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Goa Students to get Tablets and Notebook for Rs 25 (General Category) and Rs.10 for SC/ST

Guess what? Students in Goa will Soon be Able get a Tablet PC or Notebook for Just Rs 25.

IANS is reporting that the digital largesse is a part of the Goa government education department’s initiative to familiarize Class V and VII students with computers in order to “prepare them for the life ahead and get them curious about the e-systems,” according to additional director education Anil Powar.

An interesting point is that, general category students will have to pay only Rs 25 while SC and ST students will have to pay only Rs Aakash 310 to register for the scheme. The state government is making arrangements for purchasing nearly 50,000 notebooks and tablet PCs for distribution.

These notebooks and tablets computers will come with special e-learning packages, which will enable a student to revise their tuitions at home and will have inbuilt security systems installed to ensure that the computers are not misused for pornographic purposes and other controversial web applications.
The Goa government was the first state government in the country to give out free laptops to students over a decade ago.

Key questions

This move by the Goa government raises various questions :
Firstly with the Central government’s Aakash project hardly going any momentum, we wonder if this is just one that will just fall by the wayside. The Aakash 3 is expected to be available for students at subsidised rate of 1,130 while the government purchases it at 2,263. Also there are much better Aakash alternatives in the market.
A couple of months back, we had reported that the Indian government gave over $150 million to states for technology in schools since 2011, and is is expected to spend nearly $6.9 billion on technology products and services in 2013, up by 10.5 % over 2012.

Also how does the government choose who gets a notebook and who gets a tablet? The experience on a notebook is comparatively much better than that of a tablet.

The most important question to be raised over here is why there is a different rate for general category students and for SC and ST students? It has been over 65 years of Independence and the government still feels it needs to differentiate. Is this a way just to get votes or a way to popularize technology?

Recommended Read: Indian government has an app store.

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