Aakash 2 to be showcased at UN despite 'Made in China' allegations

Aakash 2 to be showcased at UN despite 'Made in China' allegations
India will showcase the Aakash-2 tablet at the United Nations, amid clarification by the maker of the low-cost tablet over sourcing some parts from China.

The tablet will be unveiled on Wednesday in the presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of India's current Presidency of the Security Council.

CEO of Datawind, maker of the tablet, Suneet Singh Tuli would give a presentation about the device.

The unveiling of the tablet at the UN comes even as Datawind said assembling and programming of the low-cost tablet has been done in India and only some main parts have been sourced from China.

Datawind had said that for the first 10,000 units for IIT, and for the sake of "expediency", the motherboards and kits were manufactured in its Chinese subcontractor's facilities.

The units were 'kitted' in China at various manufacturers while the final assembly and programming happened in India.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri had said earlier this month the Indian mission to the UN took the initiative to showcase the tablet at the world body and other UN member states as well as mediapersons would be invited to the event.

Aakash has been "described as the most competitively priced tablet computer by an Indian-origin entrepreneur," Puri had said.

Datawind had won the tender in 2010 to supply one lakh Aakash tablets for a price of around USD 49 per unit.

An advanced version of Aakash was launched on November 11 by President Pranab Mukherjee in India.

The new version 'Aakash 2', is powered by a processor running at 1 GHz, has a 512 MB RAM, a 7-inch capacitative touch screen and a battery working for three hours of normal operations.

The first version of tablet had a processor with 366 Megahertz, 256 MB RAM and 2GB flash memory.

The first one lakh devices would be provided to students of engineering colleges and universities.


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