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Datawind plans to bid in tender.

New Delhi The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has been doing a flip-flop on the Aakash tablet since its launch in October.

Datawind, a UK-based company, introduced the world's cheapest tablet priced at $35 (Dh128), but recent reports quote the HRD minister as saying that the government was severing ties with Data-wind due to certain problems.

Even though plans were to retain the original price, the new version would be totally indigenous.

The companies will be invited to bid again to make the device after complaints of poor performance by the Aakash.

Reacting to the news report, Suneet Singh Tuli, founder of Datawind, told Gulf News, "There is a deliberate attempt by some negative elements to stall the ambitious project of the minister to eradicate the digital divide in education in India."

Tuli said his company has not been asked to take part in the tender, but said they intend to enter and "win as many bids as possible".

"After its initial requirement of 100,000 units, the government had said it would require an additional 220 million units of the Aakash to move a step further in its endeavour to merge education with information technology."

Additional Secretary in the HRD ministry, N.K. Sinha, said: "To manufacture Aakash in such large numbers, fresh tenders will be released and other companies, along with Datawind, will also get a chance."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 5, 2012
Words:245
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