectivity.