Saturday, November 6, 2010

Negroponte Offers to Collaborate on US$ 35 Tablet

Nicholas Negroponte, project founder of One Laptop Per Child, offered to collaborate with India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to realize the country’s aspirations for a US$ 35 laptop.

OLPC has had a checkered relationship with the MHRD, which initially rejected the OLPC initiative saying, “It would be impossible to justify an expenditure of this scale on a debatable scheme when public funds continue to be in inadequate supply for well established needs listed in different policy documents.”

Negroponte’s offer is being viewed by many as an attempt at collaboration, something OLPC has failed to adopt in the past. Negroponte has said that competition would hurt the OLPC initiative, but he now seems more willing to embrace competitors. India’s laptop is currently unnamed. The device was developed by students and teachers at The Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kharagpur and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. It features a web browser, a multimedia player, PDF reader, WiFi, and video-conferencing capabilities.

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