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The Aakash, India's $35 Tablet for Education and Development

How to enable the next billion Internet users?

Keynote Speaker:  Suneet Tuli, CEO, Data Wind

When: Thursday, 8 December 2011, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Preston Auditorium, The World Bank, 1818 H St., NW, Washington, DC
(and broadcast live via webcast/Twitter/Adobe Connect)

Moderator:  Philippe Dongier, Sector Manager, ICT Unit, SDN, The World Bank 
Discussants: Mike Trucano, Senior ICT for Education Specialist, HDNED; Joshua Goldstein, Mobile Apps Spec., ICT Knowledge Platform (both World Bank)

filesarchived webcast of the event (.wmv file) | presentation by Suneet Tuli 


On 5 October 2011, Indian Minister for Human resource Development Kapil Sibal announced the launch of a new low cost educational tablet -- the Aakash. Developed by the London-based company DataWind with the Indian Institute of Technology Rajasthan, and manufactured by the India-based company Quad.  The Aakash has been described by some as potentially heralding a new 'Internet revolution' within India education, doing for educational computing what the mobile phone has done for personal communications over the past decade.  Some critics have noted that this is not the first time such a device has been promised for India, recalling the hoopla that greeted earlier devices like the Simputer and the $100 laptop (OLPC) project. 

What is different this time around?  Is this simply an idea -- and a vision -- who's time has come?  What role (if any) should government play in promoting -- and possibly subsidizing, as is the case with the Aakash -- innovative products and approaches in this area?  What does the mass availability of sophisticated, inexpensive computing mean for the delivery of public accountability and services in different sectors?  How can development agencies like the World Bank support such initiatives and contribute to their sustainability and broader social and economic impact? Is there a need for an ecosystem approach to such initiatives?

You are invited to join a fascinating discussion with DataWind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli to learn more about this high profile initiative, to help you separate the hope from the hype, and gain a glimpse into what the future of low cost computing in developing countries might look like. Mr. Tuli will provide a background introduction to DataWind, and will talk about sustainable business models to drive broad adoption of computing and Internet devices in the developing world.  Focusing on device, content and access as the three necessary pieces of the puzzle, he will present DataWind’s vision on developing sustainable ecosystems for each of these.

(Please note we will have 4-5 Aakash tablets on hand, the first time these will be demo'ed in the Washington, DC area!)


This event is organized by the Open Data Innovations Network (ODIN), a World Bank Community of Practice under the Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA), and co-sponsored by the World Bank's EduTech Thematic Group.

You must register to attend, please RSVP to

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