As revealed by a minister of the federal government in Delhi on 29 July 2008, India is developing a laptop or notebook computer that will be selling at ultra cheap US$ 10, or just Rs 400 that is targeting at higher education students.
The research is being carried out at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai. According to Minister of State for Higher Education, D. Purandeswari, this measure will help raise the quality of higher education in India.
There is no information on the specifications of the $10 laptop. With the increasingly important the role played by information and communications technology (ICT) technology, the India government plans to strengthen its current programs for distance learning by making them accessible online.
Producing low cost laptop is part of the “National Mission in Education through ICT”. After that, the government plans to make available free bandwidth for education purposes to every Indian in order to build a “knowledge network” between and within institutions of higher learning in the country.
Presently, India has very low Internet penetration, which 4.38 million broadband subscribers (June 2008) compared to population of over 1.13 billion.
A number of local and multinational companies like Microsoft and Intel, and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working on technology for education purpose.