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India Dumps $10 Laptop, Orders 2,50,000 OLPCs
 
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India Dumps $10 Laptop, Orders 2,50,000 OLPCs  
 
The OLPC project, which lags behind Intel's Classmate PC programme in total sales and deployed units, will certainly benefit from the Government's move.   
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Thursday, April 30, 2009 The Government of India has signed an agreement with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation to purchase 2,50,000 OLPC XO laptops from the foundation for distribution across the country. The move would come as a surprise to many in the industry given the country's past disparagement of the programme. However, the struggling OLPC organisation will certainly get a much-needed financial boost from this contract.





In the year 2006, India's ministry of human resource development rejected the 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" and stated plans to make laptops at $10 each for school children.

Last year, the entire tech world eagerly waited for the launch of the $10 laptop designed by students of Vellore Institute of Technology, scientists in Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, IIT-Madras, UGC and MHRD, but it turned out to be a joke. The $10 laptop 'prototype' with two GB RAM wasn't a laptop at all but a computing device along with a hard disk with e-books, e-journals and relevant educative material through the 'Sakshat' portal.

Post this episode, India might have realised that it is not possible to make a laptop at that cost and chose to embrace OLPC instead. OLPC's XO laptops will be purchased for the students across the country. Nearly 1,500 Indian schools will get the latest batch of 2,50,000 OLPC XO laptops, according to some media reports.

The One Laptop Per Child Association, Inc. (OLPC) is a non-profit organisation set up to oversee the creation of an affordable educational device for use in the developing world. The goal of the foundation is to "to create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning." Its current focus is on the development, construction and deployment of the XO-1 laptop.

The One Laptop per Child project ran into problems when large companies, including Intel refused to cooperate. Intel was a member of the association for a brief period in 2007. It resigned its membership on 3 January 2008, citing disagreements with requests from OLPC's founder, Nicholas Negroponte, for Intel to stop dumping their Classmate PCs.



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